Torque Specifications for a Cummins

by Matt Wooddy

Since 1919, Cummins Incorporated has built powerful diesel engines for commercial and consumer vehicles. In its early life, the company provided large-displacement motors for heavy farm and construction equipment. As the company grew and the demand for more diesel engines came into consumer culture, Cummins started providing powerhouses for automobile giants, such as Chrysler. If you wish to perform engine maintenance or tune-ups on your Cummins diesel, it is important that the parts be installed to factory-specific settings. All of the nuts, screws, bolts and parts need to be torqued to specific amounts, or else leaking or cracking could occur in vital areas.

Air Intake

The air intake of Cummins diesel engines are just as imperative, if not more, than the intake systems on regular gasoline vehicles. Temperatures of the engine can reach extreme heights, as many of these engines rely on turbocharged fuel and air induction. The air intake housing unit is held together by a series of bolts. In the 5.9 L Cummins engine, torque these bolts to 18 foot-pounds. The intake manifold bolts of this particular engine should be torqued to 35 foot-pounds for accuracy. The sensor attached to this intake manifold is held together by bolts that should be torqued to 10 foot-pounds.

Cylinder Heads

While the cylinder head might not be a common part that needs to be removed, there might come a time in which you will need to replace the head gaskets of your Cummins diesel engine. When reinstalling the cylinder head bolts, torque the 5.9 L's bolts to the engine block at 90 foot-pounds of pressure. Over-torquing these engines can lead to cracking, while under-torquing these cylinder head bolts can cause the cylinder bolts to loosen during operation.

Oil Pan and Pump

Responsible for lubricating the motor, regularly servicing the oil and its respective parts is vital in engine care. When removing and replacing the 5.9 L engine's oil pan, torque the bolts that hold this pan to the engine block to 15 foot-pounds. The oil pump bolts should be torqued to 35 foot-pounds, while the oil pump cover that attaches to this needs to be torqued to 7.92 foot-pounds.


The camshaft in most modern Cummins diesel engines is located over the cylinder ports, pushing the valves up and down. If cleaned or replaced, the camshaft and its attached hardware should be reinstalled properly to avoid misfire and erratic engine behavior. The camshaft position sensor bolts should be torqued to 15 foot-pounds in the 5.9 L engine. The timing chain and belt sprocket combination that attaches to the camshaft should be secured with bolts, torqued to 35 foot-pounds. When replacing the timing chain and belt sprocket cover, torque the necessary bolts to 30 foot-pounds.

Fuel System

Just like the oil pump and corresponding parts, the 5.9 L Cummins engine's fuel system is important in keeping you engine fueled properly. The fuel pump itself is held together by a series of small bolts, each of which should be torqued to 18 foot-pounds at first, then followed by a final torquing of 32 foot-pounds of pressure. The fuel filter brackets hold the fuel filter canister into place with two bolts, which should both be torqued to 18 foot-pounds. The fuel filter canister is also held into place by a single locking nut, which should be torqued to 10 foot-pounds. The nuts that hold the fuel tank into place, located at the rear of your vehicle, need to be torqued to 30 foot-pounds each.

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