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Dodge Ram truck Cummins diesel engine timing cover dowel pin retainer tab installation

Retainer Tab for the Killer Dowel Pin
Install a homemade washer tab to keep the KDP out of the gear train

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Geno's Garage Truck Accessories

Genos Garage has a KDP kit that includes a KDP retainer tab, and crank seal, and gasket material.
'89-'93 12V DODGE and '98.5-'02 24V DODGE      '94-'98, 12V DODGE

From the TDRoundtable Killer Dowel Pin Blocking Tab thread:

R.ebel posted the drawing below with dimensions for a KDP blocking tab for the 1997 engine. Some years of the 5.9 have a slight step in this area of the gearcase, but the tab will still work with some minor modification. The small end of the tab is designed to lock into the contours of the gearcase to prevent any rotation of the tab. Arrow "A" on bboxall's photo points to the KDP's home. The retainer tab goes under the bolt head just to the lower right of the KDP hole. Always install a new main seal before replacing the timing cover.

The tab can be made from thin steel stock or cut from a 2" dia fender washer with a 1/4" or 5/16" hole. The bolt is M8 X 1.25 X 25mm.

Part Numbers:
  Cummins Dodge NAPA
Dowel Pin 3900257 04429257 NA
Gear cover gasket: 3918673 5012290AA NA
Seal kit: 3804899 4638719 Chicago Rawhide 24868
BOLT (8mm X 1.25 X 25mm) 3900631    

 KDP location

KDP tab photos sent by Ernie Little
Dowel pin location Before tab installation After tab installation
Dowel pin location KDP location Before tab installation After tab installation

Blocking Tab Installation Instructions:

Timing Cover Removal         (Thanks to Mike Beatty for adding corrections and tips)

1.   Remove fan assembly with a 36mm or 1 7/16" wrench. The thread is left hand and you may need to whack the wrench with a hammer to break the nut loose. In many cases, a drift punch and hammer are are the easiest tools to use for breaking the nut loose; place the punch on the driver side of the fan nut face and hit the punch with a hammer.

2.   Remove the fan belt. (3/8" ratchet)

3.   Remove the 6 bolts that hold the fan pulley on and then the 4 that hold the fan mount to the block.

4.   Remove oil fill tube and adapter. (13 mm wrench)

5.   Remove vibration damper. (15 mm wrench)

6.   Remove the bolts that hold the gear cover to the gear housing. (10 mm wrench)

7.   Gently pry the cover away from the housing, taking care not to mar the gasket surfaces.

8.   Clean the old gasket residue from the back of the gear cover and front of the gear housing.

Tab Installation

1.   Remove the timing gear housing bolt closest to the KDP. (10 mm wrench)

2.   Position the tab so that it covers the dowel pin hole and is wedged between the cover bolt boss and the rib cast into the housing.

3.  Install the original bolt through the tab and torque to 18 ft-lbs. (10 mm wrench) Use Locktite 205 or similar on the bolt threads to prevent the bolt from loosening. While you are there, check the torque on the other housing bolts. If any are loose, apply lockitite to the threads and torque the bolt 18 ft-lbs.

Timing Cover Installation

1.   Lubricate the front gear train with clean engine oil.

NOTE: Mike Beatty reused the seal and gasket with no leaks. Use a thin plastic, like what is on a loose leaf binder, and tape it together to make a tapered sleeve. Just be very careful installing the crank seal over the snout. Oil the snout and sleeve with synthetic oil, and it will slide right on.  It also helps to use several studs to guide the plate on and hold it until you get the other bolts started. If you do it this way, you can skip to step 10.

2.   Use a hammer and punch to drive the old seal out of the cover.

3.   Thoroughly clean the front seal area of the crankshaft. The seal lip and the sealing surface on the crankshaft must be free from all oil residue to prevent seal leaks. The seal is designed to transfer a film of teflon to the dry, clean crank surface after initial startup

4.   Apply a bead of Loctite 277, or equivalent to the outside diameter of the seal. (Note: Some use 242 blue or 205 Red)

5.   Install the seal into the rear of the cover using a plastic hammer and the alignment/installation tool provided in the seal kit. To prevent damage to the seal carrier, hit the alignment/installation tool alternately at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions.

6.   Install the pilot from the seal kit onto the crankshaft.

7.   Using the pilot as an alignment tool, install the cover and a new gasket.

8.   Install the cover bolts and tighten to 24 Nm (18 ft. lbs.) torque. (10 mm wrench)

9.   Remove pilot tool.

10. Install the oil fill tube and mounting bolts. Tighten the bolts to 43 NM (32 ft. lbs.). (13 mm wrench)

11. Slide the small black plastic dust seal (included in the seal kit) over the end of the crank and up snugly against the crank seal with the flat side out. Install the vibration damper. DO NOT tighten the bolts to the correct torque value at this time.

12. Install the fan mount to the block and the 6 bolts that hold the fan pulley on.

13. Raise the belt tensioner to install the belt. (3/8" ratchet)

14. Tighten the vibration damper bolts to 125 NM (92 ft. lbs.). (15 mm wrench) Use an engine barring tool to keep the engine from rotating during tightening operation.

15. Install the fan assembly. 36mm or 1 7/16" wrench

Dowel Pin Stabilization Instructions From Cummins:

The dowel pin itself can be replaced if desired or Locktite can be used to hold it in place, without having to replace the pin or gear housing assembly. Inspection and securing of the timing cover dowel pin:

1.   Remove the damper, pulley and gear cover from front of engine.

2.   Tap on the dowel pin with a flat punch to insure that it is seated in the bore.

3.   Clean all the oil from area with solvent and dry completely.

4.   Apply some wicking type Locktite #290 on the dowel pin and let the Locktite cure.

5.   Reinstall the cover with a new seal and gasket.

6.   Reinstall damper and pulley.

From Mike Beatty:

Either cover the openings to the pan or use a magnet when putting the tab in place to keep it from falling into the oil pan. Also, setting the timing is easier while the gear cover is off because loosening the gear is much easier and you can clean the gear and shaft better.

Comments collected from several TDRoundtable threads:

Dieselnerd: I bought a bolt that was about 1/4" longer and used high strength Loctite on the bolt. I made the tab out of a 2" fender washer with a 1/4" hole, had to use a rat tail file to enlarge it slightly to fit the metric bolt. I used a hacksaw to cut the tab to size. I used a new gasket and seal on the cover. I used Permatex spray on both sides of the gasket. The seal was a real pain like Rebel said. Kept going in crooked. I finally bolted the damper back over the seal tool that came with the seal and pressed it in that way. That method pushes it almost all the way in to where it should be. The cover is bolted on but not tightened down. You put the seal installer into the cover to center the hole in the cover over the crank and then tighten the bolts. The service manual is very specific about this. Then you slip a plastic sleeve into the seal to keep it from deforming as it slips over the crankshaft end. You tap the seal with the installer to get it started and then pull out the sleeve.

Joe G.: I put the seal in the cover first. The kit comes with a tool to set the depth. I used my vice and pressed it right in. The manual says use some blue LocTite so I did that. There is also a tool to put the seal on the crank. I put the tool in the seal in the cover before installing the cover. I made a couple of alignment pins out of some long old screws so that the cover was straight. It was easy to put on.

Frank Simkowski: The Cummins front crankshaft/timing housing seal kit consists of three components: 1) the seal 2) an installation tool 3) an alignment/installation sleeve that slips over the crank snout for slipping on the newly sealed timing cover. The alignment/installation sleeve is then removed after the timing cover is fastened in position. The seal is a Teflon laydown lip type. They must be installed on a DRY, CLEANED, NO-OIL RESIDUE crank snout surface. They are designed to transfer a film of teflon to the dry, clean crank surface after initial startup.

HEMIŽDart: You don't need to drain the coolant or take off the upper radiator hose. I didn't even need to take the shroud off. You can pull out the fan from the top if you are careful. You will need to push the upper radiator hose towards the firewall to make room for the clutch & fan assembly to come out.
I used 0.030" steel to make my tab. It was like a metal sawzall blade type material. Hard.

Killer Dowel Pin "tab- Fix -tips"

Photos and story of KDP damage




This page was edited on: September 24, 2008