5.9L 12V Cummins turbodiesel specs, history, & info
The venerable 6BT Cummins was introduced in 1984 for various agricultural equipment applications by Case. Fast forward to 1989, Chrysler partnered with Cummins to offer the 5.9L Turbodiesel in their 3/4 and 1 ton Dodge pickups. The 12v Cummins quickly became a popular alternative to Dodge's V-8 gas engines, as the diesel generated nearly double the torque at low engine speeds and provided a significant increase in fuel economy, particularly while towing. The 12v Cummins, or 6BT, received an intercooler for the 1991 model year and the P1700 injection pump replaced the VE for the 1994 model year. The 12v Cummins is arguably the most popular of the various engine platforms that would follow as its simplistic nature and respectable performance characteristics are highly desirable. The 6BT was the first, and Dodge remains the only engine manufacturer to offer an inline 6 diesel in the pickup truck segment.
5.9L 12V Cummins history & general information
Cummins produced the 5.9L 12v Cummins for Ram pickup applications through the 1998 model year, where it was phased out in favor of a more emissions friendly 24 valve platform. The engine's widespread applications include light and medium duty trucks, agricultural equipment, and construction machinery. A long stroke and undersquare bore-to-stroke ratio yield favorable low end performance, producing peak torque at a meager 1,600 rpm. Although the 6BT tips the scales at a hefty 1,100 lbs, its burly cast iron block and cylinder head contributes to the engine's superior reputation with regard to reliability and longevity. Additionally, its inline configuration eases service and repair efforts by providing generous amounts of workspace on either side of the engine block without the spacial restrains inherent of V-8 arrangements.
12V Cummins transmission options (dodge ram applications)
The 12 valve Cummins was offered behind a number of transmissions during its service life, which include the Chrysler 47RH (4 speed automatic), GETRAG G360 (5 speed manual), and New Venture NV4500 (5 speed manual). Of all transmissions offered, the NV4500 5 speed manual transmission is by far the most popular and desirable transmission option. The transmission suffers from 5th gear failure, however this is easily repaired and even preventable. The transmission's reputation is otherwise sound and its ratio spread provides a comfortable driving experience in loaded and unladen driving conditions.