Dodge Truck and Cummins Turbo Diesel Forum Discussion of General Topics related to All Cummins Engines or Dodge Trucks

I'd like some advice please.

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Old 06-08-2019, 10:39 PM
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Default I'd like some advice please.

Just inherited a 99 ram 3500 dually with the 24v. 5spd 4wd.
Has a few issues. Front driveshaft is disconnected from the transfer case. Lil slop in the steering. Needs a heater core. Dash is gone. Bed is broken. Front door speakers don't work. Driver rear brake seems to tug a lil extra. Putts a lil at idle after interstate driving.

The truck did pass legal state inspection and is my current daily. I'd like to know any insight on my current issues. Or anything i should look for. I'd also like a good starting place for performance. I'd like to make a lil more power. Nothing crazy. I'd like to mostly stick to bolt ons. I'd like to keep the turbo stock. Motor has 300k. I'd rather not push it too hard.

I appreciate any advice. Hope everyone is doing well.
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:48 PM
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Hard to tell what happened with the front 4x4 system without tearing into it, but it could be something as simple as a u-joint or the cv joint. The steering gear boxes on these are prone to premature wear but there is a company that makes a good replacement( but I don't recall the name) but they are 2.5 times as expensive as the remanufactured OEM replacements that will be in the same sad shape in a short time. A computer search should lead you to them. As far as the "putt" sound you are hearing, I don't know but I would make sure the fuel and air filters have been replaced as a place to start looking. These engines are very robust for longevity. My cousin had a mid nineties 12 valve that had well over 700,000 miles on it and the only reason he parked it was the rest of the truck was getting dilapidated but the 5.9 Cummins was still very alive and well. It sounds like you maybe need to find a local mechanic that understands these trucks and the Cummins engine to give you some help, though I would advise you to keep it away from the stealerships.
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:02 AM
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Thank you! I have a general understanding of how diesels work. I have the new fuel filter just gotta get some time. I was told someone damaged the front end but was not told how. I will post my findings as i investigate. The steering I'll prolly deal with. Its not awful it's just there.
 
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:51 AM
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It is also common on the 2nd gen's for the track bar to wear out fairly quickly. I think the "rebuildable" ones are best for replacement, most of them have a grease zerk and can be pulled apart and reshimmed once they wear down. They are easy to change as long as the bolts aren't stuck too bad, my second one I replaced on my 01 had the lower bolt so stuck that I had to pound on it with an air gun until the rubber boot in between tore apart. To change them always remove the upper end castle nut first, have someone sit in the pickup (key on but rig not running) and turn the steering wheel back and forth until it is in the sweet spot for little tension on it. If you do the lower bolt first you'll wind up needing a pickle fork to get the upper end out (ask me how I know). Put back together in reverse order, install lower end bolt and then have someone turning the steering wheel for you until the upper end lines up. Changing the track bar on mine used to make quite a bit of difference in the wandering it had on the highway, especially when towing.

The first and foremost issue with a 2nd gen 24v is the lift pump (LP) and VP44 injection pump concerns. The stock LP's are highly prone to failure. When they fail the VP44 will then pull the fuel itself, but it takes them out in pretty short order. Sometimes if the LP has failed 100% the rig will give you a stumble here and there at highway speeds or when you really get on it, but most times you don't realize until the VP44 is shot. At a minimum put on a low fuel pressure light, and even better is to put in a fuel pressure gauge. I simply did a 4psi low pressure idiot light and it served me well. If you go with the low pressure light, it comes with an o-ring terminal for hooking to the VP and mine kept breaking the wire, I assume from all the vibration. Once I just stripped some wire and wrapped it around the screw it never broke on me again. If your rig still has a stock style LP on it, when it fails and if you don't want to spend the money on a full FASS or Airdog system, then get a FASS DDRP (Dodge direct replacement pump) to put on it. It goes in the factory location and has a 4 year warranty rather than the one year warranty the stock style has. The DDRP also comes with two springs, make sure to put the higher tension one in especially if you get a biofuel mix here and there. I put a DDRP in mine after 3 other factory style pumps I'd replaced failed, and it was in the rig for 5 years and still working good when I sold it. With the miles on yours it may already have a better LP system in place and possibly has had the VP44 replaced at least once, but if it runs a bit funny after interstate driving I'd be having the LP pressure checked at the VP in short order.

For mods, if you go with a tuner 65-70 HP over stock was the best fuel milage empty and 40 HP was the best when towing. Smarty's and Edge juice with attitude seemed to get pretty good reviews in the forums. Several people were stacking them since the Smarty fuels harder at the bottom end and the Edge fueled the top, but if you did that you had to make sure the Smarty was only ran on the settings that only provided extra fuel and not timing as well. Stacking programmers that are both adding timing isn't good. But doesn't sound like you want to go to that level. A power puck was decent on them too.
A washable dry style air filter is a good add on.

My rear brakes would get grabby when it first was driven after a rain, but they shouldn't stay that way. They are a drum in the back (I didn't have a dually but assume they are as well) and adjust when the rig is backed up, might want to have them checked out if they stay "grabby".

Other common issues with them:
Fuel gauge sending unit fails. I always reset my trip odometer at every fill up, so when mine failed I knew the gauge was lying to me.
Starter contacts wear down. When mine started getting bad every once on a while it would just click when I turned the key to start it. Cycling the key on/off would get it to finally catch, never had to resort to tapping on the starter but that works in a lot of cases too. There are aftermarket starter contacts for them that are thicker and last much longer, get those if it happens to you. Oh, and have fun with the upper bolt . It's a mother to get to.
Evaporator core gets a leak. They are a pain because the whole dash has to be removed to get to them...you're golden on this one .
Oil pressure sending unit prone to fail. They have a mechanical pump so it's extremely rare for the pump to actually fail, but it still freaks you out when you see no oil pressure. The factory is quite proud of the sending units, around $230 if I remember right.
5th gear nut comes loose. I believe it was common to get it tack welded. ( I had a 6 speed)
A rear end speed sensor or some type of sensor would fail and it would cause the e-brake & airbag lights to stay on constantly. Fairly easy fix. Never happened on mine, but did happen on a buddy's

Don't let my post scare you though, I had mine for 12 years and it never stranded me even once. The absolute main thing is to monitor the LP pressure at the VP44.
 

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