Cummins 555 Motor Specifications

by Michael Logan
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Diesel engines were once manufactured primarily as heavy-duty, internal combustion engines for use in machinery that required more power than a gasoline engine could provide. The Cummins model 555 diesel was no exception. This workhorse engine was used primarily in large pleasure boats but also had applications in heavy machinery and large, heavy-duty trucks.

General Specifications

The Cummins 555 is an eight-cylinder, four-stroke, turbo-charged diesel engine in a V formation with four cylinders on each side set at 90-degree angles to one another. This engine has a displacement of 555 cubic inches.


The 555 is available in three power configurations, depending on the intended use and the number of hours per year it will be operated. There are two high-output power options and one intermittent power option. The first high-power option calls for 270 basic horsepower (BHP) at 3300 RPM. The second high-power option provides 270 BHP at 3000 RPM. The intermittent power option provides 235 BHP at 2800 RPM. Actual output is calculated at the shaft and is rated at 97 percent of BHP, but actual output depends on the accessories driven by the motor, such as alternators and other additional equipment. The high-power options are limited to full-speed operation for two hours of every six the engine is run. Intermittent operation is allowed at full power for six hours of every 12 hours of operation.

Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption by the 555 is dependent on the power option of the engine and on the engine speed. Fuel consumption figures are based on using No. 2 diesel fuel and are given in U.S. gallons per hour. For the intermittent power rating, fuel consumption ranges from 6.9 GPH at 2200 RPM to 13 GPH at 2800 RPM. The first high-output application consumes fuel at a rate of between 8.9 GPH at 2700 RPM and 16 GPH at 3300 RPM. The fuel consumption of the second high-output power option ranges from 8.1 GPH at 2400 RPM to 15.1 GPH at 3000 RPM.

Engine Specifications

The cylinder bore is 4 5/8 inches with a piston stroke of 4 1/8 inches, allowing for a 17:1 compression ratio, and there are four valves per cylinder. Oil capacity is 6 gallons, with 5 gallons held in the oil pan and the remainder in the oil filter and tubing. The engine is water-cooled, and the configuration varies depending on the type of installation. The engine is a maximum of 63 inches long, 37 inches wide and 35 inches high.

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