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Old 05-13-2016, 02:37 AM   #1
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New member engine issues.

Hello, I have heard of the club previously and I hate to be joining under these circumstances however I need help. I heard this is an amazing community of truck owners and I am hoping for some advice.

Truck is a 04 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi. Engine has 40k miles I am the original owner. No mods all original.

I have a pretty long history to post about the truck but the short of it is that I had a p03 code on cylinder #4. The truck has been sitting for about 8 months since throwing the code and having an extremely rough drive to a mechanic.

Local mechanic is a known acquaintance however I would like a second opinion from someone that may have had a similar experience. The mechanic checked the compression on cylinder #4 and says there is none. He thinks it is a stuck valve that got bent by the piston. The recommended repair is removing both cylinder heads and rebuilding them. Total tally was somewhere around $2200.

Can anyone offer any advice, maybe something I can check to make sure it is the valve and not a broken spring. I heard my year truck has a known issue with the valve springs.

The long of it:
I babied this truck for a long time. Some time, about 2 years ago due to money issues I had to stop using it regularly. I had the truck in storage at my mothers house and the truck was being started every other day by my stepfather. I found out my stepfather was driving the truck drunk on occasion and unfortunately living so far away I had to remove the battery and let it sit. He actually crashed my truck into something that I still to this date haven't found out what it was and damaged the front bumper. Unfortunately I didn't take any precautions like fuel additives for storage.

I would try and start the truck and drive it around the block as often as possible. It would sit weeks at a time unfortunately. It developed issues with the fuel pump and needed that replaced. About 1 and half years ago I dropped the tank and replaced the pump with a pump I purchased from amazon. The car ran fine after the replacement. It would occasionally idle rough and the longer I let it sit the harder it would start. About a year ago it had a real rough start and would bog down while driving it around the neighborhood.

I moved closer to my mothers house and I decided to start using the truck in order to try and salvage it and not let it get damaged any further. I drove the truck (10miles) to my house and it drove fine, however, the following morning it would not start. After a few tries it finally started up and it was extremely rough and misfiring. There weren't any noticeable knocking or metal sounds.I drove it to the mechanic mentioned above and I explained the history and the current issues of the truck. He checked it and determined it was a valve issue.

Any help or advise is welcome! Thank you all in advance!

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Old 05-13-2016, 05:45 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your truck. You can pull the valve covers and check the valve springs. If you have one bent it won't be moving the same as the others. Since you know what cylinder is supposedly having problems you can focus on it. Assuming you don't have a compression gauge, you can buy one from your local auto supply of borrow one from them. Let us know what you find. Good luck. Pictures are always good.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:44 AM   #3
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Welcome to our world jmar. Hope you get it fixed soon and inexpensively.
Be sure to come out for any HTC events near you.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:02 AM   #4
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #5
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:44 PM   #6
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:21 PM   #7
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Welcome to HTC!

I am 3hrs north of you and have done work for two guys down in Miami now!

Pull the valve cover and check the springs. Of one broke you will see it sitting lower than the rest of them. Hopefully it's just a broken sprong and it didn't got anything it's just low enough to keep the valve hung open. Once you confirm spring broken or not then you could crank it of you want to see action of it. If it did bend the valve the head will need to come off and get repaired and in that case I would do both of them.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by charged392 View Post
Welcome to HTC!

I am 3hrs north of you and have done work for two guys down in Miami now!

Pull the valve cover and check the springs. Of one broke you will see it sitting lower than the rest of them. Hopefully it's just a broken sprong and it didn't got anything it's just low enough to keep the valve hung open. Once you confirm spring broken or not then you could crank it of you want to see action of it. If it did bend the valve the head will need to come off and get repaired and in that case I would do both of them.
Thank you everyone for the welcome. Thank you as well for the advice.

Charged392 I appreciate you taking the time to commit your knowledge and helping me diagnose the issue. Assuming the worst, what would this cost to fix based on what I described. I understand there could be hidden costs due to the length of time the truck has been sitting. The mechanic that quoted me the $2500 said I would have to do a flush on the fuel system to get rid of any old fuel in the lines and also swap out the fuel pump. The price included doing both heads as well. Does this seem like a fair price?

I am new to this and I would really love to get the truck back up and running as I feel awful that I neglected it so. However I have to balance the costs and see if its even worth the investment. My concern is if a total rebuild might be a better option or a replacement engine considering the price I was quoted.

My son loves the truck and he is 7 now but I would love to pass it on to him one day, it was also my first truck/car purchase ever so it holds sentimental value.

Thanks again, this really is a great community.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:36 PM   #9
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Welcome to the Club.

The price you had quoted is reasonable taking into consideration the cost of replacement heads.
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Hope it all works out for you. A few of us have been in the same boat.

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Old 05-18-2016, 04:17 AM   #10
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Are you capable of working on your truck? If so, then the repair can be done much cheaper. You have already dropped the tank once before and changed the pump. Since it drove ok for 10 miles I would first test the pump and get the old gas out of the tank and get some fresh gas in there. Check the valve springs as mentioned and let us know what you find. There are plenty of used heads for sale. Just note the left and right heads are different. Good luck. .
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