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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 24v 5.9L, automatic 4x4 that I am pretty much getting as a hand me down that I'm looking to get up to par and back in the world. It had been sitting for 5 or 7 years since having a major coolant leak in the rear of the engine that couldn't be found and shelved until now. Still starts up perfectly. After a bit of digging around we are pretty sure it is the head gasket, and not the simple freeze plug back there :( It's all stock at the moment but the transmission is going out and is currently being investigated for more issues before deciding to go all in on it.

I've been reading a lot and searching for threads on this truck and these issues. Hard to find newer up to date ones though. We plan on doing the head gasket ourselves once we confirm it is that and having a shop probably replace the transmission with a remanufactured one, I buy online. Is there any good tutorials on this forum or others that you guys have followed for getting to the head gasket and replacing it? It also seems like a good idea to do studs, although I'm still learning more. Is there anything else to check while going that deep for maintenance and possibly time to replace? I've read a lot of threads of people replacing the head gasket only for it to blow out again in a few days or weeks, definitely want to avoid that. I'm not mechanically skilled but am learning on the way.

Also open to any advice on transmission or keeping this truck alive as long as possible. Only have $10K or so to put into it to get it going again pristine!

So far confirmed, steering pump going out, thermostat, transmission, rear engine coolant leak.

This truck has been cared for a long long time, 400K miles and already one replaced transmission. Still looks super clean and is loved. Thanks for any helpful posts, I will continue to look around as well on the forum.
 

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The head gasket is definitely doable.

I followed this video


Between that and the FSM, it wasn't bad.

An engine hoist is necessary to lift it up.

You should also get it checked while it is off.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The head gasket is definitely doable.

I followed this video

Between that and the FSM, it wasn't bad.

An engine hoist is necessary to lift it up.

You should also get it checked while it is off.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
Thanks I ended up watching that video, I ended up finding this one for a 2003 Ram with the same engine. Definitely had a very in-depth reinstall video. Will be using these mixed with that video to get it going! For anyone else I would recommend checking these videos out as well.


Do you think studs are necessary for daily driving as stock? 400 for them is pretty steep
 

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Replace tappet cover gasket and vacuum pump seal kit, 20 dollars each. Cummins store for both or local parts houses sometimes have them. You need a cherry picker for head, it ain't no Chevy.

And you are sure it is the head gasket and ont a 53 block cracked under teh passenger side rear of exhaust manifold

See above and use search box at top or on Google/Youtube.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Replace tappet cover gasket and vacuum pump seal kit, 20 dollars each. Cummins store for both or local parts houses sometimes have them. You need a cherry picker for head, it ain't no Chevy.

And you are sure it is the head gasket and ont a 53 block cracked under teh passenger side rear of exhaust manifold

See above and use search box at top or on Google/Youtube.
Wow! I never heard about the 53 Block, will check right away. If it is the block I'd probably not move on with the project. That was extremely helpful thank you!
 

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It is supposedly easy enough to look up at it with a flashlight from below and see the crack, rust and deposits around it. Google pics.

Did you see visible leaks on head gasket? and check all freeze plugs?

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