The Evolution of Cummins Engines: From Milestones to Powerhouses

1989 The 12v 5.9 Cummins was introduced to compete with the 7.3 Power Stroke from ford. With a mechanical fuel system and a Holset fixed geometry turbocharger, the power numbers came it at 160hp and 400ft-lbs of torque. Although those numbers are poultry in comparison to todays diesels, the 12v is capable of producing large hp and torque numbers relatively easily.
cummins diesel engine


Cummins Inc. has made significant contributions to the diesel engine industry over the years. From their humble beginnings in 1919, the company has continuously strived for innovation and excellence. Let's delve into the fascinating journey of Cummins engines, from pivotal milestones to becoming powerhouses in the industry.

The Milestone: The 1931 Indianapolis 500:

One remarkable moment in Cummins' history was the 1931 Indianapolis 500. The Cummins Diesel Special participated in the race, finishing an impressive 13th out of 40. This achievement shattered doubts about diesel engines' viability in high-performance racing.

The Beginning Years of Cummins:

In the early years, Cummins Inc. focused on perfecting their diesel engine designs. Led by the determination of Clessie Cummins, the company aimed to demonstrate the advantages of diesel engines over gasoline counterparts. Their breakthrough came with the introduction of the Cummins Model H engine in 1929.

The First Cummins Engine: The Model H:

The introduction of the Cummins Model H engine in 1929 was a transformative moment for Cummins engines. This four-cylinder, direct fuel-injected, two-stroke engine revolutionized the industry with its superior fuel efficiency, robust construction, and high torque output. It became the first commercially viable diesel engine for heavy-duty trucks, buses, and various other applications. The Model H engine's success laid the foundation for Cummins' reputation for innovation and set the stage for future advancements in performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability. Its impact extended beyond commercial transportation, making it a popular choice for marine and power generation applications as well.

The Cummins Model H engine's direct fuel injection system and impressive fuel efficiency brought significant cost savings for operators. Its robust construction and high torque capacity made it ideal for demanding applications, ensuring its popularity in various industries. This pioneering engine showcased Cummins' commitment to engineering excellence and innovation, establishing them as a leader in the diesel engine industry. The Model H engine's legacy continues to shape the development of Cummins engines, driving progress and reshaping the diesel engine industry.

The Creation of Cummins Enterprises (1989):

Cummins Enterprises emerged in 1989 as a subsidiary of Cummins Inc. It was established to diversify the company's business operations beyond diesel engines. Cummins Enterprises ventured into power generation, filtration, and related technologies, expanding their offerings and solidifying their position as a comprehensive solutions provider.

The 1989 12-Valve Cummins Engine vs. Ford's Power Stroke 7.3:

1991 first gen ram cummins truck

The 12-valve 5.9 Cummins engine, introduced in the First Gen 1989 D250 / D350, was a significant milestone in Cummins' history. This engine was developed to compete against Ford's Power Stroke 7.3 engine and became a powerhouse in the diesel engine market.

One of the defining features of the 12-valve 5.9 Cummins engine was its mechanical fuel injection system. This system provided precise control over fuel delivery, resulting in excellent throttle response and overall engine performance. The simplicity and reliability of the mechanical fuel injection system made it a favorite among truck owners and enthusiasts.


The 1998-2002 24-Valve Cummins Engine:

red 1995 dodge ram 2500 single cab cummins

The transition to the 24-valve Cummins engine brought significant advancements to the table. This next iteration of the 2nd gen Cummins engine was known for its durability and enhanced power delivery; satisfying the demands of heavy-duty applications with ease. Power output peaked around 235-245 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque.

The 2003-2007 Common-Rail 24-Valve Cummins Engine:

Cummins introduced the common-rail fuel injection system in the 2003-2007 24-valve engine. This innovation resulted in reduced emissions, and better fuel delivery, but the huge power increases up to 335 HP and a whopping 610 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm for the 05-07 model years, making the Third Gen Dodge a beast for the time. The engine's performance, paired with improved power and torque numbers, surpassed industry standards.

The 6.7 Cummins Engine: Power and Torque Evolution:

White 2015 Ram 3500 Dually 6.7 Cummins

With its advanced design and engineering, the 6.7 Cummins engine boasted a substantial power increase compared to its predecessors. In its stock configuration, it produced around 350 horsepower and an impressive torque output of approximately 650 lb-ft. (2009) 800 lb-ft (2012.) These power numbers provided exceptional pulling power, allowing the Dodge Ram trucks equipped with this engine to handle heavy loads and challenging terrains with ease.

The 6.7 Cummins engine achieved a remarkable milestone when it surpassed 1000 lb-ft of torque. This significant feat cemented its position as one of the most powerful engines in the industry. The momentous increase in torque was made possible through various advancements in engine design and engineering.


Cummins Inc. has come a long way since its early years. Through milestones like the 1931 Indianapolis 500 and the introduction of groundbreaking engines like the Model H, Cummins has solidified its reputation as a leader in the diesel engine industry. The evolution of engines like the 12-valve, 24-valve, and 6.7 Cummins showcases the company's commitment to innovation, performance, and customer satisfaction. Cummins engines continue to drive advancements in the industry, setting new benchmarks for power, efficiency, and environmental friend



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