6BT Cummins Diesel

Related Topics:

5.9L Cummins 24v Specs

6.7L Cummins Specs

Cummins 53 Block

Cummins Killer Dowel Pin

12v Cummins Upgrades

Cummins Horsepower & Torque by Model Year




Return to Cummins Diesel Specs.


5.9L Cummins 12v

6BT Cummins 12 Valve Turbodiesel




The 6BT Cummins was introduced in 1984 as an engine for agricultural equipment. In 1989, Dodge teamed with Cummins to offer the 5.9L Cummins in their 3/4 and 1 ton Dodge Ram pickups. The 12v Cummins became a popular alternative to the V-8 gassers that also offered, as the diesel generated nearly double the torque at low engine speeds and provided a significant increase in fuel fuel economy, especially loaded down. The 12v Cummins, or 6BT, received an intercooler in 1991, and the P1700 injection pump replaced the VE for the 1994 model year. The 12v Cummins is arguably the most popular Cummins produced to date amongst Dodge Ram owners. It was produced through the 1998 model year, where it was eventually phased out in favor or a more emissions friendly 24 valve version, the 5.9L ISB. The 6BT has been used in a variety of applications, including light and medium duty trucks, agricultural equipment, and construction machinery. Its robust, simplistic design has allowed owners to rack up hundreds of thousands, and on occasion more than a million, miles before requiring a major overhaul, attributing to its healthy reputation.


5.9L 12v Cummins Specs


359 cubic inches, 5.9 liters


Inline 6 cylinder

Firing Order:


Compression Ratio:



4.02 inches


4.72 inches


Direct Injection:
• Bosch VE44 injection pump (1989-1993).
• Bosch P7100 injection pump (1994-1998).


Holset turbocharger, intercooler introduced for 1991 model year.


OHV, 2 valves per cylinder, solid lifter camshaft.

Oil Capacity:

12 quarts


Approx. 975 lbs, 905 lbs dry.


160 - 215 HP @ 2,500 rpm


400 - 440 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Governed Speed:

2,700 rpm

Years Produced:

1989 - 1998


5.9L 12v Cummins Engine Dimensions


40.0 inches


24.9 inches


37.9 inches

5.9L 12v Cummins Info

• The 6BT 5.9L Cummins was introduced in 1984 and originally used in Case agriculture equipment.
• Engine does not use glowplugs, but rather a heater grid in the intake tract to assist with cold starting.
• The 12-valve 5.9L is popular in Diesel motorsports due to its simplicity, reliability, strength, & performance potential.
• The 5.9L Cummins 12v is one of the most popular choices for engine swaps. Its compact width, performance potential, and simplicity (all mechanical design, not electronic) allow it to be swapped with relative ease. Additionally, their are a large volume of 12 valves available making it an affordable process.
• A major drawback of the 12v Cummins is what's been termed the "killer dowel pin", or "KDP". A dowel pin pressed into the engine block during assembly can back out of its hole over time, and the worst case scenario is catastrophic engine failure. The problem can be remedied by a number of aftermarket products that secure the dowel pin in place so that it may not vibrate loose.




Cummins Inc.

Ram Trucks (Chrysler)