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Why Was the Cummins 555 Not Popular?

95048 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Flippin' Crazee

Why was the Cummins V-555 line not so popular?

My theories are that these engines, which include the VTF-555, were an outgrowth of the V-470 (VINE) and the V-504 diesel engines, all of which are undersquare (with a 4-5/8" bore, the V-470 having a 3-1/2" stroke, the V-504 a 3-3/4" stroke and the V-555 a 4-1/8" stroke).

Here is a video of a VTF-555 in action as a retrofit engine in a 1952 American LaFrance fire engine:

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Why was the Cummins V-555 line not so popular?

It was the worst of all of Cummins' V8s, we called them 'cripple fives' here. You name it, if failed. The V-903, VT-903 & VT-300/320/350 enjoyed a good following in Australia even though they weren't that great either. As a general rule, V8 diesels are limited by their lack of main bearings compared to straight 6 diesels. Even the mightiest Mack V8 topped out at 610HP before it reached it's limit & the Cat 3408 didn't even get that far.
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