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Discussion Starter #1
While doing transmission fluid / filter change I was able to ID my new to me 99 as a 53 block. Not very excited to see that, as I was hoping that while it was made in Mexico it could have possibly skipped that block. Is there more than one "type" of 53 blocks or just one and they are inferior casting? The truck has 164K on it at this point and engine runs well, no blow by. Been reading the forums on thr 53 block and wondering if there are others that are going without an issue and if there are more than one type of 53 blocks?
 

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I think you'll be ok. I'm not sure what is considered the "safe" mileage is concerning whether it will crack or not. I think those that will crack, have. There are alot of 53s out there doing just fine. Only thing I have read that makes sense is to get the engine up to full operating temp for awhile before pouring the beans to it. Letting the block warm slowly and evenly as opposed to working a cold engine hard and warming it up fast puts less stress on the metal. True or fantasy, I don't know, but if I had a 53 at this point, I'd treat it like the heavy equipment I ran during my career as an operator. Warm it up well before working it hard.
 

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Here's a thread going into measuring thicknesses and such 53 block measurement!

Also 53 blocks are Brazilian. Mexican blocks have no large numbers on them.
 
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Not all 53 blocks were cast wrong.
Some people have had all kinds of trouble with them.
Some people have had no trouble at all with a 53 block.
An estimated 100K blocks were cast wrong when the forms leaned causing one side of the block to be thinner.
Not all of those 100K blocks ended up in 2nd Gen Dodge pickups.
Here is a good write up:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks folks, I will have to get a look at the casting and see if it is smooth. I am hoping it will be ok and not a badly defective block as I just picked it u and have been putting some parts on it, front end components, shocks, steering dampener, fluids and transmission filter and the like.
 

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If it makes you feel better, i've seen cracked 56 blocks too. My 99 had a 53 in it, 212k trouble free miles later I sold it, having hyperventilated needlessly about the block for a while. Fill out your signature when you get a chance; is it an automatic? There's lots of good info in the threads posted above about where to look etc., I honestly wouldn't be that concerned. Enjoy your new truck, let me know if you want to sell it. ;)
 

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720k miles on mine and counting.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Folks - wow Big Fish 720K, that is a lot of time behind the windshield in that ole gal. I had 325K on my VW Jetta and it didn't burn any oil between oil changes so have faith in a well built Diesel that is maintained. I will have to take another peek at the block and see if it is smooth or not. Apparently the smooth ones did not have the defect which was apparently when they poured the blocks it was not level and one side was thicker than the other. I would think after making so many defective ones, maybe they caught their mistake and leveled the #53 machine that was punching these out in Brazil. Nice to hear that there are many that are having trouble free miles with the 53's.
 

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Mine leaked @ 18K. Dodge replaced it with another 53 shortblock. I sold the truck with 50K on it. No idea how it did. I wouldn't worry about it after all this time.
 

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I put 200k on my 53 block. I swapped it out for a DFC 5.9 Tow/haul before it cracked. I got full core charge for the 53. It never cracked, but I wanted the peace of mind.
 
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