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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am huge cummins fan. I currently own 5 different Ram cummins powered trucks. Some more rare than others, but I am looking at finding a 5.0 for a 1936 chevy truck build. I have seen a few pop up on on ebay and LKQ. I am curious about what I need to look for before purchase.

Also are parts easy to find? I rarely see shops advertising aftermarket parts for them so I am not sure what kind of support is out there. especially with only a 4 year run with nissan.

Chris
 

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Hey Chris,
Sounds like you know your way around a vehicle and engine compartment. Stipulating that the 5.0 is a very cool engine--quad chain driven cams, two stage turbo, high revving for a diesel, etc-- it still is probably an engine to run away from for something like that. And I say that loving my 2016 5.0 SL Titan XD.

First, the 5.0 is a discontinued engine from Cummins--they pulled the plug and took a charge against earnings in the 3rd quarter of 2019--the whole ISV program was terminated. They must have sold very few of the ISV's to the school bus market and even fewer to the motorhome market. As near as I can tell, Tiffin motor homes was the only customer and I bet you could count on two hands and feet the number they sold with the ISV. So, how many 5.0 XD's made...no one really knows but it seems like 15-18K or so is about right parsing the sales numbers. Yes, you can get low mileage engines from salvage yards.

But parts availability has already been somewhat of a problem for Nissan service (timing, wait etc.) for a few forum members. Lots of parts on wrecking yards, but who knows how long that will last. The turbo is a complicated, two stage design, very expensive and prone to having problems from carbon buildup that affects the valve that directs the exhaust gasses from one turbine to the next. That causes the valve actuator to fail or throw codes...Try searching for an injector on Ebay--tell me if you find one. They are crazy expensive from Nissan--orders of magnitude more than a 6.7 Cummins for instance. I want to say over $500 each from Nissan Parts Deal website.

There have also been a number of unexplained crank failures...maybe not statistically significant, but they're out there. A few spun bearings and the like. It has not been a problem free engine, but maybe not a nightmare either. Fuel economy is not much better than a 6.7--though that is probably not your concern for a project truck. Not a lot out there for aftermarket performance stuff compared to other engine families.

It is a sweet sounding engine, but getting hard to get tunes for it if that is your plan too. It is just sort of an orphan engine at this point. You might be better off with a tried and true 5.9. If you like a rare beast and are willing to take a flier, look for a 17 or later engine. If you are going to put very few miles on this project truck, maybe it will be problem free for you over the long term if you are lucky.

Good luck with the project...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the input about the engine. I was hoping for better new than Cummins was the one that pulled the plug on the engine. That stinks to be honest. I wanted something that when it was uncorked would give a mixture of a v8 and diesel sound so people would have at take notice. See what kind of noise it could make at open header/turbo to atmosphere sounds it could make.

Now I am a bit more hesitant on this engine. I have too many ISB engines. I have a 5.9 12v work truck (1996 ram 3500 2wd) 6.2L 24v vp44 (1-60 1998 ramburban with a 5.9 bored .20 over with a 6.7 crank), a 6.4L P-pump 24v (1997 ram Crewcab conversion 6.4= 6.7 block with 5.9 crank with longer rods p-pumped) and a 6.7 commonrail megacab. I have done every variation of the ISB I can think of so I wanted to play with the 5.0.

I originally thought of a duramax and keep a chevy in a chevy swapm but I was hoping to be a lot smaller foot print than a 6.6L engine.

I may or may not proceed with this engine. I will have to see what is out there when I get closer. I might just go with a 4bt or a 4.5 commonrail but i wont have the v8-ish sound.

Chris
 

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2019 Titan XD Pro4x Cummins
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Don’t listen to the downers. I too had a major project idea for the isv. It’s a fantastic sounding engine and with a really unique setup would be over the top.

My idea called for quad turbos, compounds on each bank, true dual exhaust. mmm.

I love the ISV. Yes it is sad Cummins and Nissan both pulled the pin on the engine. Blame Nissan for that. They built a truck that should have been sold as a 3/4 ton and they would have got a good foothold into the market. Instead they got cold feet and the XD floundered with no market to service.
 

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I personally think the 5.0 for a project truck would be fine. It would definitely be different because you don't hear about too many people utilizing this engine for swaps. Yes, it is a very complicated engine. But I think a majority of the problems actually begin with Nissan's terrible service when issues arise. I have been lucky so far and haven't had EGR, turbo, or broken crankshaft issues (knock on wood). But the one issue I did have was with the lift pump going out on me while I was driving. It took nearly a month for the diesel tech to figure out that was the issue. Almost a month! Any diesel mechanic worth his salt would have checked that first, not last.
Anyway, the main headache with that is that Nissan classifies the lift pump as part of the emissions system, and my 3/36 basic warranty had expired, so I got stuck with the cost of the part. Why the lift pump, which is part of the fuel system, which is pre-ignition, is considered emissions, is beyond me. /end rant
As was mentioned, the FUEL SYSTEMS parts are very expensive. Someone correct me if I'm wrong because my memory is terrible, but I believe someone posted here that he had to have the entire fuel system replaced, and the bill was something like $27k (which thankfully was covered under warranty for him).
So just something to take into consideration. Parts for these engines are costly.
 

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2019 Titan XD Pro4x Cummins
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I personally think the 5.0 for a project truck would be fine. It would definitely be different because you don't hear about too many people utilizing this engine for swaps. Yes, it is a very complicated engine. But I think a majority of the problems actually begin with Nissan's terrible service when issues arise. I have been lucky so far and haven't had EGR, turbo, or broken crankshaft issues (knock on wood). But the one issue I did have was with the lift pump going out on me while I was driving. It took nearly a month for the diesel tech to figure out that was the issue. Almost a month! Any diesel mechanic worth his salt would have checked that first, not last.
Anyway, the main headache with that is that Nissan classifies the lift pump as part of the emissions system, and my 3/36 basic warranty had expired, so I got stuck with the cost of the part. Why the lift pump, which is part of the fuel system, which is pre-ignition, is considered emissions, is beyond me. /end rant
As was mentioned, the FUEL SYSTEMS parts are very expensive. Someone correct me if I'm wrong because my memory is terrible, but I believe someone posted here that he had to have the entire fuel system replaced, and the bill was something like $27k (which thankfully was covered under warranty for him).
So just something to take into consideration. Parts for these engines are costly.
I hate to say this... but the fuel system is technically part of the emissions system. The fuel system is designed to help improve emissions. A better, more efficient burn is part of that, but it is certainly an emissions component. In the event emissions systems malfunction, the ecm and the fueling system will make all efforts possible to maintain an emissions regime the system believes it can. There is a reason Cummins didn't have any issues during the vw-diesel fiascos. There are massive efforts in the ecm to maintain emissions standards at all costs. All of the deleted trucks running around with massive tubine whistle at idle, the ecm is trying to compensate for the missing emissions components.
 
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