best diesel engine

Best Diesel Engine for Pickup Trucks 2021 {Review and Buying Guide}

Searching for the most reliable diesel engine for your vehicle? But still confused about which diesel engine will work best for your vehicle? Diesel engines come with different specifications and price ranges, which can be very confusing to find the perfect one. To eliminate this confusion, we have provided here all the details which can be helpful for you to fine the best diesel engine. You can also check the guide below how a diesel engine works and what variations are available in them.

At the end of the post, we have compiled a list of some of the best diesel truck engines manufactured so far. But Before That Here is the list of best diesel motors that you can buy online easily. So, keep reading and scrolling.

Best Diesel Motors

There are many brands in the market providing high-quality diesel motors. Some of the best diesel motors available online are listed here. You can choose any of them which suits your purpose.

DuroMax XP16HPE diesel engine

DuroMax XP16HPE 420cc Recoil/Electric Start Gas Powered 50...
  • 420cc 4 Stroke OHV engine
  • Large 1.75 Gallon Fuel Tank
  • Runs on Standard 87 Octane Gasoline
  • Start System: E-Z Pull Recoil Starter or Electric Start Keyed Switch Box
  • Shaft Size: 1" Diameter, 2-3/4" Long, 1/4" Keyway

One of the best diesel motors with 21.0 lb-ft maximum torque capability and 16hp maximum horsepower. It consists of 4 stroke engines along with electronic ignition. It has an air cleaner and an oil bath. It features electric and recoils start. Its maximum output is 16.0 hp with 3600 rpm.

  • Electric and recoil start
  • High power output
  • 4 stroke combustion cycle
  • Users faced some issues with the battery

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Predator diesel engine

Predator 6.5 HP 212cc OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine - NOT...
  • Durable cast iron cylinder withstands wear and abuse
  • User-friendly controls for easy starting and operation
  • Recoil start
  • Fuel shut off for safe transport
  • Ball bearing support shaft for long life

This one of the best diesel engine motors are made with cast iron cylinders along with withstands wear. This adds to the durability of the motor. For easy operation and controlling the motor has user-friendly controls. The horizontal shaft is made with a ball-bearing mount.

  • Recoil starts
  • Fuel shut off
  • Offers value for money
  • Good power
  • It is not certified for California
  • Does not have any transmission or clutch inside

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Briggs and Stratton engine

Briggs & Stratton 130G32-0022-F1 Briggs and Stratton 9.5 GT...
  • Dura-Bore cast iron cylinder sleeve for extended life
  • Maintenance-free Magnetron electronic ignition for quick, dependable starts
  • Dura-Bore cast iron cylinder sleeve for extended life
  • PTO ball bearing
  • Overhead valve design (OHV) for cooler operation and long valve life

This diesel engine motor has been designed with a Dura Bore cast iron cylinder sleeve for durability and longer life. For providing quick and dependable start the engine features Magnetron electronic ignition. It is a maintenance-free ignition system, thus you don’t have to worry about its regular maintenance. For cooler operation, the diesel engine has overhauled valve design (OHV). It also increases the life of the valve.

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DuroMax XP7HPE 7 HP

DuroMax XP7HPE 212cc 7HP Electric Start Gas Powered, 50...
  • 208cc 4-Stroke OHV Engine
  • Large 1 Gallon Fuel Tank
  • Electric Start Key Switch Box
  • Runs on Standard 87 Octane Gasoline
  • Alternate Start System: E-Z Pull Recoil Starter

With a four-stroke combustion cycle, the engine has a maximum of seven horsepower capability. The electronic ignition provides more power and capability to the engine. It features electric and recoils start. It is safe for use as it is EPA and CARB approved. It delivers extreme pressure in various applications like in water transfer pumps, custom go-karts, etc.

  • High power engine
  • 4-stroke diesel engine
  • Electric and recoil start
  • Easy key start
  • Standard shaft
  • User faced problem in linkage from throttle lever to carb

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How a diesel engine works?

Diesel engines are an extension of gasoline engine It is the combustion process that differentiates diesel engines from all other engines. In diesel engines, the air is compressed and then fuel is injected.

Due to compression air heats up and ignites the fuel. Diesel engines are generally designed with either a two-stroke combustion cycle or with the four-stroke combustion cycle. The world’s largest engine that has been put in service consists of 14-cylinder, two-stroke watercraft diesel engines.

Types of diesel engines

Diesel engines can be categorized based on their design and specifications. Variations are created by changing the specifications like using a two-stroke combustion cycle or power stroke turbo diesel engine etc. Some of the major variations in diesel engines are mentioned here. Before choosing any diesel engine for your vehicle you must know about these variations.

Two Stroke Diesel Engines

The two stroke diesel engine works with one cycle which moves the pistol. The two stroke combustion cycle in these diesel engines consist of the following three stages:

  • Intake of air and release of gases: the air blows into the cylinder from the sides. As a result, exhaust gases get replaced by getting pushed in exhaust valves.
  • Compression stage: when the piston moves up the air inlet and the exhaust valves get closed. The air gets compressed due to the movement of the piston and is heated to high temperatures. When the piston reaches the top, the fuel gets injected into the engine cylinder.
  • The power stage: the pistol moves down when the mixture of air and fuel gets burnt. The crankshaft gets a push and power is sent to the wheels.

Four Stroke Diesel Engines

The four-stroke diesel engines as the name suggest works in four different stages. The complete working makes the crankshaft rotate and provide power to the wheels. These four stages are as follows:

  • Air intake stroke: The air moves in through the intake valve when the piston has moved down.
  • The compression stroke: The air gets compressed when the piston moves back.
  • The combustion stroke: When the piston reaches the top the fuel gets injected and ignited. This causes the piston to move down.
  • The exhaust stroke: The exhaust created due to combustion is pushed out from the exhaust valve when the piston moves up again.
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Power Stroke turbo diesel engine

The term power stroke was used for diesel engines manufactured by Ford Motors. Turbo diesel means a diesel engine which is equipped with turbochargers. Turbocharging increases the power with which the engine works. One of the best power stroke turbo diesel engines manufactured was 7.3L Power stroke. But due to emission standards, its production was stopped.

The next best power-stroke turbo diesel engine designed by Ford Motors was the third generation 6.7L Power stroke. This turbo-diesel engine consisted of a 10-speed automatic transmission which provided it with over 450 horsepower. It can easily produce 1050lbs of torque. All its capabilities put this diesel engine at the top.

Its other features include stronger crankshaft, enhanced bears, cylinder heads made with aluminum, electronic turbo-charger, high-quality fuel injectors which are set to 3600psi injection pressure.

How to choose the best diesel engine?

The criteria of categorizing the diesel engine as best depend on the particular purpose and the vehicle. However, you can consider the following factors while buying the best diesel engine:


The first thing is to set your budget which you are ready to spend on buying the engine. Then side-line the diesel engines which fall under your budget constraint. Choose among those diesel engines by considering the other factors.

Fuel consumption

Always check the fuel consumption capacity of the engine before buying. The lower the fuel consumption the better the diesel engine. It will help you reduce the overall operating cost of the vehicle.

Power output

Diesel engines with high power output are considered to be the best. Always know the power output for every diesel engine suitable for you. Choose the diesel engine which is providing the highest power output among them.

Emissions of the diesel engine

Every diesel engine produces exhaust. This exhaust is a mixture of nitrogen, water, and carbon dioxide. Some of the diesel engines also produce other gases like nitrogen oxides and carbon particles. The best diesel engine would keep the production of these emissions under limits and less as much possible.

Weight of the diesel engine

Diesel engines manufactured by different manufacturers vary in weight. Various factors contribute to the weight of the diesel engine. Most of the time lightweight is preferable. But before choosing a lightweight diesel engine always makes sure that it doesn’t compromise in the quality and other needed factors.

The durability of diesel engine

An engine that lasts for a longer time is preferable. The one which needs to be replaced frequently is not preferable. Thus, before choosing a diesel engine look for its durability factor and read every valid review mentioned about it.


No one would prefer a diesel engine that breaks down easily and frequently. Frequent breakdown reduces the power output and torque of the engine. It also increases the weight and the cost of maintaining the diesel engine. Thus, the best diesel engine is one that doesn’t break down frequently.

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Best diesel engines ever made

Some of the best diesel engines manufactured by different manufacturing companies for vehicles are listed here. You can know about them and what they offer. So before buying any vehicle, you can check which powerful diesel engine it has.

The Cummins B-series

best diesel engine
best cummins motor


This best cummins engine brought respectability and functionality to the medium-duty diesel engine in the industry. They had excellent torque ratings and capabilities. These diesel engines are among the best of class diesel engines ever made. Some of the specifications of this best diesel engines are as follows:

  1. Consists of the four-stroke combustion cycle
  2. Had six cylinders
  3. 4.02 x 4.72 in bore x stroke
  4. 359 ci displacement
  5. Electronic high-pressure fuel injection
  6. Constructed with cast-iron block and head
  7. 325 hp maximum horsepower
  8. 610-lb ft maximum torque capability

Mack E7

best diesel engine
mark e7

The collection of these diesel engines is popular for being steady in a workhorse. One amazing feature of this diesel engine is the ratio of the crankshaft to wheel torque. They can be easily built and overhauled. These diesel engines are also among the reliable diesel engines made to date. Some of the specifications of this best diesel engines are as follows:

  1. Consists of the four-stroke combustion cycle
  2. Had six cylinders
  3. 6.50 x 6.70 in v bore x stroke
  4. Unit fuel injection
  5. Turbocharged
  6. 1700-1800 rpm
  7. 454 hp maximum horsepower
  8. 1600lb ft maximum torque capability

International DT-466

This is the most widely used engine in trucks. You would probably pass 47 trucks on a highway running this DT-466 engine. They have a great torque to power ratio. They can be made the backbone of medium-duty fleets in any country. Some of the specifications of this best diesel engines are as follo

best diesel engine
International DT-466


  1. Consists of the four-stroke combustion cycle
  2. Had six cylinders
  3. 4.98 x 4.68 in bore and stroke
  4. 2,600 rpm
  5. 170-350 hp maximum horsepower
  6. 860 lb-ft maximum torque capability

CAT 3406E

best diesel engine
CAT 3406E

It was one of the best electronic engines designed so far. They were used in many of the off-road as well as in on-road applications. For them, an open-source concept was made to let the programmers add more horsepower, torque to the engine. Caterpillar engines can be considered as an unofficial king of the diesel engines. Some of the specifications of this best diesel engine are as follows:

  1. Consists of the four-stroke combustion cycle
  2. Had six cylinders
  3. 6.50 x 6.70 in bore and stroke
  4. Unit fuel injection
  5. Turbocharged
  6. 1800-2100 rpm
  7. 375-465 hp maximum horsepower
  8. 1850lb-ft maximum torque capability

Detroit diesel series 60

best diesel engine
Detroit diesel series 60

Detroit diesel series 60These series of diesel engines are another group of a world-class diesel engine. At one time they held 41% of the market share among all the diesel engines. Because of its ease of use and updates, it was preferred by many consumers. The Detroit Diesel Engine Control Technology (DDEC) system provided many functions including shutdown timers, engine diagnostic functions, fault history, record keeping, progressive shift functions, speed limiting governors, cruise control, etc. some of the following specifications of this best diesel engine are as follows:

  1. Consists of the four-stroke combustion cycle
  2. Had six cylinders
  3. 5.24 x 6.61 in bore and stroke
  4. Unit fuel injection
  5. Turbocharged
  6. 2100 rpm
  7. 515 hp maximum horsepower
  8. 1650 lb-ft maximum torque


Diesel engines have always been a great choice for many vehicles. This is because it provides numerous advantages like better fuel economy, lower taxes, lower maintenance, greater torque, lower fire hazard, etc. keeping in mind these benefits we formulated a list of some of the best diesel engines manufactured. We also provided a list of some of the best diesel motors available online. You can choose from the above-mentioned list according to your requirements and preferences.
We hope that the list and the guide proved handy for you. Happy shopping.

Last update on 2021-09-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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