Big ‘n’ Brawny: These Are The 5 Biggest Pickup Truck Engines Ever Made

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When you really feel like there’s no replacement for the move, get yourself one of these massive carriers.

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Most automotive segments are – understandably enough, given current world events – rapidly shifting to smaller displacement engines which are often associated with some form of forced injection.

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This is not a bad thing. Witness the amount of horsepower provided by vehicles like the VW Golf R. The old benchmark of 100 ponies per liter of displacement is quickly becoming obsolete – although this remains a good benchmark on a naturally aspirated engine, it must to be said.

It hasn’t always been that way. History is littered with examples of engines larger than a grand piano, installed under vehicle hoods that were the size and shape of a Tempur-Pedic LuxBreeze memory foam mattress.

We will take this opportunity to remind our readers that external dimensions do not always correlate with internal displacement; the old 302 cubic inch Ford V8 (the almost-but-not-quite 5.0L) had much smaller proportions than the 4.6L modular engine that replaced it.

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Give us the latitude to inject a note of common sense before diving headlong into our article. Our list will consist of engines designed for installation in trucks and found in consumer vehicles, so factories like the mighty Detroit DD16 (a 2,000-plus lb-ft diesel displacing an atmosphere-engulfing 15.6 L and found in commercial vehicles) will not be listed here, although we will note that the glorious engine has paint bucket sized pistons and has a dry weight of around 500 lbs. Following than a full 2021 Mazda MX-5 convertible.

8.1L Vortec L18 V8 | General Motors

GM-8.1L-light-truck

Carved from the same basic architecture of another big-block Chevy engine that will be listed later in this article, the Vortec 8.1L (496 cubic inch) V8 was arguably the general’s last link to the ’60s hot-rod era. That doesn’t mean it was old-fashioned, as the thing had a modern engine control system, short and long intake runners, and other advanced technology.

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It appeared in Heavy Duty variants of Chevy and GMC trucks, as well as 2500 Series Suburbans and Yukons around the turn of the millennium. The party didn’t last forever – the engine left in 2007 – but this 340-horsepower monster remains sought after by GM fans who often adapt the mill to fit over 500 ponies.

8.0 L Magnum V10 Family | Dodge

1994_dodge_ram-pickup

Present at work in the Ram 2500 and 3500 models from 1994, this 488 cubic inch 10-cylinder Magnum was good for 300 horsepower and – more importantly – each of its 450 lb-ft of torque was barely 2,400 in service. rpm. It was way more than other gassers in the mid-90s, and it’s pretty impressive even today.

Some haters dismiss it as a 5.9L Magnum with two nailed-down cylinders, but, although the designs of the two are similar and share a 4-inch bore, the V10 has a 3.88-inch stroke. Others in the peanut gallery will bleat that we should have led with the 8.3L V10 aluminum block that featured in the 2004 Ram SRT-10. However, we’ll encourage them to remember that this mill – which was absolutely brilliant, by the way – wasn’t originally designed for trucks.

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Chevy 7.4L Big Block V8 | General Motors

Chevrolet-454-SS

Remember the engine that started this list? Consider the 7.4L (better known as the 454, in reference to its cubic inch size) as a predecessor. Going back even further we find the mighty 427 mill. The almost square but not quite 454 was initially found in Corvettes and Chevelles, but also entered El Camino and GMC Sprint, technically qualifying it for this listing. since the latter two are (barely) trucks.

However, General Motors reducers introduced electronic fuel injection in a variant of this V8 in the late 1980s, pushing horsepower to 255 hp and around 400 lb-ft of torque, eventually squeezing it into ink black C / K vans and call them. the 454SS.

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7.3L “Godzilla” OHV V8 | Ford

This is a brand new engine, which can be purchased now in the showroom of any Blue Oval dealership (COVID-19 supply constraints notwithstanding). There is a bunch of proven technology in this 445 cubic inch mill, making it a popular choice for buyers of the current Super Duty pickup truck. Its push-rod V8 design maximizes low-end torque, much like a diesel, but modern variable cam timing helps get high power output when you set foot on the highway with a trailer in tow. Add a cast iron block and forged steel crankshaft and you’ve got reliable 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque.

7.3L Powerstroke Diesel V8 | Ford

7.3L power stroke

We would be remiss not to include at least one diesel engine on this list, although it should be pointed out that diesel power adders such as turbochargers tend to keep the clamps on the overall displacement of these oil burners. Ford fans who existed in the mid-90s often speak of the revered 7.3L (444 cubic inch) Powerstroke diesel in muted tones, especially given the reliability debacles that accompanied its replacement, the 6.0L. Powerstroke (which tended to eat head gaskets and injectors every day).

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The 7.3L had a cast iron block and cylinder heads, as well as a half-dozen cylinder head bolts to each cylinder. Why was this reliability tower of over 200 horsepower and over 400 lb-ft of reliability torque abandoned? Emissions regulations, of course. The 6.7L Powerstroke diesel available in today’s Super Duty, with its 1,050 lb-ft of torque, has – in your author’s jaundice experience – a glow of the old 7 , 3L, something the 6.0L can’t even begin to claim.

Honorable Mention: 9.9L V8 | Lingenfelter suburb

We end our list with this engine simply because it’s way too glorious not to mention it. In 1994, Lingenfelter’s speed demons took a marine-service V8 block, bored and stroked the 9.9L displacement thing, and stuffed it in the nose of a new Suburban. To put it in perspective, that equates to a jaw-dropping 605 cubic inches. Daily magazines saw acceleration times of zero to 60 mph of about 4.6 seconds. It’s fast now ; at the time, it was the stuff of supercars. Fuel economy was reported at 8 mpg (30 L / 100 km).

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