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History of the B Series Engine

First Production Truck

First Production Truck

To date, Cummins has produced nearly 10 million B Series engines globally, over 2 million of which have found a home under the hood of a Ram truck since 1989. Today, the B Series family of engines includes both a commercial version – the ISB – and a pickup version, the Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel. Let’s talk about the history of the B Series engine and how the Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel came to life.

The introduction of the B and C Series engines was a defining moment for Cummins. In the late 1970s, Cummins was primarily focused on the heavy-duty truck market in North America, but Cummins leaders realized that they needed to change that focus.

As a result, and in order to maintain competitiveness, Cummins leadership focused its attention on a long-term plan to restructure the engine business. The plan, if successful, would position Cummins for long-term growth in many markets, but would also require a substantial investment. The plan had a two-pronged approach: The first component of the plan was built around the energy crisis and increasing petroleum prices; the second component of the plan involved launching two new engine families – of small and medium engines – to compete in Class 3 to Class 6 trucks. Today, those engines are known as B and C Series engines. They helped reshape Cummins, and allowed us to enter new markets.

The introduction of the new smaller engine families was a decision where Cummins literally “bet the company.”

After years’ worth of meetings and numerous engineering builds, Chrysler announced that the 5.9L Cummins B Series engine would be available in the Dodge Ram pickup lineup for model-year 1989, and the rest is history.

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