Detroit Diesel Quad

a detroit engine at the Oshawa Water Plant

Pictured here in 2012 is a Detroit Diesel Quad (four 6-71 engines) back-up power unit at the Oshawa Water Plant.

This Lake Ontario fresh water intake pumping station had several power units from the 1960s serving as back-up in case of a hydro outage. Upgrades to the station included a large single generator making a majority of the existing units redundant.

HCEA Canada was fortunate to be able to add several of the units, including this Quad 6-71, to our old equipment roster. A coordinated effort by the on-site contractor, Durham Region employees and HCEA Canada volunteers, saw the units relocated to the Simcoe County Museum where our combined fleet calls home.

As early as 1939, General Motors had developed the 71 Series of 2-stroke diesel engines to assist in the Second World War effort. Many military landing craft and tugboats were fitted with quads. 

The 6-71 engine also powered highway trucks, buses and construction equipment, with many still in action.

The four 6-71 engines pictured here, rated at a total of 522 kW (700 hp), were connected to a single gear box that powered a 3.5 metre diameter DeLaval centrifugal lake water intake pump. Ear protection required!

The Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA Canada) 2024 events include Wheels & Tracks on June 8-9 and the Last Blast event on October 19. Both events are held at the Simcoe County Museum, near Barrie.

To see more than 60 pieces of vintage construction equipment in action be sure to attend. HCEA Canada is a proud Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum. Please check our website: for updates.