4.7 Dodge Engine Problems: Is It A Reliable Engine?

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4.7L Dodge V8 engines are mighty and are used in big vehicle brands. Over its three generations, there have been seamless improvements to enhance its efficiency.

However, this engine has problems that the owner must understand. If you don’t have the right solutions, your engine will not last long.

This article will help you to modify the review of the three common problems and their solutions.

What is a Dodge 4.7L V8 Engine?


Dodge 4.7L V8 engine is an eight-cylinder gasoline engine that made its initial market appearance in 1999 in Jeep Grand Cherokee. It also appeared in Dodge vehicles between 2000 and 2002. The engine was a replacement for a 4.0L inline-six engine.

Vehicles Have Dodge 4.7L V8 Engine & Specifications

The engine has three generations that are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations.

1st Generation

The first generation powerhouse engine boasts a displacement of 4.7 L with a bore and stroke of 3.66 in times 3.405 in. It has a compression ratio of 9.0:1, and it uses aluminium cylinders and a cast-iron block. It produces a horsepower of 235 at 4,600 rpm with a revolution of up to 6,000rpm. In addition, it has a five-star automatic transmission. Although the first-generation engines aren’t currently powerful, it was good during the 2000s.

Some of the cars that use this engine include;

  • 2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen
  • 2006-2007 Mitsubishi Raider
  • 2002-2007 Dodge Ram 1,500
  • 2000-2009 Dodge Durango
  • 2006-2009 Jeep Commander
  • 1999-2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2nd Generation

Chrysler updated its 1st generation engine in 2002 to High-output. Therefore, second-generation 4.7LDodge engines are more powerful than the 1st Generation. It has more compression ratio and has more power; it churns out 265 horsepower. In addition, it has more torque (447Nm). Some of the vehicles with second-generation 4.7L Dodge engines include;

  • 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2007-2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2007-2008 Dodge Dakota & Dodge Ram 1500

3rd Generation

This is the last Generation of this powerful engine. The manufacturer, Chrysler, calls the engine Corsair. 3rd generation engines have exceptional improvement, including a higher compression ratio, that is 9.8:0, and an enhanced intake fold and camshaft. Moreover, it has a new combustion system design and two spark plugs per cylinder. Third Generation 4.7L engines use SAE 5W-20 oil for lubrication. As we expect, the engine has the highest horsepower and torque. Although the engine isn’t strong by modern standards, the updates make it acceptable in this era.

3rd generation engines are used in Dodge vehicles that use the second-generation engine, such as:

  • 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2007-2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2007 Dodge Ram
  • Dodge Dakota. 

After stopping the manufacturer of the engine in 2013, Chrysler has been using third-generation Hemi engines.

How Long Does Dodge 4.7L Engine Last?

A 4.7L engine longevity depends on how you maintain it; with excellent maintenance, it goes beyond 150,000 miles. With adequate maintenance, it can last for several years. Like other engines, the 4.7L Dodge engine does not like overheating. In addition, ensure you have a clean coolant and be sure operating temperatures are optimal. Moreover, change the PCV regularly. Other essential maintenance includes regular changing of oil, plugs, and other fluids.

With such normal maintenance and fixing, the engine extends 150,000 miles. However, this span applies when the engine is under an average work role and optimal working conditions.

Dodge 4.7L Engine Problems

Overheating and Cooling System Problems

Like in other engines, overheating and cooling issues are common in 4.7L Dodge engines. Cooling and overheating problems can come from several cooling system parts, such as the cooling fan, thermostats, radiators, coolant hoses, and the water itself.

Some of the symptoms that point toward cooling system problems are;

  • Visible leakage of the coolant
  • Low coolant levels
  • Discernible overheating steam under the hood.

Cooling system issues can be minor initially, but if you don’t correct them early, they become bigger and cause problems to other systems.

Suppose your engine overheats, park it in a neutral position, and turn off the air conditioner. Parking ensures that the fan water pumps faster to pull more air and water onto the radiator. Furthermore, ensure you open the hood to enhance air circulation throughout the hot engine.

Head Gasket Problem

A head gasket issue is serious; therefore, it requires immediate attention. The most common cause of a blown head gasket is overheating, which leads to thermal expansion and subsequent crashes. A non-functioning head gasket can manifest in several ways, such as overheating, poor starting, oil contamination, external leak, and smoking. Other signs are;

  • Unexplained loss of the coolant
  • Milk white oil discoloration
  • Bubbling in the coolant reservoir and radiator

Moreover, a blown head gasket can manifest by loss of engine power due to low cylinder compression. In case of a problem with the head gasket, shut down the engine without releasing any pressure. After that, hire a professional mechanic to assess your vehicle. If replacements are necessary, only use manufacturer-recommended gaskets or one with more quality.

Oil Sludge Problem

Oil sludge refers to forming a solid or gel due to oil solidification at temperatures greater than 100 degrees Celsius. It is a primary cause of internal engine combustion problems that may require engine replacement in case of severe damages.

The primary cause of oil sludge is a defective or poor crankcase ventilation system. Oil sludge commonly occurs when there is a neglect of oil changes or when a car is extensively driven with low oil levels. Oil sludge is also due to the presence of a greasy substance inside the oil filter or low care pressures.

You can diagnose engine oil sludge if there is a thick layer of oil residues on the engine’s crankcase. Before treating an oil sludge, a mechanic must dismantle the engine and its related arts to assess the extent of the damage. He will then remove the sludge and identify the reason for its existence. 

Sum Up

There have been three generations of 4.7L Dodge V8 engines since 2000. Each Generation is better in terms of torque and horsepower. However, these engines have similar cooling system issues, overheating, oil sludge, and head gasket problems.

Read more: Chrysler 3.8L V6 Engine Problems: Is It A Good Engine?

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