Common Detroit 53 Series questions, answers, and info, Check here first!
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    Detroit Section Caretaker Grigg's Avatar
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    Default Common Detroit 53 Series questions, answers, and info, Check here first!

    The purpose of this sticky thread is to be a FAQ for Detroit Diesel 53 series (and only 53 series).
    I'll try to post answers and info related to the most commonly asked questions.

    If you see something in another thread that would be great in this one please let me know by PM.

    If you have something to add, correct, or if clarification is needed please don't hesitate to
    let me know by PM.

    Thanks for your help,
    Grigg
    Last edited by Grigg; 09-15-2010 at 06:39 AM.
    1948 Chevrolet 6400 (2 ton) updated with a Detroit Diesel Silver 4-53T and Roadranger RTO-6610 --click for all my pictures--
    "First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-

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    Differences between 53 series turbocharged and non turbocharged engines:
    Pistons
    Liners
    Camshaft
    Oil pump
    Oil pickup (4 cyl)
    Engine block
    Valves
    Rods and wrist pins
    Bearings
    Blower
    Blower inlet housing
    Airbox cover(s)
    Injectors
    Valve cover (breather)
    Oil cooler housing and oil cooler
    Exhaust manifold
    Turbo (obviously)
    Note Some differences are minor and of little consequence, some are more important.
    If all you want is a turbo on an otherwise non turbocharged engine it will work and run, none of the differences are absolutely necessary. However most all of the improvements and changes can be appreciated in a long lasting and efficient engine.

    If the question is "Can I do it and is it a good idea to add a turbo to my N engine?"
    The answer depends on your use and expectations for the engine.

    As time allows I'll try to add explanations and details about the differences.
    Additionally you can find all of this info scattered throughout the 53 series service manual.
    Last edited by Grigg; 06-01-2012 at 08:47 PM.

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    Improvements and differences in the "new" (in late 1984) Silver 53 engines.

    The Silver 53 engines are essentially the updated turbo 53 engines.
    Sliver 3-53T, 4-53T, and 6V53T engines were available.
    The below info is quoted pretty much word for word from three different sources:
    • Silver 53 sales brochure dated 10-84
    • Detroit Diesel Allison Service topics, 44th year number 4, (October-December 1984)
    • 53 series service manual dated 1990

    The Silver 53’s are among the most durable, fuel efficient and quiet engines in their class. We call them Silver 53’s because they represent a new level of performance, reliability and uncompromised quality. A new Silver paint job now identifies these advanced engines.

    All changes were aimed at accomplishing one or more of the following objectives (performance criteria):
    1. Reduce fuel consumption below any other engines in their class.
    2. Reduce noise levels below any other engines.
    3. Extend durability and reliability well beyond present levels (set the industry standard).
    4. Increase the horsepower output of each model and provide more power/rpm flexibility.

    These objectives were met by intensive research in the following areas:
    1. Air induction system
    2. Combustion efficiency
    3. Noise reduction
    4. Reliability and durability improvements

    Air induction system:
    • Blower bypass valve and passage, reduces pumping losses and provides a savings of up to 7HP. The system is essentially a spring-loaded bypass valve in the blower end plate which opens at a set airbox pressure level determined by the installed spring load.
    • At suitable engine speed and load, the valve opens, allowing air box pressure to equalize with blower inlet pressure. This reduces the air pumping load on the blower and, therefore, the amount of horsepower required to turn the blower. The valve permits a portion of the total air flow to either recirculate through or bypass the blower, the valve optimizes thermal efficiency through improved air-fuel ratio control. Note, a new or modified air inlet housing is needed to fit around the bypass valve.
    • At 10" Hg (4.9 psi) air box pressure the bypass valve begins to open.
    • And is fully open at 13" Hg (6.48 psi) air box pressure.
    • Turbocharger, The silver 53 engines feature a new more efficient high-efficiency turbocharger that more closely meets the air delivery requirements of the specific engine and its application. This improvement aids combustion efficiency, fuel economy and response.
    Combustion efficiency:
    • Air enters the cylinders through liner ports. The height and shape of these ports have been modified (short ports, 0.74" high) for optimum air inlet timing and maximum air swirl in the combustion chamber for improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.
    • The latest technology in camshaft lobe profiling and lift timing has been incorporated into the Silver 53’s.
    • New injectors featuring modified plunger and bushing timing and spray tips.

    Noise reduction:
    • Crosshead pistons reduce piston “slap.”
    • Aluminum rocker covers do not radiate engine noise a much as the earlier stamped rocker covers. The new Rocker covers are held to the head by two hold-down bolts backed by vibration absorbing silicone rubber isolators for additional noise dampening. Thick T-section silicone rubber cover gaskets further reduce noise levels while also improving cover-to-head sealing.
    • Modified upper front cover (the one behind the cam and balance shaft pulleys) with strategically placed stiffening ribs cast into their inside walls making them less prone to vibration.
    • Camshaft and balance shaft pulleys, redesigned to radiate less engine noise.
    • Addition of a crankshaft tuner for the Silver 4-53T (harmonic balancer) reduces noise by dampening crankshaft torsional vibration.
    • All this helps to reduce noise levels by up to 3 dB(A) on the 3-53T and 6V53T engines and by up to 5.5 dB(A) on the 4-53T. Such reductions make the Silver 53’s extremely quiet.
    Reliability and durability improvements:
    • Crosshead pistons: The use of crosshead pistons in all Silver 53 engines is a key durability improvement. This patented design features separate crown and skirt components that work independently of each other: the crown absorbs combustion forces while the skirt absorbs thrust loads. Crosshead pistons extend ring life and reduce cylinder bore wear.
    • Piston rings: New, longer-wearing compression rings feature barrel-faced grooveless compression rings with hard molybdenum coating replacing the conventional chrome rings. This new design extends ring life by up to 40%. The new rings reduce friction, thereby helping to improve fuel economy. Reduced oil consumption is an additional benefit. A new 26% wider firering is also used for longer cylinder life.
    • New blower drive system: With a carbo-nitride hardened blower driveshaft and steel blower drive cam have been shown to reduce wear in this area by 60%.
    • Modified blower gasket: ??
    • Rear crankshaft seal: A new Teflon seal is more heat and wear resistant than our previous seal. Improves durability and should eliminate the need to ever have to replace the seal prior to overhaul.
    • Hardened gear train: To eliminate the potential for gear tooth pitting and reduce gear tooth fatigue on 3-53 turbocharged (only 3-53T) engines (both silver and non silver), the drive gears of the bypass blower assembly are made from a special high strength steel allow. On all 3-53 turbocharged engines a new liquid nitride-hardened camshaft and balance shaft gears, idler gear, governor drive gear, and crankshaft gear have also been released. Nitride hardening provides gear teeth with greater wear capacity and improved wear resistance.
    • Oil cooler: Silver 53 engines feature a more durable stainless steel oil cooler. Improved oil cooler gaskets and adapters reduce the possibility of oil leakage in this area.
    • Fuel connector (“jumper line”): Improved process control reduces the sensitivity to manufacturing tolerances and installation torque, providing a major reliability improvement.
    • Oil pans and oil drains: ??


    Here are some interesting numbers:

    Fuel consumption: BSFC (Brake Specific Fuel Consumption) for a Silver 4-53T is 0.365 LBS/BHP-HR. Which is 15% better than the best naturally aspirated 4-53 with a BSCF of 0.425. The Silver 4-53T has a very flat fuel curve throughout the engine speed range of about 1,800-2,500 (lowest at about 2,000 rpm)

    Noise levels: Measured 1 meter away from a bare engine running at 2,500 and 2,200 rpm respectively
    Silver 3-53T 93 dB(A) and 91 dB(A)
    Silver 4-53T 97 dB(A) and 95 dB(A)
    Silver 6V53T 96 dB(A) and 94 dB(A)

    Horsepower: maximums
    Silver 3-53T 140 HP
    Silver 4-53T 185 HP
    Silver 6V53T 280 HP
    Last edited by Grigg; 12-16-2009 at 07:03 AM.

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    Q. What year did they start making the 4-53T ? and once they did, did they continue to make the regular non turbo version ?

    A. The 53 series (without turbo) was introduced in December 1958.

    Edit: Just found some January 1970 literature that indicated there was a 4-53T marine, and then one page from August 1970 list 53T again. I've personally seen a few early 70's 6V and 8v53T military engines as well.
    So sounds like there were some older 4-53T engines, I'm sure not as common as the later ones and speculating that some of the improvements (differences from an "N" engine) made with the 1977 version were as a result of experience with these first few.
    If anyone has some more detailed literature or spec sheets on these early ones I'll add and update, send me a PM.

    The 4-53T ("T" for turbo) became popular (lots of them made) starting about 8-1977, they continued to make both the turbo and non turbo side by side into the 90's (as far as I can tell).

    The turbo 53's starting in 1977 were only(reasonably sure) made in Brazil, and if I understand right all Brazilian made 53's were turbocharged from the start in 77 till the end of the imported Brazilian ones in 1980.
    After that they continued to make 53 series turbo and non turbo in the states.

    The end of 1984 the Silver 53's, all turbocharged, were introduced as slightly more efficient, quieter, longer lasting, and more HP.

    I'm not sure when the last 53, turbo or not, was made for civilians?
    The military can still or could until recently purchase new updated and electronic 6V53T engines.
    Last edited by Grigg; 07-15-2014 at 09:23 AM. Reason: Add the 1970 stuff

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    Q. What cylinder configurations were offered for the the 53 series?

    A.
    2-53 (none later than 1972)
    3-53
    4-53
    6V53
    8V53
    12V53 (only about 20 made, more info in this thread)

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    Let's start by giving you the info from Jacobs!
    Installation Manual
    Parts Manual

    Q. What's the deal with the 53 series Jacobs Brake? Can you use bolts that will allow oil through to lube the Jakes or do I have to run oil lines?
    If I do have to run oil lines do I just tap into anywhere on the block I can get oil pressure?
    Its my understanding that the 71 and 92 series Jakes oil through the bolts, I was just wondering if that is possible with these?

    A. 53 series Jakes need an external oil line, they do not oil through the bolts like the 71-92 Jake brakes do. (However the bolts do pass oil to only the rockerarms just the same as they do without Jake Brakes)
    You have a number of possible locations to pull oil from, take a look in your service manual, there is a picture showing most of the places on the block, and you should have a place or two on the blower too.
    Timothy (at Leid Diesel Service) advises that the oil filter housing is NOT an option to get oil to the Jakes though... to much oil pressure can cause bent valves (valves bump pistons), they found out the hard way.
    I've used a very handy Weatherhead # 752x4 in place of the fitting on the block for the blower drive oil line (or governor), it's a T with two 1/4" inverted flare ports, one for the existing oil line and one for your new Jake brake oil line. Doubt you can find a cleaner solution.

    You can download the Jake 53a manuals from the Jacobs website or the quick links in big font above (no mention of the high oil pressure problem though).
    In an older (undated) manual I have it does mention the high oil pressure issue, quoted below.
    CAUTION: High brake operating oil pressure (above 80 psi) can cause bent engine exhaust valves. Therefore, before installing the brake, check the cold engine oil pressure at the block main oil gallery connection that will be used while the engine is operating at maximum speed, If the oil pressure registers above 80 psi, further investigation should be made to determine that the correct connection has been made or that some other factor (cold weather) is causing the high pressure. Be sure to use only main oil gallery pressure to avoid a possible engine failure. For a 6V-53 pressure takeoff should be from the left or right rear main oil gallery connection on the engine cylinder block.
    To make them fit under the valve covers you can use tall aluminum covers (3 cylinder and V6 only), or the cast iron spacers (3 or 4 or V6).
    *See other options below

    If cast iron spacers, then in the side they each have one or two 3/8-16 threaded holes for the insulated wire connection and a 1/2" NPT hole for the oil line (sometimes two on 4-53 spacers).


    The factory oil line was a rubber and fabric covered hose and a nylon pipe plug acting as a bushing and can be counted on to seap oil... that's why I upgrade to the brass fittings and 1/4" hard line.
    Here's the factory setup with hose


    If you have the tall aluminum covers you have to make both the electrical and the oil connection through holes in the head (also an option when using the spacer).
    Here's a pair of tall 3-53 or 6V53 Jake covers and a standard 6V53 steel one for comparison


    For the electrical connection there are two 3/8-16 holes on each end of the head (not counting those for the water connections/covers) these are through holes and you can use the same insulators as used in the spacers. However the blade type Jacobs part # 2299 might not always have room in the end of the head and Jacobs part # 4653 will fit in all cases.

    To help plumb the Jakes use this Weatherhead catalog for fittings, can find/order them at NAPA among others.

    For the oil line if you run it through the head you should use a stock Detroit fitting part # 05100600 most commonly used to bring air from the air box to the fuel modulator. It works just the same for getting oil to Jakes and fits one of the extra three freeze plug holes same as the governor linkage (doesn't) go through. Should fit any of the three available openings but sometimes one of them doesn't have enough room inside for the fitting, just take a look.
    I also recommend you use Weatherhead inverted flare fitting 402x4 on the outside and on the inside 202x4 for single stage Jakes or 752x4 for two stage Jakes (with extension 3200x2 if necessary)


    These pictures are a stock spacer with the nylon electrical connectors that screw in Jacobs part # 2299. The oil line passes through a modified pipe reducer Weatherhead # 3220x8x2 -- just tap the inside for 1/8" NPT same as outside and add inverted flare fitting 202x4 for single stage Jakes or 752x4 for two stage Jakes as shown.


    For the wire under the valve cover Jacobs sells some good stuff, it's twisted like a rope or cable so it holds up to vibration better, and has an insulation that stands up to the hot oil. Common wire off the shelf is not a long lasting solution...

    This shows how I would wire for two stages. Add a clutch switch and or neutral safety switch where shown.
    Also shows the two different sorts of wire pass-throughs from Jacobs, the one on the left is Jacobs part # 2299 the right is Jacobs part # 4653.


    *Other tall valve cover options
    A 4-53 Jake spacer will be very difficult to find.
    The aluminum (silver series) covers don't fit over them either.
    Couple methods I've seen (can work for a 3-53 as well if necessary):
    1- Take two steel covers, or one cover and a strip of metal and make a tall one. Using two covers (only one weld seam) is probably the simplest and cheapest, and a good looking method of you dress the weld and keep everything flat and smooth. Like this although I would not put the wire through the valve cover. https://picasaweb.google.com/1180820...11580679147106
    2- Take one or two stock aluminum covers and do the same https://picasaweb.google.com/1180820...11707713847250
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1180820...11811327586626
    Downside is the aluminum covers are difficult to weld, and difficult to avoid pin holes and oil seeps if you do manage, also more expensive to play with.
    3- Make a new Jake spacer, I have dimensions and notes from my original before I installed it last time. I think it could be made from some 1/4" aluminum flat bar and some 1" round where the bolt holes are. I would bend the round corners and weld all the pieces together, then final machine. I'm pretty sure with this method someone could make a convincing copy of the original cast iron one. Could also be done in steel.
    4- Hard to see in the picture, but a couple 3 cylinder cast iron spacers were cut apart and brazed together https://picasaweb.google.com/1180820...11930048041922
    5- Make a completely new aluminum (or steel) valve cover. I like this idea for an aluminum one and plan to try it some day http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MOR-68305/?rtype=10

    Grigg
    Last edited by Grigg; 01-31-2014 at 09:16 AM.
    1948 Chevrolet 6400 (2 ton) updated with a Detroit Diesel Silver 4-53T and Roadranger RTO-6610 --click for all my pictures--
    "First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-

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    Q. What oil should I use, and do the two strokes tolerate synthetic oil?

    A. Detroit two cycles demand the right oil if you expect them to last.
    straight weight oil is a must.
    I understand that Chevron Delo 100 is first choice with Shell Rotella T a very close second. Personally I use Shell Rotella T SAE40, but would use Chevron Delo 100 SAE40 if it wasn't special order around here.

    The details from Detroit Diesel (edit at one time were) found here (only 4 cycle stuff there now):
    http://www.ddcsn.com/cps/rde/xbcr/dd...C-BRO-0001.pdf
    And the two cycle oil info was as follows:
    2.2 TWO-STROKE CYCLE ENGINES
    The lubricating oil requirements for On-Highway applications of Series 53, Series 71, and Series 92 two-stoke engines are outlined in this section.

    SAE Viscosity Grade: 40
    API Classification: CF-2

    Lubricating oil for On-Highway applications for two-stroke cycle engines must meet the
    following requirements:
    □ 1.0% Ash Maximum as measured by ASTM D 874
    □ 7.0 TBN minimum as measured by ASTM D 2896
    □ 700 ppm zinc minimum as measured by ASTM D 5185
    At ambient temperatures below freezing (0°C [32°F]), sufficient starter cranking speed may not be achieved to start the engine with SAE 40 grade oils. Where starting aids are not available or at very cold temperatures (-18 to -32°C [0 to -25°F]) even if starting aids are available, the use of multigrade SAE 15W-40 or monograde lubricant SAE 30 will improve startability. These lubricants must possess a HT/HS Viscosity (measured by ASTM D 4741 or equivalent) of 3.7 cP minimum. These oils must be replaced with monograde SAE 40 lubricants as soon as ambient conditions permit.

    3.5 SYNTHETIC OILS
    Synthetic oils may be used in Detroit Diesel engines provided they are approved by a POWER GUARD Oil Specification (PGOS). For two-stroke cycle engines; only synthetic oils which do not contain viscosity improver additives may be used. The use of synthetic oils does not necessarily ensure the extension of the recommended oil drain intervals beyond the limits.
    The new most up to date oil info for Detroit Two cycles comes from MTU Detroit Diesel, and can be found in this PDF
    http://www.mtu-online.com/fileadmin/...001061_34E.pdf
    It's not as easy to read as the perhaps now out of date DD info quoted above, but worth reading none the less.



    Here's the reply I received (on 12-21-09) form Castrol when I asked about synthetic oil for the two cycle Detroit:
    Please be advised we do not offer a synthetic oil for Detroit Diesel two
    Stroke engines. Over the years for Detroit Series 53, 71 and 92 engines we
    have recommended our Assuron 40 which meets the noted Ash, TBN and Zinc
    requirements that are also noted in Section 2.2 of Detroit's Lubricating Oil
    Requirements for their Two Stroke Engines. "At ambient temperatures below
    freezing" other viscosity grades (SAE 30 and 15W-40 are recommended but
    "these oils must be replaced with monograde SAE 40 lubricants as soon as
    ambient conditions permit.

    If your Detroit Diesel 4-53T requires synthetic oil recommended by the
    original engine manufacturer we recommend you follow their guidelines.
    If the original engine manufacturer does recommend that a synthetic
    blend may be used please confirm with the original engine manufacturer that Castrol
    Assuron SAE 40 meets all required specifications.
    Clear as mud?
    Last edited by Grigg; 10-01-2010 at 11:15 AM. Reason: add MTU links
    1948 Chevrolet 6400 (2 ton) updated with a Detroit Diesel Silver 4-53T and Roadranger RTO-6610 --click for all my pictures--
    "First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-

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    Default Common Detroit 53 Series questions, answers, and info, Check here first!

    Detroit Diesel Series 53 Cylinder Head Differences
    Camshafts
    Springs
    Valves
    Valve Seats
    Pushrod Springs
    Valve Guide
    Castings

    Camshafts:
    High velocity – High Lift (0.327” valve cam lobe lift):
    This type of camshaft is indicated by either no markings on the end of the camshaft, or a “ 7 ” stamped into the end of the camshaft

    Low velocity – High Lift (0.327” valve cam lobe lift):
    This type of camshaft is indicated by either a “ V ” stamped into the end of the camshaft or a “ V 7 ” stamped into the end of the camshaft

    Low velocity – Low Lift (0.276” valve cam lobe lift):
    This type of camshaft is indicated by the marking “ V 7 L ” stamped into the end of the camshaft


    Springs:
    Low Lift Camshafts: (used on engines after serial# 4D-112278 and 6D-82217)
    Must use exhaust valve springs with a 0.148” wire diameter
    When purchased from Detroit Diesel these springs are designated by a blue/white paint stripe or a solid red color
    The new low lift springs (0.148” diameter) can be used on 6V53 engines after serial number 6D-60776. On 6V53’s before this serial number, the low lift springs cannot be used

    The new low lift springs (0.148” diameter) cannot be used on any 4-53 engines with a serial number before 4D-112278


    High Lift Camshafts: (used on engines before 4D-112278 and 6D-82217)
    Must use exhaust valve springs with a 0.135” wire diameter
    When purchased from Detroit Diesel these springs are designated by a red/green paint stripe


    How do I know which springs are on my engine?
    Cut a slot in a piece of thin metal stock. The slot should be between 0.136” – 0.138” high
    If the slot is larger than the spring diameter than, the springs are for high lift camshafts
    If the slot is smaller than the spring diameter, than the springs are for low lift camshafts


    Testing Springs on a 2 Valve Head:
    (Using Tool “Spring Tester” J 22738-02)
    Replace a spring if a load of 33lbs compresses the spring to an overall length of 2.31”

    Testing Springs On a 4 Valve Head:
    (Using Tool “Spring Tester” J 22738-02)
    Replace a spring if a load of 25lbs compresses the spring to an overall length of 1.93”
    For the exhaust valve bridge to work properly - the springs should be within 6lbs of compressive resistance

    The use of low lift springs on a high lift cam will cause the valve springs to bottom out, resulting in bent push rods and possible engine damage

    If low lift and high lift springs are mixed, valve breakage can occur – which will cause extensive engine damage


    Valves:
    Color Indications:
    Black – cold operation, or too heavy of a fuel is used
    Rusty Brown – high operating temperatures/overloading/inadequate cooling/improper timing
    Oily valves – excessive idling/low engine exhaust back pressure


    The exhaust valves should be ground to a 30° angle
    The valve seats should be ground to a 31° angle

    2-valve heads, 4-valve - Early heads, and 4-valve - Late heads use different valves, as detailed in the “Casting” section


    Valve Seats:
    Valve seats are replaceable – They can be removed with the proper tools
    Removal:
    For 2 valve heads – Tool J23479-E and J23479-27
    For 4 valve heads – Tool J23479-E and J23479-28

    Installation:
    For 2 valve heads – Tool J6976
    For 4 valve heads – Tool J7790


    Push Rod Springs:
    Current push rod springs are made from 0.1920” diameter wire
    Replace when a load of less than 250lbs will compress the spring to an overall length of 2.1406”

    Former push rod springs are made from 0.1770” diameter wire
    Replace when a load of less than 172lbs will compress the spring to an overall length of 2.1250”

    If your engine has the former springs, you can upgrade the springs to the current models. You need to be systematic about this. You cannot use former and current springs on the same head/engine. You must use one or the other throughout. If you decide to make the change, the current springs require a new upper spring seat


    Valve Guide:
    2 Valve Head:
    There is a 0.01–0.04” gap between the top of the valve guide and the top of the cylinder head rail

    4 Valve Head:
    There is a 0.150–0.018” gap between the top of the valve guide and the top of the cylinder head rail

    There is a difference in valve guide height because of the presence of an exhaust valve bridge on 4-valve heads

    Early and late model 4-valve heads use the current valve guides which have a 45° chamfer on the top

    All 2-valve heads will use the former valve guides which have a 15° chamfer on the top


    Casting:
    There are quite a few different types of castings made for the 53 series engines:
    1) 2-valve Head:
    - Do not have water nozzles in the head. - The water passages in the block are different from a 4 valve head, thus water nozzles are not required
    - Counterbores for the valve seat inserts have a diameter of 1.439”-1.440” and a depth of 0.294”-0.306”
    - Valves protrude 0.002” above head – can be as far as 0.032” below the surface of the head
    - Valve seat inserts are 0.212”-0.216”
    - Use the former valve guides with a 15° chamfer on the top

    2) 4-valve Head – Early:
    - Have water nozzles in the head*
    - The exhaust valve oil seals were retained by a spring at the small end and a retainer at the large end
    - This oil seal can be replaced with the newer oil seals offered on 4-valve heads after 1980
    - Counterbores for the valve seat inserts have a diameter of 1.159”-1.160” and a depth of 0.294”-0.306”
    - The distance from the top of the cylinder head to the bottom of the valve seat counterbore is 1.175” ± 0.015” up through May of 1971
    - Thick valve spring seats 0.150”
    - Valve lock is 0.220”
    - Valves protrude 0.006” above head – can be as far as 0.018” below the surface of the head
    - Valve seat inserts are 0.220”-0.224”
    - Use the current valve guides with a 45° chamfer on the top


    3) 4-valve Head – Late model:
    - Have water nozzles in the head*
    - 4-valve heads built in the second quarter of 1980, a new exhaust valve guide oil seal is used. The new oil seal has a metal casing and a smaller inside diameter, which provides a better fit on the valve guide
    - Counterbores for the valve seat inserts have a diameter of 1.159”-1.160” and a depth of 0.300”-0.312”
    - The distance from the top of the cylinder head to the bottom of the valve seat counterbore is 1.078” ± 0.015” June 1971 and onwards
    - Thin valve spring seats 0.060”
    - Valve lock is 0.310”
    - Valves protrude 0.000” above head – can be as far as 0.024” below the surface of the head
    - Valve seat inserts are 0.220”-0.224”
    - Use the current valve guides with a 45° chamfer on the top


    4) 4-valve Head – DDEC:
    - Have water nozzles in the head*
    - Have a special casting which has provisions for glow plugs and sensors
    - Have revised oil passages
    - No control tube assembly is present
    - No additional specifics have been provided at the time this was written

    * If you were to draw a centerline down the longitudinal length of the head, the water nozzles should be pointing towards that line


    Conclusion:
    - Although the Detroit Diesel Series 53 engine has many interchangeable parts, one must pay extra attention to the upper engine parts which are being replaced.
    - A 4-valve natural head may be used on a 4-valve turbocharged engine, only if the exhaust valve seats are properly ground, the right inserts are installed, water nozzles are inserted and aligned, proper valves are installed, proper valve seats are installed, proper valve springs are installed (they need to match the camshaft type your engine uses), and the proper pushrod springs are installed (matching the camshaft type)
    - A 2-valve head may take the place of a 4-valve natural or turbocharged inline engine, however everything noted in the above bulletin must take place, and the proper valve guide height must be implemented.
    - A 2-valve head and a 4-valve head should not be used on the same engine
    - An early 4-valve head and a late model 4-valve head should not be installed on the same engine. In this case, the early model head can be machined and updated to match the late model head.
    - When a replacement cylinder head is needed, it must be inspected for cracks, and its valve type, spring type, valve seat thickness, valve guide height, and pushrod spring type must be noted and corrected for, in order for the engine to run properly


    Side Notes:
    - When doing work on the cylinder head, it is important to keep the head as clean as possible. Parts should be cleaned with fuel oil and dried with compressed air. Moving pieces should be lubricated with clean engine oil before installation
    - Clean the oil passages in the rocker arms with a thin wire
    - Inspect the cam rollers. Be sure that they turn freely on their pins.
    - Examine camshaft lobes for scoring, pitting, and/or flat spots.
    - Always replace metal liner gaskets (can be one or two piece), and all of the rubber seals (water, oil, perimeter gasket)
    - Make sure that all of the gaskets and seals are properly seated in there grooves before installing the head.
    - Before reinstalling the head, inspect the exhaust valves, valve seat inserts, springs, rockers, and exhaust valve bridges
    - Tighten the head bolts in sequence (50lb/ft at a time until they are at 170-180lb/ft)

    Christopher Kouttron – 4/24/2010
    REBUILT 1977 Detroit Diesel 6V53T Military Engine (330hp, 775lb/ft @ 1600rpm), Jakes, SAE#2 Housing
    1979 GMC 7000 Sierra Motorhome with 4-53T, Jakes, Dana Spicer CM5052-C, Eaton 2 Speed Rear
    1973 Howard Gem Rotavator - Series V with the 24" cut (Wisconsin TJD)
    1949 Oliver 88 Wide Front Row Crop tractor (Waukesha 6 cylinder gasser)
    1947 Henry Disston KB7-AY Chainsaw with the 11hp Kiekhaefer Mercury twin cylinder engine
    "Why cant I have a normal son. He studies Architecture, likes Celine Dion, Shania and Detroit Diesels" ~ My Dad

  10. #9
    Detroit Section Caretaker Grigg's Avatar
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    Q. Where do I find the model and serial numbers on my 53 series engine, and what do they mean?

    A. They are stamped on a machined pad on the block. For inline engines you'll find it on the right side close to the rear and just under the head. For V engines it is on the top surface of the block just in front of the right cylinder head.
    See the attached page from the manual (poor pictures though)

    The serial numbers for 53 series engines start with 2D___ , 3D___, 4D___ and so on for 2, 3, and 4 cylinders respectively.
    You can also see serial numbers that start with 3 or 4DB, the "B" designates engines made in Brazil.

    Look up most serial numbers in this serial number guide to help figure year.
    Here's another with more up to date info


    The model numbers can be broken down with the attached pictures from the service manual.
    For example 5047-5300 is a 53 series, 4 cylinder, fan to flywheel vehicle, turbocharged, normal right hand rotation, left side blower, right side exhaust.

    53 Series Service manual Sorry, the link/file diapered; if you know of a complete, preferably late model, 53 series service manual online let me know and I'll share the link here.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Grigg; 05-12-2014 at 07:11 AM. Reason: fix serial number guide link
    1948 Chevrolet 6400 (2 ton) updated with a Detroit Diesel Silver 4-53T and Roadranger RTO-6610 --click for all my pictures--
    "First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-

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    Default Detroit Brochures look in here


    Here's some good info for everyone. Maybe Grigg can add it to the info sticky.

    http://powerlinecomponents.com/liter..._brochures.htm
    Last edited by Grigg; 04-26-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Done, Thanks for the link!

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    Detroit Section Caretaker Grigg's Avatar
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    If making mounts to fit the pads on either side of a 53 series flywheel housing here are the dimensions.

    Finish the plates to 3-3/8" x 3.875"

    Drill for 1/2" bolts on a 2.000" X 2.625" square pattern centered. Note that the top bolt holes are exactly 5/8" down from the top of the plate.

    Last edited by Grigg; 01-31-2014 at 09:19 AM.

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    Resident NUTCASE boothybunch's Avatar
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    Default Common Detroit 53 Series questions, answers, and info, Check here first!

    thought I would scan and post up some of the detroit diesel brochures I received for the 53 detroit

    Industrial 53 engines








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    Resident NUTCASE boothybunch's Avatar
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    Silver 53 engines
















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    Default Detroit 2 Cycle Engine Balancing

    Here's the proper procedures for balancing our 2 cycle Detroits. Anyone who cares to go the extra mile on a rebuild or wanting to do different mods will find this worth reading. I knew there was a formula for figuring the balance weights out and now we have it. Grigg, transfer this to the tech sticky if you'd like.


  16. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to 2StrokeGMC For This Useful Post:

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