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Discussion Starter #1
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.

Thanks
 

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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
 

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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
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.
 

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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
 

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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
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.
 

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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?
 

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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.
 

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I’m not an auto guy someone else would have to chime in on that
 

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Multiple former 53-block owner here...
Don’t 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. It’ll 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 you’re driving a cracked 53, you end up running straight water. That’s hard on your water pump and doesn’t 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 wouldn’t 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 hadn’t.
I could have bought a newer nicer truck for the money I’ve wasted on this one.
 

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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...
 

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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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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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Unless I didnt see where you said...but is yours cracked? Or are you simply plagued by the emotional fears these forums can instill on people...
 
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Unless I didnt see where you said...but is yours cracked? Or are you simply plagued by the emotional fears these forums can instill on people...
Previously I thought it was cracked. I saw the white stain from a coolant leak exactly where they normally crack, BUT I forgot that one of the radiator hoses came off and blew coolant throughout the engine bay. I tracked the stain all the way up the engine and realized that it was from the hose and not a crack. Crisis averted (knock on wood).
 

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Drive it and enjoy it... FYI, there is information collected over the years which indicate that the 53 was cast in more than one factory and there's more than one 53 cast lot too. The 53 was also the most common block by far used and was seen in other applications besides the Dodge Ram.
And...if you hang around these forums then take what you read with a grain of salt otherwise you'll suffer from anxiety from all the doomsday threads.
 

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Drive it and enjoy it... FYI, there is information collected over the years which indicate that the 53 was cast in more than one factory and there's more than one 53 cast lot too. The 53 was also the most common block by far used and was seen in other applications besides the Dodge Ram.
And...if you hang around these forums then take what you read with a grain of salt otherwise you'll suffer from anxiety from all the doomsday threads.
Yes sir. Thank you. Very helpful
 

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If it is not cracked yet it will likely not do so. Drive it and do not worry about it, Don't hotrod a lot.
680K mi on mine. Lots and lots of them have never failed.
 
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235000 on mine and i regularly tow a dump trailer with 15000# in it. with a tuner, injectors and stock turbo. drive it. dont sweat it. keep the engine bay as clean as you can so you can spot potential problems/leaks as quickly as possible
 

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You have not said anything about YOURS being cracked? Most 99 were 53. Look for the cracks below the head and exhaust manifold, If no crack and no leak just drive it and don't worry about it.
In most cases, I firmly believe in "Don't fix what ain't broke" especially if you are not rich.
 

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The 99 I owned (which my friend is still driving) has a 53 block and 300k miles. With a quadzilla on level10 for 100k miles. It seems as though, to me at least, they either crack relatively quickly, or they last for many miles. I never once worried about that truck getting me where I needed to go. I never planned to have an 800hp truck to I doubt I would have ever stressed the block. But still, If it isn't cracked now, just drive it and look for the next one. My latest truck (Feb-01 build date) has a 56 block.
 
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