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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently purchased a 2002 Dodge Dakota SLT Club Cab 4x4 (VIN 1B7GG42N32S626904) possessing what I believed to be a 4.7L V8 SOHC engine under the hood — the build sheet confirms that this truck shipped from the factory with the 4.7L V8, the air hat under the hood states "4.7L V8", and there are a total of (8) spark plugs. However, since taking possession of the truck I've discovered that it has apparently been heavily modified from stock. A few examples:
  1. VECI label under the hood references a 2003 3.9L V6 instead of a 2002 4.7L V8
  2. Driver & Passenger Windows are etched with a VIN that differs from that of the truck
  3. Front Grille is now body color instead of the OEM chrome
  4. Front Bumper is black steel instead of the OEM chrome
  5. Front Bumper Cover doesn't include the OEM fog lamps
  6. Rear Bumper is now black instead of the OEM chrome
  7. Tailgate badge lists "SXT" trim instead of SLT per the OEM Build Sheet
Vehicle History reports indicate the vehicle has never had a reported accident or been totaled, but it appears the windows, tailgate, bumpers, and hood may have all been replaced with boneyard parts for some reason. In addition, there's evidence that the engine has been pulled and possibly replaced at some point — many engine-to-body components are missing fasteners or are installed in non-OEM ways, and the engine block itself has been painted. With this in mind, I'm taking nothing for granted on the truck since so much appears to be modified from stock.

I'm currently in the process of attempting to perform a tune-up which requires ordering engine-specific parts, and I need to know specifically what size V8 I have to ensure the correct parts. I would also like to know if the 104,000 miles currently on the odometer are representative of the actual mileage on the engine.

I've searched high and low for an identifying part or serial number on the block in an effort to locate a casting number cross-reference to date of manufacture or displacement, and have managed to locate several numbers. My problem is I've spent the better part of a week both searching high and low online and working with Dodge customer service, and I've been unsuccessful at decoding them. Here are the numbers I've located thus far, along with the location found:
  1. 53020661AGK (Driver side of block, just above the starter)
  2. 301 9 (Plate located on passenger side front of block, just below the valve cover)
  3. 53020801 13L AA (Front of driver side cylinder head)
  4. 53020802 4R AE (Front of passenger side cylinder head)
I provided these numbers to Dodge customer service, and they said none of them matched up with my truck's VIN. This is a bit unsettling. Another indicator that leads me to believe the engine may not be original are the fuel injectors — (6) of the (8) injectors are of the white-tipped variety, P/N 53030842. These are two-hole injectors with a flow rating of 22.5 lb./hour at 49 PSI, and were only used on 2000 model year Dakota's, Durango's, and Jeep Grand Cherokees, per Mopar Parts Giant. The remaining two fuel injectors are red-tipped and list a P/N of 53032145AA. These have a flow rating of 25.8 lb./hour at 49 PSI and were used on all '01–'04 Dakotas, Durango's, and Jeeps.

A few other clues may be evident based on the part numbers of other bolt-on engine components:
  • AC Compressor — Manufacture Date of Jan. 17, 2002
  • Alternator — Denso P/N 56041693AB; S/N TN121000–4410
  • Intake Manifold — P/N 53032402AD; Engraved with SAE PA66-GF35
  • Powertrain Control Module (PCM) — P/N P56028650AA; S/N TEH02823ZD0E
  • Radiator — P/N 52028818AD, Manufacture Date Jan., 2002.
  • Transmission Control Module (TCM) — P/N P56028694AC; S/N TRFTH0322F9XOP
Based on what I have gathered thus far, the part numbers of this ancillary equipment indicate they belong to a 2002 Dodge Dakota with a 4.7L V8 engine, which is somewhat encouraging. The DOM of the AC Compressor and Radiator also indicate they are original. So, to sum up my questions for the peanut gallery:
  1. Can anyone help me decode the existing part numbers I've found on the block and cylinder heads?
  2. Are there any other locations I should be able to find a block casting or serial number?
  3. What visual "tells" are there that would enable me to ascertain engine displacement?
  4. Do any of the part numbers from the bolt-on ancillary equipment confirm or deny a given engine size and date of manufacture?
  5. How can I tell whether my engine may have been replaced with one of the High Output (HO) models?
Any help on this point would be greatly appreciated, as I am at a standstill with repairs and deciding on the future of the truck until I can nail down engine size, type, and age.
 

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With so many body parts being replaced I would take it to a good body shop and have them look it over real good, it seems like it was probably "home repaired."

maybe post some pictures of the engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
With so many body parts being replaced I would take it to a good body shop and have them look it over real good, it seems like it was probably "home repaired."

maybe post some pictures of the engine?
From what I've seen so far in removing the front bumper cover and bumper, I would tend to agree with the "home repair" assessment. I've encountered both missing and loose fasteners, in addition to missing splash shields.

In regard to the engine, I would post up a pic but I'm afraid it would do little good at the moment as I have the upper end of the engine torn down to the cylinder heads. One thought did occur to me while discussing this with my Dad earlier today — are the bores larger on the HO 4.7L V8 or the 5.2L / 5.9L V8's? If so, a measurement of cylinder head length or spark plug hole center-to-center may give me a read on engine displacement.
 

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Well, one quick test - were the cams in the heads, or is there one in the block?

If one in the block, it's not a 4.7 SOHC ...

If it's in the block, check the bore diameter. 5.2s are 3.91" stock, 5.9s are 4.00" stock.

And if it has only 6 cylinders, cam-in-block is a 3.9; cam-in-head is 3.7 .

(By the same token, if there was a cam in each head, it's the 4.7SOHC. May be a HO, may not; don't know for sure how to tell without checking the part #s of the cams.)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, one quick test - were the cams in the heads, or is there one in the block?

If one in the block, it's not a 4.7 SOHC ...

If it's in the block, check the bore diameter. 5.2s are 3.91" stock, 5.9s are 4.00" stock.

And if it has only 6 cylinders, cam-in-block is a 3.9; cam-in-head is 3.7 .

(By the same token, if there was a cam in each head, it's the 4.7SOHC. May be a HO, may not; don't know for sure how to tell without checking the part #s of the cams.)

RwP
That is one heckuva lot of useful information! There are definitely a total of (8) cylinders, and the cams are located in the heads. I've attached a pic below of the passenger side head with valve cover removed. Using the awesome info provided above and process of elimination, I believe that narrows it down to either the 4.7L V8 SOHC or the HO version of the same. Does that sound about right?
109796
 

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You have a bit of a Frankenstein Durango.

Here is a link to a listing of the differences between the 4.7 and 4.7 HO engines.


A few thoughts --

  • Many of the HO parts can be bolted on to the 4.7, including the HO camshafts and the intake manifold, so I think it may be difficult to confirm which your Durango has through just a visual inspection.
  • The differences included an increase in compression and the addition of knock sensors -- so if the engine has knock sensor wires than I would think you have the 4.7 HO.
  • In my experience, the 4.7 HO is rare for the Gen1 Durangos so I would guess your Durango has the regular 4.7 unless you can confirm otherwise.
  • If you are buying parts, you may find that for many parts the 4.7 and 4.7 HO engines use the same part, so you may not need to know which you have. If in doubt, buy the HO part and see if it works.
I am hopeful others with more experience chime in and correct my misstatements.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You have a bit of a Frankenstein Durango.

Here is a link to a listing of the differences between the 4.7 and 4.7 HO engines.


A few thoughts --

  • Many of the HO parts can be bolted on to the 4.7, including the HO camshafts and the intake manifold, so I think it may be difficult to confirm which your Durango has through just a visual inspection.
  • The differences included an increase in compression and the addition of knock sensors -- so if the engine has knock sensor wires than I would think you have the 4.7 HO.
  • In my experience, the 4.7 HO is rare for the Gen1 Durangos so I would guess your Durango has the regular 4.7 unless you can confirm otherwise.
  • If you are buying parts, you may find that for many parts the 4.7 and 4.7 HO engines use the same part, so you may not need to know which you have. If in doubt, buy the HO part and see if it works.
I am hopeful others with more experience chime in and correct my misstatements.
I definitely agree with your "Frankenstein" assessment, that's the same thought that has been going through my mind. That was a great link regarding the HO engine! I spent a good portion of the afternoon poring over Google Images of HO 4.7L V8's and comparing the various features to those of the engine in my truck. I think the body of evidence is pointing to a non-HO 4.7L V8:
  1. My intake manifold P/N of 53032402AD does not match any of the P/N's of the HO intake manifolds per the HO engine link above.
  2. My wiring loom does not contain a connector for the HO knock sensors near the passenger side valve cover breather tube as illustrated here.
  3. Neither of my cylinder heads have "HO" cast into them just below where the Alternator and AC Compressor sit, as can be seen in this YouTube video clip.
  4. Last but not least, the cams in my 4.7L V8 do not have the slight ridge located directly behind the cam gear sprocket like the HO cams do. Here's a photo comparison:
HO Cam:
HO Cam Example.png

My (dirty) Cam:
2020-01-30 2002 Dodge Dakota Passenger Valve Cover Removal 001.JPG

Now that I also know where the cam part number is located, I will record it when I pull my driver side valve cover in the next day or two to replace the gasket. That should give me a confirmation.

Thanks to all of the helpful info received thus far, at this point I'm fairly convinced that I have a non-HO 4.7L V8 SOHC engine, which would make at least the engine size and type the same as the OEM unit that came with the truck. Now I just need to find a way to decode my engine casting number on the block of 53020661AGK (could also end in ACK — hard to read) to determine manufacture date. Anybody know of a way to pull engine date off of one of these 4.7L's?
 

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Yes, I think you can be 99.9% certain that your Dakota has the non-4.7 engine. And you are now an expert on the differences between the two engines. If you are interested, here is another web page listing differences between the 4.7 and the 4.7 HO engines. -- Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ - Engine specifications

As for the engine model year, the PCM p/n you listed is for a 2002 Dakota 4.7, although that is no guarantee. If an engine swap occurred, a 4.7 from another 2002 Dakota or Durango would have been easiest and cheapest to install (unlike body parts, which are more easily interchangeable), since there were some differences between the years (particularly from 2000 to 2001). The 4.7 engine was used in the Gen 2 Dakotas from 2000 to 2004, I believe.

There is a way to read the block casting numbers -- do you try giving those to Dodge? You could look for an on-line decoder for MOPAR block casting numbers.

You are having quite the adventure, like a detective show. I have a 2000 Durango with the non-HO 4.7, but I have owned the vehicle since 2003 and so don't have the issues you are facing. These are great vehicles, reliable and sturdy and also fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, I think you can be 99.9% certain that your Dakota has the non-4.7 engine. And you are now an expert on the differences between the two engines. If you are interested, here is another web page listing differences between the 4.7 and the 4.7 HO engines. -- Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ - Engine specifications

As for the engine model year, the PCM p/n you listed is for a 2002 Dakota 4.7, although that is no guarantee. If an engine swap occurred, a 4.7 from another 2002 Dakota or Durango would have been easiest and cheapest to install (unlike body parts, which are more easily interchangeable), since there were some differences between the years (particularly from 2000 to 2001). The 4.7 engine was used in the Gen 2 Dakotas from 2000 to 2004, I believe.

There is a way to read the block casting numbers -- do you try giving those to Dodge? You could look for an on-line decoder for MOPAR block casting numbers.

You are having quite the adventure, like a detective show. I have a 2000 Durango with the non-HO 4.7, but I have owned the vehicle since 2003 and so don't have the issues you are facing. These are great vehicles, reliable and sturdy and also fun.
I'm no expert, but have certainly gained a lot of knowledge thanks to those such as yourself who were kind enough to take the time to share their insights in this thread!

I did provide those casting numbers to Dodge corporate, and they were of little help. All they could tell me is that they had no record of those numbers being linked to my vehicle's VIN. They were unable to tell me what VIN they may have been linked to, or how to decode the number to interpret manufactured date. I've searched high and low for a Mopar engine block casting number decoder online, and have come up empty. I emailed my local Dodge dealer last night with the numbers and asked if they had any means of identifying them, so we'll see if I hear anything back.

Fixing up this Dakota has certainly felt like unraveling a great mystery. Thankfully, I seem to be making headway with the engine side of things. I've been able to identify the transmission as original, but am still working on figuring out why the previous owner bypassed the radiator and auxiliary transmission oil cooler with the transmission oil cooler lines... yikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
By way of an update, I've pulled a few more part numbers off of engine components, although I've been unable to locate any more numbers on the block itself:
  • Thermostat Housing — Manufacture Date of Jan. 2002
  • Timing Chain Cover — P/N 53020793
  • Valve Cover (Driver) — P/N 53020875AD, stamped "02"
  • Camshaft (Driver) — 061 C 143019
All of these new data points would only seem to confirm that the engine is in fact a 2002 model. I give the most credence to the Valve and Timing Chain Cover part numbers. I couldn't locate anything off of the Camshaft number, but was able to confirm after pulling the driver side valve cover that I definitely have the non-HO cams.

One thing I haven't yet been able to figure out — what does the "301 9" number indicate that I found on a plate screwed to the passenger side of the block facing the fender just below the cylinder head? It would be near the camshaft position sensor. Photo below:

2020-02-11 2002 Dodge Dakota Engine Block Number 003.JPG
 

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I have seen your other posts, including on the transmission. It is no fun to have to fix the shortcuts of past owners. I hope you got the vehicle for a very good price.

On identifying the year of your Dakota's 4.7 engine, try contacting Air Ram Performance. They are one of the few vendors that really focus on the 4.7 engine. They may be able to de-code the block casting number to tell you the year.

AIR RAM PERFORMANCE
[email protected]
[email protected]
(817) 800-7760
 
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