Cummins Repair Experts Bountiful UT
Cummins engines are thought to be completely indestructible. In practice, however, there are two fatal flaws that not only damage these engines but can ruin them beyond repair.
Fatal Flaw 1: The Killer Dowel Pin The first such weakness affects 5.9L Cummins engines manufactured between 1988 and 1998 (in other words, 12-valve Cummins engines used in Dodge Rams). These engines feature a steel dowel pin that locates the front timing gear case. Over time, this steel dowel pin can wobble out due to the constant heat cycles and vibrations of the engine. If (or when) the dowel pin works its way completely out, it falls into the timing gear case.
When the dowel pin falls, a few things can happen. If you’re lucky, the pin will miss everything and just fall straight into the oil pan. If you’re not so lucky, it will hit one of the timing gears and shoot out the side of the timing case, creating a BP-sized oil spill in your driveway. In the third and most unfortunate scenario, the steel pin will jam between the timing gears. This typically causes the cam to break, the valves to hit the pistons, and the engine to internally self-destruct. While this last scenario is rare (a hole in the timing gear case and a big puddle of oil is most likely), it has happened to many unfortunate enthusiasts, which is how it got its name-the killer dowel pin (KDP).
Fatal Flaw 2: The Weak 53 Block The second potentially deadly flaw occurs in ’99 to ’02 5.9L Cummins 24-valve engines. It’s known as the 53 block problem, because these engine blocks have the number 53 cast into the side of the crankcase. After years of use, the 53 blocks tend to crack until coolant starts to pour out the side of the block. This is an issue that many people kid themselves about. While it’s something you can live with for a while, eventually the leak will get so severe that you’ll be refilling your cooling system on your commute to work. Sooner or later, the truck will need a new engine if it’s not repaired.
Tackling the Killer Dowel Pin For a KDP repair, most of the front of the engine needs to be disassembled to gain access to the timing gear case. The fan, shroud, overflow bottles, balancer, and lower pulley all need to be removed. With the front of the engine stripped, you can install a small metal tab over the dowel pin to keep it from rattling out. While you’re in there, make sure to tighten up all the gear case bolts. These bolts loosen over time and will do just as much damage (or more) if they fall into the front gear train. Many diesel companies (such as TST Products and Source Automotive) sell killer dowel pin kits for about $60 and include a tab, timing cover gasket, and front crank seal to put the engine back together. After performing this repair (or getting a shop to do it for you) you’ll feel much better knowing you’re not driving a ticking time bomb down the highway.
If your Cummins is acting strange, we invite you to bring it in for repair. Warning signs of impending Cummins maintenance include a whining sound that grows louder at boost, the smell of burning oil, an excessive amount of smoke, and a noticeable decrease in power. Our staff is equipped with the right tools to repair your Cummins. We will carefully inspect its components, identify the problem, and proceed with the repair process in order to get you back on the road with a fully functioning Cummins Pickup.
Affinity Auto is competent at servicing your Cummins Truck. Call us Today at 801-292-1331