How to Find the Best Diesel Truck Engine

Diesel trucks are an increasingly popular choice among truck enthusiasts. Their reliable power can easily be modified for increased performance, and their lightness and excellent ride quality help justify their relatively expensive cost tag.

Diesel pickup trucks come in all different years, makes, and models. To help narrow your search for one, here are some of our favorites:

1. Cummins

Cummins diesel trucks are well known for their signature engine sound and impressive torque, providing effortless overtaking and an unmatched 0-60 time compared with many competitors. Unfortunately, their heavy weight may leave drivers feeling unbalanced on the road.

The Dodge Ram 2500, introduced in 1994, was the first truck to use a Cummins engine and quickly became one of the favorite engines among truck enthusiasts for many reasons – its simplicity, power potential, longevity and hot-rodder appeal made this engine popular over time. Buyers seeking either towing heavy loads or racing their quarter mile timed faster found this motor to meet both goals easily; its only drawback being extensive maintenance requirements.

2. Duramax

Cummins and Power Stroke may be better-known diesel models, but GM’s Duramax should not be overlooked when shopping for used Duramax diesel trucks. When searching for one to purchase, its number of owners as well as maintenance history should be key considerations when searching for one with at least two owners and extensive service records is ideal; even one that has seen over 200,000 miles should still be in great shape given proper care has been provided by its current owner(s).

The 6.6L Duramax engine can be found in both GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks, but its most advanced iteration yet, the L5P, is the L5P. To create this advanced version of Duramax engines, GM took all their learning from 15 years of Duramax trucks and started from scratch, designing an engine capable of 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque with an electric actuator to control lifters and a Denso turbo that’s more efficient than older models.

3. Ford Power Stroke

Ford Power Stroke diesel engines are an excellent option for truck buyers searching for quiet diesel powertrains, featuring straightforward construction and exceptional dependability – many owners have driven over 300,000 miles without experiencing any issues with this model. Furthermore, these Ford engines can tow significantly.

Power Stroke engines range in displacement and configuration from 3.0L to 7.3L, offering inline-5, V6, and V8 models.

The original Power Stroke engine debuted in 1994 and remained popular through 2003, earning itself a stellar reputation of dependability. Never did this engine feel overstressed like gasoline engines can when pulling heavy trailers up steep hills. Available across Ford F-250 through F-550 Super Duty pickup trucks and chassis cabs as well as E-Series vans and Excursions; today the F-150 pickup features this power stroke with 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque to achieve up to 30mpg on highway.

4. Duramax LBZ

After considering all their capabilities for carrying heavy loads and towing heavy trailers, most drivers opt for diesel trucks due to their reliability, low operating costs, and long engine lifespan. When properly maintained, diesels have the capacity to travel hundreds of thousands of miles over their lifespan.

Since 2001, when GM first unveiled its Duramax diesel engine as part of their partnership with Isuzu, multiple revisions have taken place and yet its flagship LBZ engine remains one of the top choices among truck enthusiasts and owners. It addresses overheating issues found with previous engines like the LB7 and LLY models while offering more power without using restrictive emissions control systems.

The LBZ engine is a popular choice in Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD trucks, and while it may present with occasional issues like cracked pistons or failing diesel particulate filters, these problems are usually easy to address with just a few tools.

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