In 1982, GM needed a new line of diesel trucks, very quickly. The Detroit Diesel was the company's solution; designed to fit roughly the same dimensions as the V-8 engines in use at the time, the Detroit's drop-in swap potential directly set the stage for the GM-and-Isuzu-developed Duramax that followed in 2001.
The Duramax LB7
In production from 2001 to 2004, the Duramax LB7 was the genesis of its breed. With its forged and fracture-split connecting rods and sophisticated common-rail injection system, the 6.6-liter LB7 was certainly a step forward in GM diesel design. Its lack of emissions equipment, excellent fuel economy, relative simplicity and power potential have made the Duramax LB7 a very popular swap candidate in the hot-rod truck market. In 2001, the LB7 used its 20 psi of turbo boost and 23,000 psi of fuel pressure to produce 235 horsepower at 2,700 rpm and 500 foot-pounds of torque at 1,600 rpm. By 2002, output was up to 300 horsepower at 3,100 rpm and 520 foot-pounds of torque at 1,800 rpm. The LB7 kept these power ratings in 2003 and 2004, until it was replaced by the 305-horse LLY engine.