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Need help and need it fast...

926 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  behindbars1544
Ok, here’s the deal,
As many of you know I’m buying my first diesel and decided on a 1999 Dodge 3500 quad cab dually Cummins with the 5-speed. Well I picked it up today and drove it for a few hours. The truck runs great!! Very smooth and tons of power. Then, as I’m cleaning the engine compartment my heart stopped…
“53”
The dealer said his mechanic told him it wasn’t a 53 but it is. Now the place were I purchased it from is a small family business and are really good. They said I could return the truck tomorrow and get my check back, 100% refund no questions asked. My issue is that it took me 6 months to find this truck and now I may have to hand it back. I know I’m going to open a can of worms with this one but what do you think I should do? Not every 53 motor had issues. Do I take the chance???
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How many miles on it? If its got the average amount for that year or more I wouldnt worry about it. Pretend its not a 53 block and have some piece of mind.
 

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How many miles on the truck?

edit: beat me to it:lol4:

but if its got 100,000+ miles and hasnt had a problem, then i wouldnt worry about it:thumbsup:
 

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mine's a 53 and I stopped worring about it along time ago, if you want to worry about something worry about the VP, mine is used hard daily (8+hrs) and has 432,000kms on it. If it took you 6months to find your truck, keep it and if it should need an engine so be it, well thats my way of thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
IT's got 128,000. Becides some lower door rust it's in awsome condition. It looks like the previous owner took VERY good care of it.

Here's the thing. I'm in Connecticut and around me theres not really a lot to choose from right now. To find a cummins dually with a stick around here is nearly impossible. Plus this guy did a ton of work to it for me. New brakes, rotors, calipers, lines, steering shaft, bed liner, tailgate latch, ect.. Doesn't sound like much but it's the face that everything I ed about they fixed.

I just don't have the $$$$ to take the chance. You guys don't know my luck. The last truck I bought got hit on the test drive!!! My luck, this block will start cracking next week.
 

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keep it, if ya only plan on doin a small chip, ya should be ok:thumbsup:

course, if it ever DOES crack, i'm sure ya could find a non 53 block to put all yer internals on:D
 

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I've done my homework on this.

The failure rate for the 53 blocks is pretty low, like 1 in 8. Mine cracked @204,xxx I kept putting coolant in it untill almost 240,xxx miles, When I finally replaced the engine. In the meantime I was drag racing and sled pulling on a regular basis, I even dyno'd over 500h.p. and 1100 TQ. with my cracked block.:headbang: There's guys out there that are way north of 700h.p. and have no issues whatsoever.
IMHO it's rapid temperature changes that contributes to the failure of these blocks.
My advise to you, if the truck is what you want, it sounds like you got a pretty sweet deal on it, just keep it, and forget about the 53 block. I recomend plugging it in on nights that get below freezing, (it's a good idea anyways) and don't use much more than 1/2 throttle untill the engine is warmed up.
Good luck:thumbsup:
 

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230,000 kilometers on mine before I even knew I had one. I always figured as soon as I found out I had one, it would break, so I never wanted to look. But she's still goin strong. I wouldn't worry about it, if it's the truck you like and want, work with it.
 

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I wonder if its not more of a heat cycling thing (think I read something on it a while back) I wonder If the 53 that do crack are driven short distances and shut down, restarted heated and cooled again, Mine is started gets up to temp and pretty much stays there all day.
Again you can buy the truck, and start searching for a used block from a wreck or salvage yard, sometimes salvage yards will sell a block pretty cheap if it was a core they got back or it was knocking or they sold all the parts off the engine, even so you could leave your number at a local salvage yard. Still bad luck aside you should be OK anyway.
 

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53 schmifty three. Who cares?! It took me almost that long to find my truck and as far as I know it has cuss words on the block. Keep your truck man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Actually it’s already back at the dealer and my check is back in the bank. I was paying $14,000.00 for this rig and I can’t afford another $5,000.00 for a new motor. The whole reason I want a Cummins is the reputation of their reliability. Plus the truck still needed some other work done. He installed a new steering shaft but the steering still didn’t feel right and I think the driveshaft needed new u-joints (heard a little whining while driving). Also the drivers side was re-painted and the quad door had some crappy bodywork done and wasn’t lined up right not to mention dodges famous lower door rust.
It killed me to return it because a manual tranny is hard to find around here not to mention a quad cab with a 8’ bed which is what I need. Oh well, back to the drawing board….
 
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