Welcome to the first in a series of stories relating to famous diesel engines of the past and present. I can’t think of a better one to start with than the Detroit Diesel Series 71. The story begins back in 1938 when GM subsidary Detroit Diesel unvieled thier first product, the two stroke, inline 6 cylinder 6-71. The inline models were offered in a one, two, three, four and six cylinder variants. In 1957 V-block versions were introduced and would eventually included 6,8,12,16,24 configurations. At first glance the naming convention seems cryptic but is rather straight forward when you think about it. For example, the 6-71. The six stands for the number of cylinders, the 71 stands for the cubic displacement of each cylinder. The 12V71 is a 12 cylinder in a V-block setup. To continue the code a T would stand for turbo charged. L or N would stand for low profile, a setup commonly used in buses. The larger of the 71 series in a V-Block configuration were usually two of the smaller setups married together our used the same set of heads allowing parts to be easily swapped. The applications of the 71 series were limitless. 6V-71 were common with bus and coach builders. 8V-71 were popular with firetruck manufactures, it is pretty difficult to find an old fire truck without an Detroit under the hood or cab. But to really appreciated a Detroit you have to hear it, they truly have a sound all their own. So, on to the videos.
6-71 – 190 HP
12V71 – 450 HP
8V-71 – 318 HP
I hope you enjoyed my novice homage to this great and long lived engine. Despite their unfailing ability to constantly leak oil you will still find fans of the 71 all across the globe. Please feel free to correct or and any relevant information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment below. If you have a candidate for the next KYD story let me know!