The chart below shows the most common questions asked by owners of Detroit Diesel® engines 6V53 natural when trying to troubleshoot why their engines underperform. It categorizes areas of possible malfunction, likely cause and recommended action to bring your new, rebuilt or used Detroit Diesel® engine back to proper operation. The chart will give you confidence when speaking with your Detroit Diesel® engine mechanic or ordering parts. As a quick reference guide only, the chart must not be thought of as a substitute for the use of your Detroit Diesel® engine 6V53 natural Owner's operating or service manual. PROBLEM POSSIBLE REASON CHECK We have Detroit 6V53 parts at low prices. Whether you need a small part, or a heavier item, we can get it to you fast. Our website makes ordering easy and quick. At Diesel Pro, we believe in selling high-quality parts that you can rely on, at prices that are affordable. When you buy from us, you can rest assured that you will get a part that is ready to use. That is why we back our products with an industry leading one year warranty on new parts, and 30 day return policy on unused items. Try us today, and you will see we are the best source for parts online.
Detroit Diesel 6V53 Troubleshooting
For your convinience in looking up parts and pricing, please click here. You can also call us at 1-888-433-4735 or 305-545-5588. We also encourage you to do a Google search for Detroit Diesel forum or Detroit Diesel forum 6V53 where you may find information from other people that have had the same question you have about your diesel engine.
Engine will not start
Lack of air intake or restricted air intake
Broken blower shaft
Worn out blower shaft
Defective fuel pump
High exhaust back pressure
Black smoke coming out of engine
Broken or worn cylinder parts
Faulty intercooler or aftercooler (for turbo engines only)
White smoke coming out of engine
Broken piston ring
Incorrectly installed ring set
Fuel quality or grade
Long idle periods
Broken or bent push rod
Injector or governor improperly adjusted
Low engine oil pressure
Water in engine oil pan
Fuel in engine oil pan
Defective oil cooler
Low engine RPM
Improperly working injector
Hi engine RPM
Defective fresh water pump
Defective raw water pump (marine engines only)
Defective thermostat or thermostat seal
Clogged radiator or heat exchanger (marine engine only)
Grey smoke coming out of engine
Long idle periods
Defective intercooler or aftercooler (for turbo engine only)
Restricted air intake
Blower or turbocharger seals leaking
Geartrain makes noises
Low oil level
Engine driven accesories
Damage main or rod bearing
Need More Specific information? We offer Detroit Diesel 6V53 Manual
Detroit Diesel 6V53 Usefull Information
To be sure that this is your engine, locate the model number, located on a plate near the top of the engine. The serial number will be an eight digit number that will start with a 5, signifying it is a 53 series engine. The next two digits signify the number of cylinders. For this engine, a model number will always start with 506, and an example of a full model number would be 5063-5200. To determine if you have a turbo engine, or a natural engine, look at the sixth digit. A turbocharged engine will have a 3. For example, 5063-5300 would be a Turbocharged engine.
If you happen to find the serial number instead, it will have a 6D in the number, such as 6D12345. Though it is rare, some Detroit 6V53 engines were made for the Brazilian market, and these have a serial number that starts with DB, such as DB7186.
General Information and Specs
This engine has a displacement of 5.22 liters and is a 2 cycle, 6 cylinder engine with 4 main bearings. The compression ratio is 17:1 for standard engines or 21:1 for natural engines. This engine is used in tractors, generators, boat engines and much more, and is sometimes called the GM 6V53 or the V6-53 Detroit Diesel.
The cooling system holds 3.5 gallons, or 13.2 liters.
Depending on the use, the temperature of the coolant should be within these ranges :
• Industrial use, between 170-187 degrees F at 2500 RPM.
• For Vehicle use, between 180-197 degrees F at 2600 RPM.
• For marine use (except with N70 Injectors): Between 160-185 degrees F at 2800 RPM.
• Marine use with N-70 injector will be slightly higher: 170-185 degrees F at 2800 RPM. For
The following gives the lubricating oil pressure and temperature for safe operation:
• Marine Use at 2800 RPM: The normal pressure is 40-60 PSI, with a minimum of 32 PSI needed. The temperature should be between 205 and 235 degrees F.
• Industrial Use at 2500 RPM: The normal pressure is 40-60 PSI, with a minimum of 36 PSI needed, and a temperature between 200 to 235 degrees F.
• Vehicle use at 2600 RPM: Normal pressure is 40-60 PSI with a minimum of 36 PSI. The temperature should be the same as the industrial engine, between 200 to 235 degrees F.
For a system voltage of 12V, use a battery with a minimum of a 1250 battery ranking (based on cold cranking amps, or CCA.) For a system voltage of 24V or 32V, use a battery with a minimum CCA of 625. Use these values to ensure your engine will properly crank when starting.
Detroit 6V53 Torque and Horsepower
The torque and horsepower specs are based on a 500ft elevation with an air temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
• With N40 injectors, the torque is between 394 lb ft at 1400 RPM to 322 lb ft at 2800 RPM. Horsepower is between 112 BHP at 1500 RPM and has a maximum of 172 BHP at 2800 RPM.
• For marine engines, with N50 injectors, the power-propeller load shaft horsepower is between 30 SHP at 1500 RPM and 197 SHP at 2800 RPM. Fuel consumption for marine engines ranges between 2.5 gallons per hour at 1500 RPM and 12 gallons per hour at 2800 RPM.
Starting a 6V53 Detroit Diesel That Had Been in Storage
The Detroit 6V53 will last for many years. Many of our customers have mentioned that they will store their engine from time to time, such as a generator that had been unused during the summer. Here we have a general checklist for starting an engine that had been unused for an extended period of time.
Step One: Remove anything that is covering the air intake, fuel tank, exhaust outlet. Make sure that all intake is unobstructed.
Step Two: Make sure the pulleys are functional and able to move.
Step Three: Drain any preservative oil from the engine and replace the drain plug. Fill with a proper grade of lubricating oil. Fill the fuel tank with proper grade Diesel fuel.
Step Four: With all of the drain cocks closed, fill unit with soft water or soft water with anti-freeze, depending on whether you live in a colder area.
Step Five: Install the battery
Step Six: Blow out any dust or debris from the air intake, and make sure that it is not wet, to prevent water from mixing with the fuel.
Step Seven: Set the air shut-off valveto the open or reset position. Place circuit breaker to off position. Press the throttle button and turn the throttle control counterclockwise to a position between run and stop.
Step Eight: Press starting switch. Make sure to wait and allow the engine to cool if it did not start within 30 seconds. Do not press the starter switch again while the starter motor is rotating.
How to Perform a Tune Up
Keep your Detroit 6V53 running like new, by giving it a regular tune-up. Follow the general guideline below. With any procedure, be sure to carefully mark where items are removed from, and this should only be done by a person who has had experience working with Diesel engines.
Step One: While the engine is cold, place the governor speed control lever in the idle position, and secure the stop lever in the stop position, if your engine has one.
Step Two: Clean any dirt or debris from the rocker cover and remove it. Then rotate the crankshaft until the injector follower is completely depressed on the cylinder you are inspecting.
Step Three: Loosen the exhaust valve rocker arm. Place a 0.026 feeler gauge between the end of one valve stem and the rocker arm bridge.
Step Four: Adjust the push rod to get a smooth pull with the feeler gauge.
Step Five: After taking the feeler gauge out, hold the push rod with a 5/16 th inch wrench. Tighten the lock nut with a half inch wrench.
Step Six: Recheck the clearance and adjust if needed.
Step Seven: Start the engine and allow it to get to normal operating temperature, which is between 160 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If the clearance is correct, the 0.24 inch gage should pass between the end of one valve stem and the rocker arm bridge.
We are proud to have provided high quality replacement parts for the 6V53 Detroit Diesel, especially for those who work on or around boats. This is our specialty and continue to strive to serve these customers. Most of our parts would work in a variety of applications, whether on land, or on a boat. However, we do have several products and sections that are specially made for marine applications. So if you are looking for Marine Parts, you have come to the right place. Please select from below to jump to a specific section.
Rebuilt Detroit Marine Pump
New Detroit Marine Pump
Marine Toilets, Alarms, Sirens, and more.
If you need to visit us for other parts, be sure to check out our other best-selling parts categories:
The chart below shows the most common questions asked by owners of Detroit Diesel® engines 6V53 natural when trying to troubleshoot why their engines underperform. It categorizes areas of possible malfunction, likely cause and recommended action to bring your new, rebuilt or used Detroit Diesel® engine back to proper operation. The chart will give you confidence when speaking with your Detroit Diesel® engine mechanic or ordering parts. As a quick reference guide only, the chart must not be thought of as a substitute for the use of your Detroit Diesel® engine 6V53 natural Owner's operating or service manual.
We have Detroit 6V53 parts at low prices. Whether you need a small part, or a heavier item, we can get it to you fast. Our website makes ordering easy and quick. At Diesel Pro, we believe in selling high-quality parts that you can rely on, at prices that are affordable. When you buy from us, you can rest assured that you will get a part that is ready to use. That is why we back our products with an industry leading one year warranty on new parts, and 30 day return policy on unused items. Try us today, and you will see we are the best source for parts online.