When it comes to diesel engines for pickup trucks, few are as highly regarded as the 1st generation 5.9-liter Cummins. First introduced in 1989 as an option for Dodge Ram pickups, this engine quickly gained a reputation for being reliable and efficient, and it continues to be popular among diesel enthusiasts today.
One of the standout features of the 1st gen 5.9-liter Cummins was its direct fuel injection and Holset fixed geometry turbocharger, which helped it produce a best-in-class 400-pound-feet of torque. At the time, this was quite an accomplishment and helped establish the engine as a serious contender in the pickup truck market.
Not only was the 5.9-liter Cummins powerful, but it was also efficient. The early Dodge pickups with this engine were relatively lightweight and simple, which allowed them to achieve an impressive fuel economy of 20-26 miles per gallon - a significant feat for the time.
But perhaps the biggest reason why the 1st gen 5.9-liter Cummins is still highly regarded today is its reliability. Designed to be durable and long-lasting, this engine did not have any of the complex electronic features or emissions devices that are common in modern diesel engines. As a result, many of these engines are still on the road today, three decades after they were first introduced.
The inline-six design of the 5.9-liter Cummins also made it easy to work on and maintain, which is another reason why it remains popular among diesel enthusiasts. In fact, many enthusiasts have found that the engine is relatively easy to modify for power upgrades without needing a lot of additional support parts.
Overall, the 1st gen 5.9-liter Cummins is a testament to the engineering prowess of Cummins and the enduring appeal of a reliable and efficient diesel engine. Even as the technology has advanced and newer engines have been introduced, this engine continues to be highly regarded and sought after by pickup truck owners and diesel enthusiasts alike.