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Swap A Cummins Into Anything

Your Complete Cummins Repower Resource

Text By Jason Thompson, Photography by Diesel Power Archives, Dreamer Studios

Cummins makes its automotive diesel engines for no one particular vehicle. Instead, these engines work great in all types of applications. We've compiled this article as a resource for helping you complete the swap of your dreams. Don't think you have the skills to repower your vehicle? No problem. Thanks to the rapidly expanding diesel conversion industry, there are a number of companies here to help you with custom parts and experienced service. Diesel Conversion Specialists even offers manuals on the subject. Another business, P-Ayr, makes lightweight replica 5.9L engines out of plastic for mocking up swaps. So now you have no excuse.

Why a Cummins Engine Swap?
With the mainstream SUV flood slowly receding (due to high gasoline prices), there are many cheap four-wheel drives on the market that have been nearly abandoned. With the right engine, these rigs can have a second life. There are also many people looking to repower their current diesel trucks because the stock engines let them down. Today, you have the option to put a Cummins in your later-model truck and have everything function like, or better than, stock. Maybe you want to make your hot rod more practical with an efficient diesel. The list of reasons to want diesel power is growing, and enthusiasts' reasons for making the switch are as varied as the vehicles they drive.

Cummins Engine Profiles
'89 to '93

  • Type: 5.9L (12-valve) I-6 with a Bosch VE injection pump
  • Weight: 975 pounds
  • Pros and cons: This swap is simple since the engine is mechanically controlled. Power output is 160 hp (stock) to 650 hp (highly modified). These engines don't have sophisticated fuel and timing controls, which tends to mean they are easier to swap. It also means they sacrifice drivability as you modify them for more power.
  • Price we'd pay for an engine: Free to $2,000

'94 to '98

  • Type: 5.9L (12-valve) I-6 with a Bosch P7100 injection pump
  • Weight: 975 pounds
  • Pros and cons: The injection pump is mechanical but more desirable than the older VE pump. This engine has great performance potential and legendary durability. You'll get 160 hp (stock) to 800 hp (highly modified). This engine is the best bang for the buck when swapping a Cummins into just about anything.
  • Price we'd pay for an engine: $1,000 to $5,000

'98 1/2 to '02

  • Type: 5.9L (24-valve) I-6 with a Bosch VP44 injection pump
  • Weight: 1,150 pounds
  • Pros and cons: The VP44 injection pump is electronically controlled, but this engine is not as difficult to swap into other vehicles as the later common-rail engines. There is not as much performance potential with a VP44 injection pump as compared to the P7100 or common-rail-injected engines. These 24-valves have 215 hp (stock) and can make 800 hp (highly modified).
  • Price we'd pay for an engine: $1,000 to $5,000

'03 to '07

  • Type: 5.9L (24-valve) I-6 with Bosch common-rail injection
  • Weight: 1,150 pounds
  • Pros and cons: These engines have great performance potential and durability. They are the most involved swaps because of the electronics, but we know of many first-timers who have completed the swap. These engines make at least 250 hp (stock) and can produce more than 1,100 hp (highly modified).
  • Price we'd pay for an engine: $2,000 to $10,000

By Jason Thompson
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