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The "Handy" 4.7L Valve Train Refresh - 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quadcab 2WD

HandyCruiser

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The 4.7L Magnum V8 in my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Quadcab needs a valve train refresh. The thing has always ticked at idle since I bought it new in November 2002. But now it's gotten pretty loud. It has about 260,000 miles on it and the timing chain is just about done. But I figure I've got a little time left. So I'm planning on doing some minor upgrades if I can find all the parts.

First on the list is a set of camshafts from a 4.7L HO engine. These should give me upward of 30 extra ponies if mated with the right intake manifold. No PCM tuning should be needed, but I have a friend up in Canada that can likely load a PCM with a canned performance tune for me. My cost on these with shipping and tax was about $225.

HO Camshafts.jpg

The HO intake I found costs me around $105.

HO Intake.jpg

These were the hardest parts to find. I could use the same parts from a standard 2008/2009 4.7L and could get almost the same increase in horsepower. But those have the wire-operated throttle like our modern Hemi engines. An adapter kit to use my cable throttle would be over $200. So using these old HO parts from a 2000 to 2004 Jeep with the HO engine are the best bang for my buck.

Next on the list will be some 2008 rockers, lifters and a whole new timing kit. I will not know if I need new timing sprockets until I tear her down and inspect. More to come. 😉
 

HandyCruiser

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Here in 2021, what are the best parts to use when doing a 4.7L valve train refresh in a 2003 Ram 1500? At 260,000 miles, the chain in my 4.7L is getting loud. So far I've obtained a set of HO camshafts, an HO intake manifold and a set of used 2005 or newer rockers with the smaller oil holes. Here's a list of things I still need and the questions I have:

1. What brand of timing set is best? Should I get one of the popular and very affordable sets from Amazon, or go with a US made set like Melling?

2. Is the "professional" Melling timing set worth the extra $80 over the standard Melling timing set for an everyday truck?

3. Do I need to replace the timing sprockets? Should I go ahead and get a timing set that includes them or wait until I get into the engine to inspect the old ones? Do they often need replacing?

4. I have the slightly newer style NGC engine. Should I go ahead and use a timing cover gasket or just use RTV like I believe came from the factory? I will definitely replace the crank seal.

5. New oil pump needed? Yes or no?

6. Any other things to consider?

My skill level is ASE certified Master Tech. But I haven't worked professionally in a shop since I became a college boy in the 1980's. I'm looking for advice specifically from folks that know and love the 4.7 and 3.7 engines. That advice is highly appreciated. And I will use it when purchasing the parts I need. ;)

Oh... And here's my first attempt at a parts list:

1633191080319.png
 

HandyCruiser

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Just added a set of new lifters to my parts list. Power Seal (formerly Federal-Mogul) is known for quality lifters. And at $19.99 for a 4-pack, I snagged all four packs.

Ram Lifters 3Oct021_01.jpg
 

HandyCruiser

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I decided not to get a new oil pump. Changing it would mean pulling the oil pan to remove the pickup tube. I was only going to replace the oil pump because I thought it would be easy to do with the timing components removed. But since the pan must be dropped too, it's not worth it. I still have great oil pressure and these pumps last a long time if not clogged with sludge or metal shavings.

Here's my Rock Auto invoice.

Ram RockAutoValveStuff-4Oct2021.jpg
 

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