As much a part of truck and vehicle culture as racing and motorsports have ever been, brand loyalty goes hand in hand with these activities. Everybody has a favorite car, and diesel-powered vehicles are no exception. There are several explanations for this.
Regarding trucks, a lot of enthusiasts seem to favor RAM’s 6.7 Cummins and Ford’s 6.7 Powerstroke. Because of their popularity, a lot of aftermarket performance parts have been created to extract every last bit of torque and horsepower from these two engines.
In the US, diesel-powered automobiles have long been widely used in both commercial and industrial settings. Diesel power plants have long been used by trucks, heavy machinery, tractors, and other equipment that requires enormous torque, but it has taken some time for diesel-powered passenger cars and medium-to light-duty trucks to gain popularity in the United States.
Since the 1960s, diesel vehicles have gained popularity in Europe, mostly due to their increased fuel efficiency when equipped with smaller engines and their superior performance when equipped with larger, turbo diesel engines.
Although diesel-powered vehicles have made occasional appearances at prestigious races in the U.S., such as the Indy 500, it is European manufacturers who have truly harnessed the power of diesel technology.
Through the use of turbo diesel engines, these manufacturers have emerged victorious in renowned international racing competitions like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring. These grueling endurance races have served as a platform for manufacturers to showcase their technical advancements over the years, solidifying the reputation of diesel engines as both robust and efficient.
With a rich history dating back to 1919, Cummins has established itself as a reputable manufacturer with a primary focus on industrial power plants. By 1984, they had expanded into the production of their B series engine, which quickly gained popularity in a variety of vehicles, ranging from school buses to light-duty trucks.
Combining reliability and power, the B series, available in both four and six-cylinder options, has been the top choice for diesel engines in Dodge/RAM trucks since 1989. Boasting a turbocharger and gear-driven camshafts, Cummins engines are known for their durability. As the exclusive diesel engine provider for Dodge/RAM pickup trucks, Cummins has garnered a dedicated following among the Mopar community.
In 2007, the 6.7l Cummins engine was introduced, replacing the 5.9 ISB Cummins. This was a highly anticipated change due to the significant increase in engine size, with a displacement of 408.2 cubic inches. It became the largest straight-six diesel engine available for light-duty trucks.
This new powerhouse marked a shift from turbocharged engines to the inclusion of variable geometry technology. This advancement not only resulted in reduced turbo lag, but it was also integrated into the exhaust brake system. The 6.7 has certainly set a new standard for Cummins light-duty truck engines.
Ford has relied on the Powerstroke as its top diesel engine for their trucks since 1994. Originally manufactured by Navistar, a company linked to International Harvester, Ford took over production in 2011. Since then, all Powerstroke engines have been meticulously designed and created by Ford themselves. Typically, V-8 engines have been used for larger trucks, while smaller five-cylinder engines have been crafted for models such as the Ford Ranger.
In 2008-2009, the Ford 6.7l Powerstroke underwent significant development and became the first vehicle to hit the market in the 2011 model year. Its impressive design boasts a 90° V-8 engine, equipped with a single Garrett turbo and four valves per cylinder. The use of aluminum heads further enhances its performance.
Much like its competitor, the Cummins engine, the Powerstroke offers remarkable power and reliability, making it a popular choice for vehicles such as school buses. Not only does it have a devoted fan base within the Mopar community, but it has also garnered a strong following among Ford enthusiasts. As a result, the intense rivalry between the Powerstroke and 6.7l Cummins diesel shows no signs of weakening.
The Cummins and Powerstroke engines share several key similarities. Firstly, they are both diesel engines and make use of a turbocharger. Additionally, they both boast four valves per cylinder and utilize Bosch components for fuel delivery and management.
While these features may seem relatively standard for diesel engines, the most notable difference between the two is the 6.7l Cummins’s straight-six design compared to the Powerstroke’s V-8. It appears that both Ford F-Series and Dodge Ram trucks plan to continue with these distinct configurations in the near future. Despite their differences, both engines perform exceptionally well and offer an impressive amount of power and torque.