Most diesel truck enthusiasts will tell you that engines don't get much more reliable than the 12-valve Cummins. Meanwhile, the majority can find something negative to say about Ford's 6.0-liter Power Stroke V8 without giving it a second thought. That's what makes this 1990 Dodge Ram that's had its 5.9-liter Cummins swapped out in favor of a notorious Ford "six-leaker" so confounding.
Tyler Hewett of the Hewett Industries YouTube channel is responsible for this controversial truck build. If you've never watched any of his videos, you'll soon learn that he's true to his tagline, in which he explains he's "all about building things that piss people off." He also doesn't seem to be big on Cummins engines as he puts the original power plant in a dumpster, saying that's "where it belongs." Clearly, there's some personal bias at play here.
You don't even have to be a Cummins fan to hate the idea of swapping a 6.0-liter Power Stroke into a classic Dodge. Ford's engine is usually way less reliable as it often suffers from head gasket failure, oil cooling issues, and critical problems with the exhaust gas recirculation system. There's a remedy for those, however, as any Power Stroke fan worth their salt will bring up "bulletproofing." That's a batch of modifications that involves upgrading the aforementioned components and deleting the EGR equipment completely, which will get you in trouble in most states. Still, despite the Ford diesel's increased horsepower and torque, it feels like a step back given the Cummins engine's well-earned reputation for reliability.
Engine controversy and brand rivalry aside, Hewett did manage to pull off an impressive engine swap. First, he had to fit the big 6.0-liter in the Dodge, which was designed to accommodate smaller gas V8s and the Cummins inline-six. Then, there was a ton of wiring to do since the original engine utilized mechanical injection and this one is electronic. Once he managed to fit the transmission, wire everything together, and get the brake booster working, the Ford-powered Ram started up and ran, albeit with a ton of blowby.
Hewett then continued the truck's "Fordification" and swapped in some King Ranch seats, along with the matching center console and armrest. With the more luxurious interior fitted, the old decrepit Dodge was brought back to life and ready for use as a daily driver. He took it on some dirt roads, alongside some shockingly brave cows, and it drove without issue. So as puzzling as the engine swap might have been, this "Fordge" is mechanically impressive.
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