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5.9 Liter CR Dodge Cummins 03-07 Discussion of 5.9 Liter Dodge Cummins Diesels with Common Rail Injection

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Old 03-24-2010, 07:34 AM
Diesel Fan

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Default common problems with Cummins 5.9


Was just wondering if anyone could help point out some common known problems with the Cummins 5.9L. Currently I own a 6.0 Powerstroke and regret buying it as it is costing me a fortune in repair costs and it doesn't seem to be coming to an end any time soon. In saying that I am interested in perhaps buying a Dodge with the Cummins engine instead.

Any direction on what to expect with these engines, reliability, cost to repair, common problems as opposed to the 6.0 PS would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:28 AM
Diesel Enthusiast
Status: One Hot Dude! *weather that is... ;>)



Depending on which year Dodge you get, there can be various (and changing) issues.

Here is a good place to start:


Note that EVERY vehicle out there, diesel, gas, car, truck, import, American, or any other category you want to think of, WILL have a series of issues that have cropped up in that platform over time. So, in essence, you trade one set of problems for another set of problems, which may or may not be easier to deal with, less or more expensive, or more in line with your intended use and/or skill sets and wallet depth.

After 30+ years in the business, I've come to realize that certain makes and models have recurring problems, for instance, you can COUNT on replacing the steering rack on a front-wheel drive model Ford Taurus at some point in its life. You can COUNT on replacing the transmission in a Dodge mini-van at around 70K miles. You can COUNT on the killer dowel pin being a problem on a 12V Cummins, and you can COUNT on having other problems with other platforms.

You can also COUNT on the fact that fans of a particular model will overlook their own problems and point out those in other lines... That being said, in my own case (I'm NOT a big fan of Dodge products) I looked at the Cummins diesel in the Dodge trucks and decided that the ENGINE is worth the other problems that I might find in the Dodge truck platform. For me, best of all worlds would be a Ford truck with a Cummins engine. That may yet happen when my Dodge turns into a rusty red spot with a still-great Cummins sitting there exposed to the elements. It is hard to top an engine that can easily, reliably, and inexpensively be tuned to produce close to 400 hp, 800 ft. lbs. of torque, and that pulls down over 20 mpg while doing so.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:38 PM
dangerous1965's Avatar
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Seems the injectors are a problem on the common rails expect about 60k on a set that's average some do better! Some worse!! I put a brand new injector in 6 months ago and that same injector failed and fryed my engine! Otherwise pretty awesome engine!

dangerous1965's Sig:Goodies so far S&B intake,Silver bullet 64,AFE Stainless steel manifold, 90hp sticks, Head studs, 5" exhaust,SMARTY SSR,Airdog 150, 1/2" big Line kit,Gutted lift pump housing with draw straw Mod, T&C diesel CP-3,MP-8 at Half power, Custom intake with heater grid delete High Ram Intake, Built tranny, More guages than can be expected! 225 70r 19.5 tires at 80psi nitrous for laughs!
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:13 PM
Diesel Fan


Default Lift Pump

The lift pumps seem to be a common problem, but nothing an Air Dog or Fass can't address, while at the same time paving the way for future upgrades like bigger injectors, etc.

slickbrave's Sig:'03 Ram 3500 Quad Cab SLT 4x4, 6-sp manual, 2' leveling kit.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:35 PM
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Status: have too many projects unfinished but then again are they ever finished?



I got a problem with mine - Every time I step on the gas the back tires break loose and you couldn't get the grin off my face with a baseball bat! I am also sick of looking in my rear view mirror wondering where all the dura's , strokes, and stangs fell back to.

mxtuner1's Sig:2006 Mega 5.9, Edge Juice w/Attitude+ HOT, add on pressure box, propane injection homemade, 98.5 24v mbrp 5in, ported turbo & BD ex man, propane inj, edge comp, autometer,40 horse vp44 Oregon FI, Billet low stall Redline convertor, Extra duty 47re with new steel input shaft, transfer tank 90 gallon in bed, homemade transmission cooler with added ats ddeep pan trans and cooler holds 7 gallons and 1 qt total amsoil synthetic atf
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:46 PM
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X-2 on the lift pump it is a mandatory replacement. And somehow, I managed to toast a clutch before I chipped the thing out even... Those are the only major problems I have had with the engine/drivetrain. Most of the problems I have encountered over the years have been small annoying ones like the dash cracking in 10 places, the windows quitting due to both switches going at once (at -20 by the way and one window down a little....) the seats are like sitting on bricks, and the heat is a little sub standard for the north country. Otherwise, I look forward to putting a million miles on this monster, and I have 185K right now, basically problem free. Did I mention the 20+ mph @300 HP?

Meralain's Sig:2001 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab, 2x4, 5 speed manual, Edge Comp, K&N High Performance air intake/filter, FASS fuel system. Pyro, Boost, Oil Temp, Trans Temp, Rear Axle Temp Gauges, High Idle Fooler, Pioneer CD Player, 10 inch Kicker powered by a Rockford Fosgate 250 watt amp. Rockford Fosgate speakers in the doors. Wishing for more AIR!!!
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:34 AM
cerberus60's Avatar
Diesel Wrench



The single best mod one can make to a CR engine is upgrade the fuel delivery and filtration. Once you do that, all the major issues become minor.

The only other issue is the cost of keeping a trans\clutch behind it. Solid options are available at a reasonable price.

cerberus60's Sig:05 3500 QC SRW LWB 4x4, Smarty REVO, ISSPRO Gauges, 48RE, OPIE Inpu,t Billet Single Disk TC, Transgo Kit, other tweaks and parts

92 D250, 370 Marine Inj tips, Tweaked pump, HX35 60\16, 47RH, Billet TC, Transgo Kit
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:39 PM
Diesel Fan

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thank you for your responses gentlemen. i might have to seriously consider the cummins.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:13 PM

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Either that or look for a cummins for your Ford, they plenty of sites telling you how to do it right the first time.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:34 AM
Diesel Enthusiast
Status: have too many projects unfinished but then again are they ever finished?



Also on a more serious note - the lift pumps are the weak link. Look under the hood of a dura or stroke and you can see the Cummins is by far the easiest to work on. It is literally the "small block chevy" as far as aftermarket is concerned and can be made really powerful and efficient. The second weak link becomes the transmission when you get addicted to power enhancement. Even most "boxes" have enough extra juice to overpower the transmissions - especially when doing things with your vehicle that your Mom wouldn't told you not to. But all things do have remedies that will meet all your goals. Also remember at the same horsepower levels the Cummins always has more torque than the others. Torque is what you feel - horsepower is a number.
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