'89 D250 Dodge w/5.9L Cummins 1st Gen. - Dodge Diesel - Diesel Truck Resource Forums

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'89 D250 Dodge w/5.9L Cummins 1st Gen.

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Old 09-15-2011, 09:27 PM
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'89 D250 Dodge w/5.9L Cummins 1st Gen.

I'm pullin' Keystone Cougar 245RKS 7900lbs dry and bought '89 D250 w/5.9L Cummins 1st Gen. AT non-i/c no AC completely stock with 135,000kms(83,000mi) shot of black smoke at startup only very difficult to push over 55-60 mph without foot falling off have changed engine oil and filter fuel filter air filter engine runs smooth acceleration is good any suggetsions of what could assist at minimum expense?? ie. pump adjustments or turbo upgrades or cold air system etc.,
Turbocharger impellor-compressor shaft spins somewhat restricted to my feel as turbos on large rigs spin much more freely and has fore/aft endplay but does not contact impellor or compressor wheels to housing can this be part of my trouble any ideas??,
Truck shutters at times under heavy load at low speed (ie. up steep grades at slow speed in campground) any suggestions of possible difficulties??is this a torque convertor lock-up problem??AT difficulties??,
Want to install air bag system to smoothen ride raise rear slightly when towing any suggestions of system that works great on these trucks where to purchase at best pricing??,

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Old 09-16-2011, 06:33 AM
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I would intercooler it first to help with egt's and add some hp.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:29 AM
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Thank you for that info; I'm fairly new at this so sorry for my ignorance, does egt's mean exhaust gas temps, thanks again; can the injection pump be turned up w/o major consequence?
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:34 AM
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What do you mean by "foot falling off" If you mean that its very hard to press on the pedal, look at the bell crank on the Injector pump (left side of engine behind power steering pump. You will see how the bell crank works, and the local dodge dealer usually stocks the repair kits.

Now if you mean lack of power, there are a number of things you can do/check. I had a 91 non ic'ed. The best things that were told to me is to open up the air flow and open up the exhaust. Do a search for BHAF under the 1st gen forum, its a basically a direct fit, and will not only allow more air, but lower your exhaust temps. The trick is to then, open up the exhaust, even a performance muffler will stay quiet at cruising speeds, but allow much more flow. Next I would install a pyrometer and tranny temp guage. Because anything you do to turn the fuel up, will result in higher exhaust temps, and more so because you dont have an air to air cooler. I installed one of the 3,000 rpm governor springs (do a search) which allows your rpms to go a little higher, and helps a ton when towing. You can do things such as grinding the fuel pin, or cranking the star wheel or cranking up the fuel screw, but you need to really be careful when towing.

I had mine cranked a decent amount, but still had stock injectors and turbo. When I was towing, My exhaust temps were getting way too hot, so I had to turn it back some. I ran mine commercially around 26,000 lbs at all times with no I/C, and the fuel turned just a bit, and it ran great and stayed in good temps so I never installed a cooler. I never had an auto in one of these trucks, but Im sure it wont like too much time in overdrive in stock form without getting too hot. Heat seems to kill them, so change the fluid and filter often and add a big cooler. A valve body and torque converter may be in the future if you keep pulling.

IMO, if your plan is to tow most of the time with it, keep it as close to stock as possible. The more you crank up the fuel, the more you need air. The more money is costs to have fun. Cranking up the fuel is fun on a play truck, but it can be very expensive on a towing truck because for every amount of fuel you add, you need to add air to keep your egt's in check. Then once you have balanced your engine out with another $2,000 worth of injectors, i/c, turbo, etc etc you find your tranny is toast, so you need to upgrade it. Then once you upgrade it. You have more money than the truck is worth. Your call, but in my experience youll have more fun camping if your not always breaking something or dumping $$ into the truck every time you turn around for upgrades.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:39 AM
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Turning the pump us means higher EGT's, which is bad depending on how high you go. I would ask this question in the first gen forum, they're a great bunch of people and can help you out a ton. I towed fine with my '89 but never over 5000lbs and I had pump and turbo upgrades. If I was going to do a lot of towing I would look at adding an intercooler or water/meth of some sort. Your automatic tranny is a big draw on power as well as the factory torque coverter is a tad inefficient (really inefficient actually) so you might need to get that addressed first and foremost. I think you would be surprised how much better is tows with a tight converter. Since it is a non-lock up style it should be relatively cheap to build as well (compared to later years lock-up models) Look at Goerend for options. These things aren't speed demons at factory levels, but they do pull hard and last F O R E V E R. I miss mine a bunch and hopefully can get back into one someday!

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Old 09-16-2011, 11:42 AM
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I have Firestone air bags on this truck, and paid $250 for the kit. I like them.

On my 91 d250, I had to add 2 extra leaf springs per side to pull my skid steer trailer, when I pulled my 38' GN, I had to add 3 more per side. I think I had 11 or 12 per side, it held the weight great, but with air bags. ill never go back now. with that many leafs, it jumped over bumps.

I also installed a pair of the severe duty front coil springs, which made the front set back up level, and rode good. they were cheap and pretty simple to install.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:09 PM
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thanks; yes have to agree with having more fun camping w/o paying big $$'s for costly repairs, your advice is welcome info, thanks again, I'll try these ideas first.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:14 PM
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thanks for the input, others have also suggested i/c-ing and bigger exhaust, stock tc's are that inefficient maybe look at an upgrade there as well, not looking ofr a ton more just something to be able to roll comfortably along at 60-65mph; I'm not a speed demon at this point in my life, at one time maybe; thanks alot again, greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:28 PM
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I put firestone airbags on my truck for towing, over 10k lbs, I really like them as I run about 8 lbs when the truck is empty so it rides pretty smooth, and run about 25 to 30 lbs when I have the 5th wheel hooked up, makes her ride level and better control, tongue weight on my trailer is right around 1800 lbs plus. best of both worlds.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:33 PM
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thanks a bunch; that was my thoughts as I incurred debilitating back neck injuries in motorcycle accident several years back and don't need hard jarring with extra leaf springs, did you remove any of the leafs per side when you installed the air bags to lighten the spring action while empty; mine seems to ride fairly stiff on its current ride w/o air suspension so I was contemplating removing maybe 1 spring per side at rear; if this is recommended which leaf is best removed shorter lower's?, or longer upper's? thanks for the advise
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:38 PM
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yeh others are suggesting the same remedy; with 8psi in the bags when empty wouldn't the HD leaf springs ride hard without really noticing the air bag suspension??, I've never had air ride on any truck to date but really like the concept, I've worked on heavy tractor/trailer units with air ride and that's where I knew about the idea but they use very little for leaf springs other than to act as torque arms to position the axle while it moves up/down; thus the question; good info and wait for further input.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:06 PM
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They do have kits to make the rear full blown air ride, but the ones most of us use mount between the axle and frame above it, and you still use the factory leaf springs. If your d250 still has the stock spring pack in the rear, they down right suck when you hook up a trailer, IMO. Just to pull a car on my 14k car trailer, I needed to add 2 more leafs each side, or the rear sagged pretty good. This type of airbag basically takes the place of additional springs so you have a half decent ride when empty and can inflate them more when your loaded, rather than like in my case ride around with 12 leaf plys per side when your empty, just so when your loaded it will hold it.
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