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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In 2011, my father purchased a 2001 Ram 2500 2 wheel drive standard cab 2 door, needed a turbo. Got it to the farm, fired it up, and the engine locked up almost immediately. Apparently had more issues than just the turbo.

Fast forward a few years, he purchased a 2001 Ram, 4 wheel drive, it had a cab fire, inside the firewall, burned up the dash, cowl, upper wiring/plastic in the back of the engine bay. He got it obviously for the engine.

Pulling the motor on the burned up truck didn't cause much of an issue, other than we've never worked on a 2500 before. The burned up truck had no windshield and nothing to worry about as far as the cowl, so when we lifted it up and out of the engine bay, just let the cowl buckle a little upwards, and paid attention to make sure we didn't damage the valve cover or anything on the engine itself.

Our truck however, more of an issue. Everywhere I looked online said you either had to remove the valve cover to pull the engine out (including items for the 4-5-6 cylinders) or drop the cross member, or some (in my opinion crazy) people actually separated the cab from the frame. When we began the pull ourselves, we realized this was going to be pretty difficult.

We were using a large skid loader with forks, a drop chain, and on the engine itself we had a chain connected to the front lift point, and we built a custom hook on the back of the engine. Any attempt to pull the engine out level did not work, as the valve cover would hit the cowl. Any attempt to move a couple chain links ahead would not work, as the oil pan would hit the cross member, limiting movement forward, and again, valve cover hits the cowl.

So my father had a crazy idea, to hook the chain 3 links back, and attempt to rotate the engine forward as we lifted up. I thought that was a really dumb idea, but low and behold it actually worked. You had to be very careful with the oil pan as it basically rubbed up against the cross member on the way out, and the front bottom pulley up against the radiator support, but the back of the engine cleared the cowl and came right out.

Putting the engine in was even easier, now that we had the process down. Dropped down and in, used long bolts to get the mating process started for the tranny/engine, then pulled those and put in the regular ones. I thought for sure we'd have some issues from lack of experience, but we got everything back together, primed the pump holding in the valve to bleed the air, turned the key, she fired right up. No engine codes, no engine issues at all. And wow this thing has some power, on country roads going around corners, you can't goose that thing at all or it lets loose. I'm sure having a straight pipe exhaust on the thing opens it up too.

He's worked on diesels all the time, I never have, but this was the first time for either of us on a Ram diesel. His specialty is tractors. I didn't realize how dirty you get working on diesel engines. I've probably done 40-50 engine swaps, usually on front wheel drive cars. Every day I'd get home, I was stripping in the garage and tossing my clothes in the wash before I'd even head upstairs.

Truck needs pretty much the entire upper dash and console trim replaced, it's all busted up. Ordered a cowl to hood seal from LMC truck, new headlights on Amazon, still need to find a hood liner, and a few other items. All in all though, for our first time working on one of these, pretty awesome truck.

I just didn't know if anyone had heard of being able to pull that 5.9L engine all in one piece like that, mind you, I was searching on my phone at the time, sometimes on my home computer it is easier to find advice on things than on my phone. Just figured if no one had heard of it being possible, it can be done. :smileup:

Premium Member
32,783 Posts
Just for information on

Truck needs pretty much the entire upper dash and console trim replaced

Check out this website for complete replacement dashboards
It is not a dash cover or overlay
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