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Rebuilding a 5.9 Magnum for fun/learning

Discussion in 'Engine & Performance' started by svdsinner, Sep 15, 2020 at 4:51 PM.

Sponsored By: Moe's Performance
  1. svdsinner

    svdsinner Member

    Likes Received:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Ram Year:
    5.9L V8
    The 5.9 Magnum in my '98 2500 died and is locked up. (I assume it threw a rod) I'm hoping that in the spring, I will get some time to pull the engine and see what happened to it. I've never done a full engine rebuild but would love to use this as a low-stress way to try doing it. From what I have seen online and at local parts stores, I can get a rebuild kit (pistons, gaskets, rings, bearings, etc.) for $400-ish. There are probably another $500-ish of parts that may/may not need replacement (Cams, heads, crankshaft, etc.) No idea what machining will be needed, but I'm guessing $3-400.

    After I finish it and test it, I'll be selling it. My motivation here is NOT profit, but to learn about the process. I'd like to make the end-product a quality deal for whoever buys it and be able to sell it for a bit more than the parts I'll be putting into it.
    1) When I tear it down and find out what broke, are there things that should scream "This engine is not rebuildable!"

    2) If I keep it stock, what would a reasonable price for it to sell quickly? I see tired, high-mileage used (non-rebuilt) ones are $800ish on E-bay.

    3) Are there upgrades I should do to it (that would likely make my money back) to make a buyer happier?

    4) What level of performance should I target if I want a reasonably quick sale? Stock? Mild performance mods? I know that realistically, people interested in huge performance don't drive trucks with old 360 Magnum engines in them. But would they want (and be willing to pay for) something with better towing grunt?
  2. LeesEvoX

    LeesEvoX Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    Oct 29, 2017
    Houston, TX
    Ram Year:
    Hemi 6.4l
    I cannot answer questions 2 and 3.

    But for 1. you want to look for cracks. lol. this can happen in the coolant jackets around the cylinder, or even in the block if you really went out on a BANG! Also be sure to check what the factory cylinder liners look like. Look for vertical grooves and gouges here. some of these can be taken out by boring the cylinder. But you can only do so much until you need to remove the liner completely, and go with an aftermarket sleeve.

    Also, when have a failure like this. Which could include small bits of metal being deposited everywhere, i always change stuff out like oil pump, and oil coolers (If equipped). It would be pretty shitty to do all that work, and have a oil pump clog up and toast everything.

    For question 4. i personally would keep stock as much as possible. Building a stock QUALITY engine will always bring more buyers. Because it will give them confidence to modify it themselves!

    If you do end up doing this. Firstly good luck, and secondly. make sure to post it on the forum! This will be a great experience for you, and IMO is the only way to get a real appreciation, and knowledge for how these giant chunks of metal take you where you need to go day in, and day out. i love all types of combustion engine. because they are just so interesting to me.

    Whether that be the giant 6.4l Merican V8 in my power wagon. Or the little 2.0l 4 banger, GIANT turbo in my old evo. :)

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