The Cummins “B” Diesel Engine Went into Production in 1984
The Cummins “B” diesel engine was originally designed for tractors, combines, cranes, loaders, road graders, and marine applications. In 1989 The Dodge Truck Division needed a powerful diesel to compete with GM who had been using diesel engines in their pickups since 1978, and Ford who incorporated a diesel model truck in their line in 1983. Take a minute to find out how affordable our Cummins 5.9 Diesel Engines for Sale.
Dodge was a late comer to diesel engine party when it signed a contract with Cummins, but they soon made up for lost time thanks to the Cummins 5.9 diesel engine that was nicknamed the “12 value.”
The Cummins “B” diesel engine displaces 357 cubic inches or 5.9 litres and has a long 4.72 inch stroke and a 4.02 bore with 17:1 compression. Those features give the engine tons of pulling torque. The all iron block with an assembled crankshaft, steel crankshaft, and aluminum manifold, plus features like the forged I-beam connecting rods gave the Cummins 5.9 an average first-time overhaul life of around 300,000 miles. It was built like any other Cummins diesel engine; it had 18-wheeler power in mind.
Cummins produced the 5.9 “B” diesel engine without compromising modifications or shortcuts. This engine was pure Cummins quality and it was up to Dodge to build a reliable truck around the engine.
Dodge’s Choice to Switch to the Cummins 5.9 Was a Strategic Decision
Switching to the Cummins “B” diesel was an outstanding decision that put Dodge in the pickup truck race. The 5.9 “B” was an inline six instead of a V8 and that reduced maintenance costs. The engine had 40% fewer working parts which meant repairs were done quicker and were less expensive.
The “B” had been tested for five years before Dodge built a pickup around it, and the results of those tests were outstanding. The long stroke of the inline 6 produced an amazing 400 ft lbs of torque while the GM pickup only produced 246 ft lbs, and the Ford pickup only could muster 345 ft lbs.
The direct injected Cummins “B” 5.9 diesel squirts fuel right into the combustion chamber while the competition put the fuel in the chamber using an indirect injection sequence. That difference produced less heat throw-off so the engine’s smaller radiator used less coolant.
Overall the Cummins “B” 5.9 diesel engine was the catalyst that increased sales for Dodge. Dodge re-engineered their trucks to handle the longevity of the engine. Dodge pickups continue to be best sellers thanks to the Cummins 5.9 diesel.