I'm hoping to get some help with a major problem I have. Here's my story:
I have a 99 Ram 1500 5.9L 4x4 with just under 79,000 miles. The truck was owned by my father-in-law who babied it from the start. I've had the truck for about 2 years now and haven't had any problems....... Till now.
The other night my family and I went to the drive-in, everything seemed ok but when I pulled into my driveway it was over heating. Next day put my pressure tester on it. Bam, found the leak right away. The freeze plug on the head just behind the tensioner pulley was leaking. No problem. Popped it out and popped a new one in, topped it off, checked the pressure and it looked good. Took her out for a test drive and got it up to temp, everything seemed ok, temperature was where it should be, no smells, no smoke. Came home let it cool off, popped off the radiator cap to check the level and there it was. All kinds of brown muck. After freaking out I poured some water to wash some of it off and started it back up. Bubbles in my radiator
Why did this happen? The truck was in excellent condition. My questions are with only 79k is it worth it to try and fix. I planned on keeping the truck as long as possible. How difficult is the fix? I'd prefer to do the work myself even though I've never gotten that deep into an engine before. I should point out that I am a capable mechanic. I worked in a garage for a number of years, I just never got into anything engine wise past an intake really. Or should I cut my losses and wash my hands of it? Any advise appreciated.