Cummins 5.9 24 Valve Diesel Engine Specs

by JoAnn Joubert
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The Cummins 5.9-liter, 24-valve engine was the result of a redesign by Cummins that took place in 1998. The full name of this particular engine was the 5.9L 24-valve Cummins ISB, meaning that it had an Interact System B with a Bosch VP44 Rotary injection pump from 1998 through 2003. After 2003, this engine featured a high-pressure common rail fuel injection system, which not only updated emission requirements but also increased power output.


The 5.9L Cummins ISB has a displacement of 359 cubic inches, or 5.9 liters, with an inline six-cylinder configuration. The firing order for the cylinders is 1-5-3-6-2-4, and the compression ratio until 2003 was 16.3:1. In 2003, the compression ratio rose to 17.2:1. The bore measures 4.02 inches, while the stroke is 4.72 inches. From 1998 through 2003, this engine featured a direct injection system. In 2003, a high-pressure common rail injection system by Bosch became standard. This lasted until 2007. In addition, this engine features a Holset turbocharger for aspiration and has an overhead valve train, with four valves per cylinder and a solid lifter camshaft. Weighing in at 1,150 pounds, the engine holds 10 quarts of oil. Furthermore, from 1998 through 2007, this engine had horsepower between 235 and 325 at 2,900 RPM. The torque was measured at 1,600 RPM and was between 460 and 610 lb-ft. The governed speed was 3,200 RPM.


If your Cummins 5.9L 24-valve engine has been parked longer than 30 days, take extra precautions when starting. For instance, within 15 seconds of starting, the engine oil pressure must be indicated on the fuel gauge. If not, stop the engine and consult a Cummins engine specialist. Furthermore, before loading your engine, be sure to idle for roughly five minutes to ensure proper working order of the engine by allowing oil to wash the components. Also, if you have a Cummins engine housed in a location with severe winters, do not use the chemical ether as a starting agent on your Cummins 5.9L 24v engine. Finally, never idle for longer than 15 minutes, operate at full speed before the coolant has reached its normal operating range and never keep the engine at a low idle until the oil pressure has been indicated. Also, for proper maintenance, if you have used your engine for an extended period at high power operation, let the turbocharger cool before turning the engine off by staying at idle for roughly five minutes.


With a Cummins 5.9L 24v engine, be sure to check oil and drain the filter for debris, sediment and water as often as possible. It is recommended this be done at every fuel stop for optimum performance. Change the oil filter every six months, or 7,500 miles. If you are using this engine at high power operation frequently, you may wish to change the oil filter every 3,750 miles. Also, change the fuel filter every 15,000 miles, or annually. Again, if your engine is used frequently at high operation, do this procedure every 7,500 miles. Also, every 30,000 miles, be sure to change the engine coolant. This can also be done every two years or, if used excessively, change the coolant every 15,000 miles. Transmission fluid and the filter should be changed every 30,000 miles as well, or every two years. If the engine is used excessively, then change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 miles. The fan, fan clutch and drive belt should also be checked every 30,000 miles, or every two years.

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