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Old 07-11-2018, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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rebuild or buy reman cummins common rail...

I've got a 2004 Dodge 3500 with a 5.9l Cummins common rail engine. It's got some pretty serious blow by problems. I'll be getting a compression tester on it within a week and then I'll start tearing it open. I'm 99% sure there's going to be broken rings and scored cylinders.

It looks like I'll be in about $4000 to rebuild the engine myself. But that's if I do all the work except the machining.

I've looked around for reman engines and it seems it might be possible to get one in the $4-5k range. This might be worth the time it would save me and having a warranty on it too.

What say ye?
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I rebuilt mine and that pricing sounds about right. I have some mods and wanted a better cam so thats why i chose a rebuild. Plus i knew what i was starting with and my had a bad #1 due to a melted ring from a bad injector. Got a 20 over bore with maule pistons and all is good. U will most likely need the injectors looked at and the oil cooler warped when removed so just buy a new one. I fought the leak for weeks before i gave in not worth the trouble. Its a prerty easy motor to put together if the shop does the rotating assembly.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Rebuild it if for no reason other than to cam it. Warranty is great...except they don't usually cover R&R, shipping or down time so it becomes a lot less useful. A friend put a reman in his '06 and had issues after a couple hundred miles. It was a debacle on the warranty claim that ended with him selling the truck.

Testing injectors is useful, but if you're up in mileage and putting in a fresh long block you may just replace them so you don't hydrolock the motor down the road or wash down and score a cylinder. Not to mention testing wasn't cheap last I looked, I could buy (1) Bosch injector for the cost as I recall.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I rebuilt mine and that pricing sounds about right. I have some mods and wanted a better cam so thats why i chose a rebuild. Plus i knew what i was starting with and my had a bad #1 due to a melted ring from a bad injector. Got a 20 over bore with maule pistons and all is good. U will most likely need the injectors looked at and the oil cooler warped when removed so just buy a new one. I fought the leak for weeks before i gave in not worth the trouble. Its a prerty easy motor to put together if the shop does the rotating assembly.

OK. I'm most likely just going stock. I really really really am just hoping that my injectors are ok as I really don't want to spend another $3000 for that on top of the engine, but I guess we'll see. I am not planning on having the shop assemble it as it's an extra $800 for that and I'm perfectly capable of doing it. I wish they were a little cheaper on the assembly, like under $500, but theyre not and that 800 is just too much extra.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Rebuild it if for no reason other than to cam it. Warranty is great...except they don't usually cover R&R, shipping or down time so it becomes a lot less useful. A friend put a reman in his '06 and had issues after a couple hundred miles. It was a debacle on the warranty claim that ended with him selling the truck.

Testing injectors is useful, but if you're up in mileage and putting in a fresh long block you may just replace them so you don't hydrolock the motor down the road or wash down and score a cylinder. Not to mention testing wasn't cheap last I looked, I could buy (1) Bosch injector for the cost as I recall.
Yeah I don't think its worth having an injector tested, if I suspect one is bad I'd rather just replace it anyway; I think testing is 2/3 the cost of a new one per injector. I'm just really hoping to not replace them as that's an extra considerable cost. This truck was supposed to be solid, but shame on me for not doing more homework and checking it over better. Had I known I was gonna be stuck doing this I'd have bought a truck that was way cheaper and had a blown engine!

I agree on the warranty part, I was just curious if someone had maybe gotten a reman and had good luck with it.

You suggest I should put a bigger cam in it? Any particular one or reason why? I was just going for a stock rebuild. I don't intend to make big power numbers, just need my truck to be reliable and tow my toyhauler and other trailers.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sub'ed for feedback on the cam. I've read so many different reasons as to why, but figure 90% or better is BS.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah I don't think its worth having an injector tested, if I suspect one is bad I'd rather just replace it anyway; I think testing is 2/3 the cost of a new one per injector. I'm just really hoping to not replace them as that's an extra considerable cost. This truck was supposed to be solid, but shame on me for not doing more homework and checking it over better. Had I known I was gonna be stuck doing this I'd have bought a truck that was way cheaper and had a blown engine!

I agree on the warranty part, I was just curious if someone had maybe gotten a reman and had good luck with it.

You suggest I should put a bigger cam in it? Any particular one or reason why? I was just going for a stock rebuild. I don't intend to make big power numbers, just need my truck to be reliable and tow my toyhauler and other trailers.
Putting a cam in my truck is probably the second best thing I did, even with the stock charger (second only to exhaust brake). It really brought up the low end torque as it's moving so much more air now at lower rpm and it's cooler running hard without as much valve overlap. It was a pita to do with the block in the truck, cyl 5 and 6 valve trains are fun on 3rd gens.

You don't need to go wild, but it's a low cost upgrade when you're rebuilding the block anyways that just makes drivability so much better. I'm running a Hamilton 188/208, but they don't make that unit any more. The 178/208 is supposed to be good though. Do some research.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The cam on my truck ws the missing piece of the puzzle. I have tow twins and f1-flux2 injectors with a host of other mods. Its really set up well for towing, not a brodozing. I was having issues with smoke on the low end from over fueling and egts when below 2k rpm. The cam really opened up the low end and stops the truck from loading up. It dropped the max psi from 62 to 51 by breathing better. The truck is so much happier. I dont think it there is a ton of power it just runs much better. I went with the 182/214 cam but im modded up.

Also i think my injectors were fully rebuilt by f-1 for $280 each. I would let them do it before i paid for remans.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The cam on my truck ws the missing piece of the puzzle. I have tow twins and f1-flux2 injectors with a host of other mods. Its really set up well for towing, not a brodozing. I was having issues with smoke on the low end from over fueling and egts when below 2k rpm. The cam really opened up the low end and stops the truck from loading up. It dropped the max psi from 62 to 51 by breathing better. The truck is so much happier. I dont think it there is a ton of power it just runs much better. I went with the 182/214 cam but im modded up.

Also i think my injectors were fully rebuilt by f-1 for $280 each. I would let them do it before i paid for remans.
My BIL has an S300G over an HT3B on his 12v, he's been running that combo with some bigger sticks for years. It's smokey and more of a HP combo than a towing setup, but after he helped me cam my truck he did a 188/220 on his truck and said the same thing, the missing piece that makes it drivable. He tows a 12k toy hauler now without issues on that setup. He's making some turbo changes in the near future though, but that's to get away from a high HP setup towards something with more mid range.

I had Les @ Silver Bullet tune my EFI on my truck after the cam and he was pretty impressed at how early the stock charger lit even. The power curve isn't up much, if any higher overall, but the cam literally brought the torque curve up in some places hundreds of foot lbs. I could use more air, but honestly I really like how flat the torque is and don't want to have to drive around a bigger single and don't want the crescendo that is twins to studs to fire-ring, to CP3. I don't think I could keep much more power cool, climbing grades loaded, anyways.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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OK. I'm most likely just going stock. I really really really am just hoping that my injectors are ok as I really don't want to spend another $3000 for that on top of the engine, but I guess we'll see. I am not planning on having the shop assemble it as it's an extra $800 for that and I'm perfectly capable of doing it. I wish they were a little cheaper on the assembly, like under $500, but theyre not and that 800 is just too much extra.

Please dont rebuild your engine without having the injectors checked, rebuilt, or install new ones. Also install better filtration on the supply side. I've rebuilt a ton of these and its always a bad injector that washes down a cylinder and ruins rings, burns holes in pistons, etc. How many miles? You may find that once you get in there that the crank and rods are still in spec and you can just reinstall with a new set of bearings. Pistons almost always need replaced and the cylinders bored and/or sleeved if damaged bad enough.

Bottom line is you got to get in there and have a look so you know exactly what you're dealing with. Oh, and your low compression is #1 or #6 or both.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've got a 2004 Dodge 3500 with a 5.9l Cummins common rail engine.
2004 or 2004.5?

Make sure you get the right pistons and injectors (nozzles)...….they are different
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I did this to an 05 about three years ago. Had broken rings on #2 and #6. I ended up buying injector also, three of the six where trashed. I was $7500 all in with machine work and all gaskets, did all the other labor myself.
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Have you considered going 6.7 short block and refresh your head?
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Doing all that work and not installing new injectors is a huge gamble

At the very least have them tested
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I had Les @ Silver Bullet tune my EFI on my truck after the cam and he was pretty impressed at how early the stock charger lit even. The power curve isn't up much, if any higher overall, but the cam literally brought the torque curve up in some places hundreds of foot lbs. I could use more air, but honestly I really like how flat the torque is and don't want to have to drive around a bigger single and don't want the crescendo that is twins to studs to fire-ring, to CP3. I don't think I could keep much more power cool, climbing grades loaded, anyways.
Sounds like exactly what I want - thanks for the info!
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Cams - Ok, I hear you. I do not want to mess with anything else including tuning on this truck. It needs to be stock and reliable and I've learned that the more I mess with upgrades etc. the more I have to continue to give attention to them. Who can I call that works on these trucks normally or that manufactures these cams that can give me a straight answer on cam recommendations? No offense to you all, but this is an internet forum and we know all about those

Yes it is an 04.5 I'm 99.9% sure. Built in January of 04 and I'll have to double check, but I'm fairly sure I looked at the engine tag and its a 325 engine.

Injectors - Fine, I'm convinced to replace them. I get it I guess I just was holding out false hope for my wallets sake. So with that said, how many people here have good or bad experience with F1 injectors. From them, assuming all things are ok, a stock set is $1500 which is a damn good price. But is that too good for quality? If not, where is the next best recommended place? I'm looking for a good balance between quality and price on a stock or just one very light step up injector.

6.7 - Idk anything about doing that and it sounds like it's going to require more attention than I want to deal with regarding parts swaps, retrofits, etc. etc. You won't convince me to go this route.

I suppose with injectors I'll be knocking on the $7k door. That's assuming all other things are stock and I don't go with studs and any other new upgraded parts. Heres the basics of what I'm looking at from R & R machine in Akron, OH:
Head refresh - $6-700
Block work - $800-1000 depending on severity
Crank - $150
Rebuild kit (pistons, bearings gaskets etc.) - ~~$1200

Injectors - ~$2000 up to $2500ish

EDIT: I regret buying this fawking truck, it's been nothing but problems and I'd go back and not do it if I could, but now I'm stuck lying in the bed I've made.....

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Old 07-16-2018, 03:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Cams - Ok, I hear you. I do not want to mess with anything else including tuning on this truck. It needs to be stock and reliable and I've learned that the more I mess with upgrades etc. the more I have to continue to give attention to them. Who can I call that works on these trucks normally or that manufactures these cams that can give me a straight answer on cam recommendations? No offense to you all, but this is an internet forum and we know all about those

Yes it is an 04.5 I'm 99.9% sure. Built in January of 04 and I'll have to double check, but I'm fairly sure I looked at the engine tag and its a 325 engine.

Injectors - Fine, I'm convinced to replace them. I get it I guess I just was holding out false hope for my wallets sake. So with that said, how many people here have good or bad experience with F1 injectors. From them, assuming all things are ok, a stock set is $1500 which is a damn good price. But is that too good for quality? If not, where is the next best recommended place? I'm looking for a good balance between quality and price on a stock or just one very light step up injector.

6.7 - Idk anything about doing that and it sounds like it's going to require more attention than I want to deal with regarding parts swaps, retrofits, etc. etc. You won't convince me to go this route.

I suppose with injectors I'll be knocking on the $7k door. That's assuming all other things are stock and I don't go with studs and any other new upgraded parts. Heres the basics of what I'm looking at from R & R machine in Akron, OH:
Head refresh - $6-700
Block work - $800-1000 depending on severity
Crank - $150
Rebuild kit (pistons, bearings gaskets etc.) - ~~$1200

Injectors - ~$2000 up to $2500ish

EDIT: I regret buying this fawking truck, it's been nothing but problems and I'd go back and not do it if I could, but now I'm stuck lying in the bed I've made.....
Call Hamilton Cams to see what they think. I picked their brain on cams when I did mine as well and so did my BIL.

For injectors, I trust OEM stuff because I don't want to do it again. I'm not trying to say anything about any specific aftermarket outfit, just that there are too many different issues from modified or rebuilds even if 50% of them are install errors by backyard hacks. I stabbed in some Bosch Motorsports +50's when I did mine. If Bosch didn't have marine injector they resold as a motorsport injector for more fuel I probably would have put stock Bosch units back in. I think it was $2200 for the sticks and $150 in tubes
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My stock injectors made it 105k miles with stock filtration and with a 3 micron fass system the f-1 sticks made it 195k miles. He has all the right equipement for testing and building sticks thats why i went with him. Zach at hamilton is who u need to talk to. The cam will help but if its not in the budget stock will still be fine.

How many miles do u have on the truck? Mine made it to 300k with it at 650/1200 for almost 200k miles. It probably still be going if i didnt ignore the bad injector. Im betting your injectors r the issue too.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Call Hamilton Cams to see what they think. I picked their brain on cams when I did mine as well and so did my BIL.

For injectors, I trust OEM stuff because I don't want to do it again. I'm not trying to say anything about any specific aftermarket outfit, just that there are too many different issues from modified or rebuilds even if 50% of them are install errors by backyard hacks. I stabbed in some Bosch Motorsports +50's when I did mine. If Bosch didn't have marine injector they resold as a motorsport injector for more fuel I probably would have put stock Bosch units back in. I think it was $2200 for the sticks and $150 in tubes
Ok, thanks. Where did you buy those stock Bosch injectors from? Aren't they still rebuilt or are they brand new?



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My stock injectors made it 105k miles with stock filtration and with a 3 micron fass system the f-1 sticks made it 195k miles. He has all the right equipement for testing and building sticks thats why i went with him. Zach at hamilton is who u need to talk to. The cam will help but if its not in the budget stock will still be fine.

How many miles do u have on the truck? Mine made it to 300k with it at 650/1200 for almost 200k miles. It probably still be going if i didnt ignore the bad injector. Im betting your injectors r the issue too.
Ok. I'll reach out to F1. It sounds like they have a good reputation. I'm interested in the cam, but it will depend on the price. Just kicking around it looks like those Hamiltons are in the $500 or more range and that's a little more than I'd prefer. $3-400 would be more comfortable for me.

My truck has 155k on it. I've only owned it for about 5k of that. I have no idea what happened to it prior to me. It has a gooseneck hitch and the bed floor is fairly wavy so I'm betting someone towed heavy with it. It is a dually Laramie package so based on that and the condition of the rest of the truck (which is pretty good for it's age) I'd lean towards horse people. Especially since it started life in Utah and Wyoming. Tranny has been built to some extent; billet converter and I called the company on the tag, but, they don't have records going back. There is a cold air, exhaust and a Edge Juice with attitude on it. I'm sure someone had that thing turned up at some point. I've tried to leave it on the stock or towing setting.

I suppose the injectors may be modified, but I won't know until I open it up later this week. I guess the filtration and injectors could have been the problem. Are there other symptoms that would show up if there were bad injectors.

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Old 07-17-2018, 09:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks. Where did you buy those stock Bosch injectors from? Aren't they still rebuilt or are they brand new?
You can get new stock Bosch injectors from a lot of places.

I got my set BMS injectors from Wild Diesel who buys them from Exergy who buys them from Bosch. Exergy just flow tests them and matches sets a little tighter is their claim.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Generally injector issues show up as hard starting and problems starting when hot. If u dont have those symtoms it doent mean they r good as there may be an issue with a tip washing the cylinder. I guess u wil find out when u pull it apart.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:17 AM   #22 (permalink)
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You can get new stock Bosch injectors from a lot of places.

I got my set BMS injectors from Wild Diesel who buys them from Exergy who buys them from Bosch. Exergy just flow tests them and matches sets a little tighter is their claim.
ok. I found a couple spots online that sell NEW stock Bosch injectors for around $375-$390 each; DAP I think was one of them. I'll call that F1 place too. I wouldn't mind stepping up to a slightly better/bigger injector as long as I can run it on a mostly stock setup and be reliable.

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Generally injector issues show up as hard starting and problems starting when hot. If u dont have those symtoms it doent mean they r good as there may be an issue with a tip washing the cylinder. I guess u wil find out when u pull it apart.

That's the odd thing. I really have no starting or running issues. I know that's typically a symptom, but it starts right up on a couple cranks. My dad has the same truck, but 2wd and 125k and they start just the same.

I'm not sure if a bad or clogged tip will be evident after I open up the engine. Should be obvious which cylinder(s) is bad, but I doubt it's going to be as obvious why it happened? I guess I'm convinced to change the injectors anyway. I wish I didn't have to, but it's the right way to do it for long term reliability/investment.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:44 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Another question:

With an automatic trans, can I pull the engine and not have to pull the trans with it?
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Another question:

With an automatic trans, can I pull the engine and not have to pull the trans with it?
I did that with a nv4500 alone. Its a bitch..

My first gen had a bad head gasket, which pressurized the oil gallery which starved the last few mains of oil. Machinist was surprised I didn't spin a bearing and I made it home 2000 miles in this condition 15k# combined. Surprisingly the pistons where fine but we put new rings on them, hone, new gaskets and bearings etc etc. Cost me about 6k had them assemble the short block. Make sure you have your head resurfaced and block checked..
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1997 12 valve 4x4 nv4500 3.54
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:19 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Member # 67357
Location: Somerset,Ky
Posts: 663
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Originally Posted by DE Jeeper View Post
The cam on my truck ws the missing piece of the puzzle. I have tow twins and f1-flux2 injectors with a host of other mods. Its really set up well for towing, not a brodozing. I was having issues with smoke on the low end from over fueling and egts when below 2k rpm. The cam really opened up the low end and stops the truck from loading up. It dropped the max psi from 62 to 51 by breathing better. The truck is so much happier. I dont think it there is a ton of power it just runs much better. I went with the 182/214 cam but im modded up.

Also i think my injectors were fully rebuilt by f-1 for $280 each. I would let them do it before i paid for remans.
Pm Sent.
KyTrash is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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