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Opinion on '99 2500 w/ cummins + lots of miles

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by gotsnow?, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. gotsnow?

    gotsnow? Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    Alright I need some thoughts and stories from those of you with the 2nd generation Cummins 3/4 ton... Right now I have a '97 Dodge 1500 w/ a 7.5' Western Unimount, I have been wanting a diesel for a while and now that I'm plowing I really want a 3/4 ton (the diesel would just be a nice perk now). I found a 1999 Dodge 2500 Cummins, it's an extended cab and short bed, automatic and the odometer reads 217,000! I know diesels are long living, however, how long!?!
    What I'm wondering is how long can I reasonalby expect to run this truck (with light residential plowing every winter) before I'll need to rebuild the engine, transmission,diffs, etc? The price is right: $8,000. Thanks for your opinions and examples,David-
     
  2. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    PASS. It's not the engine it's everything around it and I'm sure that's not its 1st tranny in its lifetime.
     
  3. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    WHHoooaaaa!!!

    DON'T BUY IT!!!!! At least until you check to see if the engine block is the dreaded '53' series Mexico casting. A lot of '99s were.

    The serial number on the block started with the numerals 53. This number was easy to see because all of the dirt and grime got washed off by all of the hot coolant spraying out of the huge crack in the water jacket.

    Do a 'Google' search on 'Cracked 53 Block'. Jeez.:mad: That and the VP-44 injection pump are Cummin's 2 biggest embarrasments.
     
  4. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    its a hard ? to answer bc who knows how it was taken care of. you can almost bet on putting a tranny in it. just do it right and only once get a built tranny. the 24V's are good trucks. have lift pump probs that can be fixed easy and you are almost endless on what you can do with that engine.

    check it out real good. crawl around under it and look at everything with a flashlight very closely. check the engine for new parts, blow by, check the air filter( if its crappy that prob a good indication that the truck wasnt taken care of) check the oil filter if its really really dirty or old well again. pull the intake tube off and look at the wheel in the turbo to see if its dirty. ask what kind of oil they used and how often they changed it. with your foot on the brake and throttle give it a little gas and go from D to R a few times and get a feel of the trans.

    the trans is your weakest link but there may be other things that were not replaced when needed. for the price you can put a little money into it and have a GREAT truck.

    let me know if you need anything..................
     
  5. gotsnow?

    gotsnow? Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    :cry: Oh I am well aware of Chrysler's transmission issues. I have already replaced the transmission in my current Ram once, and it had been rebuilt by the previous owner as well. I also use to own a 97 Grand cherokee and I had to replace the transmission in it as well. I guess I'm more worried about an engine issue; I checked with Jasper engines and a rebuilt Cummins is in the neighborhood of $5500! I will check with the dealer and see if they can tell me what the block number is...
     
  6. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    If you were going to use it for an over the road type truck it would probably be fine but something that old I think would start falling apart from plowing, even lightly.

    X2 on the motor being fine its everything around it that would worry me.

    My .02 :salute:
     
  7. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,061

    i would look around a little more to find one with less miles. it might be just a money pit. the tranny would be 1 concern, the other the front end. I would jack the front of the truck up and check the ball joints for play. It probally needs a new trackbar and maybe front universals and maybe tie rods. Also one thing to definatlhy check is fuel pressure. It may have a fass system on it but if it not i would test fuel pressure. There is a test port right on the injection pump. I think you want between 10 -15 psi at idle but not sure. but if the fuel pressure is low it takes the injection pump with it and thats a 2500 part. Does the truck have a performance chip in it? also like tex said check the turbo wheel and see if there is any play. im sure thats still the stock turbo.
    i love my 01 cummins 6 sp it has served me well:)
     
  8. kah68

    kah68 Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    X 2 on the block I.D. although the '53's' in question were cast in Brazil, the small numeral Mexican block is a good one as is the '56'. The VP 44 Injection pump is an issue with these trucks, see if they ran a fuel pressure gauge and if not then ask if the pump was replaced and the lift pump. Drive the truck, if the front end feels sloppy (9 out of 10 are) then you will also need to look at a track bar, maybe steering box and ball joints. I would budget for a tranny, and injection pump, and front end when you consider your offer. It can be a good truck, the motor should see 400,000 miles if it was taken care of. If it were me I would ask to take it for a few days, and take it home or if you have acess to a shop take it there and spend some time looking it over, checking the fluids, and so on. It's amazing how much you miss when you go to see it. When you have it home you can do a much closer detailed inspection without the seller trying to point out all the good things about the truck. It's a tough one because if (and when) it needs one or all of these parts replaced, then you keep going higher in price. Couple that with the mileage and you might be better to look for a lower mile truck unless the owner will really spend the time to show you how well they have taken care of the truck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  9. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    Not to hijack the thread or anything but how do you tell which block is in the truck? I have a 2001 and am just curious...
     
  10. AiRhed

    AiRhed Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Ive got a 99 Dodge 1ton Dually Diesel with manual NV4500. Truck has 209K miles on it. Starts every day, unplugged, at 18 deg, doesn't smoke on start up, and gets 18MPG summer, 16MPG winter.

    If it's not a '53', all you'll prob need is a tranny (immediately, or eventually). When it go's, swapping to a 5 speed NV4500 or 6 speed NV5600 is my suggestion.

    At 205K miles mine needs, upper/lower ball joints, all steering rod ends, and after getting stuck in a Mankato corn field-a new inner passenger side axle shaft. I stripped out the splines at the vacuum disconnect.

    Otherwise the Cummins will get an overhaul at 300K miles regardless of running condition. And will probably run trouble free for another 300K.

    -mike
     
  11. gotsnow?

    gotsnow? Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    Thank you guys for you suggestions and opinions, I expected it would need a transmission (probably sooner rather than later) but I wasn't sure about engine and engine components. I would like to get one with less miles but then I'm looking at around $14,000 + for one with 150K i.e. So I figured this one at $8000 would be a pretty good bet and just plan on putting money into as I owned (but isn't that normal with all vehicles). Unfortunately it's for sale at a dealership that bought it at auction, so they don't have much history on it. I have asked all the usual questions (it's 4 hours away from my home, so I'll only be going there for a test drive if I REALLY think I'll be buying it): engine sound/feel good, transmission shift/feel good, steering have any play, drive straight,etc? So far the dealer has said yes and praised this truck up and down except for little things like worn interior and dented/scratched exterior. There is a performance chip/computer of some sort in it, but no 5th wheel hitch or holes from being mounted. :cool:
     
  12. AiRhed

    AiRhed Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Hey, sounds just like mine! I have a cracked dash, worn/ripped drivers seat (leather), and small blemishes all around the truck...but NO rust!! Thanks to Texas. I paid 11K with almost no tax on my 99 Dually Diesel Long box super cab Laramie.

    If it's from the dealer, I would at least talk them down from 8,000 to 7,480. That will at least cover your taxes and is a VERY reasonable price for a Dodge Diesel of that year with that configuration and those miles. They'll still be making a good profit at that price.

    If the miles on the motor worry you, one thing to consider is cost of rebuilding the motor. Your Cummins motor rebuilt from Wagamon Bro's here in Minneapolis will run about $1,640 dollars. Pretty darn reasonable.

    -mike
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  13. kah68

    kah68 Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    Mike...why not have your engine oil analized and see if you can make it to 600k before overhaul, it's not uncommon with very good maint. to see a truck with 500k or more?
     
  14. AiRhed

    AiRhed Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    That is a very good point sir! What type of shop can do the analyzing? I thought that oil analyzing was mostly for oil change intervals and such?? I just figure I'll do the basic 300K service like most everyone else does. Who knows, maybe when the truck oxidizes to dust I'll transplant the Cummins into my pontoon boat...
    [​IMG]

    :D:D:D
     
  15. itzkcatz

    itzkcatz Member
    from CT
    Messages: 63

    Just curious, does the v10 rams share the same transmission? How much would a decent built tranny cost?
     
  16. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    i can set you up with an UOA (oil analysis) if you need. just let me know.


    for the trans it depends on what you want. a fully built trans can cost up to $5K or you can go with upgraded VB TQ and billit in and output shafts. what are you using the truck for and what are you looking toget out of the trans???
     
  17. itzkcatz

    itzkcatz Member
    from CT
    Messages: 63

    I pull landscape trailer prob no more than 7000 pounds, i also tow a 25 foot camper thats 5000 and i plow 25 driveways 1 parking lot and some roadways, Im not sure if i wanna drop 5 grand on one but i dont wanna have to worry about the **** dodge makes. My truck is a 1999 ram 2500
     
  18. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    and its a V10 right.

    you can get away with a good valve body (VB) and torque converter. you dont have the power and turque of a diesel so you prob dont need a billit in/output shafts.
     
  19. itzkcatz

    itzkcatz Member
    from CT
    Messages: 63

    Yes its a v10, im looking to spend 3-4000 installed if i can. How much power do the diesals make? mine makes 300hp 450 tq
     
  20. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    mine is an 06 and its rated at 325HP and 610TQ in stock form.

    you should have no prob getting a 47RE built to handle you truck for that $$. id go with Gorends or suncoast.

    if you need anything let me know. the main thing is when you get your new one put good fluids in it and add a deep trans pan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008