Dodge Cummins Diesel

1994 Dodge Ram Diesel

Because of changes in emissions rules, demanding 60% fewer particulates per brake horsepower-hour, the Cummins turbodiesel needed numerous changes for 1994, including a new fuel injection system and the first use of a catalytic converter on a Ram diesel. Unlike the catalytic converter used for controlling emissions from gasoline engines, this removed smoke particulates, cutting them by about 30%.

An in-line high pressure fuel injection pump replaced the rotary pump; the higher pressure atomized the fuel into finer droplets, which burned more completely and reduced particulate emissions (presumably also increading fuel economy). Individual plungers for each injector were operated by a camshaft through roller followers (both cam and followers were oil-lubricated). Injection timing and amount were controlled by the throttle position which was modified by a centrifugal governor moving a gear rack in the high pressure pump. The rack rotated sleeves with variable width slots that were concentric with the pump plungers. The location and height of the slot exposed to incoming fuel corresponded to the start and duration of injection. When the engine was shut off, the slot closed completely by an electric solenoid on the outside of the pump.

1994 Ram engines 5.9 V8 Cummins- Stick Cummins- Auto
Cubic inches 360 359 359
Compression 8.9:1 17.5:1 17.5:1
Horsepower 230 bhp @ 4000
175 bhp @ 2500 160 bhp @2500
Torque 330 lb-ft@ 3200 420 lb-ft@ 1600 400 lb-ft@ 1750
Redline 5250 rpm 3000 rpm 3000 rpm
Battery (std) 600 (750 opt) Dual 750 Dual 750

The fuel pump limit on wide-open throttle idle speed was raised from 2875 to 3000 rpm for improved driveability. This control made the high speed fuel cut-off more gradual as well. Dodge claimed the new pump was also more reliable.

A high-pressure piston-type lift pump had greater flow to help cool the high pressure pump. It supplied fuel to the high pressure pump at 211bs/ in2 to assure that the high speed pump was always full. An external priming plunger was included to aid in restarting after running out of fuel.
An improved fuel filter (between the lift pump and high-pressure pump) and larger water separator accommodated the higher fuel flow rate; a new 100-micron strainer between the gas tank and fuel lift pump removed particules, as well. This included a thermostat-controlled fuel heater to prevent waxing in cold weather. A water drain and electronic water sensor were carried over from prior models. The fuel filter was replaced every 12,000 miles; oil, every 6,000 miles.

Thanks to the engineering approach to particulate control, the Cummins turbo-diesel retained its eminence among diesel pickup truck engines in fuel economy. Fuel economy was better than in the 1993 Ram pickup, aided by lockup torque converter (automatic), better aerodynamics, and lower rolling-resistance tires. Transmission torque capacity, though, forced Dodge to cut the Cummins’ power somewhat with the automatic transmission.
Throttle response and low speed torque were improved by adding a waste gate to the turbocharger. Low speed torque and throttle response were improved through use of a smaller turbine wheel and nozzle which reached peak boost quickly and at lower engine speed. The waste gate opened at high engine speed to prevent excessive turbine speed which would have been detrimental to turbocharger durability. The waste gate was actuated by intake manifold pressure working against a spring-loaded diaphragm. High altitude performance was unaffected by the waste gate.

For improved power, the compressor had MWE (Map Width Enhancement) – a system that recirculated a small amount of compressed air back into the compressor at the mid point of the blades. MWE increased flow and pressure at high speed by thinning the boundary layer of air on the surface of the blades.

Larger diameter, straighter intake ducting from the turbocharger to the charge air cooler and the charge air cooler to the intake manifold reduced air flow restriction for greater power. The intake manifold elbow was cast aluminum and the ducts were rolled aluminized steel.
A larger charge air cooler, which spaned the width of the radiator, reduced airflow restriction for greater power and lowered charge air temperature to reduce NOx emissions.

The intake manifold air heater, which aided low temperature starting and reduced white exhaust smoke, had a more efficient heating element that further enhanced these capabilities. A revised electronic control schedule shut off heat when vehicle speed exceeded 10 mph.

A 1994 revised combustion chamber “bowl” in the piston crown worked with the injection pump to lower engine-out emissions. The piston ring land above the top ring was narrowed to reduce hydrocarbon emissions. A new combination of ring materials and construction reduced oil consumption. The need to add oil between changes became unlikely.
A larger diameter crankshaft vibration damper was used on engines with manual transmission to compensate for the increased torsional vibration caused by raising the power output.

More rapid engine warm-up and improved cab heater performance resulted from separating the thermostat and “jiggle pin” functions. The new thermostat was sealed at low temperature. A separate jiggle pin unit was threaded into the cylinder head. The jiggle pin, which lets air trapped in the coolant escape from the block and head when the engine is cool, but seals when the engine is running for faster warm-up, is more effective than the previous unit in the thermostat. A longer transmission adapter allowed for addition of a torque converter clutch to the automatic transmission.

The air cleaner was mounted on the right fender side shield and connected to the turbocharger inlet through a hose. To determine when the air filter element should be replaced, the air cleaner included an air flow restriction gauge called the Filter Minder™. The Filter Minder showed when the filter element should be replaced and when it shouldn’t. Diesel engines are unthrottled and therefore consume much more air per mile than gasoline engines. This generally means that the air cleaner on a diesel engine will start to restrict engine performance and/ or reduce fuel economy at shorter mileage intervals than on a gasoline engine, but the mileage when deterioration begins varies widely with operating conditions. Furthermore, filter elements which appear dirty, but are not plugged, protect the engine better than new ones by filtering out ultra-fine dust particles.

The Filter Minder determines flow restriction of the air filter by measuring air pressure drop on the “clean” side of the filter. It consists of a diaphragm and calibrated spring inside a sealed, clear plastic cylinder that is plumbed to the air cleaner housing. A disc attached to the diaphragm moved along a graduated air pressure scale on the side of the housing. A drop in air pressure, due to filter restriction, moved the diaphragm and the disc showed the size of the drop. A check valve held the diaphragm and disc at the highest restriction that the filter had experienced. The owner could periodically monitor the level of restriction as it increased throughout the life of the filter. When the ring reached a red zone on the scale, the filter needed to be changed. At that level of restriction, performance started to deteriorate. After the filter element was replaced, pressing a button on the top of the housing resets the Filter Minder to zero. A silver cast-aluminum appearance cover with red Cummins Turbo-Diesel logo concealed the six individual steel valve covers for improved appearance.


In 1996, the Cummins diesel was rated at up to 215 bhp at 2,600 rpm and 440 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm, with a 3,000 rpm redline. The engine still had 12 valves with roller followers and hydraulic lifters; it used mechanical high-pressure direct fuel injection.

In 1997, the throttle control system was refined and hydraulic power brake booster was added.

In midyear 1998, a 24-valve head replaced the old 12-valve unit, and a new electronically controlled fuel injection system replaced the mechanical system (both used high pressure direct injection). For Rams with the manual transmissions, 20 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque was added; with automatic transmissions, horsepower increased by 35 hp. Fuel economy increased nearly 5%, while maintenance intervals were extended to 15,000 miles for fuel filter changes, and to 7,500 miles for oil filter changes.
The 24-valve heads not only increased airflow, but allowed for vertical injector mounting over the center of the piston bowl for improved combustion, low-end torque, and responsiveness. A Bosch VP44 electronic fuel pump with higher injection pressures and electronic controlled timing provided more precise, instantaneous control and greater response over the entire power range (up to 3200 rpm).

Additional upgrades include an overhead valve rocker system designed for a minimum of 150,000 miles without adjustment, a redesigned piston for increased power and fuel efficiency, reduced noise, and cleaner operation. The engine met every 1998 California Air Resource Board (CARB) emissions standard without a catalyst or Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR).

2002: new 5.9 liter diesel block and injection

In model-year 2002 (calendar year 2001), a new 5.9-liter High Output Cummins Turbo Diesel was brought out, the most powerful turbo diesel engine available in the heavy-duty market with a class-leading trailer towing rating of 23,000 lbs. (GCVWR). The new engine delivered 555 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm and 305 horsepower at 2,900 rpm.
Nearly 75% of Ram 2500/3500s were sold with the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine option. This version had a new block and high-pressure, common rail fuel-injection; the average major overhaul interval was 350,000 miles. An inline six, the new 5.9-liter Cummins had 25% fewer parts than typical V-8 diesels; oil drain/filter service intervals were doubled to 15,000 miles for schedule A service and to 7,500 miles for schedule B service.
The new high-pressure common rail fuel injection systems for the 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty used pilot injection – the injection of a small amount of fuel to start combustion – before the main, power-producing fuel charge is injected, to smooth combustion pressure in the cylinder, cutting noise and providing gas-engine-like cold starting (verified as far down as –40° Farenheit).

A gear-driven fuel pump was electronically controlled and provided pressures up to 23,200 psi (1600 Bar); it was less dependent on engine speed than traditional systems for cleaner combustion and higher low-speed torque with better vehicle response.

For model year 2003 (introduced in 2002), the High Pressure Common Rail version was brought out, rated at 300 hp in the high-output/manual transmission model.

Starting in 2004, a new straight-six common-rail turbo diesel became available in both standard and high output forms – 250 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque in the standard output version, and, starting in 2005, 610 lb-ft of torque in the high output version (the Cummins 610). The diesel Ram could tow 23,000 pounds (gross combined weight). The Cummins was the most powerful diesel engine available in its class, with a longer certified engine life than Chevrolet or Ford diesels, with an average major overhaul interval of 350,000 miles and 30-40 percent fewer parts than typical V8 diesels.

The high-output Cummins 610 Turbo Diesel used a revised piston combustion bowl and a high-flow, electronically controlled waste-gated turbocharger matched boost pressure with engine needs to reduce emissions and eliminating the need for exhaust gas recirculation, avoiding the need for over 50 components. More to the point for most owners, the 610 had 610 lb.-ft. (827 N•m) of torque starting at 1,600 rpm.

The Cummins turbodiesel durability was due in part to gallery cooled, high-strength aluminum pistons; gallery cooled, high-strength aluminum pistons, high-strength Inconel® exhaust valves and high-cobalt Stellite® exhaust valve seats, a high-strength exhaust manifold with multi-layer gasket between head and manifold; and forged steel, fracture-split connecting rods. As with the 2002 engine, it had high-pressure, common rail injection.

The horsepower rating went up to an impressive 250 horsepower at 2,900 rpm (from 235 horsepower at 2,700 rpm) and produced an equally impressive 460 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm.

In midyear 2005, the 325 hp / 610 lb-ft version of the engine was brought out; it would last through to the end of model year 2006.

2007: moving to the 6.7 liter form and cleaning up the smoke.

In January 2007, Dodge announced that it would be selling Rams with a new 6.7 liter Cummins turbodiesel that met the EPA’s standards for 2010 three years early. Sold with the 68RFE six-speed automatic, the new 50-state-clean diesel included the Bluetec emissions-reduction system (originally developed by KonTec) with Cummins’ own filters and systems. Dodge claimed a 20%-40% cut in fuel use, and up to 90% cut of oxides of nitrogen, largely due to an adsorber catalyst. Tom LaSorda claimed that the Ram – Cummins “is the cleanest diesel truck available on the market.”
Cummins produced the 1.5-millionth diesel engine for the Dodge Ram in 2006. 80% of Dodge heavy duty truck buyers bought the diesel in that year.

A cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system combines with a uniquely designed piston combustion bowl and a high-flow, electronically-controlled Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT™), matching boost pressure with the engine’s performance needs to reduce emissions and improve drivability. Within the exhaust system, a self-cleaning DPF and an oxidation catalyst reduces particulate matter by a factor of 10. The emissions system is designed for a government-certified 120,000 miles. A new closed crankcase ventilation system eliminates crankcase fumes and oil carry-over. As durable as it is powerful, the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel has life-to-major overhaul intervals of 350,000 miles, providing more than a 100,000-mile advantage over the competition (and considerably better durability than the Mercedes engine used on the Grand Cherokee). Nearly 40 percent of the new engine’s parts are carryover, with modifications geared to surpass emissions standards and increase horsepower and torque, while maintaining the durability associated with Dodge and Cummins.

Dodge Ram Heavy Duty models equipped with the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine will begin appearing in dealerships in March, starting at $33,650 including destination. One engineer described Bluetec: “BlueTec is an addon after-treatment system with certain internal engine parameter changes applicable to any 4 stroke diesel. The technology was originally developed by KonTec of Germany. DCX bought them up and [Mercedes] now takes credit for it.”

oh20 had written: “Dodge is getting ready to announce pricing for the new 6.7L diesel engine and the new 68RFE 6-speed auto transmission. The 6.7L Diesel engine option will carry a list price of $6,100 ($495 higher than the 5.9L diesel, but exhaust brake included at no charge. Models that feature the 6.7 as standard will be increased by $495.) Dodge will also be adding an “Ultra-Clean Diesel System” charge of $995 for all Rams equipped with the 6.7 diesel engine as a separate line item on the factory sticker. This will provide high visibility of the sophisticated emissions systems on the Ram, giving dealers a more effective tool for explaining the diesel price increase.”
The new high-pressure common rail fuel injection system used pilot injection—the injection of a small amount of fuel that starts combustion, before the main fuel charge was injected. This smooths out combustion pressure, cuts noise, and provides gasoline engine-like cold starting (verified at -40 F). Maximum torque came 400 rpm lower than the GM Duramax, and 100 rpm lower than the Ford Power Stroke. The Cummins Turbo Diesel engine also produced 20% more torque at 1000 rpm, and 10% higher clutch engagement torque than its predecessor for noticeably better vehicle launch, better drivability, and fewer, smoother shifts.

Starting in 2007, a single 6.7 liter Cummins diesel was available, producing 350 hp.

As of 2009, the 6.7 liter Cummins diesel used in Dodge pickups with standard exhaust brake capability had 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque with best-in-class low-end torque; it had a 5/100 limited engine warranty and was the cleanest engine in the Heavy Duty segment. A six-speed automatic with two overdrive gears had better launches and gas mileage, and let drivers manually choose gears. Remote start became available. Payload was up to 5,130 lb, with 16,850 lb of towing capacity.