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Thread: Anyone heard of Acela Trucks before?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Anyone heard of Acela Trucks before?

    Hey Guys,

    New to the forum and I want to get some info on this company if anyone has purchased one of their trucks or knows a bit about the company.

    Background on what I am planing on doing:

    In the market for a M1088 6x6 truck that i will be converting into an EV and tour North/South America next year. GVX will be building the habitat/camper but i need to source a chassis first.
    Having said that, my original plan was buy a surplus M1088 from Midwest Equipment Supply or a similar place which has a few of these trucks in great shape, modify the interior to make it confortable
    and just give it a modern facelift. I also want to reflash ECU to get a bit more power/fuel economy along with higher speed axles, Locking Diff's and a few other things in the suspension dept.

    I found FMTV Truck Sales (Acela Trucks). http://www.acelatruck.com/trucks/monterra-6x6 https://fmtvtrucks.com/wp-content/up...6_10092017.pdf
    they take an M1088A1 and tear it down to the bones, then replace over 600 new parts on the truck along with the interior which includes a full digital dash.
    After speaking to them, it seems like they can build me a rig just how I want it including engine options between a CAT 3126E or a C7.

    Does anyone knows anything about this company? Would love to hear more about them.

    Cheers,

    Jay

    594f3448f16a201887474cde_dashboard.jpg Acela-Monterra-service-truck-ICUEE-2017-1.jpg Acela.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Nomad_Travels; 02-19-2018 at 04:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Fort Mcmurray
    Posts
    38
    Go with the C7.

    3126's had problems with cracked blocks, causing the whole engine to be removed and either a new engine block put in with the old top end or a totally new crate engine.

    Also there is a pretty nicely refurbished M1088 6x6 for sale by a forum member. @overlandadventuretruck on instagram.
    2009 Toyota FJ crusier "C" pack.
    2014 KTM DUKE 690 death trap - Sold
    1989 BMW 325ix

  3. #3
    Thanks for the tip and ive seen that truck.
    Its sweet but i need a bit more space since i will always be traveling with 4-5 plus 2 dogs for 3-4 months at a time.

    Regarding the C7, i am leaning towards that engine aswell. I know about the horror stories with the HUEI pump faliures and how expensive they are to replace. But CAT recently introduced an Updated HUEI pump with a built in oil filter on the oil pickup line that can be changed. It will still have issues down the line but i doubt ill put 500,000 miles on the rig so i hope to be on the safe side of things.

    Still need to do a bit or research regarding running high sulfur diesel in South America. Might remove the whole ACERT emissions components. Would hate to have a DPF filter fail down there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,424
    I talked to them a couple of times and they seemed legitimate. Consider asking them about a Marmon Herrington T30 2 spd transfer case. It is supposed to bolt on to the 3000 series Allisons. The only downsides are cost and 1.09 high range. They were unsure about whether they could do it, but if were looking seriously at a FMTV I would ask about it. To replace the 1 spd TC.
    http://mh.dfl-studios.com/oem/t30.php
    Last edited by charlieaarons; 02-17-2018 at 01:02 AM.
    Unimog U500 with Unicat camper; diesel BMW X5 35d, diesel BJ40 Landcruiser and diesel M37

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    48
    No first hand experience with the trucks, but I do know David Ronsen who owns Acela. He is a good guy and VERY knowledgable about the conversions he is doing.
    David Soza, CEO
    Tern Overland LLC
    Sponsoring Vendor
    www.TernOverland.com

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by charlieaarons View Post
    I talked to them a couple of times and they seemed legitimate. Consider asking them about a Marmon Herrington T30 2 spd transfer case. It is supposed to bolt on to the 3000 series Allisons. The only downsides are cost and 1.09 high range. They were unsure about whether they could do it, but if were looking seriously at a FMTV I would ask about it. To replace the 1 spd TC.
    Great point about the 2sp TC. My father adviced me the same thing. I will contact them and see if it can be done. Thanks again for the tip


    Quote Originally Posted by TernOverland View Post
    No first hand experience with the trucks, but I do know David Ronsen who owns Acela. He is a good guy and VERY knowledgable about the conversions he is doing.
    After talking to them, that was my impression. Will pull the trigger on this hopefully by mid March. The only thing I still need to figure out is which engine to go with.

    Thanks for the info,

    Jay

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Joaquin Suave View Post
    !!! CUMMINS "C Motor"!!! AND as Charlie suggested... A MH 2-speed transfer case!!! AND build a hidden safe into to your truck! In that safe should be your "tractor fund"! Please understand, if you get stuck and can not free yourself the ONLY thing that can free you will be a TRACTOR... Thus it will be time for the "tractor fund"!

    But oh gosh... What in the heck do I know???

    Kind regards

    Joaquin Suave
    I do want a Cummins but they rare and expensive. The only place that ive found them is wwmach dot com.
    They got M1079 and M1088 with the 6.7 ISB 2010 Spec.
    Asking price are around 100k for the truck and i still have to swap to higher gears among other things i wanna do to it and it would go over my budget for the truck so im pretty much stuck with a CAT lol.

    I really hope i dont get stuck, calling a semi wrecker for a tow its gonna be stupid expensive lol. Thanks for the tip.
    Last edited by Nomad_Travels; 02-18-2018 at 02:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    1,664
    Definitely the C7 over the 3126 but without any emissions stuff if you can legally do so where you live.

    But I am with Joaquin on making it a Cummins. ISX, ISL or ISM with a 3060 Allison and a real transfer case (T600 axletech or if you need to have an overdrive the 1138 Rockwell). The engine gearbox combinations are easily sourced from wrecked motor homes with very low mileage. The axletech transfer cases are available new for much less than the Marrmon Herrington units.

    Just as a reference point. I have medium duty trucks that have C7 Cat, Mercedes 926 and had one with a 5.9 Cummins. The 5.9 Cummins was the best performing and most due efficient of the 3. But I donít think the 5.9 would be enough for a 1088.

    Also we had a 1078 which was under powered, under geared and useless in even slick grass without lockers and a real transfer case. Since the CTIS didnít work it would even get stuck in sand that our Toyota Highlander could get through (and itís 2wd).

    So even if you do nothing else make sure the 1st 2 improvements are lockers and regearing.
    2007 Freightliner Dualcab Ambulance conversion. Check it out here
    FJ75 Landcruiser 6 wheeler (Converting to an AmboCamper)
    1963 BMW /2 with a Ural Sidecar.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,424
    Also the Steyr 12M18s that are similarly redone form late 80s/early 90s and therefore USA legal done by www.excap.de are worth looking into. No electronics, 9spd synchro ZF gearbox, 2 spd TC, lockers at both ends and geared to run 100-125 kph depending on tire size, without regearing. Up to 300hp with new intercooler that they can install. But when I wrote him a couple of months ago he was booked thru 2020.
    And 4x4, no 6x6.
    Last edited by charlieaarons; 02-18-2018 at 05:42 PM.
    Unimog U500 with Unicat camper; diesel BMW X5 35d, diesel BJ40 Landcruiser and diesel M37

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Joaquin Suave View Post
    NO!!! You don't get it!!! If you get stuck, it is not going to be on the side of a road! It is going to be in deep outback "BFE" and you WILL NOT get a semi wrecker out there to save your arse!!! Thus... The tractor fund!
    Ohhhhhh. Im a dumbass lol, my bad man. I totally misunderstood you completely. Yeah im done for if that happens. Thanks again.

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