Ram Hemi hydraulic lifter failure...oil related?

Messages
160
Location
Canada
I have a 2009 Dodge Ram with 5.7 litre Hemi and about 65,000 miles on it. Just had a problem with one of the roller hydraulic lifters--it collapsed causing a loud ticking/knocking sound and wear on a valve. Definitely not normal for the Hemi engine which is robust. Replacement involves removing the heads, etc. Expensive repair (Canadian trucks don't get the lifetime powertrain that US owners get). I may get goodwill warranty from Chrysler Canada--they're looking into it. Dealer and Chrysler can't explain how or why the lifter would fail. In over 30 years of driving I've never had a lifter problem in any vehicle...many of them high mileage. I'm meticulous with my oil changes--I only use the 5w20 recommended weight (MDS engine) and always full synthetic. Most recently Castrol Edge. I've also used Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum. Oil is changed before the oil life monitor comes on...I typically change at 5,000 miles. I initially used the OEM Mopar filters which are very good, but access to the oil filter on these trucks is difficult especially trying to get a filter wrench on them. As a result on two or three oil changes I used Fram filters which have the easy-to-grip surface. I'm not familiar with the full operation of roller hydraulic lifters and what role oil would play in longevity. That's my first question. The second question is, if this was your truck what oil would you run going forward? Other than this lifter issue, the truck has been great...very reliable and I plan to keep it a long time. Appreciate any input. Thank you.
 
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6,913
Location
NH
Most any mechanical thing eventually will fail. Could just have been a defective lifter. Stinks that it happened though don't misunderstand me. Do you know if it was one of the special MDS lifters or one of the regular ones?
 
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11,946
Location
North Carolina
I would do a short 500mile oci after the work is done. No way some dirt did not get in the engine during repair. Afterwards, i'd continue with the synthetic. You may had just gotten the bad lifter off the assembly line. ( May not be an oil related failure).
 
Messages
14,741
Location
Illinois
Lifters fail regardless of miles. Rare, but it happens. The oil had no connection to the failure. If it was the oil then Hemi's all over the place would have this problem.
 

BullyT

Thread starter
Messages
160
Location
Canada
I just know it's a Hemi with the MDS system. Dealer is sending worn/defective parts to Chrysler for inspection. Fully understand that mechanical things fail eventually, although this was premature.
 
Messages
69
Location
Seattle
A little google search shows that this is common to the hemi's and they have a known lifter issue. When you ask for goodwill from the dealer be nice, but bring in a huge stack of similar complaints printed from other Internet sites. They know this is not an isolated event, but they and other dealers love to pretend that it's news to them.
 
Messages
357
Location
South Florida
agree...
Originally Posted By: tig1
Lifters fail regardless of miles. Rare, but it happens. The oil had no connection to the failure. If it was the oil then Hemi's all over the place would have this problem.
 
Messages
4,263
Location
Port Orange, Florida
Originally Posted By: widman
The only problems I've seen with those engines are where people have put 15W-40 in them.
What oil problems have you heard of with 15w40? With the actual MDS or with the Hemi engine. 15w40 although considered by some here as too thick to even leave the container, was actually developed for mixed fleets of gas and diesel engines and I ould think it would have no effects on a regular hemi engine, or any gas realated work truck engine. I can see the MDS being effected. Although I do know some stubborn people who refuse to use 5w20 oil in their trucks with MDS and say no difference with 5w30.
 
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3,850
Location
Cape Cod, MA
Originally Posted By: Panzerman
15w40 although considered by some here as too thick to even leave the container,
LOL, good one. grin2 We had a 250kW generator at my work on which I performed the weekly PM checks. Left a gallon of 15W-40 inside the enclosure year 'round and when I needed to top off in the winter, it did kind of go "blop-blop-blop" as it was being poured. This generator also needed an oil pan heater to start properly in Jan/Feb...
 
Messages
357
Location
South Florida
ive spent considerable time on different dodge forums, seems like people only have oiling issues following neglect, and those usualy start with knocking and flickering oil light, (pick up screen is sludged) . or are you refering to the hemi tick? dont think thats a oiling issue.
Originally Posted By: sky7
A little google search shows that this is common to the hemi's and they have a known oiling issue. When you ask for goodwill from the dealer be nice, but bring in a huge stack of similar complaints printed from other Internet sites. They know this is not an isolated event, but they and other dealers love to pretend that it's news to them.
 
Messages
69
Location
Seattle
Originally Posted By: coolbird101
ive spent considerable time on different dodge forums, seems like people only have oiling issues following neglect, and those usualy start with knocking and flickering oil light, (pick up screen is sludged) . or are you refering to the hemi tick? dont think thats a oiling issue.
Originally Posted By: sky7
A little google search shows that this is common to the hemi's and they have a known oiling issue. When you ask for goodwill from the dealer be nice, but bring in a huge stack of similar complaints printed from other Internet sites. They know this is not an isolated event, but they and other dealers love to pretend that it's news to them.
Maybe it's the tick I'm seeing. I just googled hemi lifter failure and came up with many pages of lifter complaints and I ASSumed they were related. I stand corrected. At any rate, 65k is premature.
 

BullyT

Thread starter
Messages
160
Location
Canada
Originally Posted By: sky7
A little google search shows that this is common to the hemi's and they have a known lifter issue. When you ask for goodwill from the dealer be nice, but bring in a huge stack of similar complaints printed from other Internet sites. They know this is not an isolated event, but they and other dealers love to pretend that it's news to them.
You are correct that the "Hemi tick" is a common issue, but it is more of an annoyance than anything...it doesn't affect long term durability of the engine. I didn't get the common Hemi tick which tends to disappear when the engine warms up. My engine was fine for 65,000 miles then from one day to the next it developed a loud tick--almost a knocking sound. It was also continuous--hot or cold engine. A slight Hemi tick is common, a collapsed lifter is not.
 
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7,539
Location
Mahzurrah!
This was a common problem on the 3.7 V6's and 4.7 V8's, mostly the pre 2008 versions though. Never heard of it on a 5.7 Hemi.
 
Messages
357
Location
South Florida
yes, this what I have seen as well, in most cases the hemi tick is just broken exaust manifold bolts.
Originally Posted By: KCJeep
This was a common problem on the 3.7 V6's and 4.7 V8's, mostly the pre 2008 versions though. Never heard of it on a 5.7 Hemi.
 
Messages
17,302
Location
OH
I think you've just had a random failure. I don't think it has anything to so with the oil you've used or the OCI. Look at it this way: This engine has two valve heads, so every engine has sixteen valve lifters. If the early failure rate is 1/100th of 1%, or one out of every 10,000, then one out of every 625 engines will experience an early lifter failure. If the failure rate is 1/1000th of 1%, or one out of every hundred thousand lifters, then one out of every 6250 engines will experience an early lifter failure. What I'm saying is that the part may have a very low failure rate, and you're just one of those unlucky enough to have had the experience. Nothing to do with your oil or OCIs, just that mechanical pieces are not all perfectly made, and quality control is imperfect as well.
 
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6,913
Location
NH
Originally Posted By: BullyT
You are correct that the "Hemi tick" is a common issue, but it is more of an annoyance than anything...it doesn't affect long term durability of the engine. I didn't get the common Hemi tick which tends to disappear when the engine warms up. My engine was fine for 65,000 miles then from one day to the next it developed a loud tick--almost a knocking sound. It was also continuous--hot or cold engine. A slight Hemi tick is common, a collapsed lifter is not.
Actually, the infamous Hemi Tick does not go away when the engine warms up. The "tick" if an engine has it is present at all times warm or cold. If there is a cold tick that goes away, or significantly lessens, once the engine warms up the most common culprit is a busted exhaust manifold bolt or the manifold itself.
 
Messages
46
Location
Sumter, SC
Greetings all: I find it rather laughable when I hear people suggest that the 5.7 Hemi lifter/camshaft failures are a rare thing. It is quite common and getting much worse. My name is Joseph and I have a 2012 Dodge Ram Hemi 5.7 that started the infamous "hemi-tick" at about 90,000 miles give or take. Since it was under warranty at the time, I took it to the local Dodge Servicing department in Sumter SC. They replaced a coil pack, all 16 spark plugs, and supposedly did an intake induction cleaning and fuel system flush. Total cost to me was $988 bucks. That's the most expensive tune-up I've ever seen, especially considering the same services were advertised on their own board for about $300 bucks. Personally, I suspect they did more than that and it's my suspicion that changed out a bad lifter despite the possibility of a bad camshaft lobe. They knew our warranty was about to expire so they did the bare minimum to turn the truck back out to me with the hidden repair they did. I know that Chrysler is telling their service departments to hide the camshaft lifter failures if at all possible in order to minimize public awareness. To get to my point, at about 104,000 miles, the "hemi-tick" came back and eventually turned into a loud knock. Since the warranty was expired, I tore into the engine myself (I'm a retired AF aircraft mechanic), 36 years of automotive repair, and even paint and body repair. So my mechanical skills are not lacking to say the least, without which I would not have been able to sustain my 1999 Chevy Suburban 5.7 Vortec for as long as I have, and still running strong. Sure she's needed work along the way, but she still goes strong. Just for giggles and fun, I pulled the Suburban's engine 3 years ago and did a complete overhaul, bottom and top. The rings were still solid, cross-hatches still visible, and no ridge around the bore-tips. And the camshaft and lifters looked beautiful, despite neglected oil changes (on the Suburban) at times, and about 225,000 miles. The only degredation I noted were my intake and exhaust valves which were all pitted, so I replaced the valves and lapped them in my garage. To-date, 297,000 miles on my baby and she's still pulling roughly 6,000 pounds of horse trailer (with horses). I can't say that for my Ram. With only 114,000 miles, the #8 cylinder lifter was destroyed and the roller and needle bearings were missing. Naturally I've got to drop the oil pan to remove all possible debris. Cylinder's 4 and 6 MDS lifters were also damaged as each of its rollers were severely chaffed. I noticed that both MDS lifters for 4 and 6 were not appropriately locked on center as the lock-tabs were twisted to the side, thus causing the rollers to spin somewhat at an angle. This no doubt caused the damage to the lifter rollers for cylinders 4 and 6. Cylinder number 8 however was completely dry with little to no oil, and it's roller is toast, and the camshaft lobe for all 3 cylinders mentioned (passenger side) are destroyed. WHAT'S CAUSING THE PROBLEM? This is something I've yet to see anyone explain. Mind you I am a [censored] good troubleshooting mechanic (all thanks to the USAF), and here then is my diagnosis. MDS lifters require oil pressure to expand into the locked position. This temporarily robs the oil supply volume just long enough to lock the lifters into place. Once locked, oil pressure is dispersed evenly respective of the applicable lubed component of the engine. Unfortunately, when you have 1 or more MDS lifters failing to lock, oil pressure is lost to the rest of the engine (not all pressure but enough to cause oil starvation). This would explain why the intake lifters for cylinder's 2 and 8 were nearly dry, while cyilnder's 4 and 6 intake MDS lifters were saturated with oil since both of these lifters failed to lock. When an MDS lifter fails to lock due to internal failure of the PLASTIC (did I mention plastic?) keepers, oil pressure continues to attempt to lock the lifter, which of course never happens due to the failure, and this robs the engine of oil to the rest of the valve-train. Lifters that fail to lock also cause the infamous "Hemi-tick". So NO the Hemi-tick is not a good thing and NO it is not normal. SOLUTION: Dump the MDS system. This requires camshaft replacement-upgrade to a non-MDS system, installation for solid lifters with heavier duty rollers, removal and plugging of the MDS oil solenoids, and a PCM flash for MDS deactivation. The 5.7 Hemi is a rather easier engine to work on. I found the fan-clutch to be a little more difficult to remove than usual; that is until I realized that after 2007 (or 2009), the fan clutch is not leftee-loossie, righty-tighty, but rather righty-loosie and lefty-tighty. The rest is not that difficult. You will likely find the exhaust manifold heat-shield bolts broken. I suggest not putting that wasted product back on. Switch out to headers if you choose, or simply leave the exhaust manifold exposed. There is nothing nearby that will be damaged from heat. The driver side exhaust manifold is a little bit pesky to takeoff due to the steering column shaft. Or better yet, leave the exhaust manifold on the heads and disconnect the exhaust pipes from the manifold. I chose to remove them in case my heads needed to be worked. Summary: The MDS lifters are failing to lock and robbing the engine of oil pressure. This is especially worsened by those who might have a nasty habit of idling the engine too long. The loss of oil pressure, especially at idle, causes oil-starvation to the rest of the valve train of the specific bank (1 - driver side / 2 - passenger side) and causing the lifters to fail at the rollers. Once the rollers are damaged, the camshaft lobes will eventually be wiped out. Lastly, I will not be using 5W-20 as the dealership has been using, and yes (for the record), we've maintained appropriate oil-change maintenance, and yet still suffered catastrophic failure. I will be switching over to 5W-30 synthetic once I've completed the upgrade. I hope this helps anyone else out there. You do not have to agree, but I'm almost certain my prognosis is 100% percent correct. The dry #8 lifter caused by lost oil pressure due to lifters 4 and 6 MDS lifters hogging oil pressure, is clear indication of what's causing the lifter rollers to fail, and thus leading to unfortunate camshaft destruction. #8 lifter was destroyed due to oil-starvation, and lifters 4 and 6 were damaged due to failing to lock on-center leading to excessive oil supply attempts at locking the lifter into place.
 
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Messages
1,163
Location
sonoma
Thanks for posting your experience bud, we do have a hemi thread attacking the issue from a lubrication stand point, as much as you can anyway. It surely isn't just mds lifters, we are seeing the same thing with the non mds lifters like in the 6.4, it is just fca quality, or lack there of. Check out ram forum for a bunch of guys who have video'd and posted thier findings, and ram forumz as they have done a better job documenting it. I'd research oil, some formulas may help. LINK.
 
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