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I was just wondering how owners with cracked 53 blocks got their trucks fixed both in and out of warranty, how old and how many miles? I talked with a person named Nathan at Cummins hq last week and he said about 1% of the 53s cracked with most being replaced on warranty with crate motors. My question is if you had one of the infamous 53s that cracked how did you fix it?
 

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Diesel Filled Veins!
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If you're out of warranty (150 000 miles on 53 blocks) you have a couple options. Lock N Stitch if you plan on keeping the block but this method has been hit and miss, probably has something to do with the pre and post weld heat treatments (IMHO). If you plan on scrapping the block but still need to drive it I put it out there that you could jam wood in the crack and it will seal up when it gets wet (haven't heard anyone actually try this) and cover with JB weld over the wood. Some people have just tried JB weld with poor results so that's why I suggested getting the wood in the crack first.

Cast iron is a beotch to weld reliably from what I understand. If I had to, I'd probably replace the block eventually and would personally try the wood/JB Weld trick my self but my 53 isn't cracked.
 

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I'd be afraid of the crack spreading if you jam wood in there and it expanded when it got wet? Cast iron is indeed a pain to try and weld. Seems a big part of it is a slow heating and cooling process from what I have hear.
 

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Diesel Filled Veins!
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I'd be afraid of the crack spreading if you jam wood in there and it expanded when it got wet? Cast iron is indeed a pain to try and weld. Seems a big part of it is a slow heating and cooling process from what I have hear.
Drill out the ends of the crack but even that's not 100%. I would hate for the crack to spread more too using wood in there, but if you've got a buggered block that's puking coolant, you ain't got much to loose (like I said it's a suggestion to get someone by if they do plan on replacement or are really tight on money).
 

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i used bars stop leak. it slow it down some. i might try another bottle of it.
 

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I bought mine cracked with 154000 on the clock. I've repaired it with the lock-n-stitch kit and their reinforcement bracket. Had a 7 inch crack. I've only been able to put about 1000 miles on it since the repair since my VP just went out but it's holding up well so far.
 

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Diesel Filled Veins!
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I bought mine cracked with 154000 on the clock. I've repaired it with the lock-n-stitch kit and their reinforcement bracket. Had a 7 inch crack. I've only been able to put about 1000 miles on it since the repair since my VP just went out but it's holding up well so far.
Contact Cummins, maybe they'll stretch the warranty a bit for you. Nothing to loose, a crate engine to gain.
 

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How much is a new crate block?
 

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Contact Cummins, maybe they'll stretch the warranty a bit for you. Nothing to loose, a crate engine to gain.
not if he's already lock and stitched it. they wont touch it after that.

How much is a new crate block?
ive seen complete 24 valves out of buses and stuff like that for around 2-2500. they are the same motor out of our trucks.
 

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Contact Cummins, maybe they'll stretch the warranty a bit for you. Nothing to loose, a crate engine to gain.
I believe that is what recently occured prior to me buying this 99 recently.

The whole engine looks brand new in the truck. I figured it was a crate engine.
 

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What about up-grading to a Common Rail engine? It should be the same block, engine mounts, and bell housing right?
 

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What about up-grading to a Common Rail engine? It should be the same block, engine mounts, and bell housing right?
Not sure, but a long block CR is gonna cost you a lot more than a short block VP44 block (CR has to be long block cause I don't think there's anything compatable from the VP44 engine).
 

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Good fix!

If you have access to the equipment and tools.... I have a fix.
3/8 plate above, along, and below the crack.

Drill and tap the block so that you can bolt the plate on. I used 7/16 - 20 bolts last year. This year I upgraded to 1/2 inch fine thread.

Lots of high temp silicone!

I did this last year and it lasted 12K miles (11 months). Started to leak a few weeks ago so I reinstalled the plate with better bolts as well as some other improvements.

It is not pretty (silicone is messy) but it works!!!!!


Lock and Stitch may be a good fix but it is very detailed and required motor removal to do it right. The price is high!

My fix is cheap and it reduces the block from expanding which is the main cause of the leak.


Matt
 

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I did not remove the motor to do my lock-n-stitch repair. Still holding well at 3k miles. It is expensive but you're paying for the R&D.
 

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from my understanding the best fix is the lock-n-stitch but you really should use the reinforcement bracket along with it, its also recommended to use that bracket even if it hasn't cracked.
 

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Cummins replaced my cracked 53 block back in 2007 at 146k miles. Truck was modded at the time & the service guy still covered it. I told him that I wanted to pay since it was a modded truck, he refused saying it is a known problem. I had to pay $1700. labor, fluids. I couldn't complain a bit.
 

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Don't know if it has been said or not but any time there is a crack in a cast iron block, or any block really - you must drill the ends of the crack when attempting to repair it. The crack will migrate if you do not... cracks never stop migrating until you interrupt it. Drill a 1/16 hole at each end of the crack and then do your repair.
 
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