Ryan Milliken’s 6.8L Cummins-Powered ’69 Nova

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If you are an avid drag racing supporter, or more particularly a diesel drag racing enthusiast, you have likely heard the identify Ryan Milliken thrown all over before. For the last decade, the Florida native has pioneered the diesel drag racing landscape and campaigned a several amazingly rapidly devices that have designed their way all-around the racing information retailers. All the whilst, he operates his owns business enterprise, Hardway Effectiveness, and operates a observe, Emerald Coastline Dragway.

Hardway Effectiveness is a specialty diesel overall performance store that handles just about everything from inventory to 3,000 horsepower builds. That is basically how each diesel shop champions their business, but for Milliken and Hardway General performance, the evidence is in the pudding. Look no farther than his two most modern diesel drag auto builds that took the racing scene by storm.

A number of a long time back, Milliken procured Mickey Tessneer’s (Mickey’s Chassis Operates) “Green Reaper,” a ’66 Chevy Nova with a significant block Chevy motor beneath hood. With visions of radial-tire racing in the around upcoming, he commenced the organizing system for a diesel motor swap. That sooner or later led him to Independence Racing Engines, the diesel motor shop that would put alongside one another a beefy 6.8L Cummins engine to Milliken’s specifications.

Milliken campaigned the environmentally friendly Nova in the X275 Drag Radial racing collection for a handful of yrs, and then resolved a modify required to be created. The crew sold the ’66 Nova and swapped in a a little newer motor vehicle, a ’69 Nova – this time in gentle blue. With the mantra of “don’t take care of what isn’t broke,” Milliken and the crew yet again approached Independence Racing Engines for the new motor establish.

“Ever given that I started off messing around in the diesel landscape, Flexibility Racing Engines and Fleece Efficiency have been my go-to,” Milliken says. “I’ve been racing this car or truck for about two years now and it is been dealing with us incredibly effectively.”

“Very well” may possibly be a slight understatement, as only a 7 days just before we talked to Milliken at PRI in December 2022, the Nova established the X275 All-Time MPH File at 183 mph at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The move attained them a own very best ET of 4.16-seconds in the eighth mile.

Powering the Nova is yet another 6.8L Cummins motor from Freedom Racing Engines, this time with some more recent bells and whistles to insert power.

“We went by way of a several distinct builds as this vehicle has evolved to get it to exactly where it is now,” suggests John Benshoof of Independence Racing Engines. “We had to account for a ton of distinctive things that Ryan’s performing, and initially issue is the weight. Weight is speed, so in the end, we ended back again up with the billet LSM 6.7L Cummins foundation block with a 4.250″ bore. We have a customized piston we get via Diamond, and it has our proprietary ring stack that we have made, that is a enormous portion of the cause Ryan can beat on it and its even now alive currently.”

The team observed that with the turbo technology, tuning, and injectors accessible these days, they could not only increase electric power, but there was a sort of paradigm shift exactly where the new intention was to develop the strongest and lightest engine feasible to support that horsepower.

A single of the most unbelievable aspects of the establish is that the Nova is rocking a manufacturing unit 6.7L crankshaft. On Milliken’s particular finest ET operate, he was likely by the traps at an astounding 6,300 rpm. The automobile weighs 3,290 lbs., and with horsepower calculations, it is making all around 3,100 horsepower at the flywheel.

Benshoof outlined that Milliken’s partnership with Independence Racing Engines is much more or much less a exam and tune marriage with his Nova. “We’ve received Wagler connecting rods in it and a Wagler head, a Peterson dry sump oil pump, and our personal custom billet dry sump pan that we intended,” he says. “A lot of this correct listed here is driving us toward our upcoming solution, which is our billet aluminum Fleece Functionality motor block.”

“A big element of what has authorized me to get it to this level is S&S Diesel Motorsport and the MoTeC Eu,” Milliken explained to us. “This MoTeC has set the car on an solely new level as significantly as high-quality management, together with the extremely pleasant gas procedure components from S&S.”

The Nova also features a large, solitary Harts turbo that compresses air into the cylinder. It all helps make for a really special automobile with an unconventional motor less than its hood, and we love it.

Diesel of the 7 days is sponsored by AMSOIL. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, remember to email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]