2002 3500 dually 12 valve swapped 6 speed build advice - Dodge Diesel - Diesel Truck Resource Forums

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2002 3500 dually 12 valve swapped 6 speed build advice

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Old 01-10-2018, 08:40 PM
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2002 3500 dually 12 valve swapped 6 speed build advice

Howdy.
I bought a 02 Cummins a year ago (my first vehicle) and drove it on and off ever since. The body has 250k miles but it has a 12 valve swap itís a Texas truck no rust but she has her problems here and there. The truck cost me 3500$ and Iíve spent 1500 on parts to get her in better shape. The body is clean, has replaced seats, big steel bumper in front and back and blows smoke like crazy (not a big fan off it to be honest). The point of this post is Iím graduating high school Iím a couple months and going into college for an engineering degree. My graduation present from my dad was to build my truck (or he was going to give me his 2004 Z06 but Iím way to wild for that) my goal for this build is to get it back to factory in a sense of reliability. Weíre taking her to a shop to get the engine rebuilt (donít know miles on emerging) and after that thereís 3000+ dollars to put into everything else. Iíd like a 2Ē lift in the front so I can run 35s (obviously spacers in the back) but my main concern is what needs to be done or what you would do to build a work truck thatís reliable but nice with this Bugit. Iím new to diesel truck and donít know what to work for. Never owned or had a vehicle before this. Wanted to work and buy whatís mine but Iím pretty okay when it comes to being a back yard mechanic. Thank yíall for your time Iíll try to post pics if I can.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:13 PM
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Id say you could probably skip the rebuild and focus on tuning what you have. Unless it has excessive blow by or is using more than a quart of oil every 1000 miles it is most likely in good shape inside, save the money for what it needs. Make sure the KDP is tabbed, see what injectors are installed/have them tested, and make sure you have some good gauges.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gorms View Post
Id say you could probably skip the rebuild and focus on tuning what you have. Unless it has excessive blow by or is using more than a quart of oil every 1000 miles it is most likely in good shape inside, save the money for what it needs. Make sure the KDP is tabbed, see what injectors are installed/have them tested, and make sure you have some good gauges.
Yes. Well I drove it 12 hours from Texas to my dads in Colorado and it drove fine but the body has 300k miles and I have no ideal about the motor so thatís my worry. I think if I get it rebuilt itís good as ďnewĒ and I wonít have to worry about reliability for a long time. I love theses 2nd gen dodges, trying to make it where I can drive it forever!!
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:55 PM
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Do what you feel is right, but having the motor checked out vs blindly rebuilt is my recommendation. These are industrial motors that really are quite tough as long as they have oil in them. I have just about 300k on mine and it has worked plenty of long hard days, and it runs better now than when I got it at under 100k. The truck will likely give you problems long before the motor does.

Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gorms View Post
Do what you feel is right, but having the motor checked out vs blindly rebuilt is my recommendation. These are industrial motors that really are quite tough as long as they have oil in them. I have just about 300k on mine and it has worked plenty of long hard days, and it runs better now than when I got it at under 100k. The truck will likely give you problems long before the motor does.

Good luck!
Honestly man. Thatís probably the best advice Iíve gotten! Didnít think of it like that. A rebuild just sounds like and instant fix for it! First vehicle I owned and that comes with a lot of scares man! Just want to build somthing that will last a life time if gods willing! Thank you man! Great advice Iíll pray on it man!
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:22 AM
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I second the notion to check the engine and fix the stuff that is wrong (if there is anything)

Getting a set of good injectors at stock power level, checking the charge air system for leaks, checking the turbo for shaft play and adjusting the injection pump should net you a very long life of the engine.
(I regularly work on 12V Cummins engines in forestry machines and excavators etc, those buggers often have more than 20 000 hours of WOT running and they are not worn beyond specs if the correct oil has been used. - 20 k hours would be in the region of a million miles for your truck)

On the drivetrain I would start looking at the front axle and all the joints in there, the trackbar if it's a 4x4, the brakes (even on a TX truck the brake lines can corrode), all the axle seals and the small stuff that gets worn or aged.

On the body I'd look at the door hinge pins..

Have fun and stay safe!
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:56 AM
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Rebuilding a truck with 300,000 miles on that runs good, just because it has "high" miles on it is most likely a big waste of cash.
If blow by is not bad, oil PSI is good and it doesn't use oil, I bet the motor will be good for a couple more 100,000 miles.

If you don't like the black smoke, check the injectors like recommended and see if the tamper proof screw on the injection pump has been tampered with as there is likely an aftermarket fuel plate in it. Putting in stock injectors, or similar, and addressing the fuel plate that is likely not stock should fix the black smoke.

Check some standard wear areas, all fluids, tab the KDP and drive the heck out of it is my call.
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:02 PM
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I think the engine stuff has already been covered perfectly by the other guys.

If you're looking at other areas for reliability, check for any "custom" wiring previous owners might have done. All the "custom" wiring I've ever seen is typically poorly routed, poorly connected, frequently uses undersize wire, is rarely protected from chafing by split loom or other protective means, and all too often makes the vehicle a fire trap.

If you see any "custom" wiring that fits the above description, you'll definitely want to go through it, clean it up and make sure it's safe. Hopefully you don't find anything nasty.

There are other things you can do to increase the reliability of your truck--new belt, hoses, have a shop pressurize your intake system and verify no leaks in the intercooler boots, etc. You might also consider replacing the water pump since the age/miles are unknown. It's cheap insurance and if you change all the hoses, that's a good time to do it.

While you're here, spend some time doing some searches--I bet you'll come up with more stuff to look at too.

By the way, welcome to DTR!
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