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I bought a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 with the 5.7 Hemi with 179K miles on it the other day from my boss. He (who is not very mechanically inclined) was told by a mechanic that they started it up and it "sounded like it was about to throw a rod" and he decided not to spend the money to fix it. I paid him $300 for it to use as a parts truck if I couldn't get it running right and that was actually the case. I can get the engine started after about 15 seconds of cranking and feathering the gas. Once started it will not stay running unless you are constantly giving it gas. There is a loud RATTLING sound seeming to come from the right hand side top end (near the valve covers) but definitely does not sound like any rod noise I have ever heard. Apparently the truck was stuck in a ditch right before it stopped running right, and I have to assume 4WD and extremely high RPM's were used to get the truck out of the mud. Does this sound like a timing chain slippage issue which may be making my valves rattle to anyone? I have done timing chain replacements on other vehicles and would like to exhaust all options before tearing my motor down. Also, has anyone else had a similar situation that was fixed by a sensor being bad? Need help to make this the best $300 investment ever!
 

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I think I have seen a few threads about broken valve springs. The people who had broken springs reported noise and running rough.
 

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Why not pull the valve covers and look? And while you're at it give it a leak down/ compression check. Those things will answer a lot of questions.
 
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