Dodge Durango Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ran across a 2004 limited on Craigslist and I just paid $400 for it, he wanted $1000. Vehicle has been sitting for 2 years and is very musty inside so going to need a LOT of cleaning. The motor is a rebuilt 5.7L Hemi and has just over 20,000 on it but it will not start. Current owner says he thinks it has a stuck valve. Well, I think there is more to it than that. He described that he was driving it one day when it all of a sudden revved up then lost power and would not start after that.While I was going over it, I pulled the dipstick and hmmmm, how about that... From what I recall from memory while writing this, there is like 6 inches from the bottom of the dip stick to the add mark. Now I know this has been sitting for a couple of years, but I am sure the oil hasn't evaporated, but when I pulled the dipstick, there was less than a 1/2 inch of oil on it. So I wiped the stick, put it back in and pulled again, same thing. So I am thinking this motor may be toast.

Plan for this one is to clean it up and get it running again. Hoping that the interior can be cleaned up and able to get all the smell out. We haven't decided if we are going to sell it or keep it, but one of the main goals is to get my daughter out and working on it so she knows how to take care of her own vehicle.

I really like the look of the D's however, I am not looking forward to working on the 5.7L with the way it is sunk back into the vehicle.

So did I just make a mistake on this thing? $400 is what the local junkyard was offering, so I figured at the very least I could get that much out of it in pulled parts if it comes down to it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jdl2005

·
Registered
2016 Durango R/T Arizona
Joined
·
507 Posts
Musty? May have been in a flood. Does it have a clean title or is it a salvage title?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Musty? May have been in a flood. Does it have a clean title or is it a salvage title?
Not flooded.. Seems to be because it has been sitting in the driveway closed up for almost 2 years and just normal dampness from weather changes. I had the same issue with a 2001 D I am working on right now. No leaks or anything, but because it just sits and does not get opened up every once in a while, it gets that odor and some mildew build up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Pick up an oil analysis kit from Napa for $15. If you send in a sample, that might tell you the condition of the engine.

While you wait for the results, take off the belt, remove a plug on each cylinder, rotate it by hand and use an inspection camera in the plug holes to check the internal condition of the block.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pick up an oil analysis kit from Napa for $15. If you send in a sample, that might tell you the condition of the engine.

While you wait for the results, take off the belt, remove a plug on each cylinder, rotate it by hand and use an inspection camera in the plug holes to check the internal condition of the block.
Thanks for the tips. I will do that.

Looks like these D's are a little harder to work on given the way they sit back in the firewall. Not looking forward to that part.

I am hoping it is just a stuck valve, but that, I wouldn't think, wouldn't keep it from starting at all..

First task is for the wife and daughter to work on the interior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
If the valve is stuck, it could prevent the piston from rising all the way, so it wouldn't start. But that should be obvious with an inspection camera with a mirror attachment. You could also do a leakdown test, but those are more difficult to use if you don't know how they work. If you can rotate the engine a few revolutions by hand, then I doubt the valve is stuck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If the valve is stuck, it could prevent the piston from rising all the way, so it wouldn't start. But that should be obvious with an inspection camera with a mirror attachment. You could also do a leakdown test, but those are more difficult to use if you don't know how they work. If you can rotate the engine a few revolutions by hand, then I doubt the valve is stuck.
Familiar with a leakdown test. Just did one on a 2007 Escape, so I have the right tools to do it..
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
252 Posts
For me, the engine would be the easy part but that musty odor in the interior, that is what would scare me.
I would bet there is mold between the headliner and roof and also under the carpet.
Pull the carpets and disconnect the front part of the headliner to take a peak to see if there is mold..

if there is no serious mold, then put a dehumidifier ( set as low percentage of humidity it can be) in the car and shut the door and windows.
Leave it run for a couple of hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Durango made it on the rollback to the house last night. Didn't get much daylight to go over it so gave it a good rinse on the outside to get all the debris from the trees off. Threw in a couple of air fresheners for initial smell. Looked at the air cleaner and there is a patch of oil right over where the PCV hose comes into the air box. Quick search says maybe just PCV on that.

This morning I have opened up all the doors to get it aired out. We had some good downpours yesterday and the inside is bone dry even around the sun roof. Bought the cheapest battery I could get for it at the Advance Auto and it had enough juice to get the electronics up and running but that was about it. That has the charger on it now as well. Wife is going to start a cleaning process today since it is sunny and 91 for a high.

Plan on draining oil this evening after work and giving it a refill just so it has clean oil in it. Pulled the radiator cap yesterday and cannot see any fluid in the top. So will have to get some added to that. Will probably need to open up the radiator drain to confirm just what kind of coolant is in it before going and getting any so I don't mix types.

Once I got the battery in it last night, I was able to see that the vehicle has only 128,609 miles on it. Very clean underneath with no rust anywhere that I was able to see. Given the low mileage and such, if I can get this thing cleaned up and back on the road, then I think it might be a keeper instead of a seller.


As I get moving on this more I will start a new thread and put up some pictures as I get through this project.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jdl2005

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,151 Posts
Rope:
Congrats on what sounds like an interesting project. What is the build date for that D on the driver's door label? The early Durango Hemis had valve spring problems, as well as an intake manifold leak issues. The oem coolant fill, long gone obviously, would have been an orange color. I would consider going back in with some gold G-05 coolant after a thorough flush. If the rebuild only had 20k, on it, the quality of that is certainly in question.

Don


115157
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rope:
Congrats on what sounds like an interesting project. What is the build date for that D on the driver's door label? The early Durango Hemis had valve spring problems, as well as an intake manifold leak issues. The oem coolant fill, long gone obviously, would have been an orange color. I would consider going back in with some gold G-05 coolant after a thorough flush. If the rebuild only had 20k, on it, the quality of that is certainly in question.

Don
Build date is 3/2004.. Additional back story is that it looks like the last owner purchased the vehicle with a little over 92,000 on it and then the engine died and was replaced under a warranty with a rebuilt. Then with around 20,000 on the rebuilt, it died..

Unfortunately it is going to be later this summer before I can get to the motor. I have a 2001 D I am working on with my daughter as her first vehicle and we are doing a motor and transmission swap from a 2002 which was my daily driver. The 2002 has been deadlined as it is full of body and frame rust but up until the end of April I had been drving it, including 200+ mile one way trips to the mountains of WV from VA, and the motor and transmission are solid. I may do a lifter replacement as it tends to have that lifter tap in the morning until oil gets up and the motor warms a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
I didnt think about this until now, but a few years ago, I had a stray cat climb in my boat while it was in storage and it got stuck in the front of the hull where the hook went through for the winch.

I spoke to someone who's father was a mortician. He said the only air freshener that worked for the potent stench was Ozium. You can get small cans at most auto parts stores or hardware stores and larger cans online. I would also recommend running an ozone generator inside overnights while they are cleaning the interior. That will also help neutralize the odors. However, strong ozone generators can irritate the lungs if someone is working near it while they are running, so make sure it is turned off a few mins before anybody spends extensive time in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I didnt think about this until now, but a few years ago, I had a stray cat climb in my boat while it was in storage and it got stuck in the front of the hull where the hook went through for the winch.

I spoke to someone who's father was a mortician. He said the only air freshener that worked for the potent stench was Ozium. You can get small cans at most auto parts stores or hardware stores and larger cans online. I would also recommend running an ozone generator inside overnights while they are cleaning the interior. That will also help neutralize the odors. However, strong ozone generators can irritate the lungs if someone is working near it while they are running, so make sure it is turned off a few mins before anybody spends extensive time in there.
Funny you should mention the Ozium...

Used that on my daughter's 2001 when we were cleaning up the interior. When I was at Advance Auto yesterday picking up a cheap battery, the Ozium was right there in front of me at the checkout. Picked one up and it is already in the vehicle. Might buy a couple more and place in several locations.

Wife is already vacuuming and using a white vinegar solution cleaning surfaces. Will see how it all works..

Don't have the ozone generator, so will work with what we have for now. Will pick one up if we cannot get the smell out the way we are going.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,151 Posts
Rope:
My '04 D was built 01/04, and it's Hemi died at 39k due to a dropped valve. I have to wonder if your replacement engine was truly a rebuilt, or simply one the repair facility sourced from a salvage yard. Many of the 3rd party warranty companies will only do the bare minimum to get the vehicle in question back up and running. For all you know, maybe that engine was a ticking time bomb from the start.

In my Durangos situation, the 7/70 powertrain warranty was still in effect, so the original owner got a new dealer installed Hemi for the $100 deductible.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Rope:
My '04 D was built 01/04, and it's Hemi died at 39k due to a dropped valve. I have to wonder if your replacement engine was truly a rebuilt, or simply one the repair facility sourced from a salvage yard. Many of the 3rd party warranty companies will only do the bare minimum to get the vehicle in question back up and running. For all you know, maybe that engine was a ticking time bomb from the start.

In my Durangos situation, the 7/70 powertrain warranty was still in effect, so the original owner got a new dealer installed Hemi for the $100 deductible.

Don
My guess is the cheapest available from a 3rd party warranty company...

Does the valve spring issue allow for any damage since this is an interference engine? Just trying to figure out what I might be up against as I dig into this thing.

I would think that if a spring broke and the valve didn't cause any damage, the motor would have just had a really bad misfire or run rough. There description was the they were driving it, it "kinda revved up", then died... Of course there are any codes to pull since the vehicle sat for so long without a battery.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,151 Posts
This particular issue, is one where the valve springs themselves were not up to spec. The spring collapses, allowing the valve to drop into the cylinder. The result is not a pretty sight. If you dig in there, and see any signs of valve or spring issues, I would replace the springs just because. You could pull the valve covers, and rotate the engine by hand while observing for any unusual rocker arm motion.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This particular issue, is one where the valve springs themselves were not up to spec. The spring collapses, allowing the valve to drop into the cylinder. The result is not a pretty sight. If you dig in there, and see any signs of valve or spring issues, I would replace the springs just because. You could pull the valve covers, and rotate the engine by hand while observing for any unusual rocker arm motion.

Don
Everything I am reading sounds like when the valve spring goes, there would be noticeable noise of metal. Guessing that would also be heard if just turning by hand?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Don Fox

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
You would also see damage on the piston with an inspection camera through a spark plug hole if a valve was dropped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, good news bad news, I guess...

Pulled a plug from each cylinder, brought #1 to TDC on the compression stroke, calibrated leak down tester, hooked it up.... Had 65% to 70% loss... Air leakage was coming from the rings as I had a lot of air flow from the oil filler. So without checking anything else, I am guessing the motor is going to have to come out.The amount of leakage on #1 might also explain the amount of blown I found on the air filter right above the tube coming from the oil filler.

Thoughts?

I was thinking maybe stuck rings from sitting but I doubt I am that lucky with that much blow by. I am probably going to pull the valve covers, just because, to look at the valve train. I don't want to get too involved with this right now as I have a 2002 to 2001 motor and transmission swap going on and I want to ensure I do not get any parts mixed up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Don Fox

·
Registered
2016 Durango R/T Arizona
Joined
·
507 Posts
Part it and take the $400 from the junk yard.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top