If the red valve cover of this Cummins 6.7-liter turbo-diesel I-6 looks a bit different, it should. Although typically painted black, this particular engine wears its bright shade of rouge because it’s the two-millionth diesel engine Cummins has built for use in a Dodge/Ram pickup truck.
Technically, this particular engine won’t be installed in a Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, or 5500 truck (it will instead be displayed at special events around the country), but like any other production Ram/Cummins diesel, it was manufactured at Cummins’ facility in Columbus, Indiana.
“This milestone build is a significant achievement for Cummins and our employees, and is an accomplishment of which we are immensely proud,” Wayne Ripberger, general manger of Cummins’ light commercial engine operations, said in a prepared release.
Although Cummins diesels were available in Dodge’s class 8 truck models through the mid 1970s, today’s partnership between Chrysler/Ram Trucks and Cummins dates back to 1985, when the two companies began working to adapt Cummins’ B-series engine – originally designed for agricultural and industrial applications – for use in Dodge’s heavy-duty full-size pickups.
Ultimately, the two worked to stuff the 5.9-liter, turbo-diesel I-6 – code-named the 6BT – into the Ram’s engine compartment in time for the 1989 model year. That engine produced only 160 hp at 2500 rpm, but a hearty 400 lb-ft of torque at 1700 rpm. The engine helped drive Dodge’s sales volumes upwards, and breathed some life into the aging truck line until the revolutionary “low-shoulder” Ram hit the market in 1993.
Although those power figures were impressive at the time, they pale in comparison to today’s 6.7-liter Cummins I-6, found in the 2013 Ram 2500, Ram 3500, and Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs. When mated with a six-speed manual transmission, the engine is rated at 350 hp at 2800 rpm, and 660 lb-ft at 1500 rpm. When paired with a six-speed automatic, those figures rise to 370 hp at 2800 rpm and 800 lb-ft at 1600 rpm. Opt for the “high-output” model, however, and output grows to 385 horsepower at 2800 rpm, and a stump-ripping 850 lb-ft at 1600 rpm.
What remains unchanged, however, is the Cummins’ popularity with pickup buyers. According to Chrysler, nearly 80 percent of all Ram Heavy Duty trucks are sold with the 6.7 – impressive, considering the engine alone added nearly $7800 to the price tag on a 2012 Ram 2500 pickup.
Source: Chrysler, Cummins