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97 Dakota 3.9 pre-pre runner build
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I’ve got the keg leak, and I’m pretty sure my valve covers are leaking as well (lots of oil everywhere). Anyways, I’d like to remove the valve covers regardless to see how everything looks, maybe check my cam, just see what everything has been up to for the past 27 years. What are some modifications people recommend, and what are some things I should look for in terms of damage/cracks? I’m still reading up on the keg leak, trying to figure out the most permanent fix. I’ve heard something about rollers (pushrod replacements or does it have to do with the rockers themselves?). Anything, even a parts list y’all recommend would be great.
 

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2003 RT (5.9)
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449 Posts
I don't have any personal experience with this subject to offer input on. But from what I have read, the best fix for the KEG is a replacement plenum made of the same material as the manifold to eliminate unequal expansion & contraction of dis-similar materials, AND replacing the bolts with bolts that have a shorter, or even no, unthreaded portion. However, I don't think the kits (which contain all of the above) by Hughes Racing and sold by Mancini are available for the 3.9 and I think, from what I've read, that is an ongoing issue for a lot of things you might want to do with a 3.9.

But here is a thread from a machinist who completely redid a 3.9 from the ground up.


This is probably way more than you are looking for, but as I remember he did fabricate a mod for the KEG and I am pretty sure that he replaced or modified all his valve train parts. It is a way long running thread, and OP spends a lot of time patting himself on the back, but if you get past that I have no doubt that he knows what he is doing and, although I am pretty sure you don't want to go as deep as he did, I think you may get a lot of answers to your questions.

Here is a thread by an OP who was specifically interested in roller rockers for a 3.9


and there is a pretty good discussion of pros and cons.
 

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2003 RT (5.9)
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. . . anyway, here is the plenum replacement kit I was referring to


and it might be worth checking with the vendor to see if there is one for the 3.9. But I do remember someone on one of the two above threads that I referenced suggesting that the 3.9 intake manifold could be used as a template to put on the 5.2 plenum & convert it for the 3.9. However, I don't know if anyone actually tried that.
 

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97 Dakota 3.9 pre-pre runner build
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I tore into it a little today, got the throttle body off, fuel rail disconnected, fan and shroud off, and belt removed. I got to thinking, what material is the valve cover gaskets made of? I’m finding blue, looks like paper fel-pro gaskets, can I just cut some paper gaskets out, dab them up with silicone gasket maker, and toss them in? Got the supplies at my house for them, would rather not spend $30 for gaskets if I didn’t have to (already spending $30 on intake gaskets)
 

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97 Dakota 3.9 pre-pre runner build
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So after doing some extensive research, I’ve found that lots of valve covers these days don’t even have gaskets, they just put RTV/gasket maker and slap stuff on (except important gaskets, like manifolds and head). With that found, I got the intake manifold off, have some pretty interesting pictures about that, and both valve covers off, painted, and reinstalled. Swung the ac compressor to the side, disconnected wiring to alternator, then took that bracket off the engine. Gotta get a new o-ring for the heater core/water pump tube, that thing sucks. But once I get this started, we will find out if rtv as valve cover gaskets work.
 

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So after doing some extensive research, I’ve found that lots of valve covers these days don’t even have gaskets, they just put RTV/gasket maker and slap stuff on (except important gaskets, like manifolds and head). With that found, I got the intake manifold off, have some pretty interesting pictures about that, and both valve covers off, painted, and reinstalled. Swung the ac compressor to the side, disconnected wiring to alternator, then took that bracket off the engine. Gotta get a new o-ring for the heater core/water pump tube, that thing sucks. But once I get this started, we will find out if rtv as valve cover gaskets work.
rtv does work but things have to be clean and flat, they did it from the factory.
 

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97 Dakota 3.9 pre-pre runner build
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got everything put back together today, hopefully no leaks. I won’t start it until Monday though, got RTV drying and waiting on a new pcv valve that should be here then (since the old one broke and stayed in the tube XD). Will be interesting, used the loctite high-flex gasket maker (it’s blue, but when I worked on John Deere’s I used this same stuff on every engine, from valve cover gaskets, to small engine head gaskets, and water pump gaskets).
 

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Registered
2003 RT (5.9)
Joined
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449 Posts
I don't have any personal experience with this subject to offer input on. But from what I have read, the best fix for the KEG is a replacement plenum made of the same material as the manifold to eliminate unequal expansion & contraction of dis-similar materials, AND replacing the bolts with bolts that have a shorter, or even no, unthreaded portion. However, I don't think the kits (which contain all of the above) by Hughes Racing and sold by Mancini are available for the 3.9 and I think, from what I've read, that is an ongoing issue for a lot of things you might want to do with a 3.9.

But here is a thread from a machinist who completely redid a 3.9 from the ground up.


This is probably way more than you are looking for, but as I remember he did fabricate a mod for the KEG and I am pretty sure that he replaced or modified all his valve train parts. It is a way long running thread, and OP spends a lot of time patting himself on the back, but if you get past that I have no doubt that he knows what he is doing and, although I am pretty sure you don't want to go as deep as he did, I think you may get a lot of answers to your questions.

Here is a thread by an OP who was specifically interested in roller rockers for a 3.9


and there is a pretty good discussion of pros and cons.

Sorry, Green, I screwed up. This is the thread I meant to psate a link for you. It is the long running follow up to the one that I did paste the link for.

 
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