Operation Cummins Rebuild: Resurrecting Our Race Engine With MAHLE

In an attempt to better prepare Project DeadSpool for the future abuse it will encounter, we knew that this 170,000-mile 5.9-liter Cummins engine needed some tender loving care. That may not seem like a lot of miles, but this truck has spent most of its life at a high-level of horsepower and with us bumping up into a very powerful, and engine-stressing class, we needed to make sure it was prepared. With the help of our friends over at MAHLE and MAHLE Aftermarket, Project DeadSpool will be ready for anything we throw at it.

Last year, the truck obtained virtually a completely stock engine. Most of the power that the truck made was from custom tuning and bolt-on parts. According to the Wallace-Racing Calculator, our truck made an estimated 970-horsepower to run in our class. The class we ran in was 6.70 index in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series. Since we’re wanting to bump up into the pro categories, we’re needing to make a lot more power.

We could turn the tuning up and probably run the number, but the fact of the matter is, this stock engine will have more windows than the white house if we tried. So, what can we do better prepare it for the abuse? For starters, the factory connecting rods will be the first to go. In most cases, the rods will break or bend and we want no part in that. Thanks to Wagler Competition Products, we now have a set of billet connecting rods that are capable of much more power than we’re going to need.

We spoke with MAHLE and MAHLE Aftermarket to make sure we got the parts that we need. So, what do you need to rebuild your 5.9-liter Cummins engine? Well, since we completely tore this engine apart, we’re going to need it all. We wanted to get the full engine gasket sets, all new bearings, new pistons, and rings. We have laid out all of the parts that MAHLE has provided for our build and we will list the part numbers below.

MAHLE Engine Gasket Set-

Keeping all of the oils and fluids inside the engine, we wanted to use the MAHLE engine gasket kits. We will be utilizing the upper and lower engine gasket sets that will reseal our entire engine. For the lower engine gasket set, you will be able to reseal the rear main, timing cover, oil pan, water pump, and oil filter housing.

We’re also utilizing the MAHLE head set. Combining these two sets, Part Numbers HS54557A and CS54556, you will have an entire engine gasket set. The headset consists of everything needed on the top end including head, intake, and exhaust gaskets. MAHLE’s gasket sets supply OEM quality and actually supply some manufacturers around the world.

Combine with MAHLE Original Conversion Gasket Set for a full engine gasket set.

MAHLE Original gaskets lead the way in OE Form, Fit, and Function. With nearly 99% gaskets that look, feel, and perform as good or better than the original.

MAHLE Forged Aluminum Race Pistons Kit-

These custom forged diesel pistons are best suited for dedicated race vehicles. Although these performance forged pistons are stronger, the lack of a steel top ring groove in the forging will result in a limited life cycle for street use applications. But, for us using this truck for strictly racing, this was our best option. Strength and design flexibility make the performance forged pistons a favorite for competition applications.

All of the pistons are CNC machines from MAHLE’s exclusive M142S alloy chosen for its low expansion characteristics and its high-temperature strength. Their performance bowl design results in reduced erosion issues caused by the high pressures, long duration, and advanced injection timing that diesel engines possess.

When you order your own set, there are many options to chose from. As the builder, you can choose your compression ratios and the pocket/bowl configuration to get the best pistons for your application. Other features on these pistons include fully radiused valve pockets to reduce stress and fatigue, hard anodized top ring groove for added durability, and Grafal coated skirts for reduced drag and increased scuff resistance.

Keep in mind the pistons we’re using, Part Number # are intended for race use only. They are custom designed to our specifications which were 0.020″ oversized and that puts us at a 16:1 compression ratio. If you’re wanting to upgrade your engine, the standard 4.015 bore size Part Number is #929943015. If you’re looking to go to a 0.020″ or 0.040″ size, you’re needing the #929943035 or #929943055 part numbers.

MAHLE Engine Bearings-

Although our engine bearings didn’t look that bad once they were removed, this isn’t a reusable part. So, we went with the MAHLE high-performance H-Series bearings (Part Number #CB1413H, #MS2328H, and #SH1981). That includes the connecting rod, main, and cam bearings. All of the MAHLE bearings we are using have many great features including a high crush for better seating and retention, a high eccentricity that accommodates rod bore distortion, and a hardened steel backing for overall greater strength.

We have teamed up with the local machine shop, Auto Tire and Parts machine shop to check and or fix our engine components prior to installing our new components from MAHLE. The block has been magnafluxed and checked for cracks, and the cylinder bore has been checked to ensure the bore size was still in spec. Unfortunately, after some time, the blocks cylinders have become tapered. This forced us to bore the cylinders 0.020″ over the spec to create a 100-percent perfect bore through and through.

We’re still waiting on a few things to complete the block and it will be time to put these MAHLE parts together. Stay tuned as episode two of Operation Cummins Rebuild continues very soon. For more information about MAHLE or Wagler Competition Products, be sure and check out their websites.

 

 

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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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