1998 Dodge Ram Rebuild or Replace?

Tiny
SPINDOC
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 175,000 MILES
I was just informed that the piston rings in my 98 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 with a 5.9L V8 are bad. I am getting only 90 on cylinder 1 and 80 on cylinder 5. We thought it was the intake manifold gasket, but I was wrong.

They tell me the only way to fix this is to rebuild the engine.

What can I expect to pay for a rebuild of this engine, and would be be better to buy a new, or rebulit engine to replace it?

How hard is it to rebuild an engine, and what does it involve?

And is it ok to drive with this problem for a while untill I can afford to rebuild the engine?
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Monday, March 9th, 2009 AT 10:09 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
THETOOLMAN
  • MEMBER
Did you do a wet compression test to verify that it is the lower end and not the upper end that's causing the low readings?
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 AT 11:31 AM
Tiny
SPINDOC
  • MEMBER
My mechanic is the one that told me this.

One mechanic told me it was the intake manifold gasket, but he didn't do that work, so I took it somewhere else to have them do it. They checked it out and told me it wasn't the gasket, but low compression on those valves.

They did hook up the tester under the dash and gave me the codes "misfire on cylinder 1, misfire on cyclinder 5.

Then the next day they told me it wasn't the gasket but the piston rings.

They also don't do that work, so I'm assuming that they are being honest since they are telling me that they can't complete the job, why would they tell me that something was bad if they weren't going to charge meto fix it?
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 AT 11:40 AM
Tiny
THETOOLMAN
  • MEMBER
Did not mean to insinuate your mechanic was not being honest. I was only suggesting that a wet compression test be done to confirm the diagnosis.
A rebuild for this vehicle will be any where from 1800 hundred to 2200 depending on the engine severity and ability to be repaired. A re manufactured engine with a warranty will be around 2000.00 then you still have to pay to have it installed and your old one removed. Most require a core charge as well.
Good Luck.
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 AT 12:36 PM
Tiny
SPINDOC
  • MEMBER
He said they put oil in the cylinder and ran a compression test.

I assume this is where "wet" comes from.

So there is no other way to remedy this other than a rebuild? And is this a top end, or does the whole block have to come out.
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 AT 12:44 PM
Tiny
THETOOLMAN
  • MEMBER
The whole block will have to be removed.
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 AT 12:46 PM
Tiny
SPINDOC
  • MEMBER
But is this something that needs to be done right away, I mean can I drive it for a while like this untill I can afford to fix it?

It drives and has decent accelleration, it just runs rough.

I bought this truck to repo cars, I will be hauling cars on a wheel lift installed on the back end.

How long can I go with this problem, and what other problems will it cause if I don't fix it right away?
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 AT 12:56 PM

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