When Van and Patty Haisley started their diesel engine and machine shop in 1985, diesel engine work wasn’t quite like it is today. In fact, it was nothing like it is today! Haisley Machine was founded in Fairmount, IN at a time when diesel engines were strictly mechanical. Today, of course, diesel engines have advanced through the use of electronics and common rail systems.
“The industry has changed a lot, but we believe nothing can compete with the mechanical engines, and that’s what we build,” says Patty Haisley, who owns the shop with her husband Van. “If customers want something that is electronic, then we recommend them to other builders who have that expertise.”
Since opening more than 30 years ago, Haisley Machine has fine tuned its diesel engine work, moved to building only Cummins engines and got involved in sled pulling. Van himself does sled pulling with a 6.2L diesel engine that he put in a ‘75 Chevy truck.
“It wasn’t until about 2001 that we started getting a lot more full-blown engine work,” Patty says. “In the past five years, the work has switched to all engine builds for competition vehicles – be it drag racing or sled pulling – and we are starting to get into the tractor market as well.”
Haisley Machine has also supported Diesel Motorsports on the truck side of things since its beginnings and sponsors the Thunder in Muncie event. Haisley also competes in Lucas Oil Pro Pulling and NTPA events.
“The best thing for us if we aren’t personally doing well in events, it’s even better when our customers are doing well and winning,” Patty says. “It shows we are willing to give them anything we have or better for their stuff. If they want the best of the best and they’ve got the money for it, great. If they don’t, we have some other options.”
While Haisley Machine offers its customers several options when it comes to engine programs, Van and Patty don’t want to tarnish their reputation by lowering their high standards on the parts they use.
“We set a minimum for the quality of parts we are willing to put into a motor that we put our name on,” she says. “We aren’t going to build something using parts we know will fail because there’s no sense throwing your money away. If they’ve got good parts, we don’t mind using them with the understanding that if those parts cause a failure or those parts fail, it’s on them. If customers bring something substandard, we will tell them, ‘No, we will not install it’ or ‘no, we will not build this.’”
And can you blame them? After all, it’s the Haisley name and reputation that’s ultimately on the line.
“If you were to install it and they get one hook and it tears up the valvetrain or whatever, you’re going to be the no-good SOB, and they’re going to be all over social media blabbing about how this Haisley engine only lasted one hook,” she says.
Haisley Machine not only takes its parts quality seriously, but the shop also wants its engine development to be in tip-top shape. With that goal in mind, Haisley has been pumping out diesel builds such as this 24-valve Super Stock Super B Cummins we recently saw at the 2019 PRI show.
“In 2009, we ran across the problem of Cummins blocks just splitting apart, especially at the Super Stock level where those trucks are all over 3,000 hp now,” Patty says. “The billet blocks are so expensive and take so long to get, so Van took a 6.7L Cummins block and put a deck plate on that and it took us about 2-3 years to get all the parts made for that engine. We call it the Haisley Machine Super B. Anybody over 1,000 hp we try to put them in that as long as the rules for their pulling organization can allow that deck-plated motor. We also have an option called the Baby B, which we do everything the same, but we don’t put the deck plate on it.”
To build Cummins engines such as the 24-valve Super Stock Super B, Haisley bought two Rottler CNC machines – an F79 and P69 – to aide in the machining required for the deck plate, lifters, sleeves, bores, and the cam and crank journals.
“Before these machines, we were having to ship blocks all over the state of Indiana,” Van says. “We also have some standard lathes and mills. We have a Rottler HP7A, which is a cylinder hone and a SG80M, which is a seat and guide machine. We also have a Sunnen line hone, as well as a flywheel surfacer and a grinder. We have two spray jet cabinets and a 6,000-horsepower Land & Sea dual-brake dyno in the facility.”
With the shop’s demand for high quality parts and engine work, it’s no surprise that Haisley Machine has plenty of happy customers winning competitions and has seen business increase because of it. This 24-valve Super Stock Super B Cummins features a 391 cid block, a billet 18mm injection pump and triple turbochargers by Wimer Fuel Injection. The engine has an SMT roller rocker system, is water injected and has a Sandridge 4-core water to air intercooler, a Blow-proof bellhousing, a ProFab reverser, and ARP hardware throughout.
“Nowadays with diesel, we have the respect just like any other engine builder and we are holding down a pretty good market share,” Van says. “The biggest thing about diesel engines right now are fuel systems and turbocharger technology. You can take a diesel engine and change cams, cam timing, compression ratios, this and that, and you might gain or lose 10 hp. The big leaps and bounds in diesel engine technology right now are in cylinder head flow, turbochargers, injectors and fuel injection pumps. You can change injectors on an engine and gain 150 hp. That’s where I see the core focus going in the near future. The big leaps and bounds are all going to be in fuel and air.”
Due to Van’s engine prowess, this 24-valve Super Stock Super B Cummins is capable of cranking out more than 3,000 horsepower without breaking a sweat. On to the next one!
Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL.
If you have an engine you would like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder magazine’s Editor, Greg Jones at [email protected].