Detroit Diesel DD Series

Detroit Diesel Corporation is an American manufacturer of diesel engines, which was founded in 1938. The company was originally a division of General Motors (GM), but it is now a subsidiary of Daimler AG. Among the most impactful engines manufactured by Detroit Diesel, the DD Series engines are at the top.


Detroit Diesel has a long and storied history in the diesel engine industry. It was founded in 1938 by General Motors as the Detroit Diesel Engine Division. The initial goal was production of smaller, more fuel-efficient diesel engines for use in GM trucks. The company’s first engine, the Series 71, was introduced in 1939. It quickly became popular for its reliability and fuel efficiency.

During World War II, Detroit Diesel played a key role in the war effort by producing engines for military vehicles and ships. After the war, the company continued to grow and expand its product line, introducing new engines for a variety of applications, including trucks, buses, and boats.

Detroit Diesel: Into A New Era

In the 1980s and 1990s, Detroit Diesel faced increased competition from other engine manufacturers, and the company underwent a series of restructuring efforts. In 1988, it was spun off from GM and became a standalone company. Daimler AG ultimately acquired Detroit Diesel in 2000, and it is now a subsidiary of the German automaker.

Despite the challenges it has faced over the years, Detroit Diesel remains a respected and influential player in the diesel engine industry, known for its high-quality products and innovative technologies.

Diesel Engine Heavy Duty Trucks

The DD Series is a line of heavy-duty diesel engines that was developed by Detroit Diesel Corporation. Overall, the DD Series engines are known for their high performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability, and they are used in a variety of commercial vehicle applications around the world.

Heavy Duty Trucks Using Detroit Diesel DD Series Engines

The Detroit Diesel DD Series of engines is commonly used in heavy-duty trucks, including long-haul trucks, regional haul trucks, and vocational trucks. Here are a few examples of truck models that use DD Series engines:

  • Freightliner Cascadia: The Freightliner Cascadia is a long-haul truck that is available with a DD15 or DD16 engine. The Cascadia is known for its fuel efficiency, reliability, and comfort, and it is a popular choice for over-the-road trucking.
  • Western Star 5700XE: The Western Star 5700XE is a vocational truck that is available with a DD15 or DD16 engine. The 5700XE is known for its durability, versatility, and fuel efficiency, and it is a popular choice for construction, oil and gas, and other heavy-duty applications.
  • International LT Series: The International LT Series is a line of long-haul trucks that is available with a DD15 or DD16 engine. The LT Series is known for its advanced technology, fuel efficiency, and driver comfort, and it is a popular choice for both solo and team drivers.

Development of the DD15 Engine

The Detroit Diesel DD15 is a heavy-duty diesel engine that was designed for use in commercial trucks, buses, and other vehicles. It is a part of the DD series Platform of Detroit Diesel engines, which also includes the DD13 and DD16 engines.

Specifications of the DD15:

  • Engine displacement: 14.8 liters (906 cubic inches)
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Horsepower range: 475-605 horsepower
  • Torque range: 1,650-1,850 lb-ft
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Emissions control: Selective catalytic reduction (SCR)

The DD15 engine is known for its high performance and fuel efficiency. Advanced technologies such as a high-pressure common rail fuel system, a variable geometry turbocharger, and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system are integrated into the DD15. These technologies help the engine achieve low emissions and high fuel economy, while still delivering strong power and torque.

The DD15 engine parts diagram is used to keep the vehicle in working condition. This is important since the engines operate in a variety of heavy-duty vehicles, including long-haul trucks, regional haul trucks, and vocational trucks. It is suitable for a wide range of applications, including towing, hauling, and transportation of goods.

Production and Application

The Detroit Diesel DD15 engine was first introduced in 2007. It was the first engine in the DD Platform of engines, which also includes the DD13 and DD16 engines.

DD Series Engine Parts Catalog
Detroit Diesel Parts Catalog

Since its introduction, the DD15 engine has become a popular choice for a wide range of heavy-duty vehicles, including long-haul trucks, regional haul trucks, and vocational trucks. For example, the DD15 is commonly used in several Freightliner models. It is known for its reliability, durability, and performance.

Comparison to DD16

The Detroit Diesel DD16 is a heavy-duty diesel engine that is part of the DD Platform of engines. The main difference between DD16 and DD15 engines that the DD16 is significantly larger. Accordingly, the DD16 is considerably more powerful than the DD15 engine. A displacement of 16.1 liters (hence the DD16 label) and a horsepower range of 600-700 horsepower accompany the model. It is designed for use in long-haul trucks, regional haul trucks, and vocational trucks.

DD16 Specifications

Here are some key differences between the DD15 and DD16 engines:

  • Size: The DD16 engine is larger and has a greater displacement than the DD15 engine.
  • Power: The DD16 engine has a higher horsepower range than the DD15 engine.
  • Torque: The DD16 engine has a higher torque range than the DD15 engine.
  • Emissions control: Both the DD15 and DD16 engines use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to control emissions, but the DD16 engine also uses exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to further reduce emissions.

Overall, the DD16 engine is the most powerful and capable of handling heavy loads and long distances of the Detroit Diesel DD Series. Simultaneously, it is still fuel efficient and meeting strict emissions standards.

Detroit Diesel DD Series Engine Mechanics

A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses diesel fuel to generate power. However, the process of combustion is different in a diesel engine than that of a gasoline engine.

Here is a simplified explanation of how a combustion engine works:

  • The engine has cylinders, with a piston inside each cylinder.
  • The diesel fuel is injected into the cylinder through an injector.
  • The piston compresses the air in the cylinder, causing the temperature to rise.
  • When the temperature is high enough, the diesel fuel injected into the cylinder ignites, causing a small explosion.
  • The explosion pushes the piston downward, causing the crankshaft to rotate.
  • The rotation of the crankshaft is converted into usable mechanical energy by the engine’s transmission system, which can be used to power things like a car’s wheels or a generator.

However diesel engines have some specific differences in their operation. It is critical to be aware of these differences and always fuel accordingly.

For example, in a gasoline engine, fuel is mixed with air and then drawn into the engine through the intake valve. In a diesel engine, fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber after the air has been compressed. Similarly, the ignition in a diesel engine is caused by the aforementioned air compression. This differs significantly from the gas engine, where the an air-fuel mixture is ignited by a spark plug.

There are many different types of diesel engines, and they can be used in a wide range of applications, such as powering vehicles, boats, and generators. However, it is crucial to be aware of the specific ways in which a diesel engine must be maintained.