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1989-1993 Dodge 5.9L 12 Valve Cummins Tech Information
In 1989, Dodge introduced the D250 & D350 first gen pickup powered by a 5.9L Cummins diesel. This engine featured 160hp & 400ft-lbs of torque. The 1989-1991.0 trucks were a non-intercooled engine and ran a large bowl style piston. This piston style is popular for use in high horsepower builds in 1994-1998 trucks because you can run more timing without having the injector spray outside the piston bowl.
The injection pump on 1991-1993 Dodge trucks is a "VE" rotary injection pump. It is supplied by a mechanical lift pump, driven off the cam shaft that generally produces 3-5PSI of pressure. If your fuel pressure drops below 3PSI, Cummins recommends replacing the lift pump.Click here to see our VE Cummins replacement mechanical lift pumps and upgraded electric fuel pump selection.
Check our our reman VE fuel injection pumps here. We offer stock rebuilt pumps and performance pumps that feature a performance fuel pin and 3200RPM governor spring, along with a "maxed out" fueling calibration.
1989-1993 5.9L VE Dodge Ram Cummins trucks run well, and were at the top of their class towing wise, but there are some improvements that make these engines run a lot better.
A hugely popular modification is the 3200RPM governor spring. This will give your power band an additional 700RPM, greatly improving the driving experience.
A performance fuel pin is another popular upgrade. This allows the injection pump to flow more fuel, allowing for gains between 25 & 40hp.
ALL 5.9L Cummins from 1989-2000 have a potentially catastrophic ticking time bomb in them. On the front of the block, there is a alignment dowel that centers the timing gearcase on the block. The gearcase slides over this dowel, and the hole is open-ended. What happens is, over time, the dowel pin, which is tapped into place in the block, vibrates loose and comes out the front hole. The pin then drops into the gears. If you are lucky, the pin will somehow make it to the oil pan and not cause any carnage.
Usually though, the pin will drop into the gears and then get forced between the pump gear or cam gear and the timing gearcase housing. When this happens, it cracks the housing or sometimes a large chunk of the case is displaced, causing a massive oil leak. Replacing the gearcase involves removing the cam shaft from the engine, or at a minimum, removing the cam gear, leaving the cam in the engine. Either way, this repair can cost upwards of $1500 with labor.
Worst case situation? The dowel pin can drop into the gears and break the cam gear, causing piston to valve contact. One rare case reported that the pin locked up the engine so quickly it caused the crank shaft to break. Either way, it isn't something you want to deal with.
We offer a KDP Repair Kit for the 1989-1993 5.9L Cummins here. It basically provides a dowel pin "tab" that installs over the hole where the dowel pin comes through, preventing it from ever dropping.
Both the block & cylinder head are cast iron.
The cylinder heads feature cast-in valve seats, therefore there is no risk of "dropping" a valve seat.
Oil capacity: 12 Quarts
HP: 160HP @2500RPM
Torque: 400ft-lbs @1600RPM