Coffman Starter 24-Valve 5.9L Cummins Engine

Coffman Starter 24-Valve 5.9L Cummins Engine

Learn about the Coffman-inspired starter James Crutcher built for this engine.

Courtesy of Engine Builder, by Evan Laux

“I’ve done everything with a Cummins that you can do, I think,” says James Crutcher. “I’ve built them for customers, for myself, and it’s really a big passion of mine.”

James Crutcher has been working on diesel trucks for over a decade now, and quite a few trucks have entered and exited his garage over that time. Crutcher is a former oil field worker, which is where he got most of his early automotive experience. Before that, his grandfather, who had turned wrenches for General Motors for nearly 50 years, initially got the ball in motion for him.

Now, James does diesel work from his home, and occasionally from the mobile shop he runs out of his Toyota Tacoma. Most of the jobs are light, but Crutcher plans on upgrading to a bigger space in the future and getting a lift to be able to get jobs done easier. Having a small space doesn’t mean he isn’t able to build a cool engine, though.

In fact, Crutcher’s current project is sure to catch a few builders off guard with what he’s doing. On the surface, it’s a simple 24-valve 5.9L Cummins. But, take a closer look and you’ll find that he’s added some unique touches to have the Cummins stand out from the crowd.

“It all started a few years back when I bought an ‘02 BMW 325xi off a guy I worked with for $300,” Crutcher says. “A little later, I was at a sheriff’s auction and I traded the BMW for another guy’s ’02 24v Cummins. It had 260,000 miles on it and when I opened the door, there was no interior whatsoever – no seats, carpet, door paneling, nothing.”

Crutcher parted out his other trucks and made the interior serviceable, then started daily driving it. The VP44 inside remarkably made it to just over 400,000 miles before it quit. The new P-pumped engine is just about finished, and although Crutcher has made performance engines in the past, this is strictly a mild build to be used as a workhorse and daily driver. It hasn’t been dyno’d, but Crutcher believes the 5.9L is making around 400 horsepower.

“She’s 100% mechanical and you see P-pumped 24-valves popping up all the time now. It’s not as unique as it used to be, but mine is.”

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