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Good evening all,
I have the opportunity to buy a 2003 Dodge Cummins 4 door, 4x4, long bed, manual with close to 200k on it. The engine seized up on it and it has sat for about a year. Guy selling it said would let it go for $500. Not sure if it's a standard or high output. I didn't see anything on the drive side of the valve cover and forgot to check the VIN or to see if it was a 5spd or 6spd manual. Just checking opinions on if this is worth it to spend $500 on the truck then find the right guys to put an engine in it and get it up and running, or let it pass. I know this question truly depends on if I'm willing to drop some cash or not and I'm sitting on the fence so I'd be curious to see if others had this opportunity what they would do. Thank you for your time.
 

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It's impossible to answer from that IMHO.

Depending on damage done, could be an entire long block+ fuel system needing replaced. Won't know about the trans or axles. Rust? Front end need work? Tires? Ujoints?

Many of these will be hard to answer, depending on the shape it could be one of those things that is a really good deal, or could turn into money pit.

He would make way more than $500 parting it out if the rest of the truck was in good shape.
 

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I kind of figured it was an impossible question. It was his daily driver right up until the engine went out. When he was told how much to replace he just pulled it next to his shop and drove another vehicle. I believe that's my hesitation is what else will it need besides an engine. I was a little surprised to hear him say $500 for it all. I couldn't find any rust, the drive side of the bed has aren't in it but that's it. So it's more mechanically and as you mentioned front end work among other things that may be needed. Thanks for your response
 

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For $500 you should be able to salvage enough parts and scrap the rest to cover your loss if you decide not to repower it.
 

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Good evening all,
I have the opportunity to buy a 2003 Dodge Cummins 4 door, 4x4, long bed, manual with close to 200k on it. The engine seized up on it and it has sat for about a year. Guy selling it said would let it go for $500. Not sure if it's a standard or high output. I didn't see anything on the drive side of the valve cover and forgot to check the VIN or to see if it was a 5spd or 6spd manual. Just checking opinions on if this is worth it to spend $500 on the truck then find the right guys to put an engine in it and get it up and running, or let it pass. I know this question truly depends on if I'm willing to drop some cash or not and I'm sitting on the fence so I'd be curious to see if others had this opportunity what they would do. Thank you for your time.
I have bought 3 seized engines (no diesel) and only one failed to come back to life. One 2 stroke outboard, one crappy Fiat 4 cylinder and a 1969 Corvette with a 427 (just a 390 hp). The Corvette built up my courage to take on other seized engines depending on evidence of damage. I paid $3000 when the car was probably worth $10,000 (early 80's), so even dropping the bucks for a long block, I would have come out ahead. The owner had overheated it and it seized after shutdown, not while running. He had towed it to some insane speed and popped the clutch trying to break it loose after only a thermostat change; this maneuver created a cloud of smoke and flat-spotted the rear tires, so he gave up. My buddies and I snagged it, pulled all the plugs, and force fed a concoction of oil, gas, Liquid Wrench and WD-40 into each cylinder. Added some diesel just for good measure. Let it sit overnight. Came back with a huge breaker bar, put it direct to the crankshaft (harmonic balancer actually) and she turned over. Put the plugs back in and couldn't get it to spin over on the starter. It was hydrolocked from the fluid we had injected, so one more plug removal and a few rotations took care of that. After that, she fired right up and smoked like a banshee as all the oils burned off. But then, it ran like a raped ape. Turns out the P.O. solved the root problem with the thermostat change, and there was no evidence of oil or coolant migration - heads intact. I should have kept that car, but instead I melted some tires and drove it for a year, eventually selling it for triple my investment. I did the same thing on the Fiat and it worked. Not so much with a classic 6 cylinder Mercury 50 h.p. outboard, because somebody forgot to add oil to the fuel, making better suited as an anchor vs. a power plant.

Of course doing something similar to above might be appropriate if you believe the engine did not suffer loss of oiling or an obvious catastrophic failure. Might be worth your effort. As others have said, parting it out would recoup your investment. And if the truck is nice, a reman long block might make financial sense. It sounds like your risk is probably minimal. Good luck!
 

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For $500, it's worth it. Core for engines are usually more than $500. Heck, if you change your mind you could scrap it and get $500. I wish I could find a 4x4 cummins for that price. Keep us posted.
 

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If you can do work yourself could have a nice truck, Original trans in it would be 5 speed.
figure 5-6 k for motor/injectors if block is good. Even spending 10k if you need a HD pickup worth it.
 

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And another thing, how'd he determine that the motor is seized? Is he mechanically inclined to tell you that? I bought a 2002 Ram 1500 for $500 because the motor had a "knock". Lucky for me, the PO didn't know the difference between a knock and a tick. Wouldn't it be worth it to find out that you ac clutch is seized instead of the motor. That's exactly what happened with my 06, clutch went and I couldn't start the truck until I removed the belt.
 

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Is it a 6 speed? If so, that’s the HO in 2003.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for your reply guys. Think I might take another look at it and maybe snag it then decide what to do. The original owner said he was told the motor seized by a qualified shop in town so that's when he said heck with it and let it sit. I'm kind of thinking for $500 it won't break the bank and as stated I can call around and see what I want to do. I'm also looking at a 07 Mega cab 5.9 manual with 220k on it for 17k. It's pretty slick and is running strong so I guess I have some options. Maybe pick the 03 up for the $500 and talk my wife into the mega LOL!
 

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Good deal. If you decide to change your mind, let me know, I'd be interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Went and looked at the truck again. It has the S.O. engine and 5spd manual. Grabbed a couple photos of it as well. Didn't noticed too much rust, just a couple surface spots around the wheel wells. Underneath it looks pretty darn good as well as under the hood. Think I'll pull the trigger and take a gamble on it. MVIMG_20200725_141225.jpg MVIMG_20200725_141136.jpg MVIMG_20200725_141142.jpg MVIMG_20200725_141054.jpg MVIMG_20200725_140926.jpg MVIMG_20200725_141116.jpg
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Looks like a decent rig! For 500.00 I don't see how you can go wrong. Even if it needs a full rebuild, you'll still come out ahead. I just purchased one in the same condition and gave 2k for it knowing it needed an engine. Hell the transmission in that truck is worth 3 times what you'd pay for it.
 

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Awesome. Get it home and do all the necessary stuff first. Good luck and keep us posted. (Check the ac compressor first).
 
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lol.... Run, don't walk and go get it!
 
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Hell ill give you 1500 for it after you buy it, make a quick grand for yourself.

Go buy that thing wouldn't even have to think about it. Great deal.
 

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Ha ha. Looks like you have enough 5.9s in your stable. But that's what I was thinking too.
 

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Ha ha. Looks like you have enough 5.9s in your stable. But that's what I was thinking too.
my wife says I have problems...:cautious:

although back to what you said, I have seen an ac compressor froze up and create an issue, definitely double check that.
 
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