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Get to know the Cummins 6BT engine

Feb 1, 2021 Excavator blog

The engine of the Cummins B-Series is a straight six-cylinder diesel engine from Cummins Engine, built since 1984. Since then, the engine has been constantly evolving; the capacity has been increased from 5.9 to 6.7 litters. Designed as an industrial engine for use in commercial vehicles, the B-Series gained notoriety through its use in Ram pickup trucks from 1989 onwards. The B Series was manufactured by Consolidated Diesel Company of North Carolina. With an average mileage of 482,803 km up to the first engine overhaul, the B-Series in Ram Trucks is considered durable. In the following section, the first engine of the B-series, type 6BT, will be discussed.

A brief overview of the 6BT engine:

The original Type 6BT engine, built until 1991, is a 5.9-liter, water-cooled, in-line six-cylinder diesel engine with a cast iron engine block. The cylinder bore is 102.11 mm (4.02 inches); the stroke is 119.89 mm (4.72 inches). From the pistons, the power is transmitted via a connecting rod with an I-shaped shaft to a forged steel crankshaft. The crankshaft drives via spur gears to a lower-lying camshaft, which actuates two hanging valves per cylinder via pushrods.

The 6BT series diesel engine, unlike other competitors in the market, also features turbocharging and direct injection. 6BT produced 160 HG power and torque in the trucks sold between 1989 and 1993. The horsepower and the torque are given in pounds per foot and measured to standard; Alternator, water pump, power steering hydraulic pump and exhaust system have been dismantled for the measurement. Since that time the Cummins 6BT engine has been discontinued. But to this day enthusiasts of these engines have still been able to purchase Cummins 6BT parts as a way to replace or repair any failing car parts that they may already have.

What makes the 6BT so special?

In addition to being the first ever B-series engines that Cummins has made, the 6BT is also a popular series of engines for a number of different reasons. The 6BT is the highest production of 6-liter diesel engines that has ever been made. In fact, it is still being produced in around six countries around the world. Another quality of these engine series is that they provide the best mid-range platform for a diesel engine. And even for a mid-range engine it still is able to be used for a wide variety of different uses and platforms as well.

If you have heard of the famous Dodge Ram vehicle, it is that popular because of the 6BT engine series that it has got under the hood. And to this day the same sort of 6BT engine series is still being used for the Dodge Ram vehicles as well. Many Dodge pickup trucks also use the same 6BT parts even in the present. It has got a simple mechanical design (with 12 valves) that is simply unbeatable in terms of pricing and performance. The competitor’s and other manufacturers of engine parts have simply been unable to beat the 6BT manufactured by Cummins.