TECH TALK: Killer Dowel Pin on Dodge Cummins

Killer Dowel Pin

Dodge 5.9L Cummins

Killer Dowel Pin Syndrome. It’s a problem that has been reported on 1989-1998.5 Dodges 5.9L Cummins and is something that can have catastrophic results.

During the engines assembly, a steel dowel pin is pressed into the trucks block to precisely locate its timing-gear housing. So What’s The problem? Vibrations in the trucks engine can cause the dowel pin to work its way out, and because it’s made of steel, there is no working its way through the engine. It becomes the dowel pin of death.

Here are three situations that can happen:

Situation 1: You get EXTREMELY lucky and the pin falls through the maze of the cam, crank, and injection pump, gears and lands in the oil pan or on the bottom of the gear housing.

Situation 2: The pin falls out, and comes in contact with the cam gear and smashes into the gear housing on the front of your engine. Because it is steel and not aluminum, the steel wins. The housing will crack open or lose a big chunk right where the dowel pin was forced into the housing. If this happens, you will wake up the next morning and notice the oil in your driveway. The repair for this can be costly.

Situation 3: The pin falls and tears up the cam gear or breaks it off completely. The valves will then smash into the pistons, creating a “junkyard” in your combustion chambers. Scraping metal does not work nearly as well as #2 diesel, and this can take out your heads, valves, pistons, and even possibly your engine block, making it impossible to rebuild. If this happens, there are rarely any parts you can salvage, and the only option is to either to sell the truck for parts or pick up a new engine for a couple thousand dollars. When this happens, you’ll be left stranded on the side of the road.

The Solution:In order to avoid a costly repair bill, companies like BD Diesel offer a KDP (Killer Dowel Pin) Kits that consists of a new bolt, gaskets and a tab to hold in the dowel pin so it will not be able to work it’s way loose.

Give us a call at 714-848-2170 M-F from 8-5 PST – We will answer your questions regarding the KDP (Killer Dowel Pin) Kits. Ask about Free Shipping!

Live locally? Feel free to stop by our location and meet us! OC DIESEL, INC. is located at 17242 Gothard Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 Suites A and B. In addition to carrying KDP (Killer Dowel Pin) Kits, we have a full service shop staffed with knowledgeable technicians who are ready to squash any Diesel Repair issues.

The Diesel Performance Experts