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First of all I am glad to say that we had the normal 04 Hemi problems and had water leak into the #8 piston. Thank god the engine was on the compression stroke when my wife tried to crank it. In Dec of 2012 I broke down the engine and had the heads shaved. Since then it has been running great!

This brings me to my question. Now when you first crank it and start driving it for about 5 mins the temp gauge jumps and pegs out. After a little driving it will slowly work its way down to a normal position. If driving for a long time it tends to jump back up again but will fall back down in a minute or so. Does anyone know what this means?
 

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It sounds like a faulty thermostat. Replace with a failsafe unit. When they go bad, they lock open not closed so you won't overheat the engine.
 

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How exactly does the gauge behave on startup? Does it go right to the peg when the cold engine starts, or move to the peg over the course of a few minutes? (the latter would be consistent with Mike's sticky-thermostat diagnosis)

Also might be interesting to use a live OBD-II reader to see what the PCM thinks the coolant temp is through all of this.

...tom
 

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if it goes straight to hot at start up, you'll need to check to make sure the sending unit is not broken. saw that on my buddies 4.7 ram. he replaced the intake tube and didnt thought he bumped the sensor, but later showed it was cracked and his temp gauge would run hotter than normal, he did so much work trying to get it cooled down, it was a 30.00 part
 
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