5.9L Cummins-Swapped Chevy C10 - Engine Builder Magazine

5.9L Cummins-Swapped Chevy C10

This custom 1969 Chevrolet C10 is an impressive restoration to say the least, but its outer appearance isn't the only attraction. Underneath the hood is a 5.9L Cummins engine that makes around 800 horsepower. Check it out!

Diesel of the Week is presented by

Oftentimes we see diesel guys having to choose between power and appearance, as many of the super-powered diesel competition trucks simply can’t be built to look pretty because of weight restrictions and other factors that may hinder performance. Unfortunately, the two simply don’t mix (in most cases). Yet we still find the occasional show truck from time to time that’s hiding something more under the hood; some diesel guys just can’t help themselves.

We don’t blame them though, especially when the truck in question is a vintage restoration that probably doesn’t have the greatest powerplant. Like we’ve explained in the past, these are some of the best project builds for a proper engine swap. Gas to diesel or the other way around, the result is usually something pretty cool.

Case in point, this fully restored and customized 1969 Chevrolet C10 built by Trevor Lima. The second generation (1967-1972) of General Motors’ C/K series of full-size pickup trucks are some of the most revered vintage trucks in their catalog. Not only were they popular, reliable, and some of the easiest-to-drive classic Chevy trucks, they are simply nice to look at with their iconic design.

Lima is the owner of Diesel Performance Specialties, a Weatherford, TX based automotive shop that handles everything from gauges to turbos to complete transmissions and more. They’re not only a provider of performance parts, but also a diesel installation and repair facility with experience with all Dodge, Ford, GMC and Chevy diesel trucks.

Lima’s project began in 2015, and with a few impressive builds already under his belt, he knew it was time for the perfect dream build. The truck quickly turned into a diesel trifecta when Lima decided to go all out. On the outside is a classic 1969 Chevy K20 single cab body, but underneath the hood is a 2005 5.9L common rail Cummins engine supported by a 2010 Ford F-250 chassis.

After all the upgrades and additions Lima added, the finished product added up to around $250,000. And while he put a ton of effort into beautifying the beast, the 5.9L powerplant means that it’s still capable of burning some rubber or tearing up dirt.

The Cummins engine was machined by NAPA Machine Shop and completely assembled in-house at Diesel Performance Specialties. The 5.9L block was deburred, bored .020 over and balanced after assembly.

The goal was to build a proper show truck that could double as a weekend driver, so Lima added several performance upgrades that help the truck put down 1500 ft/lb of torque and 800 horsepower.

Carillo rods, Mahle pistons and ported and polished iron cylinder heads have all been fitted. Intake and exhaust valves, pushrods, lifters and a 188/220 camshaft all came from Hamilton Cams. A Mishimoto intercooler was also added.

As for aspiration, a large S369 SXE with a billet wheel and race cover produces 60 psi of boost. For fuel, a 12mm BD Diesel Performance stroker injection pump is supported by an Airdog 220 GPH lift pump and Exergy Performance 100% over injectors.

To make that 800 horsepower, everything is controlled by an HP Tuner done by Firepunk Diesel.

Lima has since sold his 1969 Chevy to a buyer in Pennsylvania where he hopes it will be driven like it was intended to.

Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Turbocharged 5.9L Common Rail Cummins Engine in a 1947 Ford

After sitting in his father-in-law’s backyard for a number of years, this 1947 Ford was gifted to Chase Wells’ wife. Chase owns 1 Way Diesel Performance and knew someday he’d bring the truck back to life. He did so using a 5.9L common rail Cummins engine on a special episode of Texas Metal’s Loud and Lifted. Check out the result.

There’s a lot of viral diesel content out there on the internet showcasing unique diesel builds, but how many can say they’ve built up a business that is constantly being featured on network television? Chase Wells, owner of 1 Way Diesel Performance, is one of those guys who is humble at heart, but could brag all day if he wanted to.

1,000-HP Capable 6.7L Powerstroke Engine

Nick Stoner, a customer of Kill Devil Diesel, recently got his fully built 6.7L Powerstroke engine – a build Nick wanted to be capable of 1,000 horsepower. However, Nick is no longer building the truck the engine was going into, so this badass diesel engine is for sale. Check it out.

6.7L Powerstroke engine
Turbocharged 6.7L Second Gen Cummins Engine

Thanks to attending a truck pull event at an early age, Sean Purdy can’t shake his passion for diesel trucks and engines. He recently completed a fresh build on his 1999 Ram 2500 with a turbocharged 6.7L Cummins second gen-swapped engine.

6.7L Cummins engine
Turbocharged 5.9L Cummins Engine

As an industrial millwright, Devan Leeds has a lot of knowledge and skills with his hands. He’s also a thrill seeker when it comes to high-speed vehicles. Case in point, his ’03 Ram 2500, which features a rowdy, turbocharged 5.9L Cummins engine under the hood. Check it out!

Leeds Fabrication 5.9L Cummins
Compound-Turbo 6.0L Powerstroke Engine

Steve Burton of New Performance Automotive and Chris Moore of Flatwoods Diesel Performance recently teamed up to build this compound-turbo 6.0L Powerstroke engine. Check it out!

Other Posts

Scheid Diesel-Built Triple-Turbo Billet 6.4L Cummins Super Stock Engine

During our visit to Scheid Diesel we had our mouths wide open in amazement for most of the time, but this Super Stock pulling engine really made our jaws drop! Scheid’s Joe Gasper walked us through the details of this billet triple-turbo 6.4L Cummins build, and it’s our latest Diesel of the Week brought to

Scheid Diesel is a Diesel Mecca

We recently made the drive to Terre Haute, IN to visit Scheid Diesel and owner Dan Scheid. This diesel engine and machine shop is one of three locations Scheid operates, and has the capability to everything in-house from fuel lines and injector work to machining and general repair and much more. Check out why Scheid

Logan Yelton’s Turbocharged 5.9L 12-Valve Cummins Engine

During last year’s Ultimate Callout Challenge, Logan Yelton’s ’93 Dodge truck stood out as we walked through the pit area. We got a chance to speak with Logan about his company Loganbuilt and the 5.9L 12-valve Cummins engine under the hood of his vintage Dodge truck. See what went into the build in this Diesel

Diesel Daydreams at R&R Engine and Machine

We’ve know R&R Engine and Machine owner Bryan Menke for quite some time. He’s just down the road from our HQ in Akron, OH, so we recently stopped in to see what was new at the shop, which specializes in light, medium and heavy-duty diesel engine work. There’s literally nothing R&R can’t handle, so check