Pick the Best Diesel Engine for Your Truck

There are many types of engines in the world, but the diesel engine is one of the most popular. A diesel engine is a type of internal combustion engine that uses compression ignition to ignite diesel fuel injected into the combustion chamber. This makes them very efficient and reliable engines.

Modern diesel engines are renowned for their outstanding performance and unparalleled energy efficiency, all while being extremely reliable even in the most demanding operating conditions. However, a few of these engines stand out from the rest due to their efficiency and overall value.

Here are the 10 best diesel engines to come into production from last two decades

10. Chrysler 3.0L EcoDiesel engine

Small and powerful The Chrysler 3.0L EcoDiesel engine (well, even though it has a Cummins basis, the powerplant is made in the company of VM Motori. This is because, as a result of the Italian-owned company’s collaboration with Fiat/Chrysler which is why we’re using the domestic origins) has made it to our list due to its immediate impact on the 1/2-ton pickup segment.

It was introduced in 2014 it’s the EcoDiesel is available only on 1500 Series Rams and Jeep Grand Cherokees. The industry’s sole light-duty diesel engine can produce 250 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque (that’s significantly more than Chrysler’s lauded 5.7L “Hemi” engine makes) and is the “greenest” as clean diesel is, and offers the highest fuel efficiency (28mpg highway) in the full-size pickup segment.

Chrysler 3.0L EcoDiesel engine Specs

  • Year:  2014-current
  • Horsepower: up to 240 hp with 3600 rpm
  • Max. Torque: up to 420 lb/ft with 2,000 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 505 lbs.
  • Displacement: 3.0L (182 ci)
  • Head material: Aluminum alloy
  • Fuel Injection: High-pressure with common-rail from solenoid injectors

9. Cummins 5.9L 12-Valve

OK, bold-statement time. Hands down the 5.9L 12 valve Cummins engine is the one responsible for launching the modern-day turbodiesel pickup movement. Yes, there have been several attempts (by different truck and engine firms) to combine the diesel with lighter-duty pickups before the engine’s public appearance in the form of a Dodge Ram pickup, and the “6BT (inline six-cylinder, B-Series, turbocharged)” is the engine that proved to be the most suitable alternative to the V-8 gasoline engine that was big-block, because of its capacity to create incredible torque and significant fuel efficiency which was vital at the time.

The first 5.9L diesel engines (1989-1993 models) –considered as “First Gen” for hard-core Cummins fans–produced 160hp and the torque of 400 lb-ft using Bosch’s VE44 which is actually a rotary fuel injection pump. These “Second Gen” engines from 1994 to 1998 are best for hot-rod enthusiasts because these engines come with the popular Bosch model of P-7100 injector pump (“P-pump”) that can boost power and torque above the factory-rated 245hp/505lb-ft of the ’98 6BTs with only minor changes.

Cummins 5.9L engine Specs

  • Year:  1998-2007
  • Horsepower, up to 215hp with 2,500 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 440 lb-ft with 1,600 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 1,150 lbs.
  • Displacement: 5.9L 
  • Head material: Cast iron
  • Fuel Injection: Mechanical using Bosch VE44 the rotary injection pump

8. Cummins engine 6.7L 24-Valve

The most recent (’15 “High Output”) version of the 6.7L Cummins engine makes our list of the best engines. Equipped with the Diesel Particulate Filter as well as a Diesel Exhaust Fluid Injection installed This engine puts out the equivalent of 385 horsepower as well as 865 pounds-ft torque (with just a PCM recalibration which is 15 lb-ft more than the 850 pounds of torque in the 13-2014 H.O.s) in the 1-ton Ram 3500s by the Aisin AS69RC auto transmissions.

What’s not to like about being included? It has the highest torque you can get in the world of a “civilian” pickup truck. This 6.7L Cummins has proven itself to be among the top trucks available for pickups that haul or pull large loads (with factory ratings of as high as 30,000 pounds). In addition, for people who use pickups for racing, it is the 6.7L is the engine of choice of several heavy-hitters in Our own Diesel Power Challenge events. Two-time champion Lavon Miller (2014/2015), Matt Kaufmann, Rick Fox, and Danick St. Pierre have all raced with 6.7Ls and scored very well at the DPC competition.

Cummins engine 6.7L engine Specs

  • Year:  2007-current
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 420 hp with 2,800 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 1,075 lb-ft with 1,800 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 1,060 lbs.
  • Displacement: 6.7L
  • Head material: Cast iron
  • Fuel Injection: Bosch CP3 injection pump with high-pressure common rail

7. Cummins engine 5.0L

Yes, it’s new. But it’s not proven anything yet. However, even with this, it is our opinion that the much-anticipated 16-year-old 5.0L Cummins engine, with its 315 horsepower and 555 pounds of torque, will be great and is worthy of being regarded as to be among the top on the market for pickups.

Considered by Nissan as being able to be “fuel-efficient while capable of doing real work (primary thanks to the 5.0L’s variable fuel timing and injection strategy, which actuates 5 times for each combustion cycle),” we’re very anxious to spend quality time with Titan XD, so we can experience and evaluate the new powerplant, and confirm that it does fall in the “sweet spot” between its gasoline counterparts in the 1/2 -ton and 3/4-ton pickup segments, and other diesel engines that are bigger-displacement, and not-as-fuel-friendly.

Cummins engine 5.0L engine Specs

  • Year:  2016-2019
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 310 hp with 3,200 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 555 lb-ft with 1,600 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 899 lbs.
  • Displacement: 5.0 L
  • Head material: Aluminum alloy
  • Fuel Injection: Bosch CP4.2 injection pump with high-pressure common rail

6. Duramax 6.6L LBZ

General Motors’ ’06-’07 6.6L Duramax LBZ is regarded in the race to be one of the manufacturers’ most efficient diesel engines designed to power pickup trucks. Why? because it’s a moderator’s dream. In the beginning, it’s because the Duramax LBZ is built around a more robust block, with larger connecting rods as well as new pistons (bigger piston diameter) and reduced compressibility (down to 17.5:1) and piston heads that are less prone to cracking under pressure extremes.

Also, consider the fact that the LBZ overcame its competition in terms of torque and horsepower by a whopping 360hp (versus 325hp for both Cummins 5.9L 24 Valve as well as the Ford 6.0L The Power Stroke) and the torque of 650 lb-ft, and you’ll understand why we are awed by the Duramax LBZ.

Duramax 6.6L LBZ engine Specs

  • Year:  2001-2004
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 300 hp with 3,100 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 520 lb-ft with 1,800 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 835 lbs.
  • Displacement: 6.6L
  • Head material: Cast aluminum
  • Fuel Injection: Bosch CP3 injection pump with high-pressure common rail

5. Chevrolet 6.6L LML

Chevrolet as well as GMC 2500HD as well as 3500HD pickups received an important break in 2011 when GM raised the power level with its 6.6L Duramax engine by a substantial margin. The new, yet-to-be-released “LML” is noted as the “best” pickup engine because it has a brand newly designed block, as well as internals (pistons as well as connecting rods’ main bearing design.

As well as a new oiling system and a next-level PCM calibration allowed it to achieve a world-class 397 horsepower and 765 pounds of torque. It also has the distinction of being the cleanest Duramax to date and achieving 11 percent more fuel efficiency over its LMM predecessor (according to GM).

Chevrolet 6.6L LML engine Specs

  • Year:  2011-2016
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 397 horsepower with 3,000 RPM
  • Max. Torque, up to 765 Lb-Ft with 1,600 RPM
  • Engine Weight: 835 lbs.
  • Displacement: 6.6L
  • Head material: Cast iron
  • Fuel Injection: Bosch CP4.2 injection pump with high-pressure common rail

4. Ford 7.3L Power Stroke

 It’s almost as if this list wouldn’t be worth the effort if you don’t include the 7.3L Power Stroke engine isn’t included. Ford’s legendary powerplant, founded on the International/Navistar T44E, literally is the icon for the no-nonsense, “git’ur dunnnn” attitude that diesel engines symbolize.

While the 7.3L’s whole 9-year history is always a subject of much-deserved praise We believe that the most efficient workhorse, the 275hp/525 lb-ft (available with manual transmission) –is one of the best models in the lineup for this particular group.

Ford 7.3L Power Stroke engine Specs

  • Year:  1994-2003
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 275 hp with 2,800 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 525 lb-ft with 1,600 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 929 lbs.
  • Displacement: 7.3L
  • Head material: Cast iron
  • Fuel Injection: High-Pressure Oil Pump with Hydraulic Electronic Unit Injection (HEUI)

3. Power Stroke 6.4L 

The 2008 6.4L Power Stroke is included on our top pick-up diesel since the engine reflects Ford’s efforts to improve the specifics and nuances of the 6.0L predecessor (reconfigured the cylinder-head bolt pattern) as well as Ford’s first foray into common-rail fueling as well as turbocharging in a sequential/twin fashion.

These two technologies contributed to (finally) bringing Blue Oval diesel solidly into the realm of performance, where they are still thriving by incorporating aftermarket upgrades.

Power Stroke 6.4L Engine Specs

  • Year:  2008-2010
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 350 hp with 3,000 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 650 lb-ft with 2,000 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 1,130 lbs.
  • Displacement: 6.4L
  • Head material: Cast iron
  • Fuel Injection: High-pressure common-rail with Siemens K16 injection pump

2. Ford 6.7L Power Stroke

Although it was loosely based on a European CGI V-6, the 6.7L “Scorpion,” the first complete, “all-Ford” diesel engine, with absolutely no ties to International/Navistar or any other outside manufacturing providers, earns a spot in our group because it’s an engine that finally gives the people what they want…Horsepower and torque, and LOTS of it! We’re extremely happy with the latest version of the 6.7L that debuted in the year 2015.

The engine comes with a massive turbocharger that is single variable-geometry (which was replaced by the prior combination setup) and improved 19mm injector tips as well as a brand new “Cobra Head” downpipe that will boost performance by 40 % and 60 Lb-ft torque (440/860) over the ’11-14’14 first-gen 6.7L engines and puts Ford’s latest diesel in front in the Big Three-pack.

Ford 6.7L Power Stroke engine Specs

  • Year:  2011-current
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 440 hp with 2,800 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 860 lb-ft with 1,600 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 1,100 lbs.
  • Displacement: 6.7L
  • Head material: Cast aluminum
  • Fuel Injection: Bosch CP4.2 injection pump with high-pressure common rail

1. Duramax LM2 3.0L

In 2020 General Motors staked a claim to the expanding market for 1/2 ton diesel and introduced their 3.0L LM2 Duramax for the Silverado as well as Sierra 1500 pickups. This engine would later be available for Chevy Tahoe/Suburban GMC Yukon/YukonXL as well as the Cadillac Escalade. Its 3.0L Duramax LM2 is of an inline-six layout, which is as Cummins’ 5.9L and 6.7L engines.

Its Duramax LM2 is also an impressive performer. It produces 277 horsepower and a capacity of 460 lb./ft. of torque. This is sufficient to allow towing capacities of more than 9,500-pounds for GM pickups or 8,500 pounds in different GM SUVs.

Duramax LM2 3.0L engine Specs

  • Year:  2020-current
  • Max. Horsepower, up to 277 hp with 3,750 rpm
  • Max. Torque, up to 460 lb-ft with 1,500 rpm
  • Engine Weight: 467 lbs.
  • Displacement: 3.0L
  • Head material: cast aluminum
  • Fuel Injection: Common rail direct fuel injection


Why diesel engine is the best choice?

The diesel engine was first developed in the early 1890s and has been used in a variety of applications since then. They are most commonly used in trucks, buses, and other heavy-duty vehicles, but they can also be found in some passenger cars.

Diesel engines are known for their high power-to-weight ratio and fuel economy. They are also relatively simple and durable engines, which makes them popular among fleet operators.

The benefit of diesel engine

The main benefit of diesel engines is their high power-to-weight ratio. This makes them a popular choice for vehicles that need to transport heavy loads, such as trucks and buses.

Diesel engines are also known for their fuel economy, which can be an important factor for fleet operators. Additionally, diesel engines are relatively simple and durable, which makes them a good choice for applications where reliability is key.

What is the most powerful best Diesel Engine Ever Made?

The most durable diesel engine ever created used to be it was the 5.9L Cummins 12-Valve 6BT. It has a million-mile lifespan and came at the factory with 230 horsepower 444 lb./ft of torque as well as an injection pump inline. Diesel enthusiasts in the time that came with the 6BT could increase the horsepower up to 500 horsepower easily.

The engine has a remarkable performance and efficiency rating. It’s virtually sure to last more than 500k miles. The rate of fuel consumption was 20 mpg when on the highway.

What is the best diesel engine for a truck?

Ford trucks have always been known for having a brute of a diesel engine. The 6.7L Power Stroke is no exception. It has an edge over most other diesel engines when it comes to efficiency, power, and reliability.

 If you need a workhorse that can get the job done all day while still getting decent mileage, then the 6.7L Power Stroke is considered the best diesel engine.

What is the best diesel engine Oil for a truck?

Modern diesel engines are meant to turn out high horsepower and torque that is why they need an oil that can withstand the high intensity of pressure and friction. Mag 1 Full Synthetic 5W-40 Motor Oil is one of those kinds of oils. Mag 1 Full Synthetic 5W-40 Motor Oil is considered to be the best oil.

Mag1 has always been one of the top motor oil brands. This Motor Oil is a mix of high-quality synthetic, Base Mineral, and Semi-synthetic blends.

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