Compound-Turbo 5.9L Cummins - Engine Builder Magazine

Compound-Turbo 5.9L Cummins

Cancer Sucks! This Chevy S10 from the guys over at Stainless Diesel not only packs a punch with it's compound-turbocharged 5.9L Cummins, but promotes the awareness and fight against the deadly disease.

Stainless Diesel is always on our diesel engine radar, as they’re constantly putting together sweet builds that excel on the track. The team’s Chevy S10 has been at the forefront of interest over the past few years, and they’ve finally gotten it to where they like it. We got to check it out up close at the 2023 Ultimate Callout Challenge.

“It’s been probably four or five years now that we’ve been working on it,” says Steve O’Neal. “We kind of took a bunch of leftover parts that we had laying around, and Johnny Gilbert found a rolling chassis and we just kind of started it up with the cancer awareness theme. We drove to Florida with it and ran it for a little bit.”

O’Neal purchased the truck for himself with the intention of going as fast as possible with a VP, while still keeping it budget friendly.

“The manifold charger is a five-blade 369 – it’s a 75mm turbine,” he says. “The atmosphere charger currently is a 400 frame. It’s a five-blade, 85mm 96 with a 1.15 housing on it, and it does about 120-lbs. of boost right now.

“It’s got a pair of ARP .625s in the head. It’s got an o-ringed head with a factory gasket… head studs, ARP rod bolts, some upgraded valve springs and pushrods and that’s literally it.”

By keeping the modifications minimal, Steve addresses the inherent issues with the injection pump’s fueling capacity at high rpm. Chopping off considerable weight from the truck also allows the setup to stay rather basic. With O’Neal in the driver’s seat, the S10 weighs around 3,600 lbs.

O’Neal noted that the team could have taken a few different approaches, but they may decide to switch to a 6.7L based engine in the future, which is why they didn’t spend a fortune on machine work for the 5.9L.

“It has a Nitrous Express kit with two solenoids, then I run two Maximizers in the truck,” O’Neal notes. “Both of them data log and one shifts the transmission. We’re able to actually look at a number of different items that get really hard at this level without an expensive data logger – rpm drop at the shift, boost at the shift, and a number of different things. I think we’re going to come to the limitations of the injection pump and the speed that will produce before we will come to the limitations of the data. We’ve had three passes this year, and I’ve been 6.40 at about 117 mph.”

The cancer awareness theme of the truck is also an integral part of its identity.

“Johnny wanted to kind of put his wife Amy in the driver’s seat, who’s mom was directly affected by cancer, and his dad was too,” O’Neal says. “The stickers went on the truck for all of that and then I didn’t want to change it. Every track I go to, someone comes up and talks to me. I left two strips of the original fiberglass on there so I want to get some chalk markers so that people can sign the truck and write stuff on it.”

The truck serves as a symbol of support for those battling cancer and honors the memory of individuals who have been touched by the disease. Engine Builder Magazine commends their efforts and wishes them success as they continue to make strides in both performance and advocacy on the racetrack.

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].

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