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Old 07-27-2011, 12:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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4bt rebuild thread

Ok so I just recently got a 4bt, Im going to go through it completely and this winter start swapping it into either a Dakota or Wrangler (still undecided).

I started a thread on 4btswaps.com for all my questions and I've gotten nothing but sh*t from those guys, everytime I'd ask a question the tell me Im an idiot and tell me to read the stickys

While I've never been inside a diesel motor like this before, I've done a lot of automotive stuff and I've got my trust service manual, so I have an idea what Im doing...still a lot of questions and advice Im looking for though!

To catch CF up, heres where Im at:

Brought it home last week, its a 2002 4bt from a small piece of construction equipment. Has low compression in cylinder #1. Has an inline A-pump (very similar to P-pump from what I've read). I also got an NV4500 and adapters from the guy, as well as 2 exhaust manifolds, a brand new turbo, and a few other small parts...





My fiance's been painting these murals in the garage...finished this one just in time!


Some more pictures of it on the engine stand



Took the valve covers and rockers off, and the other small parts to ready it for removing the cylinder head:



And the head is off. Head gasket looked decent enough, however it did look as if coolant had been leaking into cylinder #1, so hopefully thats all that was causing the low compression.


Flipped it over and removed the oil pan:



So as for my questions, here goes...lots more to come Im sure:

- Should I remove the pistons and check/replace the rings? I'm tempted to, however the guy at the local Cummins place told me he adheres closely to the "if it aint broke, dont fix it" motto...meaning he says if it doesnt look like I need to pull em, I shouldnt. Cylinder #1 is a little rusty/scaly inside the cylinder towards the top. Could I just clean it well enough with a scotch pad and call it good? Or should I pull all the pistons and do the honing?
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Im pretty sure the answer is yes, but just wanted to check...pretty much all the parts from a 5.9 CTD will fit this 3.9 CTD, right? I found someone locally selling an alternator and a starter for cheap, but they came off a 5.9...
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If it were my project i would rebuilt the engine, that way you know what you have in pretty much a brand new motor. They really arent that expensive of a motor to rebuild compared to others.

yes most parts that fit a 5.9 fit a 3.9.

Being that it is out of a piece of equiment the governor spring act different than automotive gov. springs. The 3.9 in my truck truck also came out of a piece of equiment and i left the gov. spring in there and i dont have a problem. The biggest difference i notice is that it wants to pull through everything. for example i used an automatic for my trans and i put it in N to stop because it wants to keep pulling through. I know i could fix it with a different tc , but its cheaper for me to put it in N.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well the pistons are out, Im going to clean them up real good, get all new rings and probably the lower end bearings to install too. I'll see about honing the cylinders...is it something I could do myself, or is it suggested to bring the block to a shop to have them do it?

Can the crankshaft stay in the lower end while the cylinders are being honed? I can pull it out if need be but if it can be honed as is I see no reason to remove it...?
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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how did the piston rings look? were they sticking or moving freely? Also how did the conecting rod bearings look? take pictures!!!!

i want to get a 4bt for a winter project to stuff in a 1988 jeep wrangler i got.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well the pistons are out, Im going to clean them up real good, get all new rings and probably the lower end bearings to install too. I'll see about honing the cylinders...is it something I could do myself, or is it suggested to bring the block to a shop to have them do it?

Can the crankshaft stay in the lower end while the cylinders are being honed? I can pull it out if need be but if it can be honed as is I see no reason to remove it...?
That depends on how much you plan on honing it. If you plan on honing to the next piston size than i would take it to a machinist, it can be done but takes forever and there is alot of human error that can happen. If ur just doing it to clean the cyclinder walls that do it ur self.

Yes the crank can say in while honing i would put a rag over the rod journals so that you dont hit it while in the process. However i would take it out so you can inspect the bearings and see what they look like. as cheap as rod and crank bearings it worth replacing them while you are there. just my $.02.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah Im leaning towards replacing the bearings in the lower end. How hard is it to remove the crank? The manual I have doesnt show/explain it. It just says something along the lines of "this cannot be performed while in the vehicle, refer to Cummins manual blah blah blah...".

Looking at it I'd say its pretty simple to do? I gotta find a write up on it. This manual I have has been an absolute joy to work from, very detailed descriptions and pictures and it's making this whole job real easy.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah Im leaning towards replacing the bearings in the lower end. How hard is it to remove the crank? The manual I have doesnt show/explain it. It just says something along the lines of "this cannot be performed while in the vehicle, refer to Cummins manual blah blah blah...".

Looking at it I'd say its pretty simple to do? I gotta find a write up on it. This manual I have has been an absolute joy to work from, very detailed descriptions and pictures and it's making this whole job real easy.
You have your engine on the stand, crank case easly be removed. The reason why it cant be removed in the vechicle on piece of equiment is the crank is bolt to the flywheel which is bolted to the trans and you cant remove the flywheel with out removing the engine.

Id go to cummins and get a manual, I got one for my engine and it is very detailed and has good info.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I myself am looking for a 4bt. If anyone has and considerations on where to find one, please let me know.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I myself am looking for a 4bt. If anyone has and considerations on where to find one, please let me know.
dieselenginetrader.com, ebay, craigslist
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info guys. The nearest Cummins dealer is a little over an hour from me so I was hoping to order parts online and just have them shipped, but I'll just wait till I have some time to head out there and pick up everything at once.

Im going to do all the rod and crank bearings and piston rings. As well as give honing a shot by myself...
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info guys. The nearest Cummins dealer is a little over an hour from me so I was hoping to order parts online and just have them shipped, but I'll just wait till I have some time to head out there and pick up everything at once.

Im going to do all the rod and crank bearings and piston rings. As well as give honing a shot by myself...
The cummins dealer near me deliverd to my house. I called and ordered my parts and also used cummins quikserve.
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