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v6 Magnum 3.9L engine ticks under load? (video)

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Old 07-22-2014, 12:00 AM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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Default v6 Magnum 3.9L engine ticks under load? (video)

I assume this is the pinging everyone talks about, but I hope it isn't since I've already done:

- The cooler autolite plugs
- Several rounds of seafoam
- Several rounds of injector cleaner

It happens at partial throttle under load, usually about 2 minutes after it's started cold.

To help out I stuck my little video recorder under the hood and went for a drive, you can hear it when I accelerate at 2:20 mark and maybe before.


I bought the truck just before the July 4th holiday weekend from state surplus with 169k on it.

Thank you in advance! I've been lurking on here for a while and you guys have excellent write ups for maintenance and fixin'!

I will confess ignorance to these engines since my other car is a Jeep with the 2.4L PowerTech, although there are some similarities outside of the motor.
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Last edited by Jeepguy05; 07-22-2014 at 12:07 AM..
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2014, 12:53 AM
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I don`t have any experience with the V6, but im not really hearing anything unusual from the engine. When you got the truck did you get any service records with it ?.


If not, start with a complete tune up. Plugs (already done), plug wires, cap/rotor, 02 sensors, air filter, and go from there. Maybe some one else can hear something in the video that I may be missing.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:57 AM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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Ram Driver: nope, surprisingly enough the State didn't give me anything, including info about the infamous plenum replacement. Only thing I got was the windshield sticker for recent oil changes that show me it's only had 2,000 miles put on it in the last few years. The wires look newer so they might be OK, but the coil appears to be OEM and a little rusty. I actually went through 2 sets of plugs already, the first set were the recommended copper plugs (autolite 5224?) and after reading here I switched to the cooler ones. Last plug near the brake booster was a bear to get out, they never changed it I'm guessing. Plugs I pulled out were the factory label Champions that all had a gap of around .85" from age I guess?


A few more addons:


It idles a little rough for my taste, although 700 RPM is the correct speed I believe.


I bought it with the P0132 and P0138 codes set (both o2 sensors), after clearing only the 138 came back so I pulled the rear o2 sensor which appeared to be OEM and the probe was bent, so I replaced it with a Bosch from autozone. Didn't see until after installing it that I shouldn't have bought that brand, I assume they'll exchange but I will wait to see if the 138 code comes back.


The ticking sound could be normal for all I know, as you can hear in the video there's an exhaust leak somewhere and the tick might not be audible if it was piped right.


With 169k I'm ruling the plenum out as being a problem since it had full oil at purchase and I changed it immediately and it's still full. Haven't done the magnet or mirror tests just yet.
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Last edited by Jeepguy05; 07-22-2014 at 09:06 AM..
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:36 AM
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Have a look at the plenum before ruling it out. The serious vacuum leak it can generate will make you run lean, and lead to spark knock. (pinging)
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:58 PM
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I thought I could hear a little bit of an exhaust leak, so that would be something you would want to get fixed. If both 02 sensors are original, with 169,000 miles on them there both bad. They are supposed to be replaced every 60,000 - 70,000 miles. Don`t use Bosch 02 sensors.


As HeyYou said above, don`t rule out the plenum, at 169,000 miles it needs to be done.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:48 PM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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Well it failed the magnet test (it sticks).

Mirror didn't help me any, but a flashlight and smartphone camera took some decent pictures. All I see is dried oil possibly but you pros might see more:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


And also now that I look closer you can see where I drug the magnet across the plate.
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Last edited by Jeepguy05; 07-23-2014 at 10:51 PM..
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:55 PM
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From what I see, you need to fix the plenum. I don`t see any pooling of oil, but there is more oil in the plenum than there should be.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:47 PM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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I'd have to pay a small shop to do the repair since I'm not comfortable with it, so are there more tests to confirm this is what's causing the ticking before I drop the big bucks?

If the tick is from it running lean I assume the long term consequnces are very bad for this engine.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:00 PM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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Well now I'm pretty sure the plenum gasket isn't blown because I tried a few gauge-less tests mentioned on the forum and it seems like I have plenty of vacuum.

After replacing the downstream o2 my p138 code has stayed out for almost 100 miles. I did get the P0301 cyl1 misfire but the light went off for that after another 20 miles.

Something interesting I saw though was that pouring windshield washer fluid (winter formula with methyl) into the intake helps clean with a seafoam-like effect. Anyone tried this?

My idle is still a little rough and dances around 700rpm in drive, and the ticking persists. Next I was planning on replacing PCV with an official Mopar one and doing the coil.

The P0132 code that was originally set when I bought the truck hasn't come back, but I'm wondering if replacing the pre-cat upstream o2 will stop the ticking? It sounds like on the forums that the first one is used by the engine to make lean/rich decisions.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:10 PM
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Ok, so now your trying to destroy your engine by pouring water into it ?, that's a great way to bend a rod, because water doesn`t compress. At 169,000 miles, any member here would tell you that replacing the plenum gasket is a must do at this point. either way though its up to you.


It is also recommended that you replace the timing chain also.
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Last edited by Ram Driver; 07-25-2014 at 09:39 PM..
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:23 PM
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Lots of reading to do;
http://dodgeram.org/tech/gas/Trouble/ping.htm

Tons of good information. The suggestion of using a black light dye in the motor oil and checking the bottom of the intake after driving a few hundred miles is definitely an interesting method and worth trying if you feel like experimentation.

Also check out this video:


He's got some other good repair videos as well. Definitely worth checking them out with you being new to the truck.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:13 AM
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I was just doing some searching on line, looking for information on magnum engines. I came across an article on the magnum 3.9 v6 engine that described the same exact problem your having with the pining noise. The article stated that the noise is coming from the timing chain, and the fix is to replace the timing chain and add a tensioner to the new timing chain, and this will fix the problem. So I guess this is a common problem on the magnum v6 engines. You can find the information in the link below.


http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...70810081,d.aWw
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:51 PM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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Yikes, well I definitely don't want to try that then. There's a reason certain things on the internet only appear in one place!

Thank you guys for the links I'm going to check this stuff out and hopefully get to the bottom of the bad idle and other noises. I'm going to fix the hole in the exhaust first so that stops driving me crazy.

EDIT: Wow that guy's channel is great! He has a 98 as well.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:18 PM
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Id be willing to bet your plenums no good. Its a huge known problem with magnum motors, and those vacuum tests are not good indicators it wont tell you anything unless you have a huge vac leak goin on. Timing chains are also known to stretch in magnums and replacing them with a good double roller is also recommended.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:03 PM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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Changed cap and rotor over the weekend (never did that before on any car!), other than swapping cyl 3 and 4 on reconnect everything went well and my idle is smoother now and the ping got a little quieter! Like was shown in the video, my cap was really worn on all the points, and the center coil input point had no spring at all!

New upstream O2 sensor this weekend as well.

One of the TSBs linked in that PDF showed re-routing of the IGN coil wire away from the plug wires making things run better, I'm probably going to try that next for good measure.

The plug wires aren't factory but they looked sort of new so I left them alone for now, but I am thinking replacement might be a good idea if they don't cost too much.

I have factory PCV valve on order from the dealer ($6 but rumor has it the Mopar one isn't noisy and works better).
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:39 PM
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Sounds like you're off to a great start!
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:13 PM
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Noticed a new one today, it's probably been happening for a while but...

On a cold start where it sat all night, thing runs pretty rough and pings like mad for the first 30 seconds (enough to set off the CEL sometimes), but after that it smooths out and is normal after about 2 minutes.

I don't get any other misfire codes after the engine warms up.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:00 PM
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When is the last time it was tuned up?
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:04 PM
Jeepguy05 Jeepguy05 is offline
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So far since I bought it:

- Plugs
- Cap/rotor
- PCV valve

And today I did the TSB to reroute the IGN coil wire away from the spark plug wires, and on the first cold start after I didn't hear the pinging. Only time will tell if this continues to work!

Also I bought a new IGN coil since the current one is a little rusty and the little plates are separating at the end.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:44 AM
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Good plan on coil.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:44 AM
 
 
 
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