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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It appears that I have a blown head gasket.

What should be the hours charged for the repair?

On a 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 5.9 just how hard is it to fix.

Do you have to pull the motor? If not what has to come
off to get the heads out?

Only one side is blown ...do you have to change both sides?

Do you have to do a valve job when doing?

Any information is greatly appreciated.
My truck has had alot of problems all within the last 1.5 months. Not sure
if its worth fixing or to what degree.

frank
1996 Dodge Ram 1500 360 5.9l with 250,317k miles
 

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It appears that I have a blown head gasket.

What should be the hours charged for the repair?

On a 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 5.9 just how hard is it to fix.

Do you have to pull the motor? If not what has to come
off to get the heads out?

Only one side is blown ...do you have to change both sides?

Do you have to do a valve job when doing?

Any information is greatly appreciated.
My truck has had alot of problems all within the last 1.5 months. Not sure
if its worth fixing or to what degree.

frank
1996 Dodge Ram 1500 360 5.9l with 250,317k miles
you don't need to pull the engine.
you don't have to replace both sides at the same time.
You don't have to have the heads re-worked.
with that many miles you would be doing yourself a favor to have the heads reworked.
And, pending a compression test, maybe replace the rotating assembly as well.

how hard is it to fix? get yourself a Haynes manual and read up on it. Good $20 investment, specially if you want to learn about your truck and not be at the mercy of the local fix it shop.
It's definitely do-able in the driveway.
I'd venture a guess of a weekend job. Most of saturday, some sunday. That's probably more time than you'll need, but take you time if it's the first time you've pulled an engine apart.
Do yourself a favor and get some bags or trays, have a friend there, if for nothing else, to sort and tag parts for reassembly later.
If you can get another way to and from work, have that head magnafluxed to test for cracks while it's off.
 

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Chizzels advice is sound. His point about the manual needs to be stressed. You WILL come to a point where you need it and at $20 or less it will probably save your butt. Be prepared to get antifreeze, power steering fluid and oil all over your driveway or garage floor. Torque wrench needed but you can rent one. I would send the head or heads out for hot tanking. The shop that does that will usually point out cracks that they see if they want to help. Then its decision time. Understand you cant see every crack if any without magnafluxing as chizzel points out. Good luck and HTH.
 

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I would go ahead and do a complete rebuild with that many miles. you might even consider buying a rebuilt engine and just dropping it in. It all comes down to the money you have (or don't have), the availability of alternate transportation, and how long you can afford to have the truck down if it is a work truck. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right now I am still a little in the air with my decision.
I love my truck and it has been good to me but the cost is
very high to repair.

I got some quotes for a rebuilt engine installed around 2400-2500. He said he
might be able to work a deal for a little cheaper.

Straight used motor installed roughly 1800-2000.

Head gaskets replaced 1400 if the heads were okay.

All in all this has hit a a really bad time. My last two months have been
terrible and really just the end of a bad three years.

Whats the truck worth to me and what could I sell it for? These are questions I have to figure answers for.

factors --
New radiator -less than 2 weeks
new plugs wires and cap and rotor
trans is original -250310 k on it
rear end went out and fixed at 175000k
CatCon changed at 99000k -- could be due
Drivers seat reclining portion is broken
needs freeze plugs changed on the drivers side back of engineI changed all the freeze plugs on the front 7 months ago
Tires are in very good shape --only 1.5 years old
Interior is in good shape
cruise control went out
Dent in the rear bumper
Running board package still in very good shape
Paint is in good shape
Towing package with a lower gear ratio rear
CD radio and speakers all work fine

I think that the main negative factors are too great with the trans and Catcon maybe on the down side.
I really dont know what the truck is worth in as in condition.

I feel like I might have to choose to sell it dirt cheap and purchase
something until I can get another Dodge Ram.
I really dont have the money to spend right now for even the gasket.

I believe I am going to try KW block seal this week. Problem is that now the mechanic shop is saying that my water pump is not circulating the water.
Maybe the fins are bad??? Rad Shop when they replaced rad about 2.5 weeks ago said that the thermostat was bad. He wanted to much so I changed it. I checked the new one to make sure it worked.

So if I try the KW then I am going to change the water pump! Tough decision. If the KW works then it was a great choice for the time being.
If not I'm out a little more dollars depending on what avenue I choose.

Leaing towards buying a friends fathers car until I can get another truck.
Its a 96 Buick regal that has been driven easily maintained. Not a truck though.

Thanks for all the tips
 

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1996 Dodge Ram 1500 360 5.9l with 250,317k miles
with that many miles, you can expect some repairs of the repairs you listed, you are really lucky to still have the stock tranny with that many miles.
The water pump is normally replaced every 80-100k miles.
The only real issue the truck has is the head gasket and the tranny maybe going south soon.
Is the truck paid for? If so park it and work on it when you get the time. The tranny is going to require shop time, but the head gasket and other misc problems can be fixed (a lot cheaper) in the driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
chizzle1 said:
with that many miles, you can expect some repairs of the repairs you listed, you are really lucky to still have the stock tranny with that many miles.
The water pump is normally replaced every 80-100k miles.
The only real issue the truck has is the head gasket and the tranny maybe going south soon.
Is the truck paid for? If so park it and work on it when you get the time. The tranny is going to require shop time, but the head gasket and other misc problems can be fixed (a lot cheaper) in the driveway.

Yeah I have waited and waited for tranny trouble but it really has not came.

My biggest problem right now is timing. I was laid off of work not long back and have had trouble finding a another job. I am working but its really just to get by. About 1.5 months ago I had an allergic reaction to something and
was in pretty bad shape for 2 weeks. Its just been one thing on top of another for a while.
I would love to keep the truck and put a rebuilt engine and tranny in it. I am
a big guy and the truck fits me. I just like the truck. The small repairs dont really bother me that much.

Not real sure what I am going to do but I found another truck across the street from me for sale at a used car lot. I am going over there today to check it out.
thanks again for all the help and thoughts
 

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I'd look into new heads too. If you got it that hot to blow a head gasket, chances are one or both heads are cracked as well. Magnum heads are notorious for cracking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
abossram said:
"not circulating water." Any chance you put the thermostat in backwards??? I've done it and seen it several times. Coil spring goes into engine.......or is it the other way??!? Naw thats it. HTH

I put it in correctly.

Its strange. I should trust mechanics more but it seems like I have had more
problems since the original problem was "fixed".

I am a little stuck on the lack of water circulating. Only thing I can think of is that the impellers wore off or something.
 

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with that many miles, it's probably time to change it as it may have just worn out.
do you know when / if it was changed before?
When you pull it off look for a brand name / part number.
 
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