KNOWN PROBLEMS 1st gen??? - Diesel Bombers



1st Generation Dodge Cummins 89-93 Discussion of 12 Valve 5.9 Liter Dodge Cummins Diesels with Rotary Injection Pumps

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Old 06-09-2014, 01:02 PM
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Default KNOWN PROBLEMS 1st gen???

Hey guys i was looking to buy an older cummins for my towing needs, and was wondering what any known problems were, also the difference between the intercooled and non intercooled?
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:01 AM
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Paint!!
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:33 AM
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Auto trans can be weak, IC has overdrive auto's, Non/IC does not have overdrive. IC has smaller injectors, but run cooler with the IC. Floorboard rust is another down side, along with some wiring issues from a old truck.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:54 AM
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This weak transmission myth has got to die already. Torqueflite transmissions are some of the most robust American slushboxes ever put into a passenger vehicle. Torque converters coming unglued aren't unheard of, but short of an engine that's built to pull a freight train, 4x4 boost launches and with proper maintenance at the specified intervals, these autos will last a long time. My A518 is 23 years old and has never sh*t the bed.

The main issues with these trucks become evident when you scroll through the forum and look at the same ol' tired questions being asked.

Engine: Tab the KDP; they've been known to drop, but more often than not, they stay put. Keep a spare FSS or gut the existing one and use a cable; again, failures aren't extremely common but when it dies, the truck is useless. Cummins 6BTs are beast. Change your fluids, filters and pressure wash it every now and then and it'll carry you a million miles, plus.

Transmission: Do the maintenance. Fluid, filters, band adjustments. This stuff is crazy easy but often neglected, then the sorry bastard who owns it blames the machine. If you tow, an auxiliary cooler isn't a bad idea. If you're making big power, build it up; they sky's the limit. You can do everything from a simple bolt-in sprag to adding clutches to the basket to upgrading to a 6-pinion planetary to a billet torque converter to billet input/output shafts.

Electrical: The headlights in these trucks don't run off of a relay, the switch carries the entire load, and it's about maxed out as it is. It's not a bad idea to install a couple of relays. It'll save you from a failed switch (lights going out in the middle of the night because of an overheated switch or a burned up 14ga wire SUCKS) or worse, a fire. This is a must for supplementary lighting or trailer towing. The super-common speedometer failure which dominoes into the cruise and overdrive going out. 9 times out of 10, the VSS is the culprit. It's cheap and takes 5 minutes to change. Once in a while it's the PCM (on intercooled trucks). When it is you have a couple of options: Spend the money and replace it (used computers aren't too expensive, but it has to be from the same model year) or run a switched ground to the orange wire leading to the VSS. You still won't have a speedometer but you can actuate the overdrive manually. The only other wiring issue I can think of at the moment isn't any fault of the manufacturer, rather previous owners. Many people don't know how to check fusible links or like to splice accessories into wires they have no business touching. It's very easy to come across a complete hack-job that's ugly, frustrating and downright dangerous.

Body and frame: Like any vehicle, it depends where it spent time or how it was treated. There are as many clean, rust-free trucks out there as there are Tetanus mine fields. If you're looking for rust, look in the usual places: rockers, fenders, frame rails, floor boards, etc. Pay special attention to drip rails on the roof. It's not uncommon to find the frame cracked in the front, left rail at or near the steering gear box. Chrysler alleviated this issue with a stout plate that sits between the two. Otherwise, the sheet metal on these things are plenty tough and hold up despite the bad factory paint.

Other common issues are all small ones. Door hinges wear and sag pretty commonly, steering shaft couplers need rebuilds every few years (or you can buy a Borgeson u-joint shaft and be done with it), valve cover gaskets need to be watched, wiper bushings sometimes need to be replaced, the anti-lock brake system can't ever be counted on to work, causes a spongy pedal and might as well be deleted immediately. All pretty piddly issues.

As longs as you keep an eye on boost/drive pressures, exhaust gas temperatures, transmission temperatures and do your maintenance, there will be minimal issues. These are man trucks.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92betsy View Post
Auto trans can be weak, IC has overdrive auto's, Non/IC does not have overdrive. IC has smaller injectors, but run cooler with the IC. Floorboard rust is another down side, along with some wiring issues from a old truck.
pretty much sums it up!! The only weak link is the trans really!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novapat View Post
pretty much sums it up!! The only weak link is the trans really!!
I wouldn't take any transmission advice from this guy. He pries his front pumps out with a screwdriver or pry bar.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the.beard View Post
I wouldn't take any transmission advice from this guy. He pries his front pumps out with a screwdriver or pry bar.

ya I know nothing!!!
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:24 AM
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To borrow sentiment from Ronald Reagan, "Well, the trouble with novapat is not that he's ignorant, but that he knows so much that isn’t so."

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Old 06-15-2014, 08:50 PM
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wow cant think of any thing on your own?? keep giving the great advise on this site!! Your making it go to hell very fast!! LOL
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the.beard View Post
This weak transmission myth has got to die already. Torqueflite transmissions are some of the most robust American slushboxes ever put into a passenger vehicle. Torque converters coming unglued aren't unheard of, but short of an engine that's built to pull a freight train, 4x4 boost launches and with proper maintenance at the specified intervals, these autos will last a long time. My A518 is 23 years old and has never sh*t the bed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the.beard View Post
The main issues with these trucks become evident when you scroll through the forum and look at the same ol' tired questions being asked.

Engine: Tab the KDP; they've been known to drop, but more often than not, they stay put. Keep a spare FSS or gut the existing one and use a cable; again, failures aren't extremely common but when it dies, the truck is useless. Cummins 6BTs are beast. Change your fluids, filters and pressure wash it every now and then and it'll carry you a million miles, plus.

Transmission: Do the maintenance. Fluid, filters, band adjustments. This stuff is crazy easy but often neglected, then the sorry bastard who owns it blames the machine. If you tow, an auxiliary cooler isn't a bad idea. If you're making big power, build it up; they sky's the limit. You can do everything from a simple bolt-in sprag to adding clutches to the basket to upgrading to a 6-pinion planetary to a billet torque converter to billet input/output shafts.

Electrical: The headlights in these trucks don't run off of a relay, the switch carries the entire load, and it's about maxed out as it is. It's not a bad idea to install a couple of relays. It'll save you from a failed switch (lights going out in the middle of the night because of an overheated switch or a burned up 14ga wire SUCKS) or worse, a fire. This is a must for supplementary lighting or trailer towing. The super-common speedometer failure which dominoes into the cruise and overdrive going out. 9 times out of 10, the VSS is the culprit. It's cheap and takes 5 minutes to change. Once in a while it's the PCM (on intercooled trucks). When it is you have a couple of options: Spend the money and replace it (used computers aren't too expensive, but it has to be from the same model year) or run a switched ground to the orange wire leading to the VSS. You still won't have a speedometer but you can actuate the overdrive manually. The only other wiring issue I can think of at the moment isn't any fault of the manufacturer, rather previous owners. Many people don't know how to check fusible links or like to splice accessories into wires they have no business touching. It's very easy to come across a complete hack-job that's ugly, frustrating and downright dangerous.

Body and frame: Like any vehicle, it depends where it spent time or how it was treated. There are as many clean, rust-free trucks out there as there are Tetanus mine fields. If you're looking for rust, look in the usual places: rockers, fenders, frame rails, floor boards, etc. Pay special attention to drip rails on the roof. It's not uncommon to find the frame cracked in the front, left rail at or near the steering gear box. Chrysler alleviated this issue with a stout plate that sits between the two. Otherwise, the sheet metal on these things are plenty tough and hold up despite the bad factory paint.

Other common issues are all small ones. Door hinges wear and sag pretty commonly, steering shaft couplers need rebuilds every few years (or you can buy a Borgeson u-joint shaft and be done with it), valve cover gaskets need to be watched, wiper bushings sometimes need to be replaced, the anti-lock brake system can't ever be counted on to work, causes a spongy pedal and might as well be deleted immediately. All pretty piddly issues.

As longs as you keep an eye on boost/drive pressures, exhaust gas temperatures, transmission temperatures and do your maintenance, there will be minimal issues. These are man trucks.
What is a KDP, FSS AND VSS
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