Anyone heard of Acela Trucks before?

#1
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/uploads/sites/13/Monterra_6x6_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
 

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#2
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.
 
#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
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
 
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TernOverland

www.ternoverland.com
#5
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.
 
#6
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 :D


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
!!! 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??? :sombrero:

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.
 
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Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#8
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 don’t 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 didn’t work it would even get stuck in sand that our Toyota Highlander could get through (and it’s 2wd).

So even if you do nothing else make sure the 1st 2 improvements are lockers and regearing.
 
#9
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.
 
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#10
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.
 
#11
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 don't 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 didn't work it would even get stuck in sand that our Toyota Highlander could get through (and it's 2wd).

So even if you do nothing else make sure the 1st 2 improvements are lockers and regearing.
Got it, will make those two things priority.
Im really gonna try for the Cummins ISB 6.7. Had one of those on a smaller dump truck at my dad's farm and we never had any issues 325K on the clock. But if for some reason i cant go that route, C7 it is. I know a really good CAT mechanic that gave me alot of info on what to do to make them reliable and efficient (software upgrade)

Alcea has locker options for all 3 axles but recomended to not put one on the "lazy" axle, its an overkill and their opinion.
http://www.acelatruck.com/trucks/monterra-6x6

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.
Thats what i really wanted but when I contacted them last month, i was told the same thing. Pricewise is about the same as the one im currently looking at so thats why i decided to look elsewhere. Imo the Steyr is a much simpler design and super reliable from ppl that have own them. Thanks for the info.

No! You just don't have any experience with "big girl" 4x4's (or a better way to put it might be big $x$'s)! Charlie, Beven, and I have and I am trying to explain to you what I have learned from EXPERIENCE! If you don't care to listen... "no skin off my pagoda"! :sombrero:
Yeah not a whole lot with big trucks off road, Just reg 4x4 SUV's. Thanks for the advice dude, will deff keep it in mind.
 
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#12
Alcea has locker options for all 3 axles but recomended to not put one on the "lazy" axle, its an overkill and their opinion.
http://www.acelatruck.com/trucks/monterra-6x6
I am not an expert on 6x6 big trucks (my big truck is a 4x4) but with all due respect I would recommend putting NoSpins (Detroits) in BOTH rear axles (you are going to have them go into the diffs anyways to change gearing); as Joaquin pointed out getting stuck is highly undesirable in a big truck. And make sure the CTIS works perfectly. My last "stuck" in the Ukraine required 1) low range 2) both ends locked and 3) tires deflated with CTIS. No winch action fortunately.
It MIGHT be overkill to put a Detroit in the front diff but if I were in your market I'd want to drive one with a front locker to see if it affects the handling and if it doesn't affect it much I'd think about it. I HATE being stuck!
 
#14
I am not an expert on 6x6 big trucks (my big truck is a 4x4) but with all due respect I would recommend putting NoSpins (Detroits) in BOTH rear axles (you are going to have them go into the diffs anyways to change gearing); as Joaquin pointed out getting stuck is highly undesirable in a big truck. And make sure the CTIS works perfectly. My last "stuck" in the Ukraine required 1) low range 2) both ends locked and 3) tires deflated with CTIS. No winch action fortunately.
It MIGHT be overkill to put a Detroit in the front diff but if I were in your market I'd want to drive one with a front locker to see if it affects the handling and if it doesn't affect it much I'd think about it. I HATE being stuck!
I hear ya. My goal is to have lockers on all axles, 2sp TC, and Front/Rear winches just in case. Thanks for sharing.


Acela and David are great to work with. Certainly know their stuff.
Good to know. Hope to pull the trigger once I get stateside. Thanks
 
#15
You may want to check out www.planbsupply.com, too. They don't reset the miles like Acela does, but they get very low mileage military vehicles and then upgrade them. We're getting an 1997 LMTV with 17k miles on it from them and they are also outfitting the cabin. They also do 6x6.
 
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