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  #1  
Old 05-08-2013, 04:16 PM
Shadowmustang Shadowmustang is offline
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Unhappy Head gasket blown on 2001 Ram 1500 5.9l

Water pump siezed while son was driving and he drove 3-4 miles with no pump. Replaced pump and on start up saw white smoke from tail pipe and immediately shut down knowing it was at least a head gasket and maybe heads. I have money for parts but cannot afford labor costs. I was trained as a diesel mechanic in the Navy, but I have questions:

1. Do you have to pull the engine to get to the heads?
2. Will a compression test tell me if I have to do both sides?
3. Don't currently have a manual for this truck, should I get Chilton or Haynes?

Haven't done this kind of repair in a while, I am sure it will come back to me. Any tips on this kind of repair on this engine are greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:06 PM
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hydrex hydrex is offline
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I'd certainly want to get a manual of some sort. It's going to have all the torque specs and tell you the easiest way of doing the job. Having a friend with some experience would not be a bad idea as well. I'd pull both heads and check for warpage to be safe. It would suck to do one and have the other side fail later.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:44 PM
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FilthyDog FilthyDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowmustang View Post
Water pump siezed while son was driving and he drove 3-4 miles with no pump. Replaced pump and on start up saw white smoke from tail pipe and immediately shut down knowing it was at least a head gasket and maybe heads. I have money for parts but cannot afford labor costs. I was trained as a diesel mechanic in the Navy, but I have questions:

1. Do you have to pull the engine to get to the heads?
2. Will a compression test tell me if I have to do both sides?
3. Don't currently have a manual for this truck, should I get Chilton or Haynes?

Haven't done this kind of repair in a while, I am sure it will come back to me. Any tips on this kind of repair on this engine are greatly appreciated!
1. you do not have to pull the engine to pull the heads. I just did this to my 5.9. http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=139708

2. It's probably a good idea to pull both of the heads anyway. The valve seats are notorious for cracking. When I did mine I took them to a machine shop and had them install new seats. After they were disassembled and cleaned the shop found a crack that ran from an intake to the adjacent exhaust port. There were several ports that had started to crack but had not propagated too far that they couldn't be machined out. I could not see any of these cracks until the Heads were disassembled and cleaned.

3. I have the Haynes and it has served me well.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:02 PM
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sonocativo sonocativo is offline
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My 5.9 was fairly open to get to everything, I never did the heads but have on various cars/trucks in the past and these looked no worst since everything is accessable on top. I would definately do bothsides equally or you will chance the newfound power on one side to throw off or eventually cause the other side to fail. Might as well do a complete tune up, replace the plenum gasket and all since you will have it open anyways.... why leave it when down the road it may fail and you will be back tearing down the motor to get to it.

clean the injectors, new plugs...ect...
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:40 PM
Shadowmustang Shadowmustang is offline
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Smile Thanks

Thanks to all for the replies and advice. I guess it is both heads and I was thinking about new heads vice having them machined, but I suppose I will at least have diagnostics done and see how bad the damage may be.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:11 PM
MACKEYAUTOREPAIR MACKEYAUTOREPAIR is offline
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No question the easiest motor to pull the heads on in the last 15 years or more. Pull the shroud, fan, and water pump, and you can crawl in and stand on the floor to work. Don't even think about not doing both heads. The gasket set will come with 2 anyway, so after you hang the extra on the wall and have to tear into it again, you'll just have to buy all the other gaskets. At the machine shop I used to work at, we kept a good set of these on the shelf, when yours came in, we sold the pair for the cost of the machine work. Not sure where the boss got the cores, I think he was having the cracks welded? It's not all about warpage, modern head gaskets require a certain surface to seal against, so they need to be done. ALSO: Think about replacing the timing cover gasket, and the timing chain. The bolts in the water pump also seal the timing cover, and once you loosen them, that seal is compromised. I have done a lot of timing gaskets with brand new water pumps on them. Timing chain is right there. I can get you torque specs and sequences if you need, if you don't want to buy the manual/
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:15 PM
Shadowmustang Shadowmustang is offline
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I don't have an infinite supply of cash which is why I am doing the job myself. I had to sell my motorcycle and was only able to raise about 1500.00 This is all the cash I have to buy parts and have machining done. I appreciate the advice on extra work to do at the same time but I just don't know that I will have the money to do all those repairs. I am probably looking at 600-800 in just machining costs alone. This task is not daunting from my ability level but more from a restricted budget as I live on a VA pension that barely covers the bills. Again I really do appreciate all the advice and help.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:35 PM
Shadowmustang Shadowmustang is offline
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Heads were cracked beyond repair spent 800 on new heads. Just waiting to raise a little cash to be able to get the job done. Didn't do timing chain or cover gasket just didn't have the extra in the budget. Got hold of the service manual online, much better than the Chilton's I got. This way I can just print the pages I actually need for the job. Could probably have hunted junkyards for used heads but don't have a vehicle since the truck is down. Thanks for the help guys.
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