Cat C12 Engines

Cat C12 engines are well-suited to heavy-duty applications with high power. However, they can develop problems with head gaskets if heavy loads are constantly applied. Another common issue is coolant contamination of the oil. This can be caused by a faulty water pump, cylinder liner o-ring, or a thin cylinder head.


The Cat C12 Engines is a diesel engine that produces 340-490 horsepower and 1,650 lb-ft of torque. These engines are air-cooled and feature a 12-valve design. They meet IMO II and EU IW emission standards. These engines are also equipped with self-diagnostics and electrical backup systems.

Air-to-air cooled

When selecting an air-to-air cooled Cat(r) engine, a number of factors should be considered. One of the most important factors is the rated power of the engine. This figure is the maximum power an engine is capable of at a standard operating temperature and air density. The air and fuel ratio is also important in achieving maximum fuel efficiency and achieving the engine’s rated power. Typical operating conditions for a CAT engine include 25 OC air and 850 kg/m3 fuel. However, the power output of the engine can decrease if the ambient air temperature is too high. To compensate for this problem, engine room ventilation must be controlled to keep ambient air temperatures at a minimum. Additionally, some turbocharged engines have an adjustment for fuel density that controls the power output.

732 cubic-inch

The 732 cubic-inch Cat engine is a diesel engine with 12 valves and an air-to-air cooling system. Its cylinder bore is 5.1 inches in diameter, and its piston stroke is 5.9 inches. This engine has a rpm range of 1,200 to 2,100 rpm, and 2.7 gallons of coolant can be stored in its cooling system. It is commonly used in marine applications.

340-490 horsepower

Whether you’re looking for a marine propulsion engine or just a powerful engine for your personal use, the Caterpillar C12 diesel engine is an excellent option. The C12 has an impressive speed range of 345 to 497 mph and excellent fuel economy. The engine also boasts a controlled fuel system and meets the emission requirements of the EU, IMO, and EPA.

Lifter & roller problems

For those who are in need of a replacement Caterpillar C12 engine, there are a few things you should know. The engine is not without problems, but you can avoid them by learning more about the C12 model and seeking the help of a professional Cat dealer.

Coolant mixing with oil

A Cat C12 engine can experience various problems, including coolant mixing with oil. This can lead to premature engine wear and nasty sludge buildup in the cylinder head. The most common cause is an improper water pump. Other causes include a damaged cylinder head or thin cylinder liner o-ring. In most cases, the issue does not occur until the engine has accumulated high mileage.

Head gasket issues

Head gasket issues are among the most common problems in a Cat C12 engine. While head gasket failure can occur on any engine, the C12 has some unique characteristics. It features a mid-camshaft design and graphite-backed cylinder head gaskets. It also has a thin cylinder head, which makes it susceptible to thermal heat loading and head warp. This problem led Milton CAT technicians to spend countless days repairing cylinder heads and replacing head gaskets. Another issue associated with C12 engines was a torsional block twist and coolant leaks.

Cat C10 Engine
Cat C12 Engine
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