1,300-lb-ft Cummins-Powered Buick Riviera - Torque
A Compact and Lightweight Gasoline Alternative
Brandon Carr’s 5.9L Cummins-powered Buick Riviera has to be one of the most interesting swaps we’ve seen. Not only does it have a big, heavy diesel in a car, it also has a VP44-equipped Cummins, making it even more unique. Often, the diesel swaps we see seem to be in a perpetual half-finished state, with wires strewn everywhere, and lots of things zip-tied to other things. Not so with Brandon’s swap. “I get a lot of people asking me why I did the swap,” remarks Brandon. “But I knew I could get more power out of a diesel, probably twice the mileage, and it was a big, heavy car, so I knew it could handle it. And, I knew the engine would be in there for a long time, so I needed to do it right.”
"I’m pretty sure I have the only 5.9L Cummins-powered Riviera in the world. —Brandon Carr"
Although Brandon built much of the Cummins/Buick himself, he was quick to point out he got a lot of help from Top Notch Garage and Texas Performance Diesel with the swap. Backing up the 600hp Cummins is a 47RE transmission with a Pro Street Diesel valvebody and Diesel Performance Converters triple-disc torque converter. Power is sent back to a surprisingly stock 12-bolt rearend with 3.42 gears. When Brandon hits the track, a set of slicks is bolted on, resulting in a best quarter-mile time of 11.97 seconds at 115 mph. On the street, the 5,400-pound barge gets 28 mpg, thanks to the tall gearing and sleek lines. “I’m pretty sure I have the only 5.9L Cummins-powered Riviera in the world,” laughs Brandon. We’d have to agree, and based on the numbers, it makes perfectly good sense.
- 7x14 injectors bought off the Internet
- Hamilton Cams 110-pound springs and heavy-duty pushrods
- Fastenal Grade 12.9 head bolts
- Holset HE351 and Garrett GT4202 turbochargers
- Factory S.O. (Standard Output) VP44 injection pump
- Power is estimated at 600 hp and 1,300 lb-ft