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Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi Engine Failure



  • Wow, I had no idea so many had had the same problem I indured just before Christmas leaving my son's hockey game. we weren't even out of the parking lot before we heard that horrible sound, BANG! and then that constant very loud knocking. I knew right away the engine was gone. We did't even make it to the street light to leave the lot. I manage to hup it back in the lot at a crawl and then it stalled and died. Tried starting it again but nothing. I jumped out only to notice oil spilling from the buttom. I was in tears just about. I bought this truck second hand with 57 000 miles and had all the history from it from car proof. Turns out it was a lease return where previous owner made regular oil changes and maintenance done at dealership.
    I got the engine replaced with a 2005 5.7 hemi from a pick up truck with 39 000km on it but at a hefty price of $4000 installed and 90 day warranty. So far so good.
    Turns out my blown engine when mech"s took it out of the truck had a broken piston arm. which had the piston still in the cylinder and the reminder of the broken arm still connected to the crank which caused two large holes on both sides of the block from the arm swinging like mad around the crank.
    I asked how does this happen to the mechanic who himself drives a hemi and had no idea. I seen the damage with my own eyes and could not believe the size of both holes . 3 inchs in diameter and about 2" on the other side.

    Funny how I had just gave it an oil change the week prior. Engine was very clean, not sluge what so ever. Didnt bother with Chrysler due to it being a second hand car . Too bad.

    So now I have a just about new engine with a good looking truck again. it is a 2004 but still looks great, still turns heads. :sick:
  • We have a 2004 Dodge Durango with a Hemi engine. We have kept the maintenance up and it has about 100,000 miles. We just took a road trip last weekend without incident.

    Friday, my husband goes out, of course after cleaning the truck and making it shine, to go to the store and gets absolutely nothing except noise. No warning, no signs of a problem - absolutely nothing! The dang thing just died without warning. Our story is the same as most on this site - now we are debating whether or not to replace the engine because the exterior and interior of the truck is still in great condition. :cry:

    We are stumped! My husband found this site while searching for answers and we sure wish we had know this before making this purchase. :surprise:

    I understand that folks are thinking about a class action suit. If a suit is brought against chrysler (they don't deserve a capital letter), we are definitely in and will help lead the charge. :mad:
  • Any help available... My girlfriend parked her 2004 Durango 5.7 Hemi Friday after work, was running perfect, no noises no engine lights running great. Went out Tuesday morning to take her to dr and soon as hit the key BAM blown motor I am guessing, afraid to let run afraid the crank or rod will let go and ruin the block but I cant even find a rebuild kit. Help 83k miles and perfect body. Any help out there or from Dodge?
  • Sorry about the mess your in I was there last summer with the 06 hemi commander a few pages back, I repaired my hemi, the steel valve seat comes loose in the alum head gets under the valve then the piston breaks up the seat you might get lucky like me, for some reason its always the drivers side, I replaced 1# piston and rod assy, new head, gaskets and fluids about 700.00 doing the work myself becareful not to run the engine the rod could break the block and you will have to replace the engine also make sure who ever does the work to remove all the framents out of the plastic intake manifold or the same thing will happen again good luck
  • wow. SAME THING HERE.I came home from work on a thursday friday morning went to start the truck up. nothing we thought it was a starter husband changed it cranked it up heard banging.. and that was it the rod went through the oil sure what is gonna cost for a new motor but i love the truck.
  • I am looking at a 2004 Durango with 116,000 miles on it (for a second vehicle to tow a travel trailer). It is the limited edition with a Hemi in it. Is it worth the risk to buy this vehicle with this many miles on it? Thanks.
  • i got 5,000.00 from them for my 2004 i never gave up and a chrylser dealer never put the engin in for me i went to a privet place
  • kaykaywckaykaywc Posts: 6
    How did you get $5000.00? Was your truck still under warranty? How many miles did it have on it? Mine was out of warranty but it still should have lasted longer than it did. I ended up getting another motor and now I'm afraid the same thing will happen.
  • i have a 2004 88,000 miles out of warrenty the rod broke i belive in june and i finilly got the 5,000 from chrysler in dec if you want to talk e mail me at and i will give you my cell number
  • i had the same problem in 06. i called chrysler they did not help and had to get a new engine
  • I finally to got the bad engine from the mechanic that did the work for us.

    A full review of the finding is posted on a Chrysler related message board here:
  • dmacklindmacklin Posts: 1
    My 2004 Dodge Durango engine went on Saturday and the dealer told me the same happened to mine. Is there anything that can be done for this misfortune?
  • Call Chrysler customer service. It may take a couple of calls the first person I contacted was awful and very smartmouthed the second time I called I got a gentleman that realy knows what customer service is about. We had to take my girlfriends Durango to a Dodge dealer to have inspected and due to the low mileage and the aparent care taken of the Durango Chrysler is covering 75 percent of parts and labor. Only problem now is no motors are available so they are collecting new parts and building a new motor. We are on week three of the repair and still waiting on parts. The service manager has been great though.
  • I'm glad to hear that Chrysler is addressing the issue. I didn't even attempt to call Chrysler since our had over 130K and we were the 2nd owners.
    Considering the very, very, minimal wear on the internals of this Hemi I have decided to fix it. Yes I mean fix the block. For those who have some welding skills there are special materials available now for repairing cast iron. All I need to do is repair the hole in the block, replace one rod and one piston. There IS NO applicable bearing, ring, or cylinder bore ware I can find. I will reuse everything.
    I considered upgrading to forged rods but the price is pretty high. Aftermarket parts for these engines are ridiculous. I will probably take the rest of the stock rods and have them sonic checked but that is it.
  • akcamaiakcamai Posts: 9
    I just bought the travel trailer to go along with my 2004 Durango that has 106,500 miles on it. Would like to know how you make out. I would like to know if anyone else is pulling a trailer with theirs. My trailer is a 28ft Jayco weighing about 7,900. I don't want to trash my Durango and won't be going far since we live in Alaska and the beach is about 150 miles away.
  • Wow Carol,

    I hate to be negative since the specs for the Durango are well within what you need to pull that travel trailer.
    But all I can do is to reiterate what I have found by researching this rod failure issue.
    It seems to happen in '03 and '04 hemi powered truck applications and not cars.
    This DOES NOT MEAN your engine will fail. But knowing the facts gives you some options to consider. You might consider a car warranty that covers engine failures since your vehicle is well outside the manufactures warranty. Or, you might consider trading up to a Diesel 4 door (roomy) pickup that is the absolute best for trailer towing.
    The up side is the Hemi Durango with the optional tow package is a great vehicle to pull a trailer. I pulled a 20" car hauler with an antique car on it and it pulled it effortlessly. The 545RFE transmission in Hemi Durango has proven itself to be an excellent transmission. It is probably one of the best since the days of the bulletproof 3 speed automatics that powered most of the Chrysler vehicles since the late 1950s till the late 80s when the 4 spd automatics started to show up.
  • mjbuddmjbudd Posts: 9

    hoping you could help me out. My 04' durango w/ 104k miles just had it's engine blow while my husband was driving it on the highway. I'm so upset to find out this is a problem that Chrysler is aware of, thank god i was not in the car w/ my 2 year old son at the time.

    where can i find those previous cases on the nhtsa website and how did you contact chrysler to make this complaint. Did you just call a 800 #. Any help would be so much appreciated.

  • yes you can call chrysler customer service, i do belive its a 800 number, they will ask alot of questions, but the main thing will be records of service, they are willing to help if you have proof of oil changes and service,. good luck
  • mjbuddmjbudd Posts: 9
    I contacted chrysler and they refuse to do anything. I have made a formal complaint w/ the national highway and transportation and consumer protection. I encourage all owners to make formal compliants, it's the only way to bring this problem to the public eye and force chrysler to take responsibility.
  • We just had our second engine blow, so no, I would say it is definitely not worth it, we are so upset that we may never buy north american again.
  • mjbuddmjbudd Posts: 9
    Oh my god, i'm so sorry to hear that, can't imagine how frustrated you must be.

    Do you mind if i ask...did you put another 04 dodge motor in? What was the mileage?

    We are in the process of deciding what to do w/ our blown motor. Someone told us that the engine is failing because of the manifold. Has anyone else heard anything about this?

    We are considering putting a jasper motor in, i'm too scared to put another dodge motor in for this very reason. I feel like it would just be a ticking time bomb.
  • drrighteousdrrighteous Posts: 49
    A JASPER motor is just a rebuilt engine. It likely uses OEM Chrysler parts.
    The #1 reason for these failures is the connecting rods. The part number of the original rod has rolled in the Chrysler parts system, so a new rod (better) being used. This problem is primarly '04 Hemis, '05 Hemis are compatible but later ones are not direct bolt ins.
  • mjbuddmjbudd Posts: 9
    thanks for the info. the benefit of the JASPER motor is it comes w/ a 3 year warrantly.

    what do you mean by the part # has rolled in the chrysler parts system?
  • drrighteousdrrighteous Posts: 49
    It means there is a new version (part number) of the connecting rod/piston combo. When you purchase a replacement part, you are not getting the part as went in the original engine. Since the later Hemi engines vehicles don't suffer from the rod failure issues, that leads me to think this is an improve version.
  • gormlg1gormlg1 Posts: 1
    My 2004 Durango had a hole in the engine also. never any prior problems, loved the vehicle. driving down road, check engine light flashed, car died, towed to shop. cylinder #4 blew hole thru side of engine. Dodge says 'sorry, out of warranty' because it's got 91,855 miles on it!!!! I talked to case manager and supervisor and still same answer. Since somehow you got them to pay due to outside of warranty, can you share any info on a contact number/or name that you spoke to? my email is Despite my comments about several similar situations noted on here and that NHTSA website (including my own) they still deny there being any problem...any info you could do to help would be soooo much appreciated. Another engine with a 3yr/100k mile warranty is going to cost us about 7k (in NJ). THANK YOU
  • tbird37887tbird37887 Posts: 4
    The main thing that helped on my girlfriends Durango was the purchase history she had with Chrysler and the dealership where we went. The shop foreman has a lot to do with the call on fixing the vehicle. we had all the maintenance records in the vehicle when it was towed in. We called the 800 customer service number the first time no luck the second we got a knowledgeable young man who sent us to senior management. The appearance of the vehicle also played into the fact they repaired this Durango it still looks brand new! The only complaint I have with the repair is due to so many engines being replaced there are none available so the had to get a block and build from "scratch" so we got 1 year 12k mile waranties on individual parts instead of the three year 50k waranty. I would not give up, keep calling and trying but see if you can get through to senior management.
  • joswijoswi Posts: 1
    How are we going to sue Dodge?

    There is no way that "slodge" in any car or truck will destroy it completely with only 62,000 miles!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I think you mean "sludge", and yes, it is possible, but that's not the problem with the 5.7 hemi anyway, is it?
  • rockcutterrockcutter Posts: 1
    edited May 2011
    This is quite a conversation.
    I just had a phone call from the Dodge dealer, stating that I had a rod bearing failure, at 78,500 miles.

    After setting for a few days I went to start my Durango, and it had a funny sound coming from under the car. From what I gather it's the bearing on cylinder number eight. The cost to fix it over $4000 for a short block
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