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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Oil Pressure problem

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  #1  
Old 01-02-2010, 05:52 PM
jeepfourfun jeepfourfun is offline
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Default 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Oil Pressure problem

Hi all, I have a question about my truck....it is an '03 Ram 1500 4X4 Hemi with 85k....and it just recently started spazzing out while I'm driving. The "check gauges" light intermittently goes on and off, and when it does, the oil pressure gauge drops to zero. Then it goes right back up. Sometimes it lasts 10 seconds, sometimes it only drops about 1/8" and then returns. So I'm thinking this is easy- sensor, right? Well, and this is the kicker, there's a knocking sound coming from underneath my oil pan now. Again, intermittently. It seems to always knock around the 800-1900 RPM range, no other times.

So autopart store dude says to replace the oil pump (after he asked me if I'd checked the oil.DUH!!!). I'm not convinced. After reading a lot of threads and posts on this site, I'm thinking it could be the fill tube, clogged screen, bearings, any number of things. My question is- how do I know what the culprit is? If it is the pump, how hard is it to replace? I'm not an "ace" under the hood, but I've pulled transmissions and replaced clutches and rear main seals, so I do consider myself capable.

Any help, ideas, suggestions, etc would be GREATLY APPRECIATTED!!!!

oh- and no, I'm not driving it 'till this is fixed. Sitting in the driveway collecting snow right now.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:26 PM
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First off, you need to check it with a real pressure gauge and see what is going on. A mechanical gauge will give you a better idea of what is happening. Sounds like you may have a clogged pick-up screen.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:23 PM
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I installed a new 'oil switch' awhile back after having similar symptoms on my 5.7L.
Location is just above the oil filter. Slide out a little the connector colored key before pulling on the connector.
Chrysler-dealership, list 22.35 paid 15.00 +tax. for the 5.7L 2500.
P/N 5149097aa , its called 'Switch-oil'.

The tread;
http://dodgeforum.com/forum/3rd-gen-...-diagnose.html

I dissected the switch and found rust may be the culprit.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:21 PM
jeepfourfun jeepfourfun is offline
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Thanks guys...I will try both of those ideas soon (hopefully today). I'd be stoked if I replaced the "oil switch" and that cured it, but I have my doubts.

So I know the manual pressure gauge will tell me if I really have presssure or not, and if it says I do, then my pump and everything below can be assumed functional? If not, start ripping the pan off? And would a clogged screen make that terrifying noise from the oil pan? Thanks a ton guys!!!!!
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:54 PM
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If it has been starved for oil, It is probably bearing noise and you mine as well pull the engine.
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:42 AM
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Ok...so I had 2 guys who know 10X about trucks what I do listen to mine and they both agreed.....I'M SCREWED. So I thought I'd take this moment to vent. I struggle to pay my bills on time every month- but I do. It's sometimes hard to put food on my family's plate every night- but by God I always find a way. I give blood every 6 weeks, pray to God every night before I go to bed, bleed Red, White and Blue, SO WHY THE HELL AM I GETTING SO SCREWED?!?!?!? I still owe $13k on my Ram, which is basically a pile sitting in the driveway right now, and a new engine is gonna run me at LEAST $4k. So forget the nice $0.00 balance I just payed off on my credit card, just go more into debt, right?!? It's the American way! Maybe some nobody will come bail me out one day......oh wait- that only happens on Wall St. I knew this was coming, just trying to delay the inevitable. No idea where I go from here. Do I trade in and take a HUGE loss? Buy a crate engine? Rebuilt? Dealership? Private repair shop? I can only see 2 positives POSSIBLY stemming from this......1) I trade in and get a Cummins Diesel out of this (at a significant loss) or 2). I replace the Hemi I have now with a rebuilt or crate and repair this one and drop it in that 'ole 83 CJ7 sitting in the garage (again, at a significant loss). A Jeep with a Hemi would be sweet.......sorry for the ranting and rambling, I just feel really really ticked off because I feel like this should never happen to someone like me. I know how to work on cars.......I know what's smart and what's dumb......I know how hard it is to feed the mouths of a wife and 2 year old and 1 year old little girls....anyways....any new suggestions feel free to chime in. Thanks guys. CHEERS?
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:06 AM
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What exactly did your buddies that know 10x more say? Its screwed? Cause these motors tick regardless, mines only got 20,000 kms on it and it ticks... If i were you Id hook up a manual pressure gauge and get down to the bottom of it before you go jumping to conclusions.. It must just be that month cause Ive read just tonight 3 guys talkin about there oil gauges acting up.. No offence but after reading this you sound like the guy that has a car that turns over and wont start and says trash it before diagnosing it.. Its not the end of the world man, i know life sucks sometimes but you just gotta roll with the punches.. Diagnose it PROPERLY and fix whatevers wrong.. even if its a pull the motor to replace the pump job, it can be done, I wouldnt go throwing the truck at a dealership and taking the loss on it!
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:22 PM
jeepfourfun jeepfourfun is offline
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So I listened to your advice and went to dive into the oil pan this morning, and when I drained the oil, I got about 2 qts out. That's all. Slimy, not sludgy, but black and less than half of what should have been there. I can't explain it- I checked it last week and it was fine. Anways- on a shot in the dark I threw 5 new qts in there and let it sit, then fired it up and the noise was gone. My new question is- am I really that lucky? Or did I do internal damage that's just gonna sit like a time bomb? What should I do next? Thanks guys!
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:31 PM
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I had the same thing happen w/ my 00 mustang. Pulled the pil plug and about 1 qt came out...I had just checked it recently, and it wasn't burning oil as far as I knew. I however wasn't as lucky as you. One pulled engine later, I found a spun rod bearing right up at the front of the crank shaft.

Replaced the engine w/ a 2ok mile engine from a yard for 800 and got a 30k mile mach transmission for 300 and a few weeks later it was finally all set.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:42 AM
Lifted4x4Astro Lifted4x4Astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfourfun View Post
I got about 2 qts out. That's all.

on a shot in the dark I threw 5 new qts in there and let it sit, then fired it up and the noise was gone.
First things first...use the dipstick! Your 5.7L Hemi engine takes 7 quarts so you are still 2 quarts low. Add 2 more and keep an eye on it. If it goes to knocking then you gotta look at swapping a used engine in. You can find them for a little over $1k...http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2004-...item19b8fdec72

Always remember that whatever happens, you still have a wife and 2 awesome kids there by your side. In 10 years you'll look back on this and laugh as you are driving something different.

Last edited by Lifted4x4Astro; 01-06-2010 at 07:45 AM..
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:22 PM
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Lifted4x4Astro, could not have say ed it any better. The endearing wife and the two babies are looking at you for the strength and love. Hang in there.

That dang dip stick is hard to read and can be mis read very easily. If you are not seeing white smoke and you didn't say seeing a stringing oil leak under side and the oil color was dark, maybe the oil did just work down and the engine was beginning to tell you, it wasn't doing the greatest.
If there is a conditioner (etching) to apply to the dip stick make it more readable, I would like to hear about it, anyone? I've tried rough sanding.

Hope you caught it in time, TLC it awhile and maybe it'll last a small longer. My engine ticks and it is about 9500 on the odo. These engines are strong and will take a beating.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:53 PM
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Run 10w30 and check the oil level everytime you get gas, which is often with these trucks haha. The oil is probably getting past the rings so a slightly thicker oil will help you out. If the engine ends up letting go just get a salvage engine, I put one in my truck with no problems.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:38 PM
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If the noise is gone and the pressure stays up, the drive it. You may have gotten lucky.
Might look into a pcv valve. Sometimes they can go bad and allow oil to be sucked into the intake.
Run the recommended 5w20 or 5w30, whichever.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:52 PM
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LxMan1, do you think this will be just another DF tread that will go w/o closure? We go scratching our heads with question of the fix to the one that came HERE seeking support/suggestings? The DF members lose the benefit of a outcome to see if there is a trend/pattern to watch for the Dodge vehicle.
It would be a nice thing to have on the forum to have a switch for all thread originators, that would be questioned (after a time of idle activity of the originator) for closure for each placed thread and key it to not take anymore post.
Just my .02.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:55 PM
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Talking oil pressure(dont have any)

hello jeepfourfun did you ever figure out your problem,i have a 2004 and my truck is doing the same thing,my engine light never comes on but i do have a very loud ticking and when i give it more gas while driving i dont have power it hesitates because not enough oil is getting to the lifters ime told,i do not drive it since i have noticed the problem but am curiouse to know if you figured out the problem or if anyone has:
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:06 PM
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Either use a mechanical gauge to see exactly what your pressure is and if it is good then replace the oil pressure sensor above the oil filter.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:20 AM
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Thanks will giver a try
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:30 PM
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Weed, I've wanted to install a mechanical gauge under the hood.
Question; Where would a good place to get an oil pressure tap? Could it be a 'T' off the existing dash gauge sensor tap location above the oil filter? If adding a 'T' tap before the existing sensor would there be adequate pressure to both being the 'T' would slide the existing sensor further from the main flow pressure?
Thks.

5.7 Hemi.
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Last edited by oneHEMI57; 06-12-2012 at 12:38 PM.. Reason: none
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:05 PM
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That's pretty much the only way to do it. Go to Lowes or some place of the like and get the brass nipple and T. The nipple goes in the block. The oil sensor and mechanical line go to the T and the T goes to the nipple.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:48 PM
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Thanks Weed. Thats what I'll try, to have something on the engine to reference to with a base line if other indicators begin to stray. I see analog gauges on hot-rodder engines all the time.

Those wheels look hot.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:48 PM
 
 
 
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