What are Detroit Diesel Series 60 Top Cooled Liners?

Detroit Diesel Engine | Highway and Heavy Parts

Many people have heard of Detroit Diesel Series 60 Top Liner Cooling or Top Cooled Liners, but don't know what they really are.

Here's a basic explanation:

Starting with engine serial number 06R597515, Detroit Diesel starting drilling holes in the block to allow coolant to flow around the top of the liner. This design change is to increase the cooling at the top of the liner.

A cooler liner allows for a number of benefits, including decreased thermal expansion of the liner and decreased cylinder temps. The liners have also changed to include a cooling channel around the top of the liner just below the liner flange. This channel gives the coolant an area in which to flow.

The following diagram shows the flow of coolant around the liner:

Detroit Diesel Top Liner Cooling Diagram | Highway and Heavy Parts

The new and old style liners are not interchangeable. Old style liners do not have the cooling channel and will block the cooling passages in new style drilled blocks. This may cause pre-mature failure of the liner, block, or pistons.

New style liners also are not interchangeable with old style blocks as the cooling channel machined in the liner will actually cause the cylinder to run hotter. This is due to the air gap acting as an insulator from the block, and not allowing heat to be conducted away into the engine block. 

Learn some Common Detroit Diesel Series 60 Failures and Problems to catch future issues quickly.


Top Liner Cooling Technical Definition:

An internal combustion engine including a cylinder block having at least one cylinder bore and a cylinder liner concentrically disposed within the cylinder bore and secured to the cylinder block.

The cylinder liner includes a main body portion and an upper margin. A main cooling chamber surrounds a substantial portion of the main body portion of the cylinder liner and has an inlet port and at least one outlet port for circulating a coolant fluid about the main body portion of the cylinder liner.

A secondary cooling chamber is located about the circumference of the upper margin of the cylinder liner. The secondary cooling chamber has four inlet ports in fluid communication with the main cooling chamber and disposed space from one another at equidistant points about the circumference of the cylinder liner. Furthermore, the secondary cooling chamber includes four outlet ports providing fluid communication with the outlet port of the main cooling chamber.

The four outlet ports are located spaced from one another at equidistant points about the circumference of the cylinder liner and between adjacent ones of the inlet ports.

The secondary cooling chamber further includes eight discreet segments extending between the four inlet ports and the four outlet ports such that fluid coolant is circulated from each of the four inlet ports in opposite directions through adjacent segments of the secondary cooling chamber toward a pair of the four outlets.


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TLC Liner Installation Instructions:

The arrows on top of the liner are to be lined up with the 2 coolant holes in the block. See image below:

Detroit Diesel 60 Series Top Liner Cooling Installation | Highway and Heavy Parts
Install the Series 60 Liner as follows:

Be sure the block bore and counter bore area are clean, so the flange will line up properly.

Block counter bore depth must be .3514 - .3533 inches and must not vary .0015 inches in depth around the circumference. No two adjacent block counter bores may range in depth more than .001 inches when gauged along the longitudinal block centerline.

Use a proper installation tool to install the liner. Lubricate the seal rings and crevice seal with clean petroleum jelly to help ease installation. Do not exert excessive force on the liner while pushing down.

Allowable Series 60 liner protrusion is .000 - .003 inches with no more than .002 inch variation between two adjacent cylinders. Be sure that the arrows on top of the liner are in line with the 2 coolant holes in the block.

Curious about the differences between the Detroit Diesel Series 60 12.7L and the 14L? Check out our blog post to learn more!


To learn more about Detroit Diesel Top Cooled Liners and installation tips, or to discuss other diesel engine parts, contact Highway and Heavy Parts (HHP) at 844-304-7688 and speak with one of our ASE Certified Technicians. Or, you can always request a quote online!

Originally Posted September 26, 2014; Edited February 06, 2020

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