Having seen a few of our recent Diesel of the Week posts featuring Cummins builds, Marco Martins of Bad Apple Customs in Rehoboth, MA reached out to us. First of all, we’re flattered he’s a fan of Engine Builder, but we were even more glad to hear he wanted to tell us about a Cummins build of his own.
Bad Apple Customs is a complete, automotive customization shop that is capable of doing work on almost anything from a ’66 Impala with custom air suspension to a twin-turbo LS tractor tire monster truck and everything in between. That capability is thanks to Marco’s skill set.
“I’ve been customizing and fabricating on vehicles since I was 13,” Martins told us. “My shop works on all ends of the spectrum. Currently, our big project is a 1950 Chevy 3100 with a complete air ride chassis and a Duramax diesel engine.”
Martins’ passion for diesel work first ignited after owning a 1995 Ford F350 with a 7.3L Powerstroke. “Soon after that, a hunger grew for diesel-powered trucks,” Martins admits.
The particular diesel build Marco messaged us about is a turbocharged 12-valve Cummins engine for a 1987 Chevy C30 dually. The truck started out as a rust-free California truck, but once it arrived at Bad Apple Customs, it underwent a frame off rebuild. The intention is to use the Chevy C30 as a weekend cruiser and for pulling a gooseneck trailer.
“For a motor choice, of course, we picked a classic 12-valve Cummins diesel backed by a five-speed NV4500 transmission,” he says. “The engine is being built up to handle well over 1,000 horsepower, but will be just shy of that due to the application.”
Marco started the build with a stock Cummins block and added in aftermarket components such as Carrillo rods, ARP rod and main bolts, a custom Hamilton camshaft, Hamilton tappets, as well as Hamilton springs and titanium retainers. The cylinder head got put through a few different machining jobs such as getting decked, ported and o-ringed for high horsepower potential.
Aiding in that quest for horsepower are a set of large injectors, a built 215 fuel pump and a BorgWarner single, billet S362 turbo. Marco plans to make the engine a compound turbo setup with an S363 over an S480 once the truck is finished.
To top off the 12-valve Cummins build, Marco says he strictly uses AMSOIL for his oil. This ’87 Chevy C30 dually will be ready to roll in no time, and we’re glad we got a chance to see it.