About to scrap my '04 Limited with $2000 in parts and a hundred hours in maddening he
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Thread: About to scrap my '04 Limited with $2000 in parts and a hundred hours in maddening he

  1. #1
    Grasshopper
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    2004 Limited 5.7L 183k miles. What started out as simple over heating issue has left me with little room to move but making my next stop as the scrap yard. This is my last ditch effort to crack the mystery.
    Backstory: (First, the winning answer (solution) a $50 Vinmo payment and my sincerest gratitude.)
    Part 1: Six months ago I overheated. Got off the road and found fresh water to get home. Series of efforts to stop the continious overheating included system flushing, new radiatior cap, thermostat and finally new water pump and radiator. Ultimately realized a blown head gasket required the upper end break down. Ugh!!!
    Side bar: I love this 'Rango! Hemi strong and snappy performance rechargered my middle aged desire for power and got me excited about the under appreciated Durango line as a stylish SUV with real balls.
    PART 2: $800 later my local machine shop sends back two shiney hemi heads with 10,000th shaved off, recut valves and 16 new spark plugs. Nicely reassembled, all in my freezing garage and even polished my valve covers. New plug wires, gaskets, and after adding a cold air induction system left us confidant we built a better motor. Fresh oil and antifreeze completed our reassembly.
    Fire it up: Started great, no leaks and holding around 200 degrees while idling encouraged me to take for a test drive.
    A few minutes into my side street testing my motor began to sputter and surge rpms up and down between 600 and about 2200 rpms. No matter my pedal position, I was in limp mode home. I let it cool down and the next day it started fine and sounded like a champ. No issues until about 30 minutes into idling in my driveway we're sputtering again.
    Turning off the motor would reset it at first but then a few minutes into running I'd get the surging rpms. My CEL was on every time this mode would occur and now I'm getting the "lighting bolt" warning too. Pulled the code to simply have it say "throttle fuel" issues.
    Now the long and painful decent into the step by step process of replacing the entire throttle body, APPS pedal sensor and getting a refurbed and reflashed computer to my VIN.
    The end: None of this has worked. It now enters this mode from the moment I start it and doesn't go away. I've laid under the Durango with my flashlight and carefully traced as many wires as I can; looking for cracking or lost insulation. It's all there, yet I suspect this is an electrical issue that I can't figure out. Remember, I never had this problem until after I reassembled the upper end of the motor.
    Thoughts and prayers welcomed,
    Nearly Defeated
    Last edited by Darrylrode60; 05-08-2019 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Typos

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Durangutan's Avatar
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    First question, how old is the battery? Old batteries cause a surprisingly high amount of maddening electrical situations. And you may have pinched or cut a wire during all that top end work maybe?

    Second, I had issues with mice chewing the harness. I did not have the same symptoms, but nonetheless I had issues. It was very hard to see where they got me until I removed the TIPM. They got the harness very near the TIPM connectors, which are large and directly under the TIPM itself. And you could check the integrity of the connectors as well as where the battery cable attaches to the TIPM. The TIPM itself is not hard to remove for inspection and connector integrity. Not saying this is a TIPM problem, but it is a place to check. Of course disconnect the battery prior to doing any of that.
    Don Fox likes this.
    2007 HEMI Nightrunner D
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  3. #3
    Durango Jedi
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    You are going to need a good scanner to look at all the codes and display vehicle functions/outputs to see what is going on.
    Sound like it could be a bad sensor....or bad fuel?...maybe water in it?
    A bit strange it was running fine and issue first started after running a while.
    Durangutan likes this.

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  5. #4
    Durango Jedi Don Fox's Avatar
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    2004 Hemi SLT AWD Turned 100K Jan of '17. New engine September 2008 at 39K due to dropped valve.
    Darryl:
    You may have a vacuum leak. By chance, when you redid the heads, did you install the newer/upgraded intake manifold? The original OEM Hemi intakes were trouble prone, so much that Dodge required that the new one be used when doing top end work for the warranty to be valid. The Hemi in my 04 was rebuilt in 08, so I believe I have the upgraded intake.

    Can you hear any hissing underhood when it's running? You can use some carb cleaner to squirt onto the suspected area. If the idle smoothes out momentarily, you have found a leak.

    Don
    Durangutan likes this.
    2004 Durango SLT Hemi AWD "The Flame Red Rocket." ( 3/26/10 Cleveland, OH.)
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    de N8ECH

  6. #5
    Grasshopper
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    Hi .. oil smell gassy. Poss fuel inj sync? Real good scanner needed .did you check fuel press?

  7. #6
    Grasshopper
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    Also missing any grounds?

  8. #7
    Grasshopper
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    Thanks fellow 'Rango Runners for all these good tips. Update#1 Swapped out batteries with no change in the limp mode surge and idle behavior. Chased down a pair of chaffed wires under the TIPM boxes. They were not touching anything, but I taped them up anyway. I plan on more probing here tomorrow. I sprayed carb cleaner randomly around the original air take manifold with no change in behavior.
    We decided to purge the fuel rail and discovered a really strong smell of stale gas. The Durango sat from August to March with a 1/4 tank of E87.
    Could stale gas cause this problem? We are draining all of the fuel out and replacing it with fresh 92 fuel next.
    Next we plan a deep code reading to fully understand the codes. We have been using a $20 Bluetooth OBD2 device and a free app on my tablet...all of which leads to very superficial data results.
    Finally I checked for grounding issues already and found the two straps which come off the engine are properly grounded to the frame.
    I'm still keeping the $50 Vinmo offer up for grabs unless the fuel route hits paydirt.
    Thank you one and all,
    D
    Last edited by Darrylrode60; 05-12-2019 at 05:32 AM. Reason: Typo

  9. #8
    Super Moderator Durangutan's Avatar
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    Stale gas could yes. Especially e85 which separates quickly.
    Don Fox likes this.
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  10. #9
    Grasshopper AJWaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrylrode60 View Post
    Thanks fellow 'Rango Runners for all these good tips. Update#1 Swapped out batteries with no change in the limp mode surge and idle behavior. Chased down a pair of chaffed wires under the TIPM boxes. They were not touching anything, but I taped them up anyway. I plan on more probing here tomorrow. I sprayed carb cleaner randomly around the original air take manifold with no change in behavior.
    We decided to purge the fuel rail and discovered a really strong smell of stale gas. The Durango sat from August to March with a 1/4 tank of E87.
    Could stale gas cause this problem? We are draining all of the fuel out and replacing it with fresh 92 fuel next.
    Next we plan a deep code reading to fully understand the codes. We have been using a $20 Bluetooth OBD2 device and a free app on my tablet...all of which leads to very superficial data results.
    Finally I checked for grounding issues already and found the two straps which come off the engine are properly grounded to the frame.
    I'm still keeping the $50 Vinmo offer up for grabs unless the fuel route hits paydirt.
    Thank you one and all,
    D
    buddy of mine has a dodge laramie with a CEL that comes on regular. Dodge has no idea why. He bought a 20 scanner at wallhell that connects to a ap on his phone. One of those "as seen on tv" gadgets. It pulls no codes. Unfortuntely the last time I was with him we didnt think about my OBD2 scanner in my durango to test and reset his CEL.

  11. #10
    Grasshopper
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    Hi is your dodge compatible with e87? And could the sensor that senses how much ethanol is in the gas could be not sensing right. thus not giving the right fuel mixture? Making it run ruff .. ethanol loves water

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