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The Parting Shift: Ripping Twin Sticks With a Screaming 4-53T Detroit Diesel Up Front!


The Parting Shift: Ripping Twin Sticks With a Screaming 4-53T Detroit Diesel Up Front!

Detroit Diesel engines of the two stroke variety powered lots of stuff in North America for decades. From big trucks to industrial applications, the 53/71/92/149  series motors were beasts of burden that moved heavy loads, spun generators, grunted bulldozers along, and provided lots of umph for a nation on a building and expansion boom. We tend to focus on the big six, eight, twelve, and sixteen cylinder versions of these engines, but there were actually two, tree and four cylinder Detroits, too.

While the larger engines have a cool bark and that totally unique two stroke sounds, it  is these small motors that put the “scream” in the well known term, “a screaming Detroit”. This video really proves it!

What you’ll see is an overhead view of a guy driving an old 1948 Diamond T truck with a 4-53T Detroit in it. This “little” engine has been swapped into pickup trucks and stuff of that order, but don’t be deceived. Despite the fact that it only has four lungs, the engine still tips the scales at 1300lbs! Stock, they make about 175hp at 2500 RPM. Torque was on the order of about 300 ftlbs at 1800 RPM. Why would someone put that in a pickup truck? We have no freaking clue. We dig the heck out of them in old trucks like this Diamond T but we wouldn’t want to be rowing one around for our daily driver!

If your ears are sensitive, turn the speakers down. If you love the sound of a pissed off little motor, crank them up to 11!


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5 thoughts on “The Parting Shift: Ripping Twin Sticks With a Screaming 4-53T Detroit Diesel Up Front!

  1. Bluecuda340

    You would have to have a good memory just to remember what gear you were in and where to go next.

  2. doug smith

    Years ago I had a 79 GMC single axle dump truck that would haul 7 yards that had a 4-53 in it .backed up with a 5 trans and a 2 speed rear. That thing would haul ass as long as you kept it near the top RPM range. We had a Seagrave Ladder truck on the Fire Dept. that had a 6 -73 in it with a 6 speed Allison trans. with no muffler..Through the first 3 gears it would set you back in the seat… The guys would fight over driving it….

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