5.9L Stock-Appearing Turbo Cummins Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

5.9L Stock-Appearing Turbo Cummins Engine

Austin Tate of Tater Built Turbochargers has a drag truck equipped with a stock-appearing turbo that boosts his truck's 5.9L Cummins engine to some remarkable times. Find out what's in this diesel engine build.

Diesel of the Week is presented by

Austin Tate’s passion for diesel engines began when a close friend first introduced him to the 24-valve Cummins. This sparked a switch in interest from the Duramax platform to Cummins, and he quickly traded his way up to a first-gen Cummins. Despite limited resources and money at the time, he managed to extract significant horsepower by turning up the pump, adjusting the timing, and making other small tweaks to the engine.

Austin Tate's drag truck

Over time, Austin upgraded to a four-wheel-drive first-gen and dove into the sled pulling community. His journey continued as he traded up to a second-gen with a P-pump for better fuel control, and later a third-gen crew cab long bed, which became his tow vehicle.

When his tow rig broke down, Austin rebuilt the engine with the help of his girlfriend’s father, who owned an engine machine shop. Despite setbacks like a blown turbo, Austin’s determination led him to find affordable solutions online. He bought aftermarket parts online, then machined them to his own specifications and put the turbo back together, seeing great results.

Cummins engine

Austin’s knack for building cost-effective turbos caught the attention of friends, leading to the inception of Tater Built Turbochargers. His initial success selling turbos on Facebook forums soon outgrew his job as a mechanic, prompting him to focus on turbo building full-time. Within months, Austin doubled his output and hired his first employee. His operation grew, eventually requiring a larger shop. Moving into a 40’x60’ space, he significantly increased production capacity and inventory, reducing wait times for customers.

Austin officially started the business in early 2014 and has grown it into a full-fledged operation over the past decade. Now, Tater Built offers a range of turbos, with Austin focusing more on the business side while his team handles production. High-end custom builds, particularly for sled pullers, remain a specialty. The competitive nature of sled pulling and Tater Built’s reputation for performance products keeps them at the forefront of the industry.

Cummins engine

Tate has a rich history in truck pulling competitions, particularly with the Central Ohio Truck Pullers Club (COTPC) in the highly competitive Work Stock 2.5 class. This class requires a stock-appearing turbo with a specific size limitation, making it a challenging environment for builders. Tate has excelled in this category, claiming horsepower records across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

His innovative S400 competition line features dual ball-bearing setups that have achieved record-breaking performance. In drag racing, Tate’s focus on stock-appearing turbos has also paid off. His drag truck, equipped with a 71/71 stock-appearing charger, has achieved remarkable times and outperformed other vehicles in its class.

5.9L Cummins engine

Austin’s current drag build features a 5.9L Cummins engine with a Hamilton ported head, which enhances airflow and improves overall engine efficiency. The engine also includes a Hamilton 188/220 camshaft, providing precise control over valve timing for better performance. Ross .020” over pistons ensure durability and optimal compression and Carrillo rods add strength and reliability.

To handle high pressure and boost, the engine is equipped with ARP studs and a Gorilla girdle for added support and stability. Fuel delivery is managed by 350% over S&S injectors, which allow for a significant increase in fuel flow, and a 12mm S&S CP3 pump, ensuring consistent fuel pressure. The FASS 200 system supplies fuel to both the injectors and pumps, maintaining adequate flow for high-performance demands.

5.9L Cummins engine

The turbocharger is a custom 71/71 HE351CW, designed to provide substantial boost while maintaining a stock appearance. All stainless-steel intercooler piping is fabricated in-house, contributing to improved airflow and reduced heat. An On3 3.6” core intercooler is used to further enhance cooling efficiency.

Austin’s truck, weighing 4,500 lbs. empty, produces 795 horsepower with its current tuning setup. Notably, the truck does not use nitrous, emphasizing the reliability and durability of the build. Austin’s goal is to achieve a 9.80-second quarter-mile time on a fuel-only run while maintaining a stock appearance, having already achieved a 10.48-second quarter-mile time, which is the fastest for a stock-appearing Cummins.

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].

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