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Old 07-18-2022, 07:28 PM   #1
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Killer Dowel Pin

Folks,

I was concerned about munching the engine on my newly acquired 2000' HR Ambassador, so I e-mailed the Cummins Customer Care representative yesterday.

IF.... what the Cummins Customer Care representative e-mailed me is correct, the "Killer Dowel Pin" problem only affected Dodge products. The following is the exact text of our conversation:

"Michael, I have recently learned of an issue, that my engine, ISB-260, S/N:########, may have, having to do with a dowel pin coming loose inside the gear-train cover area. Folks on-line are calling it the "Killer Dowel Pin" scenario and saying that it can completely trash the engine if not corrected. How can I tell if my engine might be affected by this issue? If it is, how do I remedy the problem?
Thanks again, Mike"

He responded:

"Michael, the dowel pin failures where on the engines that were in Dodges."

Thank you for contacting Cummins.

Michael
Cummins Care Representative"


Any feedback/rebuttal to that folks????

I'm open to any criticism regarding the issue, because I dont wanna have to replace an engine on this beast!.

Thanks in advance for the input!!!!!!

Mikeado1
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Old 07-18-2022, 07:39 PM   #2
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I think I introduced that term into a thread. Thanks for clearing it up with information direct from Cummins. I did not know it was only found in Dodge Ram CTD 5.9 engines.
I apologize for the unnecessary concern over your engine.
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:49 AM   #3
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Ray,
No apology necessary!!!!!! I'm just doing as much research as possible to ensure that I don't trash this engine. They ain't cheap! Have a nice day!
Mike
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Old 07-19-2022, 07:23 AM   #4
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I would do some extensive searches on this issue in regards to RV's.



No disrespect to the Cummins rep but an the engine may be the same that is used in both Dodges and RV's. I doubt the roll an engine down the assembly line knowing what it is going into unless there are different spec's for the different applications.



Maybe others will chime in, from memory I think I've read of problems.



I've become leery of company reps, last year I had in issue with my inverter and the company rep said it was trashed and gave me $3000 worth of parts I'd need to replace. So I removed it from the motorhome. Out of caution, before I ordered all the new stuff, I called a service site and talked to a technician, explained what happen and my symptoms and ohm readings I had he said my inverter was GOOD, and gave me some tips to troubleshoot my electrical system. I followed his advice, put the inverter back in and followed his instructions and found my problem.
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Old 07-19-2022, 07:28 AM   #5
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I would also question that conclusion.


I would suggest asking "What is mechanically/structurally different about the Cummins B engine in motorhomes that makes 'killer dowel pin' failure unlikely.


Would hate for the advice to be based on the number of failures that the customer service rep is familiar with, since there are probably 100 times as many B engines in PU's as motorhomes.
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Old 07-19-2022, 07:44 AM   #6
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The Cummings branded dodge and Cummings engines are different. What I can see, HP specifications, oil pan size, etc... But im not sure there is much other difference.

One of the big difference it the average miles year by year on the fleet of Dodge trucks with ISB vs Motor homes. The trucks is much greater.
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Old 07-19-2022, 08:58 PM   #7
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Yeah, I felt the typical twinge of skepticism while reading it actually. It's just a dang shame that you can't rely on a manufacturer's rep. to know what he's talking about, or to not BS you.

I also have noticed supposed tech. experts that are not expert, at all! As I said, dang shame!!!!

I would ask the Cummins guy about the structural/mechanical differences but might that not also be BS????

Gonna visit the local Cummins service folks tomorrow, see what i can coax out of them. Hopefully, I can talk to an older tech. who's been around the block a few times.


If all else fails, I'll just tear the gear-train case off myself and install the dowel pin retainer kit. It's just a lot of work that I don't have time to do right now.

Thanks to all fer yer input!!!!!!

Good to hear from you again wolfe10!!!!

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Old 07-19-2022, 09:39 PM   #8
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In 33 years at a Chrysler dealership , 14 years of those training on Cummins engines .
I worked on one KDP on a 12 valve and two 53 blocks .

I'll agree with ArtJoyce , with the failure probably being more to do with mileage that anything else , although I don't know if there has been any data collected on the average mileage when the KDP failure occurs.

I haven't worked on a ISB motorhome version but from pictures of the motorhome version , I can see no difference in the timing gear housing .

VP-44 is in the same place , air compressor where the Dodge version mounted power steering/vacuum pump .
It would be very interesting to see a photo pf the motorhome version with the timing cover off .
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Old 07-19-2022, 10:16 PM   #9
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Killer dowel pin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeado1 View Post
Folks,

I was concerned about munching the engine on my newly acquired 2000' HR Ambassador, so I e-mailed the Cummins Customer Care representative yesterday.

IF.... what the Cummins Customer Care representative e-mailed me is correct, the "Killer Dowel Pin" problem only affected Dodge products. The following is the exact text of our conversation:

"Michael, I have recently learned of an issue, that my engine, ISB-260, S/N:########, may have, having to do with a dowel pin coming loose inside the gear-train cover area. Folks on-line are calling it the "Killer Dowel Pin" scenario and saying that it can completely trash the engine if not corrected. How can I tell if my engine might be affected by this issue? If it is, how do I remedy the problem?
Thanks again, Mike"

He responded:

"Michael, the dowel pin failures where on the engines that were in Dodges."

Thank you for contacting Cummins.

Michael
Cummins Care Representative"


Any feedback/rebuttal to that folks????

I'm open to any criticism regarding the issue, because I dont wanna have to replace an engine on this beast!.

Thanks in advance for the input!!!!!!

Mikeado1





Mikeado1,


When I had my 1994 Holiday Rambler with the Cummins B5.9, I researched the killer dowel pin issue extensively, also the Cummins 53 Block, and this is the result of my research. Sorry, I do not have time to edit it down to something that might be more useable to you.


I think that the Cummins B5.9 was one of the best engines ever made, and came to the conclusion that the dowel pin issue was reasonably low risk. I do however, disagree with the Cummins rep with whom you had communications.




My kids think that they are getting an inheritance -
Randm Musing / RVM174




1994 HOLIDAY RAMBLER CUMMINS B5.9 12V ENGINE

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f123/199...ml#post4640414



http://www.cumminshub.com/killer-dowel-pin.html

12v Cummins Killer Dowel Pin (KDP)
KDP Information, Affected Model Years, & Prevention

The "Killer Dowel Pin", as it is so infamously named, refers to a small metal dowel inserted into the engine block that is used to align the front gear housing during initial assembly. It is located above the camshaft gear and to the left (looking at the front of the engine) of the injection pump gear. The KDP is amply named because it can have catastrophic consequences if it dislodges and descends down the front cover. While this pin is found on 12v (6BT) and 24v (ISB) 5.9L Cummins engines, problems associated with dislodging are generally limited to 12v engines found in 1989 to 1998 model year trucks, and, for inconclusive reasons, most prolific on 1994 to 1998 model year trucks.

Related Topics:
12v Cummins Killer Dowel Pin Tab Installation Instructions
12v Cummins Maintenance Schedule, Part Numbers, & Service Information
5.9L Cummins 12v Specs (6BT Cummins)
4BT Cummins Specs, Dimensions, Information
Cummins 53 Block Casting Identification & Information Guide

Cracked camshaft gears and/or cracked gear housings are amongst
the most common failure points when a KDP becomes dislodged and
begins dancing around the complex system of gears keeping the
engine running in sync. The best scenario following a KDP event
is that the dowel pin gently falls to the bottom of the front
cover, eventually settling [peacefully] at the bottom of the oil
pan where it can rest indefinitely without concern (a screen on
the oil pump eliminates the possibility of damage occurring should
the pin find its way into the oil pan). The worst case scenario is
that the dowel pin becomes lodged between the camshaft and injection
pump gears, causing a chain reaction of destruction that includes
the pistons meeting the valvetrain and ultimately a catastrophic,
unrepairable engine failure.

While affecting all 12v engines, KDP related failures are most common
on 1994 to 1998 model year trucks, which utilize the Bosch P1700
injection pump. The [more desirable] P-pump engines are thought to
experience different harmonics in the gear train and front cover
assembly than 1989 to 1993 engines equipped with the VE44 rotary
injection pump. Due to the potentially hazardous nature of the KDP,
we highly recommend installing a KDP prevention tab on all 12v engines
to permanently eliminate any and all concerns.

KDP Tab/Eliminator Kit Information

A KDP prevention kit is relatively inexpensive insurance against the possibility of a premature, catastrophic engine failure. It works by installing a small metal tab over the dowel pin using an adjacent bolt that secures the gear housing to the engine block. Installation of the tab is simple, straight forward, and intuitive. However it requires removal of the front cover, a relatively invasive and time consuming process for first timers. In reality, the procedures are much more intimidating than they are difficult and a comprehensive installation guide is available at CumminsHub.com. Some KDP kits include a replacement front cover gasket, while more affordable solutions reseal the front cover using RTV silicon. There is some evidence to suggest that using RTV silicon is advantageous to the factory replacement gasket and may provide a more resilient seal in certain instances.

For 1994 - 1998 model year Dodge Rams equipped with the 12v Cummins, we highly recommend the following the kit: 5.9L 12v Cummins KDP Tab & Complete Installation Kit

If you prefer to piece the project together yourself, see the parts list below.
KDP Tab Installation Parts List

Part Description


Part Number(s)


Remarks

KDP tab


Cummins 3958017


OEM option from Cummins. They've recognized the problems associated with dowel pin dislodging and this is their response. There are many aftermarket alternatives available.

KDP tab bolt


M8 x 1.25 pitch, 25 mm length


Bolt may or may not need to be replaced. Thick KDP tabs often require a longer bolt to reach full thread depth. Available at any decent hardware store. A grade 9.8 bolt is required.

Replacement dowel pin


Cummins 3900257


If your dowel pin is missing, the consensus is that it should be replaced. Available through a Cummins parts dealer.

Front cover crankshaft seal


Cummins 3802820


Works for all 12v Cummins in 1st and 2nd Gen trucks. There are many aftermarket alternatives, some of which fit better than others. The crankshaft seal should be replaced anytime the front cover is removed.

Front cover gasket, 1989 - 1993


Cummins 3914385


Not necessary if sealing with RTV silicon (recommend Permatex Ultra Black). Some experts believe RTV silicon may actually provide a more reliable seal than the factory gaskets. We've found that it is simply a matter of preference and have used both sealant and gaskets without a problem. Using RTV silicon trims the cost considerably.

Front cover gasket, 1994 - 1998


Cummins 3918673

Threadlocker


Loctite 271 (or comparable)


Loctite is the leading brand in threadlocker products, but any high strength threadlocker will suffice.



http://www.cumminshub.com/12v.html
As no engine is without inherent faults, the 12v Cummins Achilles
heel is a small dowel pin pressed into the front of the engine
during assembly


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cummins_B_Series_engine
The Cummins B Series is a family of American straight-6
diesel truck and industrial piston engines that are
manufactured by Cummins. The B Series is known for the
popular 5.9 liters (360.0 cu in) straight-six motors.
Every Cummins powered Dodge Pickup (since initial production
in 1989) has come equipped with a turbocharger. It uses a
gear-drive camshaft for extra reliability. Also specified
is a deep-skirt engine block and extra-strong connecting rods.
A Holset turbocharger is used.

The 5.9 liters (360.0 cu in) 6BT, aka the Cummins "12-valve"


http://www.trucktrend.com/how-to/eng...s-fatal-flaws/
Cummins' Fatal Flaws 1988 to 1998
There Are Two Things That Could Be Killing Your 5.9L Right Now
The Killer Dowel Pin
The first such weakness affects 5.9L Cummins engines manufactured
between 1988 and 1998 (in other words, 12-valve Cummins engines).

Fatal Flaw 2: The Weak 53 Block 1999 to 2002
The second potentially deadly flaw occurs in 1999 to 2002 5.9L Cummins
24-valve engines. It's known as the 53 block problem, because these
engine blocks have the number 53 cast into the side of the crankcase.
After years of use, the 53 blocks tend to crack until coolant starts
to pour out the side of the block.
the 53 on the front driver side of the block. If you see this number
while you're inspecting a '99 to '02 model Dodge, think long and hard
before you buy it.

12v Engines - Cummins Turbo Diesel FAQ
http://leftcoastdiesel.com/wordpress/?page_id=66

http://www.dieselhub.com/cummins.html
http://www.dieselhub.com/maintenance...-schedule.html

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-manuf...s-type-a.shtml

Killer Dowel Pin Repair Kit for
http://www.tstproducts.com/dowelpinr...tfor94-98.aspx
The TSTPOWER KIT, added to 1994 -1998 12-valve Ram Turbo Diesels
turns a great truck into a fantastic truck in about an hour.
http://www.tstproducts.com/94-98dodg...thvideo-1.aspx



KILLER DOWEL PIN / KDP
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f123/new...ml#post2742534
In 14 years of dealing with Dodge Cummins, at a Chrysler dealership,
(1993-2007) I only saw one engine fail due to the dowel pin ; working
out into the timing gears; and two block failures. I'd say the odds
are in your favor of the pin not being an issue. BUT there are ways
of dealing with the issue as a preventive measure, but in a coach
they would be very time consuming.
If your injection pump looks like this picture, the 8.3 and 5.9
used similar pumps in the early years , they are the most trouble
free of the mechanical systems I dealt with.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/attachme...1&d=1442165866



Using a jig to install a bolt in the timing case to keep the KDP
out of the gear train
http://dodgeram.org/tech/dsl/Dowel_Pin/bolt.htm
PHOTOS AND GOOD INSTRUCTIONS

MORE GOOD INSTRUCTIONS
http://dodgeram.org/tech/dsl/Dowel_Pin/tab.htm
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Old 07-20-2022, 06:37 AM   #10
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WOW
Great post.



One thing the OP can do is go to the Cummins Quickserve site https://quickserve.cummins.com/info/index.html
Create an account then register your engine using the SN, then start doing some searches for the dowel pin. It may take some time to learn to navigate the site but well worth the effort.

I use the site all the time, when I read of an issue on a similar engine as mine I'll go into the site and get info on it. I've created a file folder that I store all the down loads. On the Quickserve site I'll print to PDF and save it for future reference.
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Old 07-20-2022, 04:26 PM   #11
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Post #9 was an excellent roundup of this important info. Great job.

One poster kept referring to our Cummins engines as Cummings.
Something the founder of Cummins, Clessie Cummins, would not have preferred I'm sure.
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Old 07-20-2022, 07:15 PM   #12
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KDP repair kits from Genos Garage; for 89 - 98 Cummins 5.9.
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Old 07-21-2022, 07:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
KDP repair kits from Genos Garage; for 89 - 98 Cummins 5.9.

$65 kit could prevent a much larger problem. Thanks for posting!!
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Old 08-10-2022, 05:41 PM   #14
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My KDP looked to be about 1/2 way out when I installed the fix from Genos garage and yes this 5.9 24valve motor was in my 1998 motorhome not a Dodge truck.
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