Information wanted on ERF E10

Hi Gentlemen,

Looking for a little bit of info about an ERF E series. I am looking at a nice tidy 1988 steel bumper E10 ■■■■■■■ L10 290, twin splitter 4x2 sleeper cab to add to my vintage collection. This is a nice tidy two owner truck which is taxed tested and does not really appear to require much more than a respray.

Now my questions to the ERF experts are what should I be looking out for…are there any hidden items which can be costly. Also, what is the difference between an L10 290 and an L10 325…Are they both intercooled?

I appreciate any information you can give

Hi,theres many items for the steel bumper model which are very hard to get now ,ive just done my E14 ,i will make a list if you want later this week.they will turn up on ebay you just have to be patient.

Thank you Dan, Have you any experience of the ■■■■■■■ L10…Can they be uprated easily?

I don’t think the 290 is intercooled, I’d say the 325 is the 290turned up with a bigger turbo and a intercooler slapped on the front.

My first lorry was the 290-lol the memories.

great engine

the 290 definitely not intercooled , i thought it was when it came out , but an engineer at Swifts put me right on that one. i think the 325 is intercooled though.

the 290 definitely not intercooled , i thought it was when it came out , but an engineer at Swifts put me right on that one. i think the 325 is intercooled though.

both are intercooled,290 air to water and the 325 is air to air intercooled.

Anyone have experience of running the L10?..Anything in particular to watch out for?.. I do remember they were popular in the 1990’s as truck racing engines

In 1988 ■■■■■■■ were still trying to overcome the problem of camshaft lobe wear which had raised its head when the 14 litre E290 appeared. There had also been a disaster with incorrectly aligned piston cooling nozzles which resulted in many rebuilds, however by 1988 build this should have been overcome.

You can check the date of manufacture from the engine data plate on the n/s edge of the timing case. If this is missing you could easily have problems obtaining parts.

Invest £50 in a DCA4 coolant test kit and check the coolant on the ERF. Coolant condition is vital for ■■■■■■■ engines, as is clean oil, fuel and air. The only one of these you will be able to check is the air filter, but it will give you an idea of the care the engine has had.

Also worth the expense is an infra red or laser thermometer gun (about £70).

A check under the cab will give a first impression of whether it has been looked after. Neat, clean and tidy or a mess? Remove the radiator cap and check the appearance of the coolant, if it smells of diesel expect trouble, it will not be because someone used a dirty watering can- they are lying.

The engines leak oil around the timing case and coolant from the o/s side plates behind the turbo. If it is leaking coolant find out where it is coming from since a head gasket job will be expensive. They do leak externally from the head gasket.You will never manage to lift the head off by hand since it is so big and heavy.

It should start when cold within about 4 or 5 seconds of turning the key if it is in good condition. Expect at the least fuel system troubles if it doesn’t fire up in time.

When you have had your test run and the engine is stinking hot, look underneath to see how much fumes are coming out of the breather. If you see what is plainly steam (it will be scalding hot so check carefully) walk away. Remove the oil filler cap on the top of the rocker cover, if it is caked in carbon the engine has been breathing hard and not seen many oil changes.

As for the rest of the vehicle, remove the inspection plate from the bottom of the gearbox bellhousing and have a peek inside. What looks like rust stains is clutch dust. The gap between the release bearing and the front of the gearbox should appear to be about 12 mm.

On test drive, if the range change make a horrible crashing noise then the synchoniser is damaged which is a moderately expensive, but fairly simple common in-chassis job. Anything as loud as or more prolonged than a modern Volvo or Scania means it has this problem.

If the steering box top oil seal (below the U/J) is leaking badly expect MOT trouble and expense, the standard repair has probably been done half a dozen times already and it is time for another box.

Thank you for that CAV 551. I have parted with my cash and purchased. I am pleasantly surprised how nice it drives. The twin splitter is a dream to drive and the ■■■■■■■ L10 in a gutsy little performer. A very underrated truck in its day.

CAV551,was very generous of you to go to so much trouble,I hope he used your invaluable advise?!

David :wink:

Had a few e10 with the L10 in good truck for rally and showing gd on fuel and very reliable


BFA stoke reg? ,ex Bassetts?

Looking at the cab paint it does look very much like an ex-Bassetts

Dan Punchard:
BFA stoke reg? ,ex Bassetts?

Yep it was a ex bassetts truck wished i had not sold it