There aren’t too many shops in the diesel performance space with as much clout as Scheid Diesel. The Terre Haute, IN-based diesel shop was started by Dan Scheid from humble beginnings and is now made up of four locations across Indiana and Illinois with 54 employees helping crank out diesel engines for truck and tractor pulling, drag racing, ag equipment, industrial applications and on-highway Class 8 trucks.
Dan Scheid first gained an interest in engine work while in school at ITT Technical Institute in Evansville, IN and working a part-time job at an auto parts store called Evansville Auto Parts.
“They had an older gentleman working in a diesel fuel injection shop who was going to be retiring, so I got the opportunity to start working with him on pumps and injectors and learned the trade from him,” Scheid says. “That’s how I got started. I also had the opportunity to meet tractor pullers and so I got involved in tractor pulling in my early years. That really sparked my interest.”
Scheid’s interest in diesel began in 1970, but it wasn’t until 1979 that he opened a small shop on his family’s farm where he worked on pumps, injectors and turbochargers. In 1982, the shop location in Terre Haute, where Scheid Diesel currently is, became available.
“I wanted to get factory authorization on the diesel fuel injection shop, and that was going to be my only opportunity to achieve that, so we bought the location here in Terre Haute in 1982,” he says. “In 1990, we ended up buying our second location in Effingham, IL. In 1999, we purchased our third location in Lafayette, IN, and in 2004, we opened up a fourth location, which is also in Effingham, IL. That’s where we have our engine dyno and where we do our high-performance engine builds.”
Scheid Diesel will work on just about any platform, whether it be a John Deere, International, Duramax or Ford application. However, the shop specializes most in 12-valve Cummins engines for truck and tractor pulling. Most of that work is done in-house.
“We do most of it in-house, but we will sub out crank and block work,” Scheid says. “We actually manufacture the aluminum blocks in-house for the 5.9L and 6.7L Cummins, but we sub out the crank work and the finish work on the cylinder walls. We also do all the cylinder head work in-house. Just about all of our machine shop work is done here in Terre Haute.”
The shop recently finished up a new build for a truck pulling customer who competes in Class 3.6, and the engine made an appearance at the 2019 PRI Show from December 12-14.
“This engine is based on the 6.7L Cummins,” he says. “It’s a deck-plated aluminum block and it’s an all-aluminum build – the cylinder head is aluminum as well. We pretty much manufactured everything for this motor except the crankshaft – we are still using the stock 6.7L crank.
“[The truck pulling class] just recently changed the rules where we could go with an aluminum block and heads in the class. This is the first engine we’re actually getting in the class that will be all aluminum.”
The build started with a billet aluminum block, Wagler rods and a stock 6.7L crank that Scheid does the fine machining on and polishing of in-house.
“In addition, we are using Diamond pistons and on the cylinder head we’re utilizing our own port work and have our own valve combination, valve spring set up and rocker arm assembly as well,” he says. “We also have a billet aluminum valve cover for it.
“We manufacture our own injectors for it too, and the injector holders are specific to this particular build as well because the factory injectors for the mechanical engines actually screw in with a nut, and a lot of times they’ll back out and loosen up and you’ll lose compression on a cylinder. We put a clamp on it so we can actually clamp the injector down in the cylinder head to eliminate them from coming loose.”
Scheid also used a Steed Speed exhaust manifold on this particular build, a Hart’s turbo, the shop’s own fabricated intake manifold and its own 14mm 8600 fuel injection pump.
The 6.7L Cummins has a compression ratio of 12:1 and got broken in on the shop’s Taylor Dynamometer before going to the PRI Show in mid-December. Scheid wasn’t eager to let us know the exact horsepower levels on this build, but he hinted this set up is good for 3,000+ hp, which is certainly enough to be very competitive in Class 3.6 pulling.
While this particular customer is primarily truck pulling with this set up, Scheid says the engine would also be good for drag racing and tractor pulling.
Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL.
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