Newbie/1st Cummins - Dodge Diesel - Diesel Truck Resource Forums

Performance and Accessories 2nd gen only Talk about Dodge/Cummins aftermarket products for second generation trucks here. Can include high-performance mods, or general accessories.

Newbie/1st Cummins

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Old 07-06-2018, 12:33 AM
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Newbie/1st Cummins

I just want to say hello to everyone and that I have found some very informative threads on this forum. Today was my last day of active duty in the Army and tomorrow will be my first day of retirement. So I just bought myself a 1999 2500 2WD extended cab 8ft bed. I always loved the looks of Dodge and know you really cant beat a 5.9. So if I ask some basic questions have a little sympathy, I just want to make my truck the best that I can for me.
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Colin C.
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:13 AM
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Hi Colin, congrats on the retirement.

You say "I just want to make my truck the best that I can for me." - but what is the best for you?

Let's start with what you have- auto or manual?
Anything you dislike about the truck as it is now?

Do you want to make it a puller, a towing rig, a dragster or a grocery getter?

What I really like about these trucks is that you can adapt them to a lot of tastes.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:08 PM
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Hello AlpineRAM and thanks for the reply. It is an automatic with 203,000 miles on it. My needs or wants for the truck are basic I believe. I want to up the performance a little, be able to tow my car trailer or a two car trailer and keep it reliable. It is a stock truck basically except for bumpers and rims but mechanically bone stock. I figured my first two things I would do is install gauges and a lift pump and possibly a tuner. on the tuner I would have to do some research because I am not a technology hound so would need something basic. As for the lift pump I was going to go with FASS, Any thoughts or input on this or some other worth while mods would be appreciated.
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Old 07-06-2018, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinC View Post
I just want to make my truck the best that I can for me.
Very subjective.

I would be looking at a tuner, exhaust, manual trans swap, and DTT Assassin for a fuel pump.

After that, time would tell.... either do a p-pump or 12v swap.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:11 PM
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Well, I would start with gauges, a code reader and the factory service manual- simply to determine if everything is working OK...

Towing a car trailer with a bone stock 24V (that is not defective) is a piece of cake. You do not need a tuner to be able to pull a load at a speed where the brakes are the thing that should limit you.

At 203 k miles you should start to think about a transmission rebuild- basically replacing the wear items and the seals in there- but with some upgraded parts. (While you are in there and the cost is not much higher)

For the transmission parts I had very good luck with Tim Barber. (After DTT who have been stellar but then the son took over and he was shot...- since then no more experience with them)

I would look into improving the brakes and the handling of the truck. Maybe a set of good shocks (Bilstein if available) and at least brake pads and shoes (EBC is my personal favorite).
Take a good look at the steering and the linkages, bushings and that small stuff on a 19 year old truck- make all that spick and span before you decide that you "need" a performance part.

I think that these trucks in good stock condition are still very good and very usable trucks, and very cheap to keep on the road.
A little caveat: Increasing performance on these trucks is very easy and cheap- but keeping the reliability at the stock level is going to be costly.

So, right now I would start with gauges and some time to check everything. Even the stock fuel pumps are not horrible, they can work- just check that there is fuel pressure. Same for EGT- it should be ok, but a rat that chewed off a bit of hose in the system the last 19 years can kill your engine.
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:20 PM
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The reason I suggested the tuner isn't specifically to have more power for towing. Some of them give you gauges and tune the transmission also.
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:05 PM
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AlpineRam,
All that is good advice, I already ordered Carli ball joints, did complete fluid and filter change oil, trans, diffs and such. Brakes I did notice were lacking just like this form said and I will definitely replace them if not beef them up. I am going over the whole truck and will mostly likely replace all steering components and bushings. Immediately for those that need it and over the next six months for the rest. I believe in creating my own headaches not being stranded by somebody else's. Thank you for the part names it is extremely beneficial when given a name rather then just change this and this. The transmission will be rebuilt and as tough as I can make it. Manual transmission I wish I could but my injuries from 20yrs in the Army make clutching a very painful experience. I will update as I fix and change. I thank you for taking the time to answer. It is greatly appreciated
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:10 PM
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Thank you for the reply. The tuner with the gauges my not be a bad idea. As for exhaust what would you suggest size wise and from where? From manifold to exhaust tip or would just a cat back be sufficient? I will look into the dtt assassin fuel pump. Thank you for taking the time to answer it is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:13 AM
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I would try to define the target for the engine power before rebuilding the trans.

Engine and transmission need to be matched, because the transmission is controlled by the throttle position, and a pattern that fits for 100 ft/lb at 1" of go pedal will be horrible for a truck with 200ft/lb at the same pedal travel.
I just stole this diagram from TST



to show the difference in torque if you tune the engine (and it gets "worse" if you add injectors, turbos etc..)
The automatic transmission in the truck can not be a "one size fits all" - unless you want driveability issues.

And about the exhaust- the 24V should not have a cat, so your option should be turbo back.
I like 4" systems with a resonator and a good quiet muffler. ( OK, I had a 4" straight pipe, loved the roar until the first road trip, added a straight through muffler, hated cab drone on road trips, basically I got old!)
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:38 AM
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AlpineRam,
****, you are giving good information, I decided to do a trans service and continue to go over my truck for a while. I will drive it for a but and do some towing then truly figure out which direction to go. Mods like exhaust and other non high performance mods I can do while figuring the rest out. I have been doing mechanics for 10yrs before the Army and 20yrs during my career but I have come to realize I have a lot of studying to do and you have given me great food for thought. I will keep an update of my adventures after I move and really get to tear into the truck.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:12 PM
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ColinC- my pleasure,

When doing the trans service- what did the pan and the magnet look like?
Did you need to adjust the bands a good amount or were they close?
(Asking because at your mileage it is possible that the trans already has been rebuilt and is nice for now)

My take on tuners with gauges: I prefer to have a separate EGT gauge for this simple reason:
The tuner de-fuels if it sees to high EGT- but if the thermocouple goes bad the tuner won't defuel. So, I like to have a second gauge and to cross-check.

I would not go for exhaust mods until you know what you want to do with it- unless the stock stuff is defective.

Because if you decide to go for a different turbo or twins you may need to modify or throw away the new exhaust...
I'd start with a gauge set: fuel pressure, EGT, boost, trans temp.
Then do a BHAF (Big Honking Air Filter) - becase this can easily be reversed if you don't like it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:14 PM
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AlpineRam,
I am doing trans service this weekend and will let you know, Exhaust is patched in a few spots so I will be changing it. Gauges will go on order this weekend and then I'll think about tuner. It has a good size K&N air filter on it so I'll stick with that for now. I will post some pics of the truck this weekend also. Thanks again.
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:42 PM
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Hi Colin!

Where are the pics and the results of the tranny service?
I'm hanging from the edge of my seat!

Well about the K&N... not a brilliant idea, Search for BHAF on this site- you will find a cheap alternative that gives you lots of air with much less troubles.

About the exhaust- I installed a few 4" systems with a resonator- this quieted the cab down nicely, no significant increase in backpressure.
I used that one

(I'm not affiliated with the vendor, but I used the product I stated and like it)
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:23 AM
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As far as the 47RE - if the bands adjust well, and its not slipping, put a better converter in it, up the line pressure a bit, and throw a better servo/accumulator/band anchor & band strut in it.

The transmission will last a lot longer, and be more fun to drive after you match a converter's stall speed to the torque curve of the Cummins.
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinC View Post
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As for exhaust what would you suggest size wise and from where? From manifold to exhaust tip or would just a cat back be sufficient?
Go with 4" from the turbo all the way back. Why do you have a cat?

I have half a 4" Diamond Eye kit on my W250. All I really wanted was a downpipe and build my own... but I didn't feel like doing all the goofing around to get by the tcase. Saving the rear half of the kit for my Ramcharger.
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