It’s always a treat when we get to talk to both parties in an engine build – the builder and the owner. This way we usually get more insight into what the initial goal and mindset for the build was going in and how that goal was achieved. At the 2022 PRI show, we were able to get ahold of Freedom Racing Engines Operations Manager John Benshoof to talk about the Cummins engine they built for Jen Pushlar to drop into her pulling truck.
“It was just time to get a better motor,” Pushlar told us. “I needed a strong block and something that could make enough power while still being reliable.”
To get that reliable engine, Pushlar and her husband went to the team at Freedom Racing Engines to get it built. We’ve featured a few Freedom Racing-built engines in our Diesel of the Week series and the shop even won our Diesel Engine Builder of the Year award in 2018. The engine shop is affiliated with Fleece Performance, a leading manufacturer of aftermarket diesel performance products.
Freedom Racing Engines takes up about 10,000 sq.-ft. of the 60,000 sq.-ft. facility, and the sizeable operation means that they’re able to build some of the most competitive engines and race proven products in the industry. The one going into Pushlar’s pulling truck is a single-turbo 6.8L Cummins.
“This is our 6.7L factory block that’s been filled,” Benshoof says. “We’ve put a 1-inch deck plate on it and then on the top we ran a solid double iron cylinder head and our Fleece Performance billet intake manifold. We have a new product for us which is our front cover that supports two CP3 fuel pumps, and we’ll be able to drive a Waterman lift pump off the front of it that supplies the CP3s.
“From there we’re still running our factory 6.7L crankshaft and this one has 1-inch-longer Wagler connecting rods. Being limited on air with the turbocharger, we’ve really had to work on piston design and find something that is strong and performs well. And we’ve worked with Diamond from the beginning to get these designs right and efficient.”
The engine also supports a Harts turbo with a 3-inch inducer and a set of injectors from Dynomite Diesel.