DETROIT DIESEL POWERED HOT ROD IN THE BUILD – VIDEO

WHEN it comes to crazy engine swaps, putting a Detroit Diesel four-cylinder into a ’40 Ford pick-up is definitely something out of the ordinary. It’s the work of South Aussie Stuart Reimann. Stu comes from a trucking family - going back a few generations - and has a thing for these turbo and supercharged Detroit Diesel motors. His one is the 4/53T – four-cylinders, 53 cubes per cylinder and turbocharged.

“I like how unique they are,” explained Stuart. “And my dad has similar engine in his first truck, way back when.

“It is a two stroke diesel motor and they sound like they’re revving really high but they are governed to 2600rpm,” he said. “Being two stroke, they also make a whole lot of torque really quickly, this one makes about 450ft-lb and around 200hp.” That makes figuring out the gearing quite a tricky process but Stuart is confident his Tremec T56 and 3.73 diff gears will give it good pick up off the lights and decent road speed.

Detroit Diesel 453T Engine 1The engine weighs around 500kg, so getting that big lump balanced on the ’40’s Rod Tech front end is going to be a task. And because it’s such a tall unit, Stuart will need to put in some fabrication work to ensure it clears the bonnet.

The famous Detroit Diesel two-strokes have a history going back to the 1930s, while the 53-series first debuted in 1957 and it was used in everything from automotive to marine and industrial applications. Stuart’s motor is an eighties build, originally used in a compressor drill rig. It was in a fairly nasty state when Stuart got the motor, but Mark from Havelburg Diesel in Dry Creek, SA, rebuilt it and gave it a good clean up. The turbo and blower were both rebuilt and a new cylinder head and camshaft were brought in from America.

We’re looking forward to seeing how this unique setup works in the finished car! In the meantime, Stuart’s old man (Michael) has almost finished his wild W model Kenworth project. While it uses a full-size Kenworth cab, the bonnet and guards have been scaled-down to fit on a Ford F 550 chassis. The truck will be used for both work and play and is finished like an elite show car. Stay tuned! 

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