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Author Topic: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block  (Read 17037 times)

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Offline Banjo picker

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Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« on: May 09, 2009, 08:59:11 PM »
This problem has been mentioned before briefly...But if you have a diesel engine made in those years (possibly 02 as well) look out if you use it to pull heavy loads.   The engine in question has a one inch casting number 53 on the left front just above the oil pan.  There were about 100,000  of those blocks made in Brazil ,  they have a weak water jacket on the right side just under the freeze plugs.  When you use this engine to pull heavy loads that water jacket will crack , and grow.

Some have said this is a weeping.  BS   It won't weep if it aint cracked.  Mine got to be over 10 inches.  Yes I contacted Cummins and I have never heard back from them.  This is my second Cummins Dodge, but probably my last.

Can anyone spell class action suit.  I think this desirves one.  But I need a truck so I bought a block from a junk yard and traded some sawing of some timbers for a barn for the labor to put it back together.  Still gona be out several hundred, but not too bad from some of the other stories I have heard where folks were out 5 or 6 thousand to put one back on the road after Cummins gave them the block, but they had to do the work in their shop. 

Mainly I just wanted to let you folks that might be thinking of buying a used Dodge to be on the lookout for that 53 block.   Think twice before you buy one.  Mine only has 132,000 on it now while its gettig redone.   And yes I know some of you are thinking I knew ole Tim was pulling too much of a load with that one ton, but if I only wanted to pull a tiny trailer with a few logs or what ever,  I would have used the wifes Expedition,  At least it did pull a 28 ft. travel trailer across the Rocky Mts. and back,  and its still going strong with over 200, 000 miles.  Guess I should have got a Power Stroke.   Not nearly as much of a Dodge man as I once was.   Tim
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 09:04:15 PM »
I was not happy with the paint on my 94, can't complain about the engine.

Everybody I have talked to said I have the better engine.

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 09:12:48 PM »
WH   I got a 94 setting out here right now ,  it was what sold me on Cummis.  it has 240,000 or so th on it.  It leaks a little oil but no biggie.  The paint is as you said,, shot, but its a 15 year old truck.   The 94 is a 2500 2wd ,  I wish the 99 3500 had been as good.  Tim
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline Corley5

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2009, 09:53:44 PM »
Mine's an 02.  No leaks yet  and pulled plenty of big loads.  Guess I better check out that number.
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 08:32:00 AM »
Mine's an 02.  No leaks yet  and pulled plenty of big loads.  Guess I better check out that number.

Not all are the 53's --some were made in Mexico which don't have the 53 casting # and are supposed to be much stronger.  If you got one in those year ranges i would check it out.  A google search will show where to look for the casting #.  Front of the motor on left side just above the oil pan.  Hope you don't have the 53  .   Tim
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline Corley5

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 09:08:35 AM »
I'll check it out for sure.  The truck was assembled in Mexico but who knows where the engine was shipped in from 
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 09:58:40 AM »
I'm pretty sure mines a 53 block. 167,00 and 500HP, and no troubles yet. I do know that some of them crack. I had thought that they were being replaced under warranty.
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 11:21:48 AM »
I'm pretty sure mines a 53 block. 167,00 and 500HP, and no troubles yet. I do know that some of them crack. I had thought that they were being replaced under warranty.

When I got the truck it had 50,000 on it and it was under warranty.  It has never had any modifications done to it to my knowledge.  I called Cummins about it they told me they would run it past their Dodge rep.  I guess the Dodge rep didn't have much to say as I haven't heard from them. 

If your block has the casting # you got one, if it don't your ok.  Not all in the noted years came from Brazil the Mexican made ones were much better.   Did I mention the dash is busted all to ---- ?  Oh well sux to be me I guess :D  Tim
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 01:29:22 PM »
Quote
Did I mention the dash is busted all to ---- ?

  Did you know you can buy a "Shell" to recover MOST dashes ???  Been a few hunnerd years since we had that business, but, find an AUTO upholsterer and they might should have a supplier. We did probably a bunch of car ones, and maybe a pickemup or 3. Can't remember.  ???

  It is a vacuum molded plastic shell, in your basic black color. Glue it on with Silicone caulking. Paint it with Plastic or Vinyl paint. before applying  ::) ::) ;D ;D ;D
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 05:26:25 PM »
I got a "carpet "cover to protect my dash in a 2000 F-550. I plan on driving this thing until  I am old and gray. I dont want to have to replace the dash.

If it's any consolation, the later model than mine (6.0 and 6.4 PSD) are full of engine toubles, although not block, usually head bolts and turbo's. Mine is a 7.3 turbo which is known to rot out the thin sheet metal oil pan (got a lift the engine partially to replace it). I guess there is alway SOME issue. I had not heard of the Cummin's block issue before.

 Ironwoood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 06:46:48 PM »
Thanks guys for the info on the dash.  If I get it back and its sound i'll try to take care of that dash problem.  I too had hopes of driving it till I was old and gray.   ;D  Tim
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 06:51:15 PM »

 Those carpet covers are nice, but, sure collect fine dust and dirt. We sold a few of those, also.
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2009, 07:53:45 PM »
It would have to be the shell type because pieces have fallen off to the tune that you could get a baseball through or maybe a softball.  All started with a tiny crack --the ole 94 's dash still looks good.  They must of changed the composition of them, probably samed 25 or 30 cents on each one.  Tim
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2009, 08:50:31 PM »

 Can't remember the name now, but, in a newer car, you get a slick film on the inside of the windshield. That's the vapors of PLASTISISORS ?? that are evaporating from the plastic-vinyl dashes.

  The Carpet type dash covers will prevent that from happening. Direct sunshine on the glass causes that vaporization.

  It's roughly the same stuff as in Armor-All.
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

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Offline DanG

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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2009, 09:45:58 PM »
My Cummins 5.9 is a '93 model and it is labeled at 160 hp.  I wonder if this cracking problem has anything to do with them squeezing 500hp out of a 160hp engine?

Your dash problem may have something to do with the color.  Some of'em hold up better than others.  I had an '82 Oldsmobile with the "butterscotch" colored interior.  Everything in it disintergrated, including the steering wheel, in less than 10 years.  Later had a Buick of the same year with a blue interior and it was perfect after 20 years.
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2009, 09:49:38 PM »
The coolant leaks are specific to the 53 blocks. Seldom is there a block failure in even the very highest output engines. The only one I know of in fact is when a truck was on a dyno run and he hit too many stages of nitrous all at once. This was in a truck that was a farm stock truck one day, and pulled a 900 rwhp dyno run the next. The truck continued to run, despite having bled off all of its vital fluids. :D
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2009, 11:14:32 PM »
I think up till 1999 the injector pumps can only be sourced rebuilt from Dodge and they come with a special circuit board on top of the pump, so they can not be easily repaired. I think I posted before it was either $1500 or $2000 rebuilt from Dodge, plus the core charge. Reason for mentioning this if you are at the junkyard where you got the block, it wouldn't be a bad idea to grab the pump from a Cummins if it was cheap enough. Takes a special tool to set it up too.




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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2009, 11:18:58 PM »
The lighter colored dashes may allow UV to pentrate deeper into the plastic. This is why black plastic sheets last longer than clear ones left outside in the sun.  FYI / IMHO.

           Ironwood
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2009, 12:15:25 AM »
There can be many reasons including temperature extremes and sunlight for cracking in dashes and steering wheels. But FDH is correct on the primary cause being the loss of the plasticizers in the material.  Unfortunately there is one plasticizer that is resistant to heat and another that is resistant to UV light in sunlight.

As far as color, black would be expected to be the worst color as it will absorb all light and thus get much hotter in the sunlight. White or other light colors should be more resistant as it reflects more light and heat. So if black film seems more resistant than clear, it must be because of built in UV resistance and not just color as black will absorb the most light and get hotter than other colors.
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Re: Dodge- Cummins 98- 01 Watch out for weak block
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2009, 09:06:12 AM »
My Cummins 5.9 is a '93 model and it is labeled at 160 hp.  I wonder if this cracking problem has anything to do with them squeezing 500hp out of a 160hp engine?

Dang that may be the case in some instances, but not this one.  When I got the truck several of the guys in my circle were putting the chips in  to boost hp etc.  , and I didn't because I thought it would be better to wait a few years to see what the result of the extra load that was going to put on the motor.  Seems that when these 53 blocks were cast the mold on the right side would rise just a touch, resulting in a slightly thinner spot in the right side water jacket.  Someone that knowes more about casting could probably shed more light on it that that simple explanation.  But this engine is stock from Cummins. 

I guess I am living up to what i read on one of Tom's bits of wisdom I read from his web site last night.  That if a customer is satisfied he will tell two people, and if he is not he will tell twenty.  I believe I have spread the word much farther than that. ;D  If anybody on here buys a used Cummins and the engine cracks on them--they have only themselves to blame.

This truck never quit running as Dave alluded to--no problem if you want to add a gallon and a half of water ever 100 or so miles.  That would get a bit expensive in the winter don't you think.  And if you push it too far , you WILL have engine damage. 

I gave Cummins several weeks to at least tell me something, >:(  before I aired the dirty laundry.  But now i will tell anyone that will listen.  Facts is facts, and when I get the old block back , I am going to set in a prominent place at the mill where it can be a constance sorce of conversation to any that come by and ask what the block is there for.    Tim
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.


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