HomeBuying A New Vehicle?Cummins vs Powerstroke: The Battle For Diesel Supremacy

Cummins vs Powerstroke: The Battle For Diesel Supremacy

Brand loyalty has remained part and parcel of the automotive industry since the first vehicle rolled off the production line. It’s typical to see gearheads get into debates detailing why their vehicle is better than others. The Cummins vs Powerstroke argument has been going on for years and they aren’t going away anytime soon — they’ve become a way of LIFE!

In the diesel-powered pick-up arena, it’s no news that individuals tend to gravitate towards automotive brands like Ford and Dodge. But if you’d like to figure out  which vehicle fits your needs, getting a grasp of what’s under the hood is non-negotiable.

Let’s pit the Ford 6.7L Powerstroke and Dodge 6.7L Cummins against each other and examine their crucial inner workings. By the time you finish reading you’ll be able to choose the truck that best suits your needs and wins the old battle, Cummins vs Powerstroke.  

Let’s get going!

Cummins vs Powerstroke History

The 6.7L Powerstroke and 6.7L Cummins have earned a reputation for being two of the best diesel engines ever produced. To understand their journey to worldwide popularity, getting context on their history is important.

      Ford 6.7L Powerstroke

A 6.7L Ford Powerstroke engine removed from the truck

The Powerstroke became the go-to engine fitted on most Ford trucks in 1994. Navistar International originally produced this engine. However, Ford Motor Company assumed the production role in 2011, manufacturing the Powerstroke diesel engine in-house. Although most Powerstrokes have been V8s, some 6-cylinder variations have been modelled to suit small pick-up trucks like the Ford Ranger.

Ford began developing the 6.7L Powerstroke in 2008. In 2011, the automaker released its first vehicle debuting this engine — the Ford Super Duty (F-250 to F-550). It’s vital to note that this engine replaced the 6.4L engine created by Navistar International in 2007.

      Dodge 6.7L Cummins

Cummins engine that is out of the truck

Cummins has been on the manufacturing scene since 1919. During this timeline, the company was actively curating engine solutions for industrial plants. In 1984, the entity started developing B-series engines for school buses and small trucks. The B-series engine had four and six-cylinder variations and became the preferred engine format for Dodge trucks in 1989.

Cummins released its 6.7L engine in 2007, replacing the 5.9L ISB Cummins engine. Although the 5.9L ISB was a force to reckon with, the 6.7L iteration was a game changer as it featured a bigger engine displacement than its predecessor. Currently, the 6.7L Cummins ranks as one of the largest V8 engines manufactured for small-sized pick-up trucks.

All Cummins engines have a turbocharger and gear-driven camshafts to aid reliability and increase power. Since they were the sole engine provider for Dodge pick-ups, they gained a cult following among car enthusiasts within a short timeline.

All Cummins engines are turbocharged. However, the 6.7L turbo incorporates variable geometry technology. This technology is all shades of revolutionary, allowing for turbo lag reduction and seamless exhaust brake system operations.

Major Specifications


While the 6.7L Powerstroke is a V-8 engine with  4 valve design and an in block camshaft, the 6.7L Cummins engine features a similar design but still features its iconic inline 6 engine configuration. 

      Bore and Stroke

On the 6.7L Powerstroke engine, the bore and stroke is 99.1 mm × 108.0 mm (3.90″ × 4.25″). The bore and stroke value on the 6.7L Cummins is 107 mm × 124 mm (4.21″ × 4.88″).

      Head/Block Material

To improve engine reliability, Ford utilized a Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) block on the 6.7L Powerstroke engine. This material is deemed stronger than the gray cast iron material featured on the 6.7L Cummins.


The Powerstroke engine integrates a Garrett GT37 single variable geometry turbocharger (VGT), a single turbine, and one dual compressor. Conversely, you’ll find a Holset variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) alongside an intercooler (air-to-air) on the Cummins engine.

      Firing Order

The firing order on the 6.7L Powerstroke diesel engine is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. However, the sequence on the 6.7L Cummins is 1-5-3-6-2-4.

      Oil Capacity

The 6.7L Powerstroke engine requires 15 quarts (approximately 14.2 liters) of engine oil. On the flip side, the 6.7L Cummins engine needs at least 12 quarts (almost 11.4 liters) of engine oil.


While the Powerstroke integrates a 10R140 (heavy duty, 10-speed automatic transmission), the Cummins has an Aisin AS69R6 6-speed automatic transmission.

      Fuel Economy

In terms of fuel economy, the 6.7L Powerstroke from Ford delivers 30 MPG on highways and 22 MPG within the city. On the other hand, you’ll get 32 MPG on highways and 22 MPG in the city with the 6.7L Cummins.

NOTE: The fuel economy values placed on the Powerstroke and Cummins diesel engines aren’t definite. These numbers will fluctuate (upwards or downwards) depending on the vehicle’s size and drivetrain.


Performance is a major factor gearheads consider when purchasing a truck. Although the Powerstroke vs Cummins engines have similar 6.7L displacement, they’re slightly different when it comes to overall performance. 

The Powerstroke (2020 model) fielding a turbocharged V8 diesel engine and 10-speed automatic transmission delivers a fascinating 1,050 pound-feet of torque (at 1,800 RPM) and 475 horsepower (at 2,800 RPM).

That said, the values associated with the Cummins engine are slightly lower. For context, the in-line Cummins engine (High-Output) delivers 850 pound-feet of torque and 370 horses. However, purchasing a truck with the Aisin transmission will give you an extra 150 lb-ft and 30 horsepower. This translates to a total of 1000 lb-ft and 400 horsepower churned out by the Cummins engine.

Although the Powerstroke and Cummins diesel engines are close regarding performance, Ford’s Powerstroke comes out on top with an extra 50 lb-ft and 75 horses.

Towing and Payload

Regarding the towing and payload capacity of both engines, the difference is minimal.

According to the revered automaker — Ford — their Super Duty trucks featuring the 6.7L Powerstroke can tow up to 24,200 pounds. But it gets better. If you add a gooseneck rig to your truck, it’ll be able to tow a maximum of 37,000 pounds (and 32,000 pounds if you add a fifth wheel).

The Cummins engine has a default towing capacity of 19,680 pounds. That said, adding a fifth wheel or gooseneck rig increases this value to 35,100 pounds.

white Ram pickup towing a skidsteer on a trailer

Payload-wise, the Powerstroke engine has a payload value of 7,850 pounds while the Cummins comes in at 7,680 pounds.

Regarding towing and payload, the Powerstroke engine equipped Ford wins the contest. However, the Cummins diesel engine has bragging rights as it isn’t too far OFF!


After examining the Cummins vs Powerstroke engine in-depth, there’s a chance that you’d like to know how much a new engine will cost you. For the Powerstroke diesel engine, you might spend anywhere from $5,750 to $16,000 to add this option when buying a new Ford truck. However, if you’d like to purchase the Cummins diesel engine for your Dodge truck, you’d spend amounts hovering from $5,400 to $13,800 for the option.

Ford 6.7L Powerstroke and Dodge 6.7L Cummins Engine: Common Problems to Note

Although the Powerstroke and Cummins diesel engines are sturdy and pack a punch when it comes to performance, you might encounter some problems during usage. Let’s take a peek at some common problems you’ll face when using the Powerstroke or Cummins engine.

Ford 6.7L Powerstroke

a close up of the 6.7L powerstroke decal

#1 EGT Sensor Failure

The Powerstroke has four EGT sensors to detect the engine’s exhaust gas temperature while running. However, there’s a chance that these sensors might stop working suddenly, resulting in poor fuel efficiency.

Although your truck might have a warranty, there is a chance it doesn’t cover these four sensors. Thankfully, the EGT sensors accompanying the 6.7L Powerstroke are relatively inexpensive with prices starting from $30.

But how can you tell when your truck engine’s EGT sensor fails? By looking for these symptoms:

●        Check Engine light comes on

●        Failed emission tests

●        Flashing “DTC” codes

#2 Radiator Coolant Leaks

Another common problem on the 6.7L Powerstroke engine is coolant leaks from the radiator. Although this engine format has two radiators, the primary radiator  is prone to these coolant leaks. Signs of these engine leaks can cause issues like overheating. 

Since Powerstroke engines have two radiators, replacing the leaking radiator (the primary) might be complicated. As such, you’d need to spend more. So, while this radiator costs around $400, the repair costs could exceed the $1500 MARK with labor!

Dodge 6.7L Cummins

Close up of the Cummins logo

#1 EGR Valve Issues

The EGR valve is responsible for recirculating exhaust gas back to the engine. Although the variation attached to the Cummins engine functions as intended when new, extensive usage can see it develop issues.

If you’ve got a defective EGR valve, it’ll be best for you to replace the engine component in its entirety. However, replacements can be expensive, reaching up to $1,500.

To save costs, you can remove the EGR valve on your Cummins engine. However, it’ll make your engine less efficient. Depending on your jurisdiction, EGR valve removal is a punishable offense. So, take NOTE!

NOTE: You can improve your engine’s EGR valve longevity by cleaning it regularly.

#2 Blown Head Gasket

Many individuals driving trucks with the 6.7L Cummins engine have complained about blown head gaskets time and time again. This scenario typically occurs due to overheating.

When the head gasket is blown, coolant can get into the engine. It gets worse if it mixes with oil. If this issue isn’t addressed immediately, the engine could experience significant damage.

Once you discover the head gasket tied to your Cummins engine has blown up, you will need to replace it ASAP. A gasket usually costs between $100 to $300, depending on its quality. However, you could spend as much as $1,000 if you seek the labor of an auto expert.

So who wins in a fight of Powerstroke vs Cummins

Overall, the Powerstroke vs Cummins diesel engines are challenging to separate. Although the Powerstroke edges the Cummins when it comes to raw performance, the differences between both engines are minimal.

The Cummins engine with its legendary reliability has most people choosing this engine over the Powerstroke. Ford however is always up to a challenge and the 6.7L Powerstroke shows that Ford wants to provide a reliable diesel option for its owners as well. 

Although we’ve delivered pointers in this guide as to what diesel engine is best, the decision still rests on your preferences. Thanks for reading!

John Morris
John Morrishttps://autoknowit.com
John Morris is the technical editor for AutoKnowIt.com. His years of experience in automotive repair as well as an automotive professor have prepared him to ensure that even the most technical information is accurate and concise at all times.

Latest Articles