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The Celebrated Cummins 555 and V904 V8 Engines

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On PowerTorque’s tour of the V8 and two stroke engines in trucking history, we now come to the celebrated Cummins 555 and V903 and their distinctive crackling engines and their distinctive engine notes.

Our main video demonstrates how easy it was a to hear any truck with the 555 engine coming before you could see it. The engine was also known as the ‘Triple Nickel’, after the US five cent coin, and also seems to have a reputation, among some quarters, as a less than reliable, referred to as ‘Cripple Fives’ and by others as ‘Triple Trouble’, on account of issues like spinning cam bearings.

However, the engine was clearly effective, with many examples still found out in the wild today, and the Cummins Engine brand still has a reputation to be envied amongst those in the know in the trucking game.

In this next video we see an International Acco 3070 with the V903 hauling up a small rise out of Spirit of the Hume Highway Broadford Truck Show. The larger V903 was offered higher up the power range than the smaller V555, but the limitations of the more powerful V8 two strokes like the V903 were all about reliability and durability.

At the same time in-line six cylinder diesel engines were coming through at high horsepower levels and proved to be more durable out on the highway at higher masses. This explains the prevalence of the in-line six in modern trucks, but the other obvious disadvantage of the crackling V8s, like the celebrated Cummins 555 and V903, is the sound levels they produce, to which there has been a growing intolerance in the past twenty or so years.



Here we have another example of an International Acco fitted the V555 engine exhaust blowing through a straight pipe and demonstrating the reason for the ‘bird scarer’ monicker.




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