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Category Archives: Latest News

10 Common Problems With Diesel Engines

By Featured Writer Mike McGlothlin   For the most part, diesel long-blocks are pretty solid, with rigid components like forged-steel crankshafts and connecting rods, mammoth-sized wrist pins, rod bearings, and main bearings, gear-driven accessories, and densely-cast gray-iron blocks proving nearly unbreakable. Sure there are freak instances of dropped valves, bent rods, and cracked blocks, but…
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High School Cummins Swap: The Story Of A Student-Built, 6BT-Powered F-350

By Featured Writer Mike McGlothlin   Despite the decline in skilled trades courses offered at American high schools, hundreds (if not thousands) of programs have survived the college-or-nothing craze that has swept through the country’s education system. Huntley Project High School in Worden, Montana is one such institution. Here, in a town of just 480…
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Indirect Injection Vs. Direct Injection Engines

By Featured Writer Mike McGlothlin In the modern age of diesel technology, the term direct injection (DI) is something we’re all familiar with, or have at least heard about. This is because the majority of all commercially produced compression ignition power plants at the present time feature direct injection. But what about indirect injection (IDI),…
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The Beginner’s Guide To Twin Turbos

By Featured Writer Mike McGlothlin How many of us still call a tissue a Kleenex or have that one relative who refers to every type of soda as a “coke?” We’ve all generalized words in our lives, and in most instances it’s harmless. But within the automotive world—and especially in the diesel realm, where turbochargers…
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How Much Does An 8.3 Cummins Swap Cost?

By Featured Writer Mike McGlothlin When a dump truck, bus, tractor, or motor home is underpowered or in need of an engine rebuild, one popular medium-duty diesel power plant gets a lot of looks. That engine is the 6CT Cummins, also known as the 6CTA (for aftercooled) or 6CTAA (for air-to-air intercooled). The widely-used, mechanically-injected…
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Top Five Diesel Engine Coolants

What Does Engine Coolant Do? Some people know, and some people think they know what coolant is and the role it plays. In short, coolant transfers heat while providing antifreeze protection to an engine to keep your car on the road. Internal combustion engines create heat from well, combusting fuel. This creates the energy that…
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What Problems Does The 5.9L Cummins Have?

By Featured Writer Mike McGlothlin Mechanical problems aren’t normally associated with the Cummins B series but, as is the case with any lineage of engines, even the most renowned versions have their weak points. When it comes to the 6BT and pre-common-rail ISB 5.9L mills (the Cummins found in ’89-’02 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500’s),…
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What Turbo Is On The 8.3L Cummins?

By Featured Writer Mike McGlothlin In the medium-duty segment, the all-iron, wet-sleeve 8.3L Cummins is renowned for its workhorse nature, where million-mile durability can be had in any bus, motor home, fire engine, or garbage truck it resides in. Specifically, the mechanical injection 6CT—produced for on-highway applications from 1985 to 1998—enjoys a sound reputation for…
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Mechanical Versus Electronic Engines

Internal Combustion Engines How does an internal combustion engine work? Let’s go a bit deeper than the usual “suck, squeeze, bang, blow” spiel you usually get. Combustion, also known as just burning, is the chemical process of producing energy from a mixture of fuel and air. The clue is in the name, in an internal…
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Top 5 Marine Diesel Engines

1) Cummins 6BT 5.9 The Cummins 6BT 5.9 is a straight-up, solid, reliable engine. With 25 years’ service in commercial marine applications, it is a popular choice for many, for a variety of reasons. The 6BT can be set up with Keel cooling, Heat Exchanged cooling, dry exhaust, wet exhaust, and an array of PTO…
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The True Cost Of A Cummins Swap

By Featured Writer: Mike McGlothlin For truck lovers, off-roaders, sled pullers, drag racers, and rat-rod builders alike, there is an undeniable glamor factor associated with a Cummins swap. Whether it’s a 4BT, 6BT, or a late-model common-rail engine, the promise of improved fuel efficiency, endless low-end torque, and million-mile durability is the ultimate selling point.…
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How To Test and Service Your Cummins Injectors

By Featured Writer: Mike McGlothlin Despite how durable the mechanical fuel injectors are in the ’89-’02 5.9L Cummins engines, they’re still a wear item. That means that even though this ultra-simple, single-shot injectors are known to last 400,000 miles or more, eventually they’ll need to be serviced. Whether the owner notices a change in performance,…
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Compression Testing A Cummins Engine

By Featured Writer: Mike McGlothlin On any internal combustion engine, compression is what makes the world go ‘round. For diesel engines, where compression is often at least double what you see in a typical gasoline engine, it means everything. Not surprisingly, being down on compression means you’re down on power—and that can’t happen when you’ve…
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Understanding Blow-By

By Featured Writer: Mike McGlothlin Blow-by is a term that tends to worry the average internal combustion engine owner. It’s the result of combustion pressure and gases leaking into an engine’s crankcase—and it is often associated with engine failure. However, it may surprise many to learn that every engine produces some amount of blow-by. And…
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In-Frame Kit Vs. Overhaul Kit: What’s The Difference?

By Featured Writer: Mike McGlothlin Even in the world of heavy-duty, industrial-strength diesel engines, the occasional repair and complete rebuild are inevitable. No matter what kind of precise maintenance regimen the end-user adheres to, the wear items within an engine have a life expectancy—and eventually they run their course. But when the time comes to…
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