Cummins Shares ‘Closer Look’ at New EPA 2021 Engine

An image of the Cummins 2021 EPA L9 engine

Cummins shared details about the new features of its EPA 2021 L9 engine this past week in the latest edition of its “First Responder” newsletter.

The company rolled out a full lineup of EPA 2021 engines recently, and began its series highlighting individual features with a spotlight on the L9, its most popular engine in emergency vehicles.

“(The 2021 L9) incorporates a number of changes designed to improve reliability even further, as well as increasing performance and reducing downtime for maintenance while meeting upcoming emission requirement,” the company announced.

Read below for more information on the 2021 line, provided by Cummins:

Reliability. The EPA 2021 L9 features a new head gasket material capable of handling the most aggressive duty cycles and extreme temperatures while enhancing sealing capabilities. The actuator on the turbocharger has been made even more robust. We recognize that fire and emergency vehicles often encounter hot shutdowns – which can be a challenge for electronic components – so we modified coolant venting and coolant system operations to eliminate potential issues. An improved EGR valve design helps ensure smooth, consistent and fault-free performance. On the bottom end, the oil pan rail and gasket have been re-engineered to maintain total integrity of the lubrication system.

Performance. The L9 continues to lead the industry with the highest power-to-weight ratio in its category. Ratings of up to 450 hp are available with a peak torque of 1250 lb-ft – in an engine of less than 1,700 pounds in dry weight. The EPA 2021 L9 features a lower peak torque speed, which provides broader torque availability, improving drivability with reduced downshifting. Parasitic losses in the engine system have been reduced through optimized piston ring tensions and coatings, modifications to the camshaft valve timing that reduce pumping work in the air handling system and reduced and optimized water pump speeds to provide the required system cooling and optimized flow. So more energy from every drop of fuel flows directly to the powertrain. Each of these changes were approached with a focus on reliability as the top priority and zero willingness to trade off reliability for performance or efficiency.

Fuel Economy. The updated and improved L9 will be certified to meet EPA 2021 Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 requirements without new technologies or any sacrifice in reliability and durability. The reduction in greenhouse gases is achieved primarily through increased fuel efficiency, which has a side benefit of reduced operating costs. In addition to the minimization of parasitic losses, the EPA 2021 L9 features a next-generation electronic control module (ECM) capable of running the thousands of calculations required per second to meet emissions as well as the required on-board diagnostics. While the ECM is new, we’re keeping the interface to the OEMs common with EPA 2017 products for easier transition on the production line.

Maintenance. No one likes to have downtime on any kind of equipment, but it’s especially critical for fire and emergency vehicles. So for 2021, Cummins engineers totally redesigned the crankcase ventilation system on the L9 to remove the replaceable filtration element. It is now maintenance-free for the life of the product. We have increased the oil drain interval and oil and fuel filter life to reduce downtime and maintenance costs. We validated these increased intervals with a high level of engineering scrutiny and field test miles to ensure robustness and to never jeopardize reliability.

Click here to read more from the newest Cummins newsletter.

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