Courtesy of Engine Builder by Evan Laux
As the old Farmers Insurance slogan goes, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two” – and believe us, we’ve seen a thing or two. All sorts of interesting and unique engine builds come our way, whether from builders contacting us directly or the team scouting out machines at race events, shows, and machine shops across the country. And yet despite this, we still get caught off guard from time to time by the sheer creativity of the engine and automotive community.
The diesel side of things in particular has changed so much over the last two decades, with technology and ingenuity developing fasting than expected. 2,500-3,000 horsepower diesel dyno pulls were unheard of a few years ago, but now we’re seeing them pretty regularly at the competition level at events like UCC. It’s a great time to be a diesel engine fan.
And aside from strictly horsepower gains, it’s also just interesting to see what people are coming up with in their backyards or in the shop. Diesel engine swaps are something we always have our eyes on as it’s not something you’re going to be seeing every day. And to clarify, we don’t mean dropping a Cummins engine into a Ford truck – that’s been done, and builders have been doing it for years. That’s not to say it isn’t cool in its own right.
But today, we’re specifically talking about the weird and the wild – things you aren’t going to see out on the street very often. This could be diesel engines being dropped into a stock gas engine vehicle, or simply a vehicle that you wouldn’t guess to have a fully a fully spec’d performance diesel under the hood.
Since we just finished up our May/June print issue which specifically covers all things diesel, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, coolest, and most impressive diesel swaps we’ve seen in the past couple years and featured in our Diesel of the Week series.