The diesel engine swap has been a long-coveted modification from off-roaders, but it has not always been easy.

Generally, the only diesel engines that have been available in the United States, thanks to our extremely strict emissions standards, have been large and heavy medium duty engines found in pickups or larger vehicles. While there have been other options from the likes of Volkswagen and Mercedes, they are relatively rare by comparison, with parts being hard to come at times and adapter pieces either prohibitively expensive or non-existent altogether.

Cummins knew that their 12-valve 5.9L inline-six turbo diesel is a legend, and its little brother the 4BT four-cylinder has a reputation of its own as well. Not one to sit idly by, Cummins entered into the aftermarket crate engine market with the creation of their Cummins RePower division. 

With two planned engines, the new R2.8 four-cylinder turbo diesel has been the first to come available to the public market. At a pint size 2.8L of total displacement, the 503lb engine is small enough to be shoe-horned into just about any project vehicle you can think of and light enough to not require frame or suspension reworks. With an estimated 161 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, it’s no slouch for its displacement either. Yes, we recognize that the mention of only 161 hp may have just set off a record scratch and a freeze frame in your head, but also bear in mind that these are stock-rated numbers for an engine that is barely over 2 feet long, wide and tall and not necessarily what it is capable of.

The crate suite comes with everything you will need to bolt the new heart into the vehicle of your choice and make it spark-plug free. From a complete accessory drive, to a throttle pedal, OBD and sensor set, it is all there and ready to go. It should be noted, however, that the R2.8 is not CARB approved at this time and due to varying state laws, it is not for sale in the states of Texas or West Virginia or the Canadian province of Quebec. Additionally, the engine falls under EPA Tier 0 and Tier 1 standards of vehicles weighing less than 4000lbs GVWR. This means that the engine is generally only available for installation into ’99 and earlier light trucks and Cummins is not liable for issues related to bypassing U.S. and Canadian emissions regulations, if the engine were to be installed in something newer.

If you are interested in obtaining specifics and exact pricing for a Cummins RePower R2.8 crate kit, go to their website.

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