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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have an 08 RAM 1500 with the 5.7 MDS engine.

I bought it used last August at a good price even considering it had 226K on the clock. It needed some love and I probably put a little over $1000 worth of parts onto it since I got it. Again even "all in" I've still done very well on this truck for what it is and what I've got into it.

So the truck seemed to run really well and get fairly decent MPGS. I was noticing over 300... something like 360 miles to a 26 gallon tank which wasn't half bad. Then one day it's like a switch flipped and the MPGS went down a good bit... I lost almost 100 miles to a tank. Don't have an answer for that except I thought maybe I was wrong about the previous fuel estimates.

The truck would "run rough" from time to time... like stutter or hesitate. Seemed to mostly do it around highway speeds (like approaching 60) but if I let off the gas it stopped. Has done this off and on for the past year... some stretches I'd drive it 15 miles to work and then 15 back and never an issue and some days it was a little more noticeable.

Today we are headed to a family event, a good 50 mile drive each way and about 10 miles out the truck REALLY starts to stutter bad and if you accelerate AT ALL it does it... pretty much any speed. Had me spooked enough I almost didn't want to drive it any further. Limped into an autozone, had them scan it, and it says P0302... missfire cylinder #2 and the guy says most likely a bad plug....

Well... these plugs are just about at the 30K mark. My father knows a good bit of the service data as he is the one who did a lot of it for the guy who owned the truck previously. My father is a mechanic and has his own shop. So he punched it up and sure enough, just about 30K miles ago the plugs were changed. So they are now due. I know this doesn't necessarily mean this is my problem... but a bit of background info.

So I make it back home and the truck seemed to do a little better.

I saw another post where a list was being kept of all trucks that had known lifter issues causing cams to be chewed up. But that post mentioned nothing of pre 09 rams. Is this not a known issue on the 08 5.7 MDS engine? Seems to fit the bill to me?

I'm going to get an oil sample and send it out in the mean time to see if we have large amounts of metals. But the list is quite long.

Camshaft sensors
Cranshaft sensor
EGR related
Throttle body
Spark plugs
Ignition Coils
Fuel filter
Coolant leaking into the cylinder


This last one is one that "might" jump out at me. A few months ago I had the truck overheat, pegged right to hot. The truck was "using" a bit of coolant when I bought it. Turns out the radiator was half rotten on the bottom where it's hard to see. Well it got bad enough to where she basically puked out all her antifreeze. Didn't know it till the "Check Gauges" came on and temp gauge spiked. I even checked coolant before I left that day.. was full. Made it 10 miles down the highway and she was nearly bone dry. So I'm wondering if I didn't crack something or blow a gasket out when I overheated it?

But then again, it seems to be a fairly intermittent problem that has recently got a lot worse. That is what throws me through a loop.

My own thoughts were to switch the coil and plug on #2 to another location and see if we get P0302 again. If we do, likely it's lifter / cam related or possibly coolant leaking into that cylinder?

I know there is a lot of good info here, so I'm wondering what input anyone has on the matter?

Of course I'll see what my dad has to say as well. He will likely end up doing the work if it's more than a coil / plug job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update:

So I've been running the truck. Some days it runs pretty decent, with little or none of this "missing" and the truck carrying on like I'm going over rumble strips at near highway speeds....

But at different times, like yesterday, it starts to miss and the CEL flashes and then stayed on. Need to check the code yet, but wouldn't be surprised if it was another P0302 miss in cylinder #2


My options at this point are a full set of ignition coils and plugs for about $200 but I'm really worried that the problem is a stuck lifter chewing away at the cam.

I think I might just have the plugs and ignition coils swapped around from cylinder 1 to cylinder 2. To see if the code changes. If it doesn't change, then I can be pretty sure it's time for a new cam and new set of lifters?

Tomorrow I'm going to get an oil sample and send it out as well... to see what the wear metals look like. Having a large amount of hard wear metals in the sample is probably a good nod towards what I'm fearing as well... IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I put a new ignition coil with two new boots and two new spark plugs in the number two cylinder (as far as I found... the front one on the passenger side of the engine).

Truck seems to be running a lot better.... it has always rode a bit "hard" but the misfire was pretty easy to detect... not only would the truck shake like crazy but the acceleration would no longer be smooth and if you let off the truck would calm down a bit.

I put about 100 miles on it, mostly highway and during the "normal" situations (like going 40 to 60 on the highway and pushing the pedal down a bit) the truck would carry on. Doesn't seem to be doing it now... but I do not want to claim victory too soon. It was a bit intermittent before.

Another thing I've noticed is the truck is using a lot of antifreeze.... on a "stop and go" basis. It used almost a jug worth back in early fall... filled it up.. and it seemed to stop using. Checked the jug yesterday before I went out and it was at the very bottom. Put an entire gallon in it. So that's probably two gallons plus in about 8 months?
 

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Howdy Getreal720. I am not mechanically astute but I appreciate your posts especially if I run into similar problems. Please continue to let us know what you're learning as you work the issues out. I also didn't want you to feel like you're alone. I hope someone else is able to provide any input to help you.
 

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2008 RAM 1500 ST 3.7L Magnum V6 PS2
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Thank you Gentleman Jim for bringing this post back to the top as I haven't seen it until now.

@getreal720, seems you have the P0302 figured out, and you did exactly what I would have done, changed the plugs and swapped the coil to see if you can pinpoint the problem. Keep in mind there are several things that can cause a misfire, especially if it is specific to one cylinder. Bad spark plugs/coil, vacuum leak or leaking fuel injector will all cause that code.

As for the coolant issue, that is a lot of coolant your truck is using so I have a few questions. I park on the grass, so it's tough to see if there are any leaks at night but a piece of cardboard under there at night helps. You're not seeing any signs of leaks? Any white smoke from the exhaust? The coolant has to be going somewhere. What did your plugs look like on cylinder 2? Any white ashy looking stuff that would indicate you're getting coolant in the cylinder?

Also, what antifreeze are you using? Your truck should use the HOAT, available through the dealer and even my local AutoZone started carrying it, but the HOAT is NOT compatible with other antifreeze and is the only coolant recommended for your year truck. When your truck is cool and you pop the radiator cap, what do you see?

- Cajun
 

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At the mileage you have I would definitely put in new stock plugs in. Champion copper plugs were OE I believe. Do not use anything other than what Ma Mopar sent it out with.


With the amount of mileage that you have on the truck, I would get some Seafoam and add it to the tank for the next 2 tank fills so it can do a good fuel and exhaust cleanout on the whole system. If you find a solution to the antifreeze issue please post. My son is having antifreeze disappearing with no drips showing on his driveway on his 4.7.
 
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