2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Big Horn LB 4x4
New here. Sorry for the long post. Not sure if I should have started a not post, or like others, add onto this one.
2016, 1500 5.7, 121k miles, about 4800 engine hours of which 1400 are idle (work construction). Oil pressure is about 30psi hot idle and 50psi driving. I’ve owned the truck since 2018 @ 14,500 miles. Oil changes always done at the dealer at 5-6k miles, except for going to a lube shop a few times due to dealer availability.
My truck always had a slight tick at idle from the driver side, which was told, and assumed to be “normal” hemi tick. By always, I mean since as far back as I can remember. The first actual memory I have would have been in 2019 sometime (about 40-60k miles) when someone asked me if the noise was normal, which I said yeah, its always been like that.
Fast forward to about a year ago, 97k miles, I start noticing the tick getting louder. Coincided with an oil change from the lube shop. I attitubuted it to possibly being from the different oil (Valvoline Syn Blend) vs. what the dealer had been using (“Mopar Premium Oil”).
Next oil change at 103k had the same lube shop put in full syn. Noise was still elevated, but no other symptoms.
Had front wheel bearings done at 105k at an independent shop. I ask the owner about the noise. He says might be normal, might be the beginning of a failed cam/lifter, and no way to know without tearing into the engine. Recommended keep driving and see what happens as there were no other symptoms.
Next oil change 109k was able to get into the dealer, noise remained the same, no other symptoms, no report from service advisor of any issued.
Next oil change 116K (my worst interval on the truck) full syn, noise about the same.
So about a month ago, the noise is getting louder, and I am pretty sure I heard some random chirps at idle. I had already replaced the idler pulleys on the serp belt, so I was pretty sure it was not that. And my ears were telling me it was internal. The chirping was never consistent enough to record though. Very much random, but unmistakable to me. Seemed to be observed at random times for about a week, and have not heard it since.
Around this time I start noticing pinging/detonation a little more pronounced. I had been putting 87 octane in with gas prices up, so I switched 91/93 back in. Still have ping/detonation. I also start getting a stutter at idle occasionally.
I had not done spark plugs yet, so I went ahead and did that. 119k. Pinging got a little better, but still present. My tick noise also still present. Stuttering at idle happening more frequently. I clean the throttle body. No change.
120k I take the truck to carmax to get an appraisal just for the sake of getting some numbers (disappointed btw). On the way off the lot, CEL comes on. Pull into parts store and pull a P0307 code. I clear it, and the light stays off. I go ahead and put a new coil on that cylinder. Still getting the stuttering at idle. More frequently.
121k truck is due for an oil change. I decided to throw Redline 5w30 in it based off feedback from the forum of it successfully quieting the tick. I am also thinking maybe I just have a hydraulic adjustment issue on on one lifter and maybe this will boost the pressure enough…. NOPE. Drove the truck 40 miles after putting the redline in it and the stutter at idle was way worse. Present almost 100% of the time the truck was at idle. Also had a midrange stutter that wasn’t there before. I decide to go ahead and dump the 5w30 and put 5w20 back in. P0307 comes back.
I dump the 5w30 the next day. I noticed a lot of glittery metal in the bottom of the drain pan this time. I did not notice any two days before when I drained the 5w20 with 5500 miles on it. I cleaned the pan before both drains, so i could tell what it looked like at the bottom.
The truck is running better now with 5w20 in it, but still has what i think is an abnormal tick, and still stutters at idle about 50% of the time. I cleared the code, and it hasn’t come back yet.
In my gut, I am sure that I probably have a cam/lifter issue. I have called around, and spoken to a few people I know who’ve had this issue (verified). Cam/lifter swap prices around around $4-5k in my area. The guy that did my wheel bearings said that if that is in fact what is happening, he recommends dropping in a Jasper engine for about $7k with the warranty as opposed to just doing the cam/lifters. I also stopped by an engine rebuilder down in Tampa that would rebuild the motor (new bearings, oil pump, water pump, timing chain, pistons, rings, valve springs, cam, lifters) for $5500 - $6000 with a 3 year unlimited miles warranty.
Again, sorry for the lengthy post. Just wanted to see what you guys think.
Just wanted to close the loop on my post.
My ticking/stutter continued to get worse of the next few hundred miles. To the point the truck was borderline undriveable. Had a few mechanics look at it, and all agreed there was a cam/lifter issue. I ended up replacing my engine with a reman from Powertrain Products. Long story as to how I arrived at that decision, but it boiled down to spending my money on something that will have a warranty behind it rather than just replacing the cam/lifters and hoping I get years of service out of it. I was looking at spending $5k to do the cam/lifters without much warranty at all, or $7k-$8k for the reman.
In the end, my experience was mixed. The mechanic I chose to do the swap was not the greatest, and in the end, I paid a little more for this. Powertrain Products was fairly good. I received the engine in less than 4 weeks, and it has been running well for the most part. I will post more detail in another thread. They were great in terms of communication though.