Building A 5.9-Liter Cummins Race Engine With ARP

This racing offseason has been certainly a busy one. With the Outlaw Diesel Super Series announcement of the Outlaw 5.90 Index class in winter of 2017, we have had our eyes set on getting up to that class, but we’re going to need some help. When I say help, I mean more horsepower and more torque. Well, with more horsepower and torque comes a good amount of risk. With the help of our friends at ARP, we’re going to have the best fasteners in the game keeping our engine together.

When you’re building an engine, a few insurance mods come to mind. Firstly, head studs over head bolts. That’s almost a given. But there are often overlooked parts when it comes to an engine build and we’re going through the paces and making sure every fastener possible is replaced with the ARP replacement. So, what all are we going to use?

BEHIND THE BOLTS

Knowing the crew at ARP is passionate about their products and their quality, we caught up with them to talk about the products we’re using in our build. “The diesel performance industry is one of ARP’s largest and most demanding,” said Chris Raschke of ARP. “The power and performance levels achieved by street and race only engines in the diesel application is remarkable. The challenge of supplying fasteners not only of the necessary strength but also the quality is a task we take seriously.”

When talking with Raschke, we had to know. What’s coming down the pipe for ARP and diesel performance? “We are always developing new kits for existing engines and expanding our product line to new engines. We are offering multiple materials such as ARP 2000 (220,000 PSI) and the Custom Age 625+ (260,000 PSI minimum) that allows the customer to select the right kit for their application whether that be street, street/race, or race only,” said Raschke.

Cummins Head Stud Kit 247-4204

Well, our 5.9-Liter Cummins engine is going to be making plenty of boost. Somewhere just south of 100-psi to be exact. So, for starters, we’re utilizing their Cummins 5.9-Liter/6.7-Liter Custom Age 625+ head studs. These head studs are the best head stud option for any diesel engine. Part 247-4204 contains a set of 8740 Chromoly studs and fasteners that obtain a 260,000-psi tensile strength.

All of our studs were unboxed, checked, and threaded into place into the engine block. When checking the cylinder bores, we wanted to make sure that they were absolutely perfect. When you fasten down a head with a lot of torque, you can actually distort the cylinders. By using a torque plate, that acts as the cylinder head, it simulates the torqued distortion giving you a head-on perfect bore hone. Using a torque plate, it generally yields better ring seal, compression, and can reduce oil consumption. For best results, the same fasteners, lube, and torque that will be used during final assembly should be used during honing.

Knowing that we’re going to be to making some serious cylinder pressure, it is an absolute must to have a head stud kit that will handle the abuse and protect our head gasket. Properly prepped and torqued, head bolts will hold up to a certain point, but for what we’re doing, they will not. We are headed straight for the big boys.

Not only did we use all ARP products in this build so far, but the billet steel connecting rods from Wagler Competition Products come with ARP L19 rod cap bolts, too. This truck is ready for war.

Cummins Main Stud Kit Part 247-5403

On the inside of the engine, a lot of the hardware is overlooked. For instance, the main cap bolts are not one of the first things that come to mind, but after doing our homework, we were in need. Our 5.9-Liter engine still obtained the factory torque-to-yield main cap bolts, and we’re avoiding any common issue with them by replacing them with a set of ARP studs and fasteners.

Some have had their issues with main cap bolts and there are more than one symptoms that could occur. When upgrading to an ARP main stud kit, you’re eliminating the walking of the main cap and fretting, as well as protecting the threads in your engine block. Each kit comes with hardened-parallel-ground washers and high-quality nuts.

Why main studs over the factory torque-to-yield bolts? When you're talking about main bearings and torque specs, the numbers are critical. With main studs, the ability to keep an accurate torque value is much easier because the studs don't twist during the tightening as bolts do. The use of main studs also eases the main cap installation as well as maintains main cap alignment when doing a honing job. There is less chance of a main cap walking because a main stud remains stationary once it's clamped down to torque.

Part 247-5403 contains a set of ARP 2000 studs and fasteners that obtain a 220,000-PSI tensile strength and precision J-form threads rolled after heat treat to create a fastener with a fatigue strength up to twenty times higher than fasteners with threads rolled prior to heat treatment, especially including your factory head bolts. There are many features to the main stud kits other than being a high-strength material.

Head studs hold the ability to obtain more accurate torque readings as the clamping force is on one axis while providing less forced on the block threads which adds longevity to the blocks life and make engine assembly and alignment of main caps easier every time.

ARP Exhaust Manifold Stud Kit Part 400-8009

If you have ever replaced a turbocharger, exhaust manifold, or had a reason to remove an exhaust manifold, I guarantee these will be in every engine build of yours from here on out. Part number 400-8009 is an ARP Exhaust Manifold Stud Kit.

I’m sure you’re wondering what’s wrong with the factory bolts and studs. Well, to be honest, there isn’t anything wrong with the factory bolts. The fact of the matter is, they are a pain in the rear when it comes to remounting the exhaust manifold and ensuring the exhaust manifold gaskets stay in place. When you’re elbow deep into this engine bay, holding up the exhaust manifold, you’re trying to get that gasket in place while slowly getting this bolt to run through it and the manifold. Let’s be honest, it’s not fun.

 

Well, with this manifold stud kit, you’re completely eliminating the issue. You can not only make life easier when replacing the manifold, but you can also improve your engine blocks look by ridding the factory bolts and replacing them with these stainless steel studs. These Metric 10 by 1.25/1.50 by 55-mm broached studs come in a pack of four. So, if you’re like us, and working on a Cummins, you will need three boxes of this part number to replace all of the bolts.

With the exhaust manifold studs installed, we can easily place all of our manifold gaskets onto the cylinder head and slip the exhaust manifold on stress-free. I think the manufacturers need to take note of this and start doing this from the factory.

ARP Flex Plate Bolt Kit Part 147-2901

Although this isn’t an internal engine fastener, it’s still easily exposed with the engine out and we know that we want to replace everything we can with the best. We have never had an issue with our flex plate bolts in the past, but after a few years of abuse, do we really want to risk sheering off the originals going down the track and potentially ruining our weekend and more? The answer is simple, no.

The flex plate bolts that ARP offers fit 1998.5 to 2007 Cummins-powered trucks. Flexplate bolts play a much more important role than what people comprehend, especially in the safety and racing side of things. The experts at ARP have developed special bolts that surpass the quality of OEM hardware. ARP flex plate bolts feature an exclusive flat 12-point head design and a larger than stock underhead radius for increased strength.

Each ARP bolt is centerless ground to ensure the bearing surfaces are perpendicular to the threads creating an equal distribution of load. Optimum design, enhanced reliability, and increased strength are the main attributes of ARP’s flexplate bolts. The strength of our new flexplate bolts mixed with the high-performance BD Diesel Performance Hi-5 torque converter and Trackmaster transmission, this truck is virtually bulletproof.

“Here at ARP, we offer the highest quality and strength fasteners on the market,” said Raschke. “We stand behind our products 100-percent. ARP is a family owned and operated company.” We can’t thank Automotive Racing Products for coming on board this engine build with us. We truly couldn’t put our trust into the engine that we have without the help of their top-tier quality products and we can’t wait to work with them in the future. For more information about ARP and to find out what they have for your build, check out their website. Stay tuned to Diesel Army as our engine is going together very soon in preparation of the 2019 race season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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