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Billet Tappet Cover Selection and Installation


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Greetings.  New to Forum.  New to Cummin's Mods.  Would appreciate any help/advice I can get.

Patient: Mostly stock 2000, 3500, 4wd, Auto, Raptor f.p, VP44 i.p.  Stock breather on timing cover, no breather on      tappet cover. 325K but seams to run good, no appreciable smoke.  Used 99% highway driving with lots of 5th wheel and trailer hauling.

Illness:  Massive oil leak from bottom of factory tappet cover.  Engine and sub frame coated with so much oil from leaking tappet cover, it is hard to tell if hose from stock breather is dripping much oil or if anything else is leaking.

Proposed Treatment:  Replacement of tappet cover with billet tappet cover which has two breather ports and O ring seal.  Plan to install Mopar1973 routing modification of front breather and then "T" in hoses from tappet cover breather ports.   Also considering putting a catch can on high point of new breather routing and find place to send collected oil back to oil pan or crankcase or valve cover, etc.

Questions:  Does proposed treatment make sense? Any obvious problems?  Should I try to return collected oil to engine?  If so, where would be best and relatively easy to accomplish?  Has anyone done grinding on VP44 bracket and bolt head to accommodate new billet cover? (Can't seem to find video on this modification)  How big a job and how to accomplish?  (Yes I know you can buy new billet covers machined to accommodate VP44 but they are uniformly about twice the price of ones requiring some grinding)  Should control module be moved off new tappet cover to firewall?  Should working cam sensor be replaced? (Risking installing new sensor which might be lower quality-foreign made, which doesn't last long.)  Any real reason to remove old fuel pump, not bracket, as now using Raptor?

Consultants Appreciated:  For any of you who have faced similar problems, and worked out different treatments, your experience, recommendations, or cautions would be appreciated.

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Welcome to forum. I am sure you will lots good things here.

 

As far as the tappet cover and breather is concerned, I would put a gasket on the OE cover and do Mike's breather mod. That alone seems to work just fine. If you want to dress the engine up with the billet cover, no harm in that either. As far as milling it for the VP, I would not know.

 

I dont know that the wiring harness to the ECM is long enough to move it to the firewall. Cant see that it would hurt anything.

 

Cam sensor. Now thats a good one there. I have asked myself that question when I replaced my VP with 217k on the clock and again at around 485k when replaced that one. I did not replace at either mark. Still running the OE at 522k. Now that is not a personal guarantee yours will go that far just my experience. As far as the quality of new sensors, a crap shoot maybe. I have a $15 MAP sensor from China in mine for the past 6 months and it is still working fine. Another crap shoot there.

 

The old fuel pump is not hurting anything just hanging there. Personal choice there.

 

Again welcome, the rest of the inmates will be around soon.

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dripley
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55 minutes ago, dripley said:

 

 

Again welcome, the rest of the inmates will be around soon.

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll be along in a bit. Block 18's on lockdown right now.

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I think it was power driven diesel that recently came out with a billet cover that accepts either vp or p-pump, even has the studs for the ecm if you want them. but I’ve resealed plenty of the stock tin ones with felpro or the Cummins gasket and they’ve been good for years. 

for the catch can I have one on my mud truck and I usually dump it. but I don’t see any reason you couldn’t dump it back in,as long as it isn’t milky or look terrible. 

for cam sensor I’d go with old rule of don’t fix what isn’t broke. 
 

As for the fuel pump, you can let it hang and act as a free seal and plate. Or buy/make a plate.

 

 

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I'd stick with stock cover unless you want bling. mike's vent mod works great and no need for another one in the cover. I would not reuse oil from puke bottle, oil is cheap engine is not. If you're losing that much oil out of breather you got other issues like a vacuum leak. I would most definitely not grind on vp if anything I'd grind the cover. 

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Grinding is supposed to be on VP44 bracket and anchor bolt head, not pump itself, to allow clearance of new billet cover.  O ring seal in billet cover is supposed to be a vast improvement over stock gasket which gets hard , cracks and leaks.  Better than RTV also, I hear.  Certainly not as messy.  Not doing for bling. Would like a leak prof solution to what I hear is a common problem with 5.9's.  As it is so much work removing things to get to tappet cover, don't want to ever have to do this again.  Has anyone here actually done the VP44 bracket mod to install the billet cover?

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I dont know anyone here has one. Could be I guess. I have replaced mine twice in the 19+ years I have had it. I learned the first time to do it when in there for something elsel.. Last time I changed mine was when I replaced a failed VP. The gasket was not leaking but had been on for a while so I just changed it. 

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Heck... 427k miles and right behind @dripley I'm still running the factory tappet cover. 99% of the time the gasket is hardened and cracked or broke out a small chunk. I just install a new gasket (rubber ring) on the stock cover. DO NOT use any sealant. This is where most go to screw up and add a ton of silicone or sealant of some sort making the matter worse. Changed mine back at 350k miles for the first time.

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At present I do not have anything else wrong requiring repair in the vicinity of the tappet cover.  As the truck is leaking about a quart of oil every 200 miles and I  plan a 2500 mile trip to the West Coast, as soon as I get my vaccinations, I really must get it fixed.  About 50K miles ago (2 years) I replaced the dead VP44.  At that time I rebuilt both the oil seeping vacuum and power steering pumps.  Once I get this tappet cover issue fixed,  I hope that I don't have to tear apart that side of the 5.9 for another 200K miles.  That is probably 5 years for me.  Is there no one here who has installed these billet covers?  When I go on Ebay,  I see ads (there are several manufacturers) where reportedly over 700 have been sold for the one brand which I intend to purchase.  In other cases, different vendors, more than 200 have been sold.  When I call the vendor/manufacturers  (3 times), I am told the grinding mod is easy, but no one can direct me to a video which shows the process.  I know- vendors.  With reportedly over 1000 sold, heck they have become so popular that in the last year the Chinese have started making billet knock-offs,  there ought to be someone out there who can walk me through the process or at least share their experiences.

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I was advised in this forum not to reuse the collected oil from the breather/crankcase ventilation in the engine.  However after posting my last note, I came across a Cummin's Crankcase Ventilation Kit (#CV50115) made by Fleetwood which provides the hardware and instructions on how to route collected oil from the 5.9 timing cover breather back to what looks like the oil pan.  Is this a bad idea?  If so, why is Cummins selling it?  Has anyone performed this mod?

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3 hours ago, Tbird9140 said:

I was advised in this forum not to reuse the collected oil from the breather/crankcase ventilation in the engine.  However after posting my last note, I came across a Cummin's Crankcase Ventilation Kit (#CV50115) made by Fleetwood which provides the hardware and instructions on how to route collected oil from the 5.9 timing cover breather back to what looks like the oil pan.  Is this a bad idea?  If so, why is Cummins selling it?  Has anyone performed this mod?

I saw the post not recommending not pouring and if it is collecting in something that is open to the atmosphere I probably would not pour it back in either. But we are talking about a very small amount of oil to worry about with 11 quarts in the engine. Its your truck pour it back in if you wish. I have never seen much drip out of mine so  it never bothered me. 

I just took the puke bottle off mine and ran a pipe down and back near the axle. Lazy mans way. Of course mine is mostly a highway truck and does not see a situation where the engine is nose down and can puke a lot oil.

I looked up the part # you posted and it seems unavailable on Amazon anymore. One place listed it at 100% off and another wanted $323 for it. I guess I would have to more about it. One of those places said it weighed 19.5 pounds. I would have to know good bit more about but did not take much time digging into it.

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10 hours ago, Tbird9140 said:

I  plan a 2500 mile trip to the West Coast, as soon as I get my vaccinations

You might want to do some research before you commit to it, seems too much shananigans going on with it. Now reports of nursing homes saying people are starting to drop dead after few weeks of getting it. Idk who to believe, I do believe if I feel fine there's no point in doing anything else. To each their own I guess.

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42 minutes ago, Dieselfuture said:

You might want to do some research before you commit to it, seems too much shananigans going on with it. Now reports of nursing homes saying people are starting to drop dead after few weeks of getting it. Idk who to believe, I do believe if I feel fine there's no point in doing anything else. To each their own I guess.

Amen to that. A local family here got it. Dad was fine, mom got flu like symptoms, daughter was rushed to the ER seriously ill and was told to not get the next dose. To each their own is right. For me I'll stick with a few days rest and some chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle soup never hurt anybody.

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4 hours ago, dripley said:

 

I just took the puke bottle off mine and ran a pipe down and back near the axle. Lazy mans way. Of course mine is mostly a highway truck and does not see a situation where the engine is nose down and can puke a lot oil.

 

You have to be careful what you buy these days.... people makin stabs in the dark, sell just about anything, just to come up with ideas to sell online.

 

I cooked my chicken in that oil and puked, but missed the bottle :sick::lol:

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OK guys lots of help, ideas.  Let keep it simple for the next question.  As my 5.9 VP44 does not have a breather on the stock tappet cover, only the breather in front of the timing cover, plumbed down and back along the frame,  IS THERE ANY REASON/ADVANTAGE FOR ME TO BUY A TAPPET COVER WITH A VENT WHEN I REPLACE THE LEAKING STOCK COVER?

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4 hours ago, Tbird9140 said:

IS THERE ANY REASON/ADVANTAGE FOR ME TO BUY A TAPPET COVER WITH A VENT WHEN I REPLACE THE LEAKING STOCK COVER?

Some people do that to eliminate puke bottle on the front. Here we all simply followed @Mopar1973Man on his vent mod that cost around $10 

I changed my gasket when I had the head off, never removed the vp. My old gasket wasn't leaking but it was cracking just matter of time, so I did it. Now it's a bit wet around it but not really leaking/dripping. 

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I installed an earlier Cummins tappet cover with the vent.  I did it because I had a broken gasket and needed to be in there anyway.

 

It takes some time to do.  The stock lift pump bracket must be modified.  (this bracket also covers the p-pump version mechanical fuel pump hole)  So gaskets need to be made etc.  Personally I like it.  But it is not just a quick change.

 

I also used the earlier version washers to hold it in place.  I think I would have been better served using the newer washers.  (our later washers are much thinner.)   I ended up having to go back and re-tighten the cover bolts.  I added thread locker so I didn't have to go back a second time.  Not sure why I had to re-tighten them....  but they worked loose.

 

HTH

Hag

 

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