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Changing Spark Plugs - 2003 Ram 2500 Hemi

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Old 03-06-2011, 08:45 PM
spud83672 spud83672 is offline
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Default Changing Spark Plugs - 2003 Ram 2500 Hemi

Ok so my truck has over 144k miles on it. I bought the truck used in 2005 and it had 53k miles on it then. I dreaded even the concept of trying to change out the spark plugs due to some posts regarding stripping out the threads and then needing to have the heads drilled/tapped again. Geech that would really suck.

But, I want you all to know that I finally swallowed my fear and dove head first into this project this morning. $60.00 for new plugs - and I stuck with the OEM Champion plugs and one new $45.00 coil pack. 12 hours later, and the job is done - sort of.

I started with the first two plugs on the passenger side and gapped them to .045, installed them, then installed the spark plug boot and coil pack, spark plug boot and electrical connection on the coil pack. Then moved to the next set of plugs and repeated all the way to the drivers side.

I'm here to tell you that the last two sets of plugs under the brake booster is quite a challenge. But be smart, and remove the air bellows on of the engine. There are only two small 3/8" bolts in the front holding it on along with a small electrical connection just off to the left center in the front.

Now, when I got the engine all put back together, I fired up the truck. *lope, lope, lope.....dead...." WTH? So, I checked all electrical connections again and re-sat each spark plug boot again (multiple times) and the truck finally fired up but not without an engine code.

I drove down to the local auto parts store to get the code checked out and it said it was a bad air intake temperature - high temp gauge. But, I haven't changed this yet. I also noticed that there was a small grounding wire on the passenger side of the block that went from a rubber grommet to and looped over the top of a stud. This is located directly on the top center of the valve cover on the passenger side. Thinking this might be the culprit to why the truck was loping and then dying, I changed that out but to no avail. I think I'll try the air temp sensor tomorrow to see if that fixes the issue.

Attached are some pictures of what spark plugs look like that are well worn beyond their use. These should have been changed years ago, but again my fear was holding me back. It shouldn't have because I had absolutely NO issues at all removing them and will keep up with the 30k mileage requirement of changing them like they should be.

The gaps varied in size from .070 to .085 on the old plugs. Quite a bit of difference than what is recommend.

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  #2  
Old 03-06-2011, 08:54 PM
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MikeHTally MikeHTally is offline
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Yeah, those gaps are pretty big! $60 for plugs? Ouch! "Air bellows"? What's that?
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:13 PM
spud83672 spud83672 is offline
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I'm a computer guy, so the way I describe parts probably isn't what it should be for an automotive forum.

Air bellows - That dealio above the motor that says Dodge Ram Hemi 5.7L on it. The air filter 4" hose connects to it along with the oil vent pipe.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:46 PM
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MikeHTally MikeHTally is offline
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That's the Hem-Hat and the PCV feed back to the intake. That's the oil filler, BTW. What plugs did you use?
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:54 PM
spud83672 spud83672 is offline
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Ha! Hemi Hat... Good name for it.

Right side of the Hemi Hat has an input for the rubber hose that comes off the oil fill. Center of the Hemi Hat has an air temp sensor and the Hemi Hat "plugs" into the throttle body and is secured to the top of the intake manifold with two bolts on the front corners of the Hemi Hat.

Plugs used - Champion Single Platnum #3570 gapped at .045"
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:58 PM
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MikeHTally MikeHTally is offline
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That explains the $60. Platinums are not recommended in the Hemi. The plug change interval makes it kinda expensive.

Let the flaming begin.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:08 PM
spud83672 spud83672 is offline
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Damnit! Those were the recommended plugs from Champion's website because I couldn't find Champion #RE14MCC4 plugs anywhere in my town.

http://www.championsparkplugs.com/re...p?AAIA=1413504
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:59 PM
Wanderer Wanderer is offline
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"Spud"

While the recomended plug is the copper core Champion, some on this site have stated they had no problems with the platinums. I am interested in the difficultly you experienced in removing the plugs after 8 years and 144K or at the bare minium 90K.

Looking at the plugs, it says alot about the flexibiilty of the control module to keep the motor running. Keeps us advised on how you resolved the current issue. With the hours you put in, hopefully it's not the motor rejecting the platiniums.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:10 PM
spud83672 spud83672 is offline
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The plugs weren't that hard to get out actually. Just the normal push or pull on the ratchet got them out easily.

I'm wondering now too if the Platnum plugs are the culprit in why the engine won't throttle up smoothly.

I guess I'll run these for the week and then change them out again next weekend. I'll have to order the correct plugs online.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:10 PM
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My Champs were about $1.78 locally
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:10 PM
 
 
 
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