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Going to be replacing my cylinder head gaskets on my 02 4.7 L dodge dakota this week. Any tips/trick before I open the hood?

Thanks!!
 

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110 HP, 11.1 MPG. FML
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why are you replacing them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
why are you replacing them?
loosing coolant, water out of the exhaust (allot) Air bubbles out of top rad hose/cap while running, bubbles increase as RPM is increased. With water temp at operating temperature, fluid flowing (no trapped air)
 

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110 HP, 11.1 MPG. FML
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has it been overheated?
 

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Going to be replacing my cylinder head gaskets on my 02 4.7 L dodge dakota this week. Any tips/trick before I open the hood?

Thanks!!
Is it your first time doing headgaskets?
 

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THE YETI
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I have complete MOPAR sets of these gaskets if you are interested. They are complete kits for head gasket swaps
 

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Label everything, and take your time, and if it is your first time, I would take photos every so often. You can refernce them later if you need to find out where something went.

I would replace your valve cover gaskets if they haven't been replaced in a while also.
 

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yeah, i burn up the tape in my label maker with ones like "ground bolt back of head" etc. the two harnesses that run along each head are pretty simple, but the ground ones i always forget where they go.
 

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sinse i am standing here in front of my truck with the head torn off, i will also add, take this oportunity to clean everything you can. pull the wheels and check your brakes, clean out the rears and grease the contact points on the linkage, etc.
 

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I'm in the same boat , I overheated and somehow cracked the passenger side head . I've never done a head replacement before how crazy is it ? Do you have any good tips ?
 

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Here are two important tips...

1. Do not break the timing chain guides when removing the head. I left mine installed and it made it a little more troublesome.

2. After you take out the 10 head bolts, don't forget the 4 smaller ones. Two are outside the head up front on top, and two are down inside the timing chain cover.
 

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Replace the rubber o rings on the injectors. At least replace the lower ones. They are probably hardened a bit from the heat. if you do not replace them, at least use some oil on them before you press them back into the head.
 

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i have to replace my passenger head this week, already got a head fo $100, its t the machine shop getting checked out. i just want to know, how can i get around not removing the timming set inside the lower cover? the manual says i need special tools that i cant get. ndf is it necesary to replace the chain guides?
 

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I realize this post is long since dead, but thought I would post this in case it helps someone else out. You can ABSOLUTELY do a head replacement on the 4.7 Durango without pulling the front timing cover, if you are very careful and think it through. Just finished one tonight. I zip-tied the cam sprocket to the timing chain (so it couldn't jump), while still attached to the cam, and then used wire to tie the sprocket to the hood through the large square hole on the interior side of the hood - this kept tension on the sprocket so that the chain could not fall. I then pulled the head bolts (10 large, 4 small at the front), took everything apart, pulled the camshaft sprocket bolt and the two timing guide bolts, and braced the head up about four inches. This let me access the chain from underneath the head, where I ran fishing line through the chain on each side (tricky but can be done) and tied it tight to a small wood dowel slid across the head (UNDER the old head gasket against the block - don't forget you need to remove that gasket), parallel in front of the chain. Once the chain was secure this way, I could untie the cam sprocket wire from the hood and let the cam sprocket go loose (the zip tie still holding it's orientation to the chain, the dowel and fishing line preventing the chain from falling into the engine). This gave me more room to slide the head out, and let me lift the head the rest of the way off. Tip - undo that *&#$ing ground strap that's hidden waaay on the back of the left head first!! ;)

Make sure you don't rotate the cam at all while the head is out, in order to keep the alignment!

When I put it back together, I put the new head gasket in and put it on the rear alignment pin, lifted the head back on over the slack chain, lined up the exhaust and the rear alignment pin, fed my sprocket wire through the head and tied the cam sprocket wire back to the hood (which tightened the chain for alignment of the sprocket with the cam once the head is down all the way) and then cut away the fishing line, removed the small wooden dowel, slipped the gasket over the front alignment pin and dropped the head into place. Cam sprocket went right back on the cam no problem.

Worked like a charm and saved me about a zillion headachy hours - I don't do this crap for fun so the LESS I gotta do on this nightmare the better! Hope it saves someone, somewhere, from having to rip the entire front off the engine - once you've done this job once or twice, you can actually do it in a couple hours, it's really not that bad and first time is by far the worst.
 
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