Cummins-Powered Ford Ranger Is a 1,300-Pound-Foot Drag Racing Beast

Diesels may be primarily used in commercial vehicles for their big torque, solid reliability, and fuel efficiency, but they can also make tremendous racing engines. Diesel-powered dragsters aren't exactly common, but you'd better hold onto something when they show up at the drag strip. This Cummins-powered Ford Ranger is proof that diesels can fly like the wind.
Cummins-powered Ford Ranger dragster 1 photo
Photo: 1320video/YouTube
Ignore the drag-specific tires, and this old Ranger looks like a plain workhorse. But the skinny front wheels and the meaty rear tires aren't the only goodies that make it special. The radiators in the bed are another hint that the second-gen 1990s pickup truck was modified with drag racing in mind.

But it's the front hood that hides the truck's main highlight, a big Cummins BT6 oil burner. These old trucks, which were based on the Mazda B-Series, were offered with inline-four and V6 gasoline engines only. But the owner purchased the truck with a four-cylinder Cummins diesel. He blew the engine twice, so he decided to swap it for a 6BT six-cylinder.

The 6BT is an older, 5.9-liter diesel that Cummins built from 1984 to 1998. In stock form, it was rated at 230 horsepower and 440 pound-feet (597 Nm) of torque. This 6BT is obviously far from stock, featuring upgrades that push the output to 603 horsepower.

Not impressed? Well, that you should know that the Cummins unit also generates a whopping 1,300 pound-feet (1,763 Nm) of twist! That's almost as much as modern-day hypercars.

“After building it and blowing it up, building it and blowing it up, enough was enough,” he said. “I was tired of dealing with that and gave up on the four-cylinder. I wanted to use the bigger 6BT Cummins engine and so, here we are.”

So how fast is this truck? The owner says his quickest quarter-mile run is at 10.1 seconds at 136 mph (218.8 kph). There's no quarter-mile action in this video, but he does a couple of really impressive 1/8-mile runs. The last one is also the quickest and stops the clock at 6.59 seconds and 103.73 mph (166.93 kph).

What's more, the owner says that the truck needs just 1.2 seconds to hit 60 mph (96 kph) from a standing start. Dodge Challenger Demon who?

Sadly, he wasn't able to improve on that 6.59 run as the driveshaft yoke decided to call it quits as he was revving it up for a new sprint. Hopefully, he'll fix the truck soon because we really want to see it running again. The owner is also a really cool and humble guy. Here's hoping he finds a sponsor to help out with his build soon.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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