OLD SCHOOL TRUCKING, the way it was meant to be! You can’t always buy what you want in a truck, motorcycle, Jeep, boat or car, so the answer is - you have to build it. Many of you who read this article will say, I’m not mechanically inclined and could never build a truck. Those of us who are, learned one bolt at a time, and yes you can build if you try. Carl Kellner is the owner-operator, and builder of this 2002 T-800 Kenworth. Carl was 25 years old when he decided to build an F350 Ford into a hotshot truck. He knew nothing about mechanical work, his father was not mechanically inclined and Carl didn’t have his first car until he was 19 years old. He did have a dream, and he followed that dream, a beautiful 2000, 379 powered by a 2WS Caterpillar engine with every Pittsburgh Power item available for the Cat. The transmission is an 18 speed and the rear gears are 2:64, which makes this Pete an unlimited truck. What is unlimited, the speed and the power, being the Cat worked to achieve the dream and it was to have a Peterbilt. He still has the Pete; it is equipped with a Pittsburgh Power Cat Box. All Carl has to do is turn the dial for more power. With the 2:64 gears he still has 1 full gear left in the transmission, so whatever speed and power he desires, it’s available to him. Over the years we at Pittsburgh Power have built many “Unlimited” semi-trucks.
So why did Carl build the T-800 Kenworth if he has the 379? Simply because he is no longer over the road, now he has a local grocery run and spends more time in cities. He wanted a day cab, short wheelbase, a C-12 Caterpillar and a short turning radius. Why the C-12 Cat? Because of his experience with the 15-liter 2WS Cat, he knew he could install the Pittsburgh Power equipment, have plenty of power and great fuel mileage. He found the 2002, T800 with only 320,000 original miles, however it had a 10-speed transmission. Once you have a 13-speed or 18-speed transmission a 10-speed will not due. Carl Kellner is a 100%er type of guy, he gives 100% to everything he does. The T-800, even though it’s in good condition, must be taken apart and built the “Kellner” way. Yes, this Kenworth is another “Unlimited” truck, 2:64 rear gears, 18 speed transmission, Pittsburgh Power Cat Box, Full Tilt ported and ceramic coated exhaust manifold, Pittsburgh Power high flow turbo, torsional damper, mercury filled engine balancer, FASS Fuel System, Fleet Air Filter, and the Duralite Charge Air Cooler. The end result is a truck that gets 8.8 to 9.0 miles per gallon running local, and as for power, on the Pittsburgh Power chassis dyno the little C-12 put a whopping 729 horsepower to the ground with the Cat Box on power level 5. Carl wanted to see what the Little Cat would do on power level 7. I said 729 is enough; let’s not push it. Carl does not run the power box on setting 5, however he does run it on level 3, which produces 550 horsepower to the ground. That happens to be 647 flywheel horsepower. Needless to say, this little day cab never runs out of power and still gets great fuel mileage, and that has to do with Carl’s right foot, he knows when to squeeze on it!
Jim Shimo was the mechanic who worked with Carl for two years while this truck was under construction. When Carl went to pay him for his services, he would not accept any money; instead he wanted Carl’s 2003 100th anniversary Harley Davidson Ultra Classic motorcycle. Carl had three Harley’s at the time so he graciously handed over the keys to Jim.
Why did it take two years to build the truck? Well Carl was driving his 379 Pete and Jim also had a daytime job, so this rebuild was performed in spare time. Carl paid $7,000 for the T-800 and invested another $46,000 in paint and parts, plus the 2003 Harley Ultra Classic. Not a day goes by that someone says to Carl, “Hey, nice looking ride”!
Next year Kellner will begin his rebuilding of the 2000, 379 Pete which he purchased new. If you know the Pete, it’s still in beautiful condition, however it’s not quite 100%, after 17 years of service to Carl.
An update on “Dorothy”, she is in mass production and the first 24 units should be ready by the time the Dallas Truck Show starts. For those of you who do not know who or what “Dorothy” is, she is our new invention designed to remove most of the soot from EGR gasses. There are about 15 Dorothy’s on trucks as of the time of this writing and all are performing well. Fuel mileage gains of .7 to 1.0 miles per gallon, a decrease of Diesel Exhaust Fluid of 30% and regens of the Diesel Particulate Filter are drastically reduced. The only maintenance to “Dorothy” is about every 30,000 to 40,000 miles you have to remove one clamp, remove the canister and dump the soot in a trashcan and reinstall the canister. That is all, there are no moving parts, the cleaning action required to remove the soot is a tornado type effect created by the venture in the canister, thus the name “Dorothy”. Now you can enjoy a brand-new truck, install Dorothy, and have the emissions system perform trouble free for years to come. If you own a 2003 or newer engine equipped with EGR, Dorothy can be installed along with an emission tune up and many of the related problems created by the EGR gasses are eliminated. “Dorothy” is about to revolutionize the diesel engines from 2003 on into the future!
Written by Bruce Mallinson, Pittsburgh Power Inc.,
3600 S. Noah Dr. Saxonburg, PA 16056
Carl Kellner’s T-800 Kenworth before undergoing its transformation.
And after…. Wow! What a difference!
Pittsburgh Power’s “Dorothy”