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1,800 LB-FT Cummins - With Stock Parts

Keating Machine's 1,400hp 5.9L Cummins compound-turbo dragster engine

Jason Sands
Dec 1, 2010
Photographers: David Kennedy
We can already visualize the angry emails coming in. People will say there's no way you can spin a Cummins to 5,500 rpm with stock governor springs or hold 140 psi of boost using stock head bolts. We're here to tell you that what you are about to read is completely true. The magic lies in the machine work of Keating Shelley, owner of Keating Machine. His personal project is a diesel dragster, powered by the 5.9L Cummins engine you see here. While Keating has thousands of hours in the build, the parts themselves are surprisingly stock.
Photo 2/2   |   1012dp 1800 Lb Ft Cummins With Stock Parts engine
The block, head, crank, pistons, and rods are all production 12-valve parts-but some have been heavily reworked. The block was fitted with 14mm bolts for the main bearing caps and fire-ringed to handle much higher cylinder pressures. The rods and crank are mostly stock, but the pistons are actually 24-valve units. They work in conjunction with modified injectors that feature custom tips with revised spray angles. The head is a ported stocker with the intake milled off and actually came off of Keating's old Dodge dualie.
In order to spin an amazing 5,500 rpm, however, the stock valves have been complemented with a set of larger-diameter valvesprings that required machining the head. There are also titanium retainers and hardened locks, again, reworked by Keating. A billet camshaft (spec'd by Bob Holmes and sourced from Enterprise Engine Performance) activates a set of stock rocker arms with the help of pushrods designed by Bob Holmes.
The turbo and injection systems are where things really get interesting. While stock 5.9L Cummins engines come with a Holset HX35 turbocharger, Keating relies on a pair of mammoth HX82 turbos to feed his high-rpm Cummins. The injection pump was originally a 160hp version but has been reworked by Keating to include a different cam, re-cut delivery valves, holders, and a bunch of other secret stuff.
All the machine work and one-off pieces add up to approximately 1,400 hp and 1,800 lb-ft of torque. While this engine has already been in the high-8-second zone (at almost 160 mph in a 3,800-pound truck), Keating expects his new dragster (which weighs 2,630 pounds) to be much, much quicker. Look for him soon at a track near you.
  • Custom individual-runner intake
  • 0.120-inch injection lines by Keating Machine and Columbus Diesel Supply
  • Twin HX82 turbochargers
  • Custom front cover and gearcase designed specifically for the dragster
  • Heavily modified 160hp 12mm P-pump
  • Lenco transmission
  • The engine uses no coolant or radiator
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