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Replacing head gaskets on a 5.2 engine

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Old 03-06-2011, 05:02 PM
Evon Trizmo Evon Trizmo is offline
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Default Replacing head gaskets on a 5.2 engine

Well I'm in the middle of tearing the top end of my motor down to replace head gaskets. Any advice or tricks of the trade I should know while putting it all back together? It started as a project to replace the plenum gasket but why not do the head gaskets too while I'm in there, do it once do it right, especially since it's all stock and has over 200k on it. I'm just wondering since I'm down there, what else is probably going to break after I just get done putting it all back together?

I will say getting everything apart was pretty simple, just takes a free night, and a lot of this
It probably took me not as long to get it all apart because I just pull bolts, unplug wires, take stuff out and throw it all in a big pile, then do some guess and check with the bolts and the wires are all plug and pray to me. But I never had any problems doing it that way so it's all good.

My original problem with the engine is what I believe a huge vacuum leak, it would misfire above 2000 RPM and lose all it's power there too. Couldn't find any obvious problem to that except a huge air sucking/blowing sound.

If anyone is interested in doing this or has questions for me I can probably answer some, I also took pictures of everything if anyone wants to see.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:19 PM
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What I like to do is mark all the bolts and label the area they were in. The las thin you want is a pile of bolts to guess where they go and waste an hour just figuring out where it goes.

Also for putting it back together, be PATIENT!! don't get too frustrated and like ive always learned, don't let the beer get the best of you!
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:01 PM
Evon Trizmo Evon Trizmo is offline
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If I leanred anything from these forums it's that everyone loves their Durangos and beer more than anything haha.

I just throw the bolts near whatever part they go to and whatever is randomly laying around goes in the mystery pile. I also learned not to use the top of the radiator as a tool/bolt holder because you just end up knocking everything down in the engine bay when you lean over, reminds me of the plinko game on the price is right (100 points if it hits the floor, 5 points if it lands on top of the skid plate).

I'm no hurry though, just taking my time and so far tearing it all down went pretty smoothly. I just hope I gain my 229.9HP back after all this haha it could barely pull itself into the garage.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evon Trizmo View Post
If I leanred anything from these forums it's that everyone loves their Durangos and beer more than anything haha.
Welcome to the family!

There really isn't that many parts on a 5.2L, but it is good advice to place bolts and such in zip-lok bags and lable them and keep them close to their parts.


As for gaskets, do a good set on the heads.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:01 PM
Evon Trizmo Evon Trizmo is offline
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Well guys I'm about half way home, for anyone interested. If it wasn't for so much cleaning I'd be done by now. Oh and so far my very advance bolt labeling and sorting system is working out great haha.

Here's just a few questions, anyone know if these engines actually have exhaust manifold gaskets? First engine I saw without them, unless somebody even more lazy than me was there first and just didn't put any back on. Also would I need to be all professional and actually go out and buy a torque wrench for the head bolts, or would I get away with doing what every other poor kid does which is find a socket that fits on the handle of his ratchet and then put together all the extensions in his toolbox on that socket to make a long redneck breaker bar and pull into it don't turn no more? And no I didn't get new head bolts, I know I should but I'm poor remember, besides if I borrow one more extension from my neighbor I just might get them bolts to strech again haha, you never know. And my last question, I promise, anyone know of a good way to get all that old sticky gasket and dirt and whatever 13 years of buildup off the gakset surfaces? I have a round wire brush thinger that you put on the end of a drill and it spins, but would it be ok to get all that junk in the oil and cooling system, then do an old change and coolant flush after 100 miles? Or is there a better way I have not yet thought of?

Things are moving along smoothly, I'm be sure to post pictures of the job soon once I get them uploaded, everyone likes pictures.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:26 PM
Evon Trizmo Evon Trizmo is offline
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As promised here's there pictures of my redneck rebuild:

Click the image to open in full size.
Since I can't afford a worklight, and since it's not christmas, this actually works perfectly.

Click the image to open in full size.
Here's before I started pulling the heads, notice the results of many off road adventures haha

Click the image to open in full size.
My oil infested intake/plenum whatever you want to call it, either way my engine keeps throwing up all it's oil I feed it every week.
Click the image to open in full size.
And we all know this is the cause of the engine puking oil all over my intake, so everyone who hasn't changed this gasket/plate yet can see first had what's going on in there.

Click the image to open in full size.
Here's a header before I cleaned it, looks pretty normal to me for 200k miles.

Click the image to open in full size.
The head intake side I cleaned with the wire brush for the drill, it actually shines now.

Click the image to open in full size.
I don't know what those are called (kidding)

Click the image to open in full size.
Everything torn down with four more of those mystery holes in my engine block.

Click the image to open in full size.
My organizing system of parts and bolts, this is just one pile out of 7.

Click the image to open in full size.
Here's all of the pushrods, I guess they are suppose to be that dirty maybe, but anyways I shined them up nicely.

Click the image to open in full size.
The built in bolt and tool holder of the D, a very nice feature untill you lean over and knock everything in the engine bay.

Click the image to open in full size.
And finally here's one side done, I'm still waiting on another gasket to be shipped to the parts store, so for now I have an inline 4 engine with double MPGs woo!, just needs an intake.

Well that's about it for now, I'll be sure to let you guys know if it runs or explodes.

Last edited by Evon Trizmo; 03-08-2011 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:42 PM
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Isn`t it fun lol. Now a good shot of black hi-temp paint and she`ll shine lol ,,,Good work there so far!!
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:48 PM
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ALL I CAN SAY IS HOLLLLEEEYYY **** !@111!!!! ... this is way too funny... i guess i should have done my gaskets myself you make it look so easy LMAO
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:01 AM
Evon Trizmo Evon Trizmo is offline
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The only engine worth sandblasting and painting is a 5.9, or in your case a 6.3L haha
Although I should worry about cleaning the engine bay before anything else. Right now it feels like dropping a polished turd in a dump.

It is actually really easy it just takes a lot of time, the key is not having a wife. I'm just taking it real slow doing a little bit everyday, it'll get done eventually. I could finish it in a night if I wanted to but that's not relaxing or fun. Not saying saying tightening head bolts with my 3 foot redneck breaker bar is relaxing ha.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:18 AM
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I love the christmas lights! Gives it that nice redneck party under the hood in march look! WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!! LOL
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:39 PM
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Well I got everything all back together today, started right up but still having the problem with it not revving over 2000rpm and very very low power and backfiring just like before. I'm leaning towards a clogged cat, or possibly timing. My misfire codes went away too so that's no help there to pinpoint the backfiring cylinder. I'm also throwing in timing because I see a good stream of exhaust coming out the tailpipe.

I'm thinking about just doing away with the the cat altogether, I just got a new one installed 4 months ago and it's already rattled to pieces inside (those things can't handle offroading and jumping at all). I just have to buy one of those fake O2 sensor for the downstream so it doesn't throw any codes.

One thing I don't mess with on engines is the timing, that's probably the biggest pain in the rear there is. But if the cat isn't clogged then there's where I'll be next.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:02 PM
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It sounds like a possible timing issue. How long has it been since you did a tune up (replace cap & rotor, plugs, and wires)?

Also as far as an O2 simulator, Dan "The Fastman" makes a good working one. He's who made my porter throttle body.

http://www.thefastman.com/02Simms.asp
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:10 PM
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Most of the ignition system was reaplced while I was doing all the gaksets, got new champion copper plugs gapped to 0.40, new autolite premium spark plug wire/ignition coil wire set, new ignition coil, new cap and rotor. I put the old coil back in but still got the same thing.

I never pulled the distributor or the timing chain cover. But maybe something's going on in there as it's been slowly loosing a little low end power for a few months now, then all of a sudden lost all top end power.

Also the backfire is because it's running way too rich, backfiring in the exhaust. I used about 3 gallons of fuel driving about 4 miles, no joke. If this keeps up I get to tell people "ya i'm getting about 7GPM" haha.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:25 AM
Evon Trizmo Evon Trizmo is offline
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If it turns out to be a timing issue, well then good, all the more reason to swap in a 5.9 haha. But I'm about ready to push my D off a cliff for real, it sucks up gas like crazy and at $3.79 my paychecks don't cover it anymore, not to mention the alignments it needs every month resulting in needing new tires every year, still can't figure out why it keeps getting unaligned even with just normal street driving, and the body is all dented and needs a new paintjob. I'm about ready to just buy me a neon or something, they have so many body kits for those cars, I just have to find me a D body kit now haha.

But I had it up to my head already with my D and the only reason I still have it is because it's awesome to own, awesome to drive, and awesome to look at. It's exactly like a woman though, you can't live without it but you can't live with it, although right now I think it's on it's period and hates me. If I made more money I'd keep it but right now I think it's going to get demoted from my primary car to backyard ortimant untill these gas prices drop below $3 a gallon, if that ever happens.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:38 AM
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I totally agree, however you got it made. With my shop (co-owner of a 8 bay shop) I have to pick up people's vehicles every day and drive them sometimes 30 miles back to the shop. I got a Ram 3500 with the Cummins but diesel prices are even more than gas!

Its kind of a trade off because they get about the same fuel economy when towing 2 vehicles so I pick what I trust more and rely on the most, and that's the Durango!
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:47 AM
Evon Trizmo Evon Trizmo is offline
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Agreed, my D never left me stranded once, had to limp it home twice 25+ miles. I remember the days when diesel was cheaper than gas, but now that, gasoline, and E85 are all priced to get you about the same distance.

I deffinatly wouldn't mind doing a Hemi swap in mine and get about 25mpg on the highway, but I would need to swap transmissions too since I don't have the 4.7 engine. Everything's going up in price these days except your paycheck and I played the game as long as I could with my D but I think it's time for a much less needy car so I can start spending some money on myself too haha.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:50 AM
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I did not know the Hemi got that gas mileage. Be careful because I had an electrician do work for me and he took me out to lunch and had a Ram 1500 with the Hemi and got an average of 14 MPG he said. I've always heard the Hemi sucking gas horribly.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:55 AM
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In the city they do yes. If I got a Hemi it would deffinatly have to have the cylinder deactivation function for cruising speeds. It would be awesome to gut the whole drivetrain out of an 09 Durango hybrid and fit that into the looks of the first gen D. But it would be at least 2 years of just wiring to make everything work.

Bottom line is if you want to own a D you have to pay to play. Expensive cars are expensive to maintain but they treat you very well with ride quality and features.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:09 PM
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Update on the engine rebuild: Pulled the water pump/timing cover and that chain was done it was so loose and about ready to fall off or break apart. Probably would have ran better moving every spark plug wire over 1 pole on the distributor haha. Picked up a few random metal shavings in there too. Runs and idles like a dream now, real smooth and quiet, all the tappet and clicking noise is gone after the rebuild too.

Back to where I started before the rebuild with absolutly no top end power especially when the motor gets warmed up and a high pitched vacuum/air sucking sound that changes with rpms. I've really leaning towards a restricted exhaust so during the week I'm going to get that checked out.

I'll keep you guys updated on what I find out.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:21 PM
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Yeah I'd get a backpressure test of the CAT. Anything over 4 psi I'd get the CAT replaced and if you don't already possibly do a CAT back exhaust system. Definitely opens up the exhaust quite a bit.

With the issues you've been having with everything and timing being that far off however, I wouldn't doubt the CAT is done for.
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Last edited by WhiteWidow00; 03-12-2011 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:21 PM
 
 
 
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