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Thread: '03 Dodge HEMI...repair

  1. #1
    Wheeler
    Join Date
    22 Mar 2005
    Location
    reno, nv
    Age
    29
    Posts
    476
    Real Name
    Dustin

    '03 Dodge HEMI...repair

    So my typical Monday with the wife; running errands, drinking B....cold beverages, and just relaxing on my day off when BAM! my 2003 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 5.7L decided to starting idling rough, dying, and not going above 1500 RPM at all! Great thing was it didn't even show a check engine light...Well got the truck home and it finally spit that pretty little engine light. Hook up my code reader and it gives me P0300 (random misfire) twice, and P0440 (Evap Sensor). Well looking up the P0300 code gives me a list of stuff it could be...The simple solutions showed it could be a faulty camshaft position sensor, faulty O2 sensor(s), spark plugs or wires, or a valve spring....

    Well I replaced the Camshaft sensor because it looked toast, cleaned out the O2 sensors, and checked the plug wires....checked the code reader again and it now read P0300 and P0172 (Fuel system 1/1 Rich)...Well sh!t...Well because the random misfire code (P0300) was not specific, I went to each cylinder, pulled the spark plugs (yes two plugs per cylinder on a HEMI) and checked the compression. The plugs were pretty bad so replaced those. (the old gaps averaged .068 vs. the .045 gap recommended) I was getting good compression on all cylinders though (about 135 psi). When I came to #3 cylinder, my compression was a big fat goose egg! (zero) Dammit!

    My worry at this point was not so much a broken valve spring but a burnt valve because I could not hear ANY tapping or knocking noise when the truck ran. I pulled the valve cover off and sure enough, it was the intake valve spring!

    So happy....$4.85 for a new spring at the dealer (no where else carries them) and we are good to go. Hooked up the air to the cylinder to keep the valve up and it made it very easy to compress the spring off and the new one on...will get more pics up of the broken spring soon.

    After I got it all back together, I started it up and she ran smooth as ever, UNTIL, the truck warmed up and I kicked the choke down...drove it around the block and it began idling a rough again...WTF?!?!?!?! well after letting it sit warming up and idling for about 15 minutes, it slowly started to idle normal again and drives just fine now....Is this normal??? I was thinking it was because the computer had to 're-learn' the new spring adjustment and spark plug gaps? Any insight would be grateful...

    Oh and apparently, the 2003 dodge rams with the 5.7L HEMI are notorious for broken valve springs...so be careful what you buy....if you get one, the best upgrade is to replace the springs with (16) 6.1L exhaust springs...perfect fit! If you use the 6.1L intake springs, they are too long and will not work....
    If you aren't going all the way, why even go at all?

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    10 Sep 2012
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    1
    Real Name
    Anthony
    hey blackwidow,

    Not sure if you're still active on this forum, I myself have just joined. I have a 2003 1500 5.7L as well, pretty much the same problems started with mine. Changed out coil pack for #7 cleaned up the spark plugs and changed the O2 sensors, still have rough idle and rough in 5th at 1500 RPMs. compression test showed no compression in #7. This weekend I'm taking the valve cover off to check the springs. Which side did you change? From the pic it looks like it's the drivers side 1, 3, 5, & 7. If so did you remove the brake booster or were you able to work around it. This is my only vehicle and I work everyday except Sunday so I'm trying to get an estimate on time for this job and I was wondering how the truck was now and if you had pics of the airhose you used to hold the valve up. To answer your question, the computer needed to relearn just like you thought. Thanks for your post and any additional help you can offer.

  3. #3
    Wheeler
    Join Date
    22 Mar 2005
    Location
    reno, nv
    Age
    29
    Posts
    476
    Real Name
    Dustin
    Hey Sam, yes it was the 1-7 side. I didn't remove the brake booster. I just got a few assorted extensions and a sore back reaching up in there. Luckily for me it was the #3 cylinder (or 5) I can't remember. If its your #7 cylinder I would say you need to remove the booster. I don't have a picture of the tool used, but if you go down to napa and tell them what you are doing they will get you the hose. It's only about 20 bucks. And get a nice spring clamp! Oh and get a nice swivel extension for the far bolts.
    If you aren't going all the way, why even go at all?

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