53 Block trouble shooting - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
98.5-02 Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission Ect..NO ADVERTISING .

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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53 Block trouble shooting

So I've been doing some research and came across the 53 block crisis. I was finally able to go under my truck today and see what I've got. I got on the creeper, slid down, looked around, and BOOM I saw the number 53 and my stomach dropped. At this point I'm sick. I have no idea what to do.
So far my options are

1- Sell it and make it someone else's problem (There is no way I can do this with good conscience and it would kill me financially with what i've put in the truck, but it would make thing much easier.)

2- Run it till it becomes a problem. Then continue options 3 and 4

3- Repair with lock N stitch method. I have no idea what this may cost.

4- I've read on a thread that cummins will stand behind their work and will replace. "will cost around $2k in labor total". That thread is very old and I have no idea how true it is.

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2001 Ram 3500 DRW 24v, 4wd, 2.5 Level, 4" Straight Pipe/ Axle Dump, Banks High Ram/ Triple Pillar gauges, New vp44, 200,***. Just a 16 y/o trying to figure out what's wrong with it now.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 08:30 PM
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How mechanically skilled are you? Drive it and find a replacement block or motor in the meantime, making sure it’s compatible with your 01. Swap when needed or when you have the time

-1999 2500 white sport QCSB/NV4500/EMS free spins
-1997 2500 12v LWB 5spd, 1998.5 3500 P24V 5spd
-2016 MC Laramie G56 maximum steel/CTT/CTS2/SB3250/37s
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nuljas23 View Post
How mechanically skilled are you? Drive it and find a replacement block or motor in the meantime, making sure itís compatible with your 01. Swap when needed or when you have the time
I'm 15, I understand the basics of how a cummins operates. Engine swap way above my knowledge.

It turns out that I do have coolant so I should be okay for a little while. The truck has 200,000 miles so I don't understand why anything would happen recently.

2001 Ram 3500 DRW 24v, 4wd, 2.5 Level, 4" Straight Pipe/ Axle Dump, Banks High Ram/ Triple Pillar gauges, New vp44, 200,***. Just a 16 y/o trying to figure out what's wrong with it now.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 10:31 PM
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Gotcha. that’s just the luck of the draw when it comes to 53 blocks unfortunately, some are fine running higher power levels over stock and some let loose in stock form. Someone probably knew of the issue and dumped it off on an unsuspecting kid. Does the person who sold it to you have a sunroof in their other vehicle?

Also if you don’t have a good aftermarket lift pump on that truck get one or you’ll be replacing the vp44 again

-1999 2500 white sport QCSB/NV4500/EMS free spins
-1997 2500 12v LWB 5spd, 1998.5 3500 P24V 5spd
-2016 MC Laramie G56 maximum steel/CTT/CTS2/SB3250/37s
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nuljas23 View Post
Gotcha. thatís just the luck of the draw when it comes to 53 blocks unfortunately, some are fine running higher power levels over stock and some let loose in stock form. Someone probably knew of the issue and dumped it off on an unsuspecting kid. Does the person who sold it to you have a sunroof in their other vehicle?

Also if you donít have a good aftermarket lift pump on that truck get one or youíll be replacing the vp44 again
I contacted the seller and he said he new nothing about it but we all know how that goes. When replacing the vp44 I had the lift pump checked and its still running 15 psi so all is good for now.

The plan now is to run it till it becomes a problem. If I start to rapidly loose coolant, I will sell to someone that can fix it.

2001 Ram 3500 DRW 24v, 4wd, 2.5 Level, 4" Straight Pipe/ Axle Dump, Banks High Ram/ Triple Pillar gauges, New vp44, 200,***. Just a 16 y/o trying to figure out what's wrong with it now.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 10:46 PM
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That’s too bad man sorry you had to learn a hard lesson about how sh!tty people really are. Do you have a good fuel pressure gauge? What tranny is in the truck?

-1999 2500 white sport QCSB/NV4500/EMS free spins
-1997 2500 12v LWB 5spd, 1998.5 3500 P24V 5spd
-2016 MC Laramie G56 maximum steel/CTT/CTS2/SB3250/37s
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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That’s too bad man sorry you had to learn a hard lesson about how sh!tty people really are. Do you have a good fuel pressure gauge? What tranny is in the truck?
Yes sir. Fuel pressure, turbo boost, trans temp, and exhaust temp gauges. Everything seems straight and how it should be. Its a 47re and from what I can tell the tranny is stock. Somewhere down the road the truck got some "performance" work so they might have beefed it up but I honestly can't tell. It doesn't slip at all and seems pretty tight. The only thing that seems a little off is that between 1-2 or 2-3 (i can't remember) it really jerks and slams into gear. My mechanic said something about a quick connect that would solve that problem (apparently it switches the algorithm with the overdrive or something in that nature.) but I couldn't tell you anymore than that.

2001 Ram 3500 DRW 24v, 4wd, 2.5 Level, 4" Straight Pipe/ Axle Dump, Banks High Ram/ Triple Pillar gauges, New vp44, 200,***. Just a 16 y/o trying to figure out what's wrong with it now.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:23 PM
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I’m not an auto guy someone else would have to chime in on that

-1999 2500 white sport QCSB/NV4500/EMS free spins
-1997 2500 12v LWB 5spd, 1998.5 3500 P24V 5spd
-2016 MC Laramie G56 maximum steel/CTT/CTS2/SB3250/37s
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:46 AM
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Multiple former 53-block owner here...
Donít waste your money on Lock&Stitch. While it can work on other engines, the problem with the 53 is that the metal is just too thin. Itíll just crack next to any repair.
Cummins absolutely will not warrant an almost 20 year old engine.

Your options are well it now (what I should have done!) or run it until it leaks faster than you can stand. Dumping antifreeze on the ground gets expensive. When youíre driving a cracked 53, you end up running straight water. Thatís hard on your water pump and doesnít work if you live where it freezes.
Or... replace the engine. Depending on the condition of the truck that may not be worth doing.
I tried to buy a rebuilt engine from several suppliers but none would guarantee me the block wouldnít be another 53. In fact. One knew what I was talking about and had zero interest in finding out.

53 block Dodges are just a curse. I redid mine... and wish I hadnít.
I could have bought a newer nicer truck for the money Iíve wasted on this one.

'99 QC 4x4 Dually.
In the near future Iím ripping out all the electronic junk and P-pumping it.
Built trans, Gear Vendors overdrive, Kelderman Air Ride
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:51 AM
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By the way, when I saw this thread title (53 block trouble shooting) I thought you were just having trouble shooting the thing...

'99 QC 4x4 Dually.
In the near future Iím ripping out all the electronic junk and P-pumping it.
Built trans, Gear Vendors overdrive, Kelderman Air Ride
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 11:13 AM
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Your truck is a 2001? I wonder if the original block was destroyed and replaced with the 53? Keep an eye on the coolant and add as needed.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 11:28 AM
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They were still produced in the 01's. Mine has one and is at 210k miles, no problems yet. Doesn't mean I'm not worried though, I check it regularly...
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