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Installing the Newest, Nicest Cummins R2.8 Turbo Diesel in the Oldest, Ugliest Jeep

Part 5: The Cummins Has Landed

Verne SimonsPhotographerChristian HazelPhotographer, WriterTrenton McGeeWriterKen SmithPhotographer

Say “Cummins crate engine” and most off-roaders look at you with an eager, inquisitive cock of the head like a dog that just heard the word bacon. With a weight of 503 pounds, developing 161 hp at 3,600 rpm and a meaty 267 lb-ft between 1,500-3,000 rpm, and easily handing down over 20 mpg on the highway, the Cummins R2.8 Turbo Diesel crate engine was the perfect choice to power the official 2017 Ultimate Adventure vehicle. In the scorching desert temps up to and over 126 degrees Fahrenheit, the cool-running diesel’s engine temps never climbed over 180 degrees on the trail. With up to 300 miles of off-road slogging between fill-ups, the economical diesel used roughly one-third the fuel as the gas-powered rigs on the Ultimate Adventure. And when we needed it, there was more than enough oomph to keep the 38-inch Falken WildPeak M/T tires spinning.

Arriving in a big, wooden crate and safely wrapped in plastic, our R2.8 Turbo Diesel package came with the wiring harness installed, including the Engine Control Module, the OBD Service Port, a complete throttle pedal assembly, and a J1939 CAN display Murphy gauge. The diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) is included, as are the accessories, remote oil filter, turbo, and everything minus an intercooler and ducting. In reality, all you need to do to fire the engine inside the crate is hook up a couple of electrical leads, dunk a fuel pickup tube into a diesel container, and fire it up.

Once next to the UACJ-6D chassis, Tech Editor Verne Simons and ace freelancer Trent McGee dove into what they have since dubbed “the easiest engine swap ever.” Here’s how we added Cummins crate engine power to our JK-chassis’d project Jeep. Check back next time when we will show you the crate axles in more detail and highlight the brake and steering systems.