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Posted: 3/15/2011 5:52:17 PM EST
Test drove a 99 Dodge 3500 24v NV4500 today.

Drove fine, just felt weak. What is the turbo on those trucks? HX35's?

I'm wondering if the turbo is just getting weak, what's the average life people are seeing?

I also need to know what the 'bad' block is stamped with again so I can check it.

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 7:48:19 PM EST
No one?
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 7:50:16 PM EST
By "felt weak", what is your comparison/reasoning?
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 7:54:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2011 7:55:01 PM EST by 94-6BTA]
99 is a VP44 pumped truck. Did it have the factory lift pump to feed the injection pump? They are notorious for failing and after a time and the VP44 pulling fuel for itself, it dies as well.

Automatics do feel fairly weak.

Edit: Bad Block is the "53" block
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 8:12:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2011 8:25:44 PM EST by Arlis]

There are a few other things you will want to look into at http://www.cumminsforum.com/

Look into the KDP or killer dowel pin which you will want to put a preventative tab over. This will take you a Saturday more or less and you need to do this as soon as you buy it. Look for signs that the work has been done or that is already caused damage and has been repaired.

You will also want to put in an aftermarket lift pump and fuel pressure guage. as the injector pump is lubricated by the fuel only and if fuel pressure drops it will ruin it. Goodby $1600.

Engine condition is measured by a blowby flow tool you can make yourself. I wouldn't be too worried about performance as long as the engine is sound. You should also check turbo shaft play. If performance is less than it should be, one possible reason is that the boots connecting the intercooler to the air piping expand under pressure and are cut by chafing against nearby sheet metal edges. When the engine is not running this is difficult to see and diagnose. You should bend the sheet metal edges aside as a preventative measure anyway. You can research all this further at the link above.

ETA: The NV4500 is known to lose 5th gear due to a weak spline allowing the gear to move and backing off the retaining nut. Prevention is to drive in 5th only with engine above 1500 to 1800 RPM's, and there are upgrades available.


The front ends are weak. You can knock off an easy $500 by looking in the drivers side wheel well while reaching inside and turning the steering wheel back and forth. You will see the end of the track bar moving around and probably other joints also. You can buy the Napa replacement which has a lifetime warranty but you will be replacing it once or twice a year. It must be upgraded if you want it to stay fixed.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 8:14:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2011 8:14:50 PM EST by txgp17]
Before buying any diesel I'd do two things.
1. Take it to a dealer and pay $100 to run complete diagnostics on it.
2. Take a engine oil sample and send it to Blackstone Labs for an analysis. This will reveal any serious internal engine problems like a leaking head gasket, cracked head, among other things.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 8:22:30 PM EST
Thanks guys.

Haven't checked for boost leaks yet.

Weak compared to my buddy's old 01 Cummins at WOT.

Truck still had plenty of torque off the clutch drop, just didn't pull like the other one I had driven a lot.

I have no problem replacing the turbo as I can get new HX35's on the cheap.
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