Dodge Durango = Sludge Engine

Messages
2,480
I've read these before and always wondered the magical question: Why? There are so many complaints....and not all can be from poor maintenance. Right? Either the factory interval TOO long or are people using the wrong oil type/grade. What is the recommended grade in these engines? If it's 5-30, can a generic no-name 5-30 conv. make the cut for the required interval?
 
Messages
233
Location
Midwest
ACCUMULATION OF FOAMY OIL EMULSION 4.7L ENGINE OIL FILL HOUSING Date: 09/11/00 (02/00) Bulletin # 090100A (supercedes 090100) Model year(s): 1999-2000 Description:A customer may complain of an oil emulsion accumulation inside the engine oil fill housing. The oil emulsion will normally be foamy and be gray or light brown in color. The emulsion accumulation will often occur on cooler engine surfaces, like the inside of the oil fill housing. Modern engine oils are designed to address the oil emulsion phenomenon. Oil emulsion accumulation is normal and will not damage the engine A new baffle and a revised oil fill housing cap have been released. The baffle and oil cap will help to reduce the amount of oil emulsion accumulation within the oil fill housing. Details: If the customer has experienced this issue, then perform the Repair Procedure. Parts required: 53032126AA Baffle, Oil Fill Housing 53032389AC Cap, Oil Fill Housing
 
Messages
179
Location
Forest Hill MD
Gee, it all sounds so innocent, but as this mechanic says: "It indirectly admits that they have a problem and attempts to cover up the fact that the engine is (in trade terms) a smog sludge motor," Automan told us. "They have you put a different valve cover and baffle on the engine in an attempt to hide the fact that the engine develops sludge." "Anyone who pulls the cap off the oil fill and finds crud and sludge on the oil cap should be worried," Automan advises. Troy (Automan is an ASE-certified master mechanic. He runs an independent auto repair shop in North Carolina. )
 
I was employed at Dollar Rent-A-Car for 7 years as the shop foreman.We always had Durangos in the fleet,changed the oil at 7500 miles(10w30 Union 76 with a Fram made filter) and NEVER had one single engine failure.We kept these vehicles for up to 30K.The 4.7 is a great engine,my 2002 Dodge truck has one and it's clean as a whistle inside.Any sludge problems are due to the owner(s) not maintaining the vehicle.
 
Messages
3,683
Location
Chattanooga, TN
A freind purchased one of these as a certified vehicle. It died on them shortly thereafter. Sludge. Dealer did not replace engine but flushed or somehow cleaned it out and a few months now appears to be running okay. Assume it was a e leased vehicle but do not know, had about 30,000 on it.
 
Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
quote:
Originally posted by troy_heagy: Gee, it all sounds so innocent, but as this mechanic says: "It indirectly admits that they have a problem and attempts to cover up the fact that the engine is (in trade terms) a smog sludge motor," Automan told us. "They have you put a different valve cover and baffle on the engine in an attempt to hide the fact that the engine develops sludge." "Anyone who pulls the cap off the oil fill and finds crud and sludge on the oil cap should be worried," Automan advises. Troy (Automan is an ASE-certified master mechanic. He runs an independent auto repair shop in North Carolina. )
That is not sludge. It's a mixture of water vapor and oil vapor condensing in the cold oil filler tube. The 4.7 is not a sludge engine provided that at least rudimentary maintenance is performed on it. It's the design of the oil filler tube/PCV valve location that causes it to happen. The GM 2.2L OHV and 2.3L "Quad 4" engines also developed this, (a similar designed oil filler tube...Imagine that!) and I can't think of a single situation where it was determined that one of these engines failed because of it. Quit using unfounded scare tactics to draw people away from an excellent engine. BTW, the majority of the people who have complaints listed on that website do not even have the 4.7L engine in their Durangos. It wasn't an option till 2000, and a lot of these complaints are about 1998 or 1999 models, which would have had the 5.2 or 5.9 engines. This engine was virtually indestructible, and never ever had sludge problems with normal (or even shotty) maintenance schedules. Just look at the car-dumb people that don't even know what's under the hood of their vehicles. I realize there are people out there that don't have clue one about cars, but some of these complaints seem too far-fetched to even be believeable. OK, I'll get off my soap box now. -Mike Proud owner of a 2001 Dodge Durango 4.7L with 105,000 completely trouble-free miles on it.
 
Messages
782
Location
Alberta
After reading a little about these sludging issues (in Toyota’s too), I can’t help but wonder if these cases are a result of using heavier weigh oils like 10w-40’s. The 5w/10w-30’s have virtually all been Grp II basestocks since the mid-late 1990’s. But the heavier weigh blends could still meet spec’s using Grp I. I read a comment somewhere that 10w-40’s, 15w-40 and 20w-50’s were a dumping ground for Grp I basestocks in the late 90’s and maybe well into the 2000’s. Some of these engines may have been harder on oils trying to meet the latest emissions, and in the case of Toyotas, simply a bad design (or manufacturing defect) that was brutal on the oil. But a lot of people with these engines (Toyota sludge monsters) had no problem, so the Grp II oil users may have been able to get away with no problems whereas the people going a little too long on a engine that was hard on the oil with a Grp I based oil may have ended up with serious problems.
 
Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
quote:
Originally posted by thunderchild: GTMike: Thank you for that. i am tired of telling people this. The 4.7 is a great engine. No maintanance, no engine!
You probably know me on the DOC as "TheDodgeGuy". Never bothered to change my username here from back in the days when I had my Grand Prix. (The one and only GM car that I've ever owned)
 

VNT

Messages
258
Location
Maine
Just more dumb people. If 4.7 or 5.2/5.9 were sludge prone, why not in Rams, DAKS, BVans or by extension Ramchargers old rams or any LA based mopar?? Many on JU board have 200K plus miles on their 99 WJ's. No issues with the 4.7 if maintained.
 
Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
quote:
Originally posted by MonkeyWrench73: So I guess its a good Idea to run a good quality synthetic in the 4.7/3.7 just in case.
In case of what? The oily "snot" will appear whether you use the best of the best synthetics or the cheapest dino oil on the market, and the engine will last 200,000+ miles on either one.
 
Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
quote:
Originally posted by thunderchild: GTMike: I am on that site almost everyday. This is a good site. I have learned alot here.
Another thing...Wouldn't a vehicle specific owner's club be the first to notice or mention a known problem? Over at the DOC and/or Dakota-Durango.com, it's never been mentioned, whith the exception of this consumeraffairs.com site which is what is used there to exemplify people's ignorance when it comes to vehicles, or just something to laugh at. Nobody that I know of on either site has ever lost an engine due to sludge. That should tell you something right there...The people that (supposedly) had engines fail probably have just barely enough automotive knowledge to properly insert the gasoline filler nozzle into the filler neck. The DOC has been beneficial in being the first to know about other problems these vehicles have, such as upper ball joints (long before they were recalled), governor pressure solenoids, and even stupid things like the fix for the front end squeak (lube the swaybar bushings). If sludge problems actually existed in normally maintained engines, there would be much talk about it on the DOC, but as it turns out, there's none whatsoever. So who ya gonna believe? Durango enthusiasts, or the car-dumb general public? I know where I'll be getting my advice, that's for sure.
 
Messages
6,384
Location
New Braunfels
My wife did service tickets and warranty claims for a dodge dealer for a few years unti early 2004. Sludge was alwyas an issue but so were customers who whould never change the oil and were really ignorant about car care. Nothing against the good Dodge owners who know what to do with their vehicles but seriously Dodge attracts the lowest denominator of vehicle owners at times. These are usually the poorest and least educated of automotive customers. Once again this is not a blanket statement just a sociological observation.
 
Messages
172
Location
Louisiana
Have a 4.7 Durango 4x4 in the family and the engines are known for durability like the 318's are. Wish I could say the same for the transmission and rearend...lol
 
Messages
1,304
Location
Kankakee, IL
We get white (light Brown) foam on oil caps that have a small to long extension for filling all the time in winter around here and never in the summer. Normal. Get over it. Now carboned up black stuff in the valvetrain now that is SLUDGE!!!
 
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