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Old 10-18-2017, 08:55 PM
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Re-power

About three years ago, I was having a real hard time getting the manual in gear when the truck was running - sometimes I had to turn the engine off to get into gear. My knee-jerk reaction was to buy a re-built Getrag and a new Southbend clutch. When my mechanic installed those components, he told me that the crankshaft had too much play in it. All was well for a couple of years, but now I'm having trouble getting the truck in (and out) of gear again, especially after towing my boat with it. Although my mechanic is a talented guy, he discouraged me from paying him to tear the engine down and rebuild it, suggesting that I purchase a re-man or donor engine. When I researched reviews of the re-manufacturers, I found that even the expensive shops like Jasper have their share of bitter customers. I contacted a Cummins sales rep in the Bronx, but he never gave me a quote for a factory-rebuilt unit. I suspect his pricing is rich, based on commercial applications that are less price-sensitive. I have enough money to pay a mechanic, but not enough to pay $12-15,000 for a factory re-build.

The truck is in very decent shape with a solid body and undercoated frame. It's garaged most of the time and I try to drive it very gingerly since I might need a core if I buy a re-man. The cab roof is the typical holy mess, and a Corvette restorer I know gave me a quote of $2,300 to fabricate new metal. I've already got too much money invested in this truck, but it feels so right when I'm towing my 6,500# boat and trailer over crappy new England highways.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:21 PM
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Most mechanics don't do rebuilds anymore. There are plenty of people on here who build their own as well as a few who may know of a shop or 2 in your area. Your mechanic could be telling you that due to any number of reasons like the liability of a warranty, no experience in overhauling a diesel. Keep looking, you'll find one that will beat what a factory reman goes for.
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by SORTIE View Post
About three years ago, I was having a real hard time getting the manual in gear when the truck was running - sometimes I had to turn the engine off to get into gear. My knee-jerk reaction was to buy a re-built Getrag and a new Southbend clutch. When my mechanic installed those components, he told me that the crankshaft had too much play in it. All was well for a couple of years, but now I'm having trouble getting the truck in (and out) of gear again, especially after towing my boat with it. Although my mechanic is a talented guy, he discouraged me from paying him to tear the engine down and rebuild it, suggesting that I purchase a re-man or donor engine. When I researched reviews of the re-manufacturers, I found that even the expensive shops like Jasper have their share of bitter customers. I contacted a Cummins sales rep in the Bronx, but he never gave me a quote for a factory-rebuilt unit. I suspect his pricing is rich, based on commercial applications that are less price-sensitive. I have enough money to pay a mechanic, but not enough to pay $12-15,000 for a factory re-build.

The truck is in very decent shape with a solid body and undercoated frame. It's garaged most of the time and I try to drive it very gingerly since I might need a core if I buy a re-man. The cab roof is the typical holy mess, and a Corvette restorer I know gave me a quote of $2,300 to fabricate new metal. I've already got too much money invested in this truck, but it feels so right when I'm towing my 6,500# boat and trailer over crappy new England highways.

Thoughts?
Sounds to me like your clutch isn't completely disengaging. If the crankshaft trust bearing is worn down and causing this a decent mechanic can replace it without rebuilding the engine.

The problem could also be the pivot point where the clutch master cylinder under the dash hooks to the clutch pedal. There is a bushing in there that wears out then it wears the shaft down and wears the hole out in the pushrod. This will prevent the clutch from being fully disengaged. If you can lift your pedal a couple of inches this could be your problem.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:43 AM
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Main bearings can be done without removing the engine from the truck.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:56 AM
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I agree with the others, if the rest of the engine is sound, drop the pan and roll in new mains and Thrust bearings and call it good.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:09 AM
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Your situation reads to me like a typical case of a worn out throw-out bearing collar; i.e. the surface that the clutch release bearing slides back and forth on.

The collar should be replaced any time the transmission is slid back from the engine, but hardly anyone ever does.

When this collar gets worn out of shape, the release bearing does not come straight against the clutch fingers but comes at them ****-eyed instead, effectively lessening the amount of travel and thus not completely releasing the clutch.

Let this situation go long enough and it will eat it's way through the fingers and destroy the pressure-plate.

What I have described is a much more likely situation for a diesel engine than for it to be due to crankshaft play.

Check the easy things first, as they can cause the situation as well, such as worn pivot points someone already mentioned, clutch-cylinder fluid level, and even the hydraulic master and slave; these things can go bad and have the symptoms you describe.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:15 AM
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Get this shop manual from Cummins- the Troubleshooting and Repair Manual for B3.9, B4.5, and B5.9 Series Engines. Amazon or eBay may have them. I bought mine right from a Cummins shop. It is very detailed. Our standard shop manual is good, and goes thru the procedures for checking excessive crankshaft end play, but this 2.5" thick manual covers in detail, both with written descriptions and accompanying photos, the procedures for rolling in bearings onto your crankshaft, with engine still in vehicle. I just did all this a little over a year ago, and just followed this book. And yes, like Pat says, also swap in new piston rod bearings, while you have everything open.

Tried posting a pic of the book, but for some reason it's not happening. Maybe someone else who has this book can post a pic of it to help out
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bigragu View Post
Get this shop manual from Cummins- the Troubleshooting and Repair Manual for B3.9, B4.5, and B5.9 Series Engines. Amazon or eBay may have them. I bought mine right from a Cummins shop. It is very detailed. Our standard shop manual is good, and goes thru the procedures for checking excessive crankshaft end play, but this 2.5" thick manual covers in detail, both with written descriptions and accompanying photos, the procedures for rolling in bearings onto your crankshaft, with engine still in vehicle. I just did all this a little over a year ago, and just followed this book. And yes, like Pat says, also swap in new piston rod bearings, while you have everything open.

Tried posting a pic of the book, but for some reason it's not happening. Maybe someone else who has this book can post a pic of it to help out
Can the oil pan be removed without lifting the engine up?
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by edwinsmith View Post
Can the oil pan be removed without lifting the engine up?
No. The trouble is, you have to raise that engine high enough to not only remove the pan by wiggling it past the crossmember, but the oil pick up tube is also in the way from sliding out the pan. So, imagine this:
1.Pre loosen all pan bolts, that are tough to out right remove because of the crossmember, but any bolts easy to get to like at the front and rear, remove completely.
2. After removing the engine mount nuts from the crossmember, Raise the Front of engine up at least past the top of the radiator by a foot(fan clutch hub is to be past the radiator by a foot). Use a jack at the backside of the engine to keep that end supported.
3. With engine up, remove remaining oil pan bolts.
4. Pry the pan off, then reach into the oil pick up tube mount bolts, and the oil pick up tube stem bracket bolts, and remove those. Should be four bolts total. Let the pick up tube drop into the deepest part of the pan.
5. Now slide the pan backwards. It helps to have the tranny removed for this, so plan on removing the tranny prior.

Last thing, drain your oil a week or more before this dropping the pan task, so that all drips are all drained out. If not, you will constantly be showered by motor oil while working on replacing the bearings.

Of course, install is reverse of the removal process. It's actually harder to install the oil pickup tube assembly, all the while trying to keep the oil pan gasket in place. Hard if your solo. Need help with this part, for sure. You are only going to have finger room to work with.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bigragu View Post
No. The trouble is, you have to raise that engine high enough to not only remove the pan by wiggling it past the crossmember, but the oil pick up tube is also in the way from sliding out the pan. So, imagine this:
1.Pre loosen all pan bolts, that are tough to out right remove because of the crossmember, but any bolts easy to get to like at the front and rear, remove completely.
2. After removing the engine mount nuts from the crossmember, Raise the Front of engine up at least past the top of the radiator by a foot(fan clutch hub is to be past the radiator by a foot). Use a jack at the backside of the engine to keep that end supported.
3. With engine up, remove remaining oil pan bolts.
4. Pry the pan off, then reach into the oil pick up tube mount bolts, and the oil pick up tube stem bracket bolts, and remove those. Should be four bolts total. Let the pick up tube drop into the deepest part of the pan.
5. Now slide the pan backwards. It helps to have the tranny removed for this, so plan on removing the tranny prior.

Last thing, drain your oil a week or more before this dropping the pan task, so that all drips are all drained out. If not, you will constantly be showered by motor oil while working on replacing the bearings.

Of course, install is reverse of the removal process. It's actually harder to install the oil pickup tube assembly, all the while trying to keep the oil pan gasket in place. Hard if your solo. Need help with this part, for sure. You are only going to have finger room to work with.
Sound like, if not a nightmare, a very bad dream.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:49 PM
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After reading Bigragu's description, a thinking man just might devise a custom-built two-piece bolt-together oil-pan, such that the two halves could be separated and one half slide out the front and the other slide out the rear.

On a four-wheel-drive, one could cut out the cross-member rivets, remove the spring hanger bolts, jack the truck above the axle enough to accomplish the task, and use bolts in the cross-member when reassembling.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by BearKiller View Post

On a four-wheel-drive, one could cut out the cross-member rivets, remove the spring hanger bolts, jack the truck above the axle enough to accomplish the task, and use bolts in the cross-member when reassembling.
Now you are cookin! I don't see why you couldn't do the same thing with a 2WD as well. You just need to make sure the structure is sound when bolted together.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by edwinsmith View Post
Sound like, if not a nightmare, a very bad dream.
Got a story for that, as I, too, thought, holy crap! What am I going to get myself into? I was contemplating having my truck towed an hour and a half to Imler Diesel performance shop, but after they told me they shy away from that type of work anymore, I was at a stand still.

At work, I was venting to a co worker about shop costs, if I do source a shop to do it, all that whining I was doing. Then my co-worker asked me, if I had ever disassembled large air handlers and A/C equipment ever in my career. I said, yes, of course, many times. Then he says "Dude, then you can do it! That's what we do! It's no different!" It was those words that prompted ambition, so I read about the procedure in the green Cummins B5.9 engines shop manual, and confirmed it with my retired diesel mechanic father in law.

It was actually a fun project, as I took my time and had it done over a span of 3 weekends. The crankshaft saddles have a three step torque sequence, and other than that and some areas being tight, it wasn't too bad of a job. It actually allowed me to get to other issues to fix, like the leaking tappet cover, shift tower seal leak on the tranny, getting my torque converter rebuilt, and a couple of other things.
I'm so glad I spent the extra dollars and swapped in new piston rod bearings also, as my truck idles so smooth now. No more extra ticking noises. Makes me wonder how long I've been running around with that thrust bearing tab busted off, cause I used to have all these little ticking and tapping noises, but now all gone.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:55 AM
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If you had too much end play in the crank three years ago, it is pretty sure that you need to replace your crank's thrust bearing.

It isn't too hard, just a time-consuming and oily job, as Augie iterated.

You might want to check out this post:

My post about replacing the thrust bearing while in the truck.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:01 PM
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still wrestling with this issue. when I replaced the Getrag and the clutch, my mechanic sent the flywheel out to a machine shop to have it re-surfaced. he also replaced the pilot bushing (not sure I'm remembering that term correctly). he told me he's done everything possible from the flywheel back and the crankshaft still has 1/2" of play. he's convinced that the play is coming from worn-out parts internally. he and his assistant could do the procedure that BigRagu described, but I'm wondering how many hours that would consume
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