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Newbies guide to your new to you truck

125875 Views 230 Replies 60 Participants Last post by  edgardotcom7
First off welcome to CumminsForum! Lots of smart guys here that have seen a lot.

VIN Lookup...

Service Manuals (PM me if the link is not working, use Adobe to open them)

Updated Links
2003 DR FSM.pdf?dl=0




2008 DR FSM.pdf?dl=0

These may not work
Dropbox - Error

06 .pdf?dl=0

Dropbox - Error

Dropbox - Error

Dropbox - Error

Affordable gauges... plus Android app Torque

Second... Please... DO NOT BUY REMAN INJECTORS (BBi is the exception)... They have a high failure rate and A LOT of guys come here seeking answers to why they have white smoke or hard starts with them installed... If your dead set on buying them, go research here FIRST!! Not saying all remans will cause problems, just saying there is a higher failure rate of them.

Edit: There has been some great discussion in this thread regarding reman injectors... at the time of this update, Martin_BBI has posed up some very good info on why some remans fail (around pg 22~23) and mentioned that they have had zero warranty returns on their reman injectors.

Regarding jkidd/DAP & BOSCH.....

Injector marking comment...
Markings on New Bosch injectors

Injector function video

Why you dont want to buy a cheap reman injector...

BBI Info thread

More info on injectors

124* Injectors vs 143* injectors, pic courtesy of Clayton @ Dude Diesel Performance, an excellent contact for answering all BBI questions. Thanks Clayton @Dude_57

Third... if you start a thread to ask for help to solve a problem, PLEASE, PLEASE, follow up the thread with whatever the end solution was. That way others searching for help can leverage your experience. -Grunt 11B

So you just bought a used Cummins, 3rd gen 2003-07.5 (they actually go further but I will limit this to the models with the 5.9 motor).

What I would suggest you do, regardless of what you know of the motor, is to drop some of this in the oil on the next oil change:

<deleted 1st link, not sure where to get that stuff these days, the HSSE is available at many auto parts stores>

Adding a new favorite from Hot Shots Secret This does the same as the oil system cleaner but you leave it in your pan through the oil service life, I use 1 qt each oil change

Get oil and filters, and a fresh fuel filter and be prepared to swap them all in the near future. You can get all 3 of these at any cummins dealer.
Oil... I use royal purple 15w-40. Pricey but a new motor is more expensive. I currently have 281k on my truck and have owned it since 2006 with 13k on it.

Fuel filter
Filters - Fuel - FUEL FILTER- FLEETGUARD ('03 - '07, 5.9L) - FS19856

2micron fuel filter (what I use)
Vulcan performance


oil filters
Fleetguard LF16035 StrataPore Oil Filter

Then do a valve adjustment...

I recommend getting this barring tool, makes the adjustment so much easier than trying to turn the motor from the front.
'89-'16 Dodge Cummins Engine Barring Tool

Here is a writeup on how to do it...

Valve cover grommet p/n from felpro
Newbies guide to your new to you truck

Valve Adjustment 24 Valve CTD's
(there are other links, cant find them ATM, will update later)

Thread post with the valve lash instructions
Newbies guide to your new to you truck

Once the cleaners are in hand...

1) Do the valve adjustment. Do all of them regardless of what the feeler gauge indicates, it only takes about 60~90 minutes.
One tip... when the crank is at 12 oclock, check cylinders 1 & 6 as described in the writeups and adjust those set of valves at that time, then rotate 360 and do the other set. Saves time on having to rotate the motor multiple times. There is no need to do 1 set before the other.

2) Add the fuel cleaner to a full tank of fuel, drive it to near empty, then fillup and swap the fuel filter.
Note, ATF, non-synthetic Dex/Merc from Walmart has been used by several of us here with great results. NOT ALL members here will recommend it, so if you decide to go this route at any time, do your research and make your own decision. rgsauger has about 90k miles since he started using it and has nothing but good things to say. I have about 8k (I think) since starting and have been putting 8oz per tank.

Use 2 Stroke Oil aka 2SO in the fuel... Walmart has what we use in the gallon jugs, Supertech TC-W3 2 stroke oil. Cheap and works to add lubrication to the fuel.

Mix quantities 8 oz of ATF, 20-24 oz of 2SO

Note: here is a post from Martin @ BBI on using ATF (& 2SO)

Now that the fuel system is clean and the motor "should" be clean on the inside, swap the remaining fluids when your ready. Since the truck is new to you I recommend doing it sooner rather than later. I personally change oil, filter and fuel filter every 10k, and (not discussed yet) the 2 micron & filter screen every 20k (your truck may not have these).

3) Next add the Stiction Eliminator at your oil change, replace 1 quart of oil for 1 quart of SE

4) Check your drive belt and swap if needed!! If it breaks, it can cause a nice headache...
Fluids, ATF4 is used in the Automatic, transfer case and power steering box

5) Clean your Crankcase Breather filter on the top of the valve cover. Replace the o-ring (Napa has one that works) and clamp the hoses coming off the filter. I've done mine with brake cleaner until it came out clean, then soaked it in ATF to remove even more crud. You can buy a new one if you choose, however its a mesh screen inside and your really only need a new o-ring once its cleaned. Why you ask? Not 100% confirmed yet but it appears to have reduced my oil loss that I was experiencing recently (spring 2021). Here is what led me down this path (watch the video on the turbo seals in this post)

Manometer thread for checking blowby

Steering box should be flushed with fresh ATF about every 50~60k. This is what I do, my choice, still running the original power steering pump, on my 2nd steering box which needs to be swapped out (sector shaft leak) after 150~160k... I have aboutt 180~190k on this box and its been leaking a while. Slow enough to just add fluid when needed.

Automatic trans & trans case should be changed every 30K miles (that was my choice), clean fresh fluid at regular intervals. Service it and adjust bands as needed along with anything else that could be looked at.

This site has a lot of fixes that the average 48RE can use. I went here years back for all of my parts while fixing the bad habits the AT had.
PATC Dodge Performance Transmissions, 46RE, 47RE, 48RE, 68RFE

Cold weather... You will loose mpg in the winter... its a fact stated over and over. To combat this mpg loss I did some testing and found intake temps are the reason for the loss... i was able to manage 20+ mpg in temps below 20*f over 460+ miles in the winter of 2014-15 while working in Minnesota. I have a manual transmission... I gained 2 mpg when I swapped mine in for the Auto I pulled out. Read how I tested & concluded warm air = better mpg here... Cold weather MPG thread.

Block heater corrd
'89-'20 Dodge Cummins Diesel Engine Block Heater Cord

Dodge Cummins Universal Block Heater Bumper Plug

Mods... My experiences over the years... MPG & Mods info... my experience.

Your first mod should be something similar to this ( have a smiliar setup but for an aftermarket intake horn.
VP MAX Under Intake Filter System CR

Or if you prefer it on the rail... this
VP MAX Dual Remote Filter Kit

If you go that route, expect to have the potential for gelled fuel which will clog the filters. If you go with one under the hood then chances of gelling can be reduced. I did 2 things talked about in the cold weather thread.

here is some info on gelled fuel
How to Prevent Diesel Fuel Gelling | Fuel & Friction | An automotive website dedicated to all things Fuel and Friction by Boost Performance Products

here is a simple fix...
Raw Power Fuel Filter Heaters - Keep your vehicle running in the cold! - Utah Biodiesel Supply

<blowby info>

<injector info>

<manual trans>
NV5600 Fluid change 3rd Gen NV5600 Manual Fluid Change...Pics

MB G56-6 Mercedes Benz Factory Fill - NOT ATF+4!!

G56 conversion p/n's 4wd -> 2wd
G56 4WD to 2WD
Flange: 5142860AB
Seal: 5142723AB
Bolt: 6104278AA
Washer: 5142861AA
G56 Conversion Reverse fix, simple as shorting 2 wires of AT harness to reverse light switch

G56 Fluids - Steves choice... research more, Delvac 50WT is another, I did not have good luck with it and settled on this mix

NV5600 (and probably NV4500)
NV5600 fluid P/N

Band Adjustment
Turbo Diesel Register

Dodge Cummins Data

4wd Steering brace... needed!
Creative Fabworks Dodge Ram 2500/3500 4x4 Heavy Duty Steering Brace

Tracbar bushings
'03-'07 Dodge Ram Luke's Link Trackbar Bushings

Longtime members please feel free to add in and or correct if needed, I will add to this post as time goes on.

Felt the need to have this to answer a lot of questions that come up often.

mpg info
MPG threads

winterizing the ram
Must do for trucks that see winter weather...PICS

Another deep cleaning thread with fresh pics

cleanup after the winterizing
Ram Cleanup from MN winter

Quick FYI Sticky for service
Quick FYI sticky for service specs .

Fan clutch alternative in this post... Thanks to TryNto for the info...
Trying To Measure Resistance On Cooling Fan Plug

Hayden fan clutch feedback...
04.5 3500 running hot/overheating issue

Fan clutch bearing replacement
Fan hub bearing replacement.....

Coolant flush thread
Coolant flush on a 3rd Gen.

Water Pump comparison (5.9 vs 6.7)

exhaust manifold blanket

Ash tray assembly removal...
Ash tray assembly removal

Power Distribution Center Repair

part 1
part 2

Spicer U-joint part numbers + quantities

saving this info...
This is an Air Intake Heater for a LB7 Duramax. With a quick search you'll find them (Airtex p/n 1S12230) for $50. drill and tap with a M22x1.5
More Information for STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS DIH4 "STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS DIH4 {#8972519740, 97251974}"
More Information for WVE 1S12230 "AIRTEX/WELLS 1S12230 {#97251974, EAH5} "

Front driveshaft greasing...
Greasing front drive shaft reminder

And why you want to grease it

High Idle wire...
cummins p/n 3164263 ecm repair wire
"pin #22 of the rear connector on the ECM was grounded" -kmech

dorman volvo fan p/n 620-774 and Dorman 620-883 Radiator Fan Assembly

Belt routing,


With AC

Fix for old style fluidampr belt swap issue
Pulley option for belt changes with old style Fluidampr

Gates belt P/N for updated pulley to use with old Fluidampr = K081243HD

FleetRunner® Micro-V® Belts | Gates Corporation

silencer ring info
Turbo Silencer ring

220A Alternator upgrade
5.9 to 6.7 alternator upgrade/swap
220A alternator update pics...

2013 power steering pump upgrade
2013+ Power Steering Pump w/ Remote Reservoir

6 bolt steering box info, dig down thru the thread, good info in there
OEM 6 Bolt Steering Box Differences

Front Suspension FAQ
Front Suspension FAQ

PhotoSuckit pics in the next 2 threads... use chrome if you need to see them... there is a browser extension IIRC that allows them to be shown.
Power Steering Service
DIY Power Steering Service

Steering box swap
DIY steering box install

6 Bolt Steering Box info
OEM 6 Bolt Steering Box Differences

Adding a post on truck maintenance, this is worth reading...

Crank & Cam sensor info (read me)

Twin Turbo Install...

CP3 Explained

Front driveshaft lube thread

Fluid Capacities

Dash Lights
HVAC lights P/N #600-2535 (Napa Auto Parts) 3 each, don't remember what I paid for them.
Instrument cluster lights P/N #0483 9738 (Dealership) 11 each @ $3.79 each.

AAM Axle rebuild video, link in post.

Arm rest install
4th gen seats in 3rd gen w/ Captains Chairs | Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum (

DIY Wiper Motor Fix
(2) DIY Intermittant Wiper Motor Fix | Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum (
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14,004 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
great write up :thumbsup: maybe add some info on the manual trans in that section where you talk about the auto trans fluid.
Ah yes, thanks! No brain, no pain as they say... I will update it later today.

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Thanks for the info. I didn't see it, but it would have saved me some grief, if I would have serviced and adjusted bands in my 48re as soon as I bought my truck. I owned a Dirtymax before the Dodge and didn't know about the band adjustment.

14,004 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. I didn't see it, but it would have saved me some grief, if I would have serviced and adjusted bands in my 48re as soon as I bought my truck. I owned a Dirtymax before the Dodge and didn't know about the band adjustment.
added and included a link to a site I used for parts...
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Maybe a link to how someone can adjust the bands on the 48re.
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236 Posts
great daata

i loved the valve lash adjustment info, I think I'll tackle that item next....



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And the crowd goes wild!!! sticky Sticky STICKY!!!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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Fuel Filters

I'm new to the 3rd gen world, and have recently baselined the truck, including a Baldwin PF7977 5 micron fuel filter. If I'm reading things correctly it seems that 5 micron rating is still not 'enough' for these CR injectors, and that is the reason for installing the additional fuel filter kit under the intake horn, thus gaining a 3 micron rating, correct? And if I'm reading right adding in the 3 micron filter system might eliminate any future need for new injectors, correct?

At just over 66,000 miles on the odo my 5.9 engine is pretty young, and I'd like to eliminate the need for replacing spendy injectors, so I'm very interested in legitimate upgrades to prevent such things like new injectors, and it sounds like that kit is among those upgrades.

I'm in Colorado and we get some very cold days out here, and I am wondering about how the additional filter performs in very cold climates?

Thanks for all the great tech in here

- Sam
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