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How many miles is too many for a '98 RB688S?

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I've been told my old DM685 needs too much to safety this year, so I'm in the market for a replacement. I'm looking at a 1998 RB688S, but it has 388K miles on it. I use the truck to haul woodchips twice a week to our farm - so low mileage once I have it.

The question is, do these trucks need overhauls every 300K miles (like Internationals) ?

What should I look for when I go check out the truck? I usually just look for leaks, rust and how it feels when I drive it.

Specs are

400HP (not sure which engine)


22K front

44K rear

Hendricks Rubber block suspension.

Thanks for any and all help.


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hey biffidun where are you from? that truck is local to me. it an ex-Rexdale disposel. my 2000 Rb has 970k if your not gonna be pulling a trailer thats all the motor you need, the rears are most likely 4.35, that is a very common spec for an Ontario roll off. my buddy looked at that truck and said its not too bad bobo

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Rexdale keeps their rolloffs in decent shape. I would be more concerned about engine hours rather then miles. For those who have not operated roll offs in Toronto, Ontario, we overload and work the heck out of those Macks. No scales in Toronto and lots of construction work (full to the brim 20 cubic yard boxes of dirt) is a regular load for those trucks.

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Shouldn't matter too much for your intended use. Assuming it's an E-tech being a '98 they get more internal issues the higher the engine hours in comparison to other Mack engines. If it's under 20,000hrs you should be fine. Over that is where things can start happening. It's a rolloff, so lots of revving it to pick up the bin for the hydraulic system. Best to go have a listen to her running for any chirps, squeaks, rattles or abnormal idle issues.

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There's a guy around the tri cities that has run a 2001 R? since new with an etech and has supposedly (never seen the odometer to confirm) over 1,000,000km (couldn't even guess the hours)....also a roll off and we didn't chat to length about rebuilds etc, but he did say that it has been a very good rig to him....

Sad they are thinking about phasing in CNG trucks....he thinks Petes with cummins motors


Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part....

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Well I've gone and had a look at the truck. The cab doors are a mess (need new locking mechanisms, windows fall down). The center rod (?) that holds the rear suspension beams to the chassis is snapped. Both axles are leaking. Power steering gear box is leaking badly. All of the above is repairable. The big problem was the 8LL. I could hardly drive the thing. I thought it was me so I had the other guy drive it and he had to pull over to get it into gear a couple of times. I think the shift forks are shot. I have no idea what it would cost to repair the trany. I've used 8LLs before and they were WAY tighter than this thing. It all makes me wonder just how many miles are really on the thing.

I think I'm going to pass.

I might even keep my old beast. "Better the devil you know, than the devil you don't"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Roll offs that spend their life hauling bins in Toronto get the snot kicked out of them day in and day out. Glad to hear you went to look first. A fresh coat of paint on an old dog always make me nervous.

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