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5 One-of-a-Kind Diesels: Unique Swaps, Volume 3

Reigniting the unique swaps flame, we’ve got five more hand-picked diesel re-powers to show you. From a Deutz-powered trike to an 8-second Mustang stuffed with a 7.3L Power Stroke, the builds range from mild to wild. And while there are three Cummins-powered vehicles on this list, they are extremely unique. Trust us, one Cummins occupies the same spot a Duramax once resided in an ’03 Silverado 2500 HD, another one makes in excess of 1,900 hp and propels a ’66 Nova through the eighth-mile in 4-second intervals, and the last one represents an 8.9L QSL Cummins that’s been punched out to 10.4 liters.

Intrigued yet? Keep reading!


Maniacal Mustang

Matt Kubik might not be the first enthusiast to drop a diesel into a fourth-generation Mustang, but he’s the first person to do it with a P-pumped 7.3L Power Stroke. Backed by a Bruno’s Automotive-built Lenco transmission with a billet Neal Chance converter — and fed just under 100 psi of boost courtesy of a 98 mm Garrett GTX5533R Gen II turbocharger — Matt’s goal is to eventually get this pony into 4-second territory in the eighth-mile. On its quickest test hit to date, his Mustang went 5.24 at 134 mph through the 660, with a 1.2-second 60-foot and coasting to an 8.61-second quarter-mile.


Mechanical 7.3L

Under the hood, you’ll find a full Hypermax Engineering 7.3L. While the factory architecture of the original 444 ci V8 is the foundation, virtually nothing on this engine is OEM. The oil-fired HEUI injection system has been scrapped in favor of a mechanical one that employs an inline 8-cylinder Bosch P-pump off of a DV800 International. The forged connecting rods, low-compression pistons and camshaft are all from the Hypermax catalog. Heck, even the crankcase is aftermarket: a compacted graphite iron (CGI) block, also from Hypermax. Without a doubt, it’s been built to handle the 1,700+ hp it’s capable of producing.



The Green Reaper

When you live and breathe drag racing, it pays to build a vehicle you can race anywhere in the country. With this train of thought, Hardway Performance’s Ryan Milliken put this ’66 Nova together to compete on 275/60/15 drag radials or 28x10.5 slicks — which meant he would be able to line up next to some of the quickest cars in existence on a regular basis. As one of the premier tuners in the diesel industry, it was no surprise when Ryan dropped a common-rail Cummins between the framerails. The swap garnered a storm of attention from diesel heads, muscle car fans and veteran drag racers alike. The car’s best eighth-mile pass of 4.88 at 150 mph, achieved just this past April, did even more to stir up conversation about the lime green, Cummins-powered Nova.


1 Turbo, 2 CP3s, 6.8 Liters

Gone is the ProCharged big-block previously in the car when it was being campaigned by its former owner, Mickey Tessneer. Built by Freedom Racing Engines, the inline-six that’s now under the cowl features a solid, cast-iron block from Hamilton Cams, billet steel rods and a billet-aluminum head from Wagler Competition Products, Diamond Racing pistons, S&S Diesel Motorsport dual 12 mm CP3’s and 400-percent over injectors and a Garrett GTX5533R bolted to a T6 flange, Stainless Diesel exhaust manifold. The 88 mm version of Garrett’s new GTX5533R keeps Ryan legal in the ultra-competitive X275 class and crams 65 psi of boost into the engine.



The “Chummins”

With two blown head gaskets, a set of injectors going south and 350,000 miles on his LB7 Duramax, Tyler Rabbage did the unthinkable: he yanked the GM V8 in favor of a ’96 model year 12-valve 5.9L Cummins. You see, swapping a Cummins into a Ford is perfectly acceptable to most folks in the diesel community, but ditching the 6.6L Duramax in favor of one defies the laws of tradition. Luckily for Tyler, he wasn’t worried about ruffling a few feathers. “I put one set of injectors in the Duramax — and I wasn’t gonna put a second set in it,” he told us.


8-Day Swap

Thanks to a helping hand from Outlaw Diesel in Miami, a shop notorious for its off-the-wall diesel conversion projects, Tyler completed the job in just eight days. He plucked the Duramax engine and Allison transmission out of the Silverado, refreshed the 120,000-mile Cummins, beefed up a 47RH sourced from a donor Dodge Ram, dropped them both into place, installed a compound turbo arrangement and had a running, driving truck in a little more than a week’s time. While the 12-valve Cummins is one of the most commonly swapped diesel engines, this is the only ’01-’07 Silverado we’ve seen with a B series under the hood.


4.  2011 RAM 3500, BIG-BLOCK (DIESEL) SWAP

“Super-Size Me”

A Cummins swapped into a Ram? You bet. But in this case, the 6.7L B series was replaced with a big block (diesel): the QSL9. After shoehorning the commercial-grade Cummins into their ’11 Ram 3500, the folks at Calibrated Power Solutions effectively super-sized their fourth-gen dually. The immense low-end torque created by the QSL engine is harnessed by a Competition Stage 3 47RE from Firepunk Diesel, complete with a manual valvebody that takes its cues from a pistol grip TCI Automotive shifter. So how much power do they plan to make? Well, enough that they felt the need to install a full roll cage, which is to say this behemoth will be legal to run quicker than a 10.99 in the quarter-mile.


Big Cube QSL           

Between the triple BorgWarner S591 turbo’s, their corresponding piping and the overall mass of the QSL9 engine, you could say the engine bay of Calibrated Power Solutions’ Ram is “full.” In fact, real estate was so hard to come by under the hood that the Wehrli Custom Fabrication water-to-air intercooler has to protrude through the front grille in order to fit. The Cummins itself began life (in an M2 106 Freightliner) displacing 8.9L, but was bored and stroked to 10.4L, or 640 ci. A common-rail fuel system on steroids includes dual 14 mm CP3 injection pumps from Exergy Performance and the aforementioned triple-turbo arrangement produces 100 psi of boost.



Diesel Trike

This one-off, diesel-powered trike stemmed from the mind of Glenn Russell and features a little bit of everything — even Harley Davidson parts. It’s powered by a 236-cubic-inch four-cylinder Deutz engine. The air-cooled, German mill is turbocharged, turns out 65 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a Muncie SM465 four-speed transmission. The drive axle came out of an ’03 Chevy S10 (selected primarily for its disc brakes), and up front you’ll find Harley Davidson FLH suspension. Fully licensed and insured, Glenn regularly drives it on the street and even takes it on extended road trips. In fact, back in 2013 Glenn drove it from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Diego, California, and back as part of a biker ride to support disabled American veterans. We’re told the trike sips fuel to the tune of 40 to 45 mpg while cruising at 75 mph.


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