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Peterbilt 379 Charge Air Cooler Challenges

As one of the most popular truck models in North America, the Peterbilt 379 has a loyal following of truckers who appreciate its classic styling, durability, and power. However, like any vehicle, the Peterbilt 379 requires maintenance and repairs over time to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

One of the most important components of the truck’s engine cooling system is the charge air cooler (CAC), which cools the compressed air from the turbocharger before it enters the engine.

Replacing a CAC on a Peterbilt 379 is a fairly straightforward task, however due to the weight of the charge air cooler it is beneficial to have help in the removal and installation process in order to avoid damaging the new component.

Some of the challenges and considerations to consider when replacing a charge air cooler on a Peterbilt 379 are explored below.


The location of the charge air cooler on the Peterbilt 379 is at the front of the engine bay, normally mounted to the front of the radiator assembly. This could require removing other components or systems to gain access to the cooler, which could increase the complexity and time required for the job.


The Peterbilt 379 is an older model truck that may require specific parts or components. Dura-Lite™ provides direct replacement Evolution® Charge Air Coolers that meet or exceed original equipment specifications. It’s important to work with a knowledgeable mechanic or technician who has experience working on Peterbilt 379 trucks to ensure that the replacement cooler is compatible with the engine and cooling system.


Some Peterbilt 379 trucks may have been modified or customized by their owners. Some Dura-Lite Evolution Charge Air Coolers have been polished to look like chrome or painted to match other engine components. When painting a Dura-Lite Evolution CAC, attention must be paid NOT to paint the Patented High Temperature Silicone Grommets as this may void the warranty.

Charge Air Cooler Replacement Procedure

Replacing a charge air cooler on a Peterbilt 379 requires basic mechanical knowledge. The procedure may vary slightly depending on the year of the vehicle, however the general steps involved in the process are as follows:

1. Remove the existing charge air cooler (CAC).

2. Inspect the hoses, clamps, pipes, mounting hardware, radiator, and A/C condenser for any signs of damage or wear. Replace any damaged or worn components as required.

3. Fit the new CAC into position. Install and tighten the four mounting bolts that secure the CAC to the radiator. Ensure that there is clearance between the CAC and the radiator. Adjust accordingly per the application.

4. Fit the A/C condenser into position. Install the mounting bolts to secure the A/C condenser. Ensure that there is clearance between the A/C condenser and the CAC.

5. Attach the inlet and outlet hoses; tighten the clamps to the applicable manufacturer’s specification.

6. Slowly close the hood and check to see that there is a minimum of ¼” (6.4mm) clearance in front of the CAC/ A/C condenser. Adjust the hood accordingly per the application.

7. Start the engine and check the Turbo system to ensure it is functioning properly and there are no leaks.


It’s important to remember that replacing a charge air cooler on a Peterbilt 379 requires basic mechanical knowledge, and it’s recommended to work with a qualified mechanic or technician who has experience working on this type of truck. By following these general steps and working with a knowledgeable professional, you’ll ensure your charge air cooler replacement is done correctly and safely.

At Dura-Lite, we provide high-quality Evolution Charge Air Coolers that are designed to fit your Peterbilt 379 and offer Peace of Mind with our 7-year, million mile guarantee on most coolers. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.

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