How to Increase Horsepower on a Detroit Diesel Series 60

Written by colette mccormick
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How to Increase Horsepower on a Detroit Diesel Series 60
Even the best engines can be improved upon. (chrome engine image by Thomas Czeizinger from

Introduced in 1987, the Detroit Diesel Series 60 does well in fuel-economy tests and is considered as one of the most cost-effective vehicles of its kind. It rates consistently at the top of its category. The six-cylinder engine already produces 425 horsepower but a few simple modifications can increase that even further.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Upgrade to the latest version of the Detroit Diesel Electronic Control System. The DDEC (IV) not only allows owners to run diagnostics on the engine, it also permits the changing of the horsepower settings. Go to your local dealer to have them download the current software to your engine's computer.

  2. 2

    Replace the factory air filter with a performance version to allow more air to flow through the engine. Change the air filter anyway every few thousand miles as a filter that is clogged will decrease your horsepower. You will know it needs changing when it loses the white colour it starts with and becomes dull.

  3. 3

    Install a high flow muffler to allow air to flow out of the engine freely. A ported exhaust manifold can increase the horsepower that your engine achieves by up to 35 per cent.

  4. 4

    Invest in performance fluids for your engine. Replace the standard coolant and engine oil with ones designed to increase the efficiency of your engine.

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