1970 Chevelle with a Twin Turbo Duramax Diesel

1970 Chevelle with a Twin Turbo Duramax Diesel

This 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle was spotted at SEMA 2009 with a 6.6L Duramax twin turbo diesel swapped in. Mike Racke has owned several different Chevelles and wanted to try something different on his next project but didn’t know what. Then the idea to use a modified Duramax was created when he took a ride in his friend’s Hummer H1. The Hummer was pulling as hard as his 10 second Chevelle.

1970 Chevelle with a Twin Turbo Duramax Diesel

Currently the engine combo is putting out 950 horsepower and 1,700 torque and still is able to get 32 mpg. After a nitrous upgrade the combo could reach 1,200 horsepower and 1,900 torque. The turbos are cranking out 30 psi of boost. Other then the turbo upgrades, the rods being upgraded to Carrillo steel rods, CNC-ported heads, and a larger solid-roller cam, the engine is mostly stock. Mike says “I’ve built tons of small- and big-block Chevys in my day, but I’ve never seen anything like this Duramax. The thing is built like a tank. It’s a deep-skirt block with huge cross-bolted main caps and reinforcement webbing everywhere. There are six studs surrounding each cylinder, cast aluminum covers on the front and back of the block, huge lifter bores, and a gear-driven water pump and timing set I’m not sure what the limit is, but there are people putting 1,500 hp through these blocks.”

1970 Chevelle with a Twin Turbo Duramax Diesel

Although Mike had help, he did a tremendous amount of work himself on this project. The wiring and plumbing alone took Mike six months to complete. Mike estimates when he gets the Chevelle to the drag strip it should reach the 9s easily.

If anyone else is thinking about running a Duramax engine, Pacific Performance Engineering claims you can reach 800 hp/1,600 torque with an upgraded turbo, basic fueling upgrades and a four inch downpipe on a stock duramax engine. Popular Hot Rodding mentioned that the going rate for a Duramax with ECU, wiring harness, and allison trans is about $7K. Or if you want you could have someone build you this project for around $250,000.

Source: MyRideisMe and Hot Rod


  1. alberto y

    nice deesel, hide it fast, at 32 mpg and a full size car “”””OOOOObama” will fibd a way to make this a global warming issue

  2. Chris Henniker

    It sounds too good to be true, but if it is, the sheer perversity of such an enterprise is something to be respected. Nay, admired! Nine Hundred BHP and 1700 Pound-foot of Torque is nothing to sniffed at in a 6.6 litre mill, especially if its a diesel. Can you imagine this in an AEC Routmaster?

  3. ADAM

    I know mike personaly , hes a crazy fool but when he gets an idea no matter how crazy , he always seems to follow through. what ever he claims in the article is 100% true……. badass chevelle 😉

  4. overruled

    I don’t know why the topic goes to cost and mileage…. It is ART!!! Most never see the return on dollar for the hobby/sport and that is good by me. If everything built had to have a return on dollar we would still be in the dark ages… MY TWO CENTS Great project!!!! Got to build one myself!!!

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