The world’s most powerful Duramax diesel engine


If you thought it wasn’t regular Duramax, you guessed it. Not only were the block and cylinder heads of the 6.6L diesel V8 replaced with gigantic pieces of polished aluminum in this case, there are literally hundreds of pounds of turbochargers hanging from the passenger side. And thanks to the huge P-pump parked in the elevator valley, it works and looks more like a Pro Stock tractor than a modern era “silent diesel”. But why? What is the mission? It was designed, machined, assembled and tested to work with the most powerful Cummins traction trucks in the world, and it could even match the almighty I-6 pound for pound.

When Wagler competition products team up with Wimer fuel injection and turbo on Wes Kusilek and Craig Dickey’s engine project, a piece of wild, mechanically injected madness producing a triple-digit boost was the result. It’s never been on an engine test bench, but several educated guesses, from both leading diesel engine builders and veteran drivers, have put it at over 3,000 horsepower. So far, the engine has been able to keep pace with the world’s best Super Stock, a traction class mostly populated by exotic Cummins power plants said to be at or above 3,500 hp.

Below we’ll go inside the 150 psi high rev boost monster that makes the truck it powers so capable in the dirt.

The DX460

From aluminum billets delivered on pallets, the parts that make up a Wagler Competition Products DX460 Duramax are ultimately machined to perfection. While some aspects of the engine are exactly the same as an OE 6.6L – with the crankshaft and camshaft centerline, and the factory specs of the main journal spacing reflecting the factory specs – little else is shared with GM’s original V-8. The block, cylinder heads, connecting rods, oil pan, water-to-air intercooler, and rocker arms were all created in-house at Wagler’s facilities in Odon, Indiana.

State of the art (to say the least)

Duramax DX460 Wagler Competition Products

Inside the aluminum boundaries of the Wagler DX460, you’ll find a full seat plate that not only connects the main caps to each other, but also attaches them to the block. A Winberg crankshaft (complete with custom Hemi journals) rotates eight Wagler aluminum connecting rods mated to low compression Ross Racing pistons. Connecting rod assemblies do their job inside PowerBore cylinder liners, while a camshaft from Comp Cams handles valve actuation. A Peterson dry sump oil system provides ample oil pressure to keep the engine alive. In its initial public unveiling (the previous photo), the DX460 came equipped with a 5.9-inch pumpkin-sized Pro Stock turbo tractor, but that would change before the DX460 made its first run in. Earth.

8-cylinder in-line pump

Wimer mechanical diesel injection pump

In many ways other than the block and heads, this particular DX460 is very different from a traditional common rail injection Duramax. It might not win the game at high pressure, but the old-fashioned mechanical in-line piston pump moves the kind of fuel volume that brings over 4,000 horsepower of potential to the table. The 8 piston billet body P pump is from Wimer Fuel Injection & Turbo. It uses 17mm pistons and is set to deliver just under 1,100cc of fuel (by comparison, a P pump in a 12-valve Cummins sports 12mm pistons). The Wimer pump sends a deluge of fuel to John Deere-derived mechanical injectors, similar to what you might find in a Pro Stock tractor engine.

3 Turbos, 150-PSI Boost

Duramax Triple Turbo engine

Trust us the DX460 engine is out there somewhere… The two-stage, triple turbo setup is based on using three similarly sized Holset turbochargers from Wimer Fuel Injection & Turbo. The two top-stacked chargers are exactly the same, with their compressor wheel inductors measuring 4.1 inches in diameter and essentially serving as a single atmosphere unit. The third turbo, located at the bottom right, serves as a high pressure charger in the system. Its entrance also measures 4.1 inches. The use of 4.1 turbos is probably not a coincidence, as they are typically used solo in the Limited Pro Stock tractor classes. So you can bet that Wimer has a proven track record on and off the track.

Chromoly tube frame with IFS

IFS Tubular Frame Diesel Truck

Fittingly, the DX460 powers a GMC Sierra bodied Super Stock traction truck named Cummins Killer. But that’s not all. In addition to owner and driver Wes Kusilek and Craig Dickey remaining loyal to the Duramax Power Plant and their affinity for GM trucks (as well as their traction trucks that came before this one), the truck sports an independent front suspension. The independent front suspension frame was built by Proformance Pros. A TIG welded chromoly tubular frame accommodates RCV CV axles and a pair of AFCO dual-tuned shocks on either side at the front, while a Meritor / Rockwell 20-145 suspension-less axle resides at the rear.

On the track

Duramax Super Stock Cummins Killer Diesel Truck

When pulling a truck, a ground speed of 33 mph is moving. But incredibly, the engine isn’t even at full throttle until halfway through, the time when Dickey knows more than 3,000 horsepower can be applied to sticky dirt. A typical trip to the track begins when Dickey cranks the engine speed up to 5,000-5,500 RPM, relieving the start line and even allowing RPMs to drop into the 4,300 RPM range before push the hand throttle all the way and haul 5,000 or more rpm the rest of the way. Sound wise, the truck is reminiscent of the V-8 diesel tractors you sometimes see in the coveted Pro Stock class.

Cummins Killer may also own the Duramax common rail horsepower record …

Compound Turbo Duramax Diesel

Before turning to Wagler and Wimer for their current mechanical monstrosity DX460, Kusilek and Dickey arguably pushed common rail injection to its vertical limits. On their previous engine platform, an incredible 2,980hp of power was extracted from the Duramax on the engine dyno thanks to S&S Diesel Motorsport. S&S supplied the Bosch module common rail system injectors from a Cummins QSK60 application, as well as a Bosch stand-alone ECU to make as many as possible.

A little history on Cummins Killer

Nitto Mud Grappler Pulls Diesel Truck

Before Kusilek and Dickey joined the ranks of Super Stock, they wreaked havoc in the Pro Stock arena – the class directly under Super Stock that adheres to a single turbo rule). In 2013, they made a big difference after showing up at a nationwide event in May with Nitto mud plierss under their truck. They began to win in a dominant fashion, effectively starting a Mud Grappler trend that lasted until DOT tire regulations were removed from the class.

  • Curious about what they’re up to in Power Stroke Camp? Discover this wild mechanical 7.3L of 2,180 hp!

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