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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, guys, I bought a 00 Ram 3500 with the Cummins and 290k miles a few weeks back with the only known issue being an oil leak. After driving it 800 miles in 4 days, the tappet cover gasket blew right in my driveway. On my way back to my house a few minutes out is when I first noticed any smoke. And then by the time I parked I had no oil. So I promptly shut it down and right as I did there was a pop (the gasket) and a cloud of smoke.

After replacing it I didn’t get the key right so I squished it and where it sits in the gear. So I tore down to the timing cover and replaced the pump gear and perfectly lined up my new key and put it all back together, bled the lines, and it started up after a few tries. But now there’s a loud squeak and knock I believe at the back of the engine that comes and goes, what could this be? There’s zero blow by before and after the repair. Could it be injector related? Thanks for any input, I would hate to have to tow it to a shop.
 

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Welcome, Sorry. You blew a rod or main bearing with low oil, probalby number 5 or 6. Now it is rebuild time. Crank will need grinding at least on that journal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ouch. Given the symptoms, how much do you think a good rebuild would cost from a reputable shop?
 

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Well, you did not blow that gasket in the driveway. It was that way when you got it, may just steam cleaned. You lost that oil on the way home.So you still have knock and squeal after vp44 key repair? Don't know what "popped" but it was not a gasket.
Unless you are a great suffer from Trucker "privilege" you can't or don't want to pay a shop for a complete rebuild. You are pushing the high end of 5-10 grand easily just for stock. You would be looking at Minimum of $1000 for basic ring and bearing and gasket rebuild kit from Standard Motor parts. You can shop around and get e crank for 250 ground exchange. then depends on head if you need surfacing.

The good news is if you can turn a ratchet to 2lb to 200lb torque know the difference between torx and Allen head you can do it your self. These are actually very simple engines to work on. Sometime you can do it out side unless in an appt or HOA and no back yard or garage. Several of us here can walk you through all of it with several options quite easily.

Required tools:
Half a lick of common sense, already proven by finding your screw up and fixing it with the VP$$. Live and learn, won't do it again.
Decent standard 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 in 12 and 6pt and deep well, torx and Allen sockets, metric and SAE, mostly metric or equivalent. sockets.
A sufficient 3000# cherry picker, block holder, both cheap at Harbor or
Well, you did not blow that gasket in the driveway. It was that way when you got it, may just steam cleaned. You lost that oil on the way home.So you still have knock and squeal after vp44 key repair? Don't know what "popped" but it was not a gasket.
Unless you are a great suffer from Trucker "privilege" you can't or don't want to pay a shop for a complete rebuild. You are pushing the high end of 5-10 grand easily just for stock. You would be looking at Minimum of $1000 for basic ring and bearing and gasket rebuild kit from Standard Motor parts. You can shop around and get e crank for 250 ground exchange. then depends on head if you need surfacing.

The good news is if you can turn a ratchet to 2lb to 200lb torque know the difference between torx and Allen head you can do it your self. These are actually very simple engines to work on. Sometime you can do it out side unless in an appt or HOA and no back yard or garage. Several of us here can walk you through all of it with several options quite easily.

Required tools:
Half a lick of common sense, already proven by finding your screw up and fixing it with the VP$$. Live and learn, won't do it again.
Decent standard 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 in 12 and 6pt and deep well, torx and Allen sockets, metric and SAE, mostly metric or equivalent. sockets.
A sufficient 3000# cherry picker, block holder, both cheap at Harbor or free rent at Autozone or O'reily's
Parts cleaner and pans, cups for parts labeling
Pullers and bearing installers. Cylinder reamer.
Figure a few hundred to 1000 for tools you do not have, fee rent many if you like.

Parts: Price ALL at Rock Auto before buying.
Ring ,bearing and gasket $1000, minimum for average quality decent brand if you shop.
Ground crank 250
Surface head 600 if needed.(Guess")

$!000 for other stuff you want or need.

You have one other diagnostic alternative;
Loosen the front motor mounts and lift the block as high as you can. Remove the pan. check the journals. If you find the bad rod bearing and the journal can be clean up sanded to a safe smoothness with out removing much material you can do it as a one or two bearing repair or near complete rebuild in the truck.
The alternative is 5 thousand in parts and machine work and 36 hours of labor at 150+ an hour at a shop.

Other thing is to buy running engine for 1-3000 up to 300k and regasket it and just drop it in. In this case it has to be a 98.5 to 2000 that has the CRANK Shaft sensor and same ECM PN..and preferably a (non 53 b;lock for most people) Definitely NOT an 01/02 that does not have the same Cranks sensor set up as the earlier versions. 2000's are an oddball so make sure a new one matches If a 98.5 to 00 has the crank sensor but different ecm use your ecm.
Have fun, we are here.
 

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There should of been a low oil pressure warning followed by some beeps. If you shut it off instantly, I wouldn't think you would be dealing with bearing damage. At least ive caught mine in time before damage.. You would hope the flex plate cracked coincidentally and is the source of racket.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There were no odd noises before I parked it, just the smell of burnt oil. The oil pressure is good, and there’s no blow by, so I’m wondering if it is possible it’s something else. I had checked the oil the day before and it was good, and I didn’t drive more than 100 miles that day and only 2-3 miles after I noticed the oil smell. Bigfish95971, have you personally had any luck with what you suggested about taking the pan off and checking/ sanding the main journals? I think that would be worth a try if I can verify that the problem isn’t something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also, when I first started it up, there were no noises, but then it stalled while idling and the noises began after I started it up again.
 

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Ive used emery cloth on a chevy 350 journal that had bearing material stuck to it. It ran perfect till I sold it a couple years later. You are taking a chance with that kind of rebuild as always.
 

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The cracked flex plate is definitely something to think about, but seems like quite a tough coincidence that it cracked at the same time as this oil and VP problem. Definitely could be making that intermittent sound as the broken pieces move about and grind against the block and converter. The sound you describe doesn’t sound like bad bearings to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think that is a good possibility, to take off/ install the harmonic balancer, I removed the inspection plate and had someone stick a prybar up in the teeth of the flexplate to stop the engine from turning. There was definitely some force applied on both ends. How do you tell if it’s cracked? Will it just move around if I try to wiggle it?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just remembered that when I took the inspection plate off, there were 3 metal shavings basically rolled up into little balls, no bigger than a pinhead each. And I had to give the starter a whack to get it to start after it stalled.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here’s a link to a video of under the truck while it’s running with the inspection plate off. I’ve narrowed down the location of the noise to the very back of the engine or the front of the transmission. I’m not sure how well you can see in the video, but the flexplate/TC assembly looks liked it’s wobbling.
 

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I had a flex plate on my 3500 12v crack and it didn't sound that deep but only way to find out is pull the transmission and look it is hard to tell by the video and a crack flex plate on mine only made noise in neutral nothing under a load or in park my 2cents
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In the video it sounds pretty steady, but it’s usually a little more random. There’s no metal shavings in the oil, no blow by, and good oil pressure. I drove it halfway around the block before turning around back to my house, as it was clunking, popping and squeaking like crazy. I guess at this point I’m thinking it’s somehow related to the flexplate or TC, but I want a few more opinions before tearing into the tranny.
 

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The squeaking sounds alot like when I had a cracked flexplate, the knock does sound like a rod however. Only one way to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I just drove it around the block again, and it’s definitely a rod. I believe #6. I have a day off tomorrow so I think I’ll take the oil pan off and check it out. How involved is it to do so? Do I just have to loose the engine mounts and lift the block a couple inches to take the pan off?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I didn’t get around to pulling the pan today, but I’m positive I’ve spun a bearing. At this point I’ll probably get a lower mileage engine, there’s a few near me, one w/ 119k that I have my eye on. What would you guys recommend as far as regasketing/resealing? I’m assuming things like the head gasket aren’t necessary to replace, which ones are recommended or essential?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Anything other than:
• oil pan gasket
• tappet cover gasket
• vacuum pump gasket
• resealing the timing cover
 

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check the KDP and do it if it’s not done, reseal timing, and do tappet cover. You could do rear main with an OEM seal if you wanted to but not necessary. What are they asking for that new engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It’s at a wrecking yard, they want $2137. What’s a good price to hire someone to swap it? While I would like to do it myself, I don’t have the space/time for that kind of a job. Has anyone had any experience hiring people off of Craigslist for this type of thing?
 
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