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Discussion Starter #1
The vehicle has 128,000 miles. It passes smog but due to it stinking up the smog shop pretty bad the guy told me he won't pass me unless I get the issue repaired. (As a result I haven't driven the truck for nearly 2 years)
Hey so I went on YouTube and found videos to replace the leaking valve stem seals which looked relatively easy... apparently I can access everything without having to remove the engine. I just need to remove the valve covers, use an air compressor and an adaptor to thread the air compressor hose into the location of the pertaining spark plug so that air compression will prevents the valve stem from falling when I decompress the valve spring. Parts for replacement were practically dirt cheap.

This issue has caused my crankshaft and camshaft position sensors to flag a check engine light despite mechanic replacing it 4 months prior to the code lighting up again.

My question is, the mechanic simply diagnosed the issue by driving it and said that when he idles the truck and than goes he see's the smoke. He said he will need to send the engine to a machinist which is a 13 hour labor job to machine the cylinder heads. Altogether the repair bill was in the 2960 dollar range... the truck seems to drive fine to me aside from the leaking valve stem seal that requires me to top off the oil. I felt so awful that everytime I drove it cars would drive VERY slow to get far behind me as possible or drive VERY fast to get passed me to avoid the stench.

I would sincerely appreciate advice on this guys! Picture of my truck is my avatar. I love this truck. Has brand new tires. I had lower and upper control arm replaced. Rear differential rebuilt. New water pump. New spark plugs. New coil ignition packs. New exhaust manifold. New oil pan gasket. New struts installed. Has a cold air intake installed. Newly purchased battery. Please help!
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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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Your mechanic is not proposing sending the engine to the machine shop, just the heads. He may or may not be diagnosing the problem correctly, but his estimate for R/R & machining the heads is not out of line. He's likely using a shop rate book for his bid.

You certainly can take the truck to another mechanic and get a 2nd, unbiased diagnosis and bid.

Typically, bad valve stem seals only causes a lot of smoke at startup, not so much during driving. The oil leaks down into the cylinders while the engine is off. He may be correct in reasoning that it needs head gaskets and machine shop work.

And I think your sensor codes are unrelated to this problem.
 
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If it passes smog, I don't see why he won't pass you. It either passes of it doesn't, pretty simple. And I wouldn't have paid him either, that's BS. Who does he think he is telling you your vehicles passes smog but I won't pass you unless you get that fixed, because it stinks up my shop, what kind of crap is that?. Take it to another shop all warmed up and haver them test it then. If it passes you are good to go. And I know it's been two years but you shouldn't have paid him either, what you should have done is reported him.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Typically, bad valve stem seals only causes a lot of smoke at startup, not so much during driving. The oil leaks down into the cylinders while the engine is off. He may be correct in reasoning that it needs head gaskets and machine shop work.

And I think your sensor codes are unrelated to this problem.
I was always curious how a leaking valve stem would result in requiring machine shop work? When changing the crankshaft position sensor; is it true that I need to flash my PCM? That is what a mechanic told me. Hence why I had a mechanic replace that sensor meanwhile I simply replaced the camshaft position sensor which apparently has a lifetime warranty....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If it passes smog, I don't see why he won't pass you. It either passes of it doesn't, pretty simple. And I wouldn't have paid him either, that's BS. Who does he think he is telling you your vehicles passes smog but I won't pass you unless you get that fixed, because it stinks up my shop, what kind of crap is that?. Take it to another shop all warmed up and haver them test it then. If it passes you are good to go. And I know it's been two years but you shouldn't have paid him either, what you should have done is reported him.

Okay brother! That's an interesting perspective. So your saying swap out that engine oil, wash the baby down and make its next stop a smog shop? Lmfao those dam two sensors trips me out. One time I was driving on the highway and my entire vehicle vibrated aggressively for a single moment and than the engine trouble codes came up for those two sensors.

ALSO I forgot to mention. Few months after I bought this from the dealership- I had the PCM replaced...600$ just for the module
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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I was always curious how a leaking valve stem would result in requiring machine shop work? When changing the crankshaft position sensor; is it true that I need to flash my PCM? That is what a mechanic told me. Hence why I had a mechanic replace that sensor meanwhile I simply replaced the camshaft position sensor which apparently has a lifetime warranty....
No, not true. PCM does not need reflashing if the sensor is changed out.

Your mechanic thinks you have blown head gaskets. He may be correct. His estimate says NOTHING about valve guides/seals. Did you even discuss this with him? How did you come to the conclusion that it needs valve guides/seals? Head gaskets .vs. valve guides -- two very different problems.

Just because you saw it on YouTube doesn't mean that's the problem with your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No, not true. PCM does not need reflashing if the sensor is changed out.

Your mechanic thinks you have blown head gaskets. He may be correct. His estimate says NOTHING about valve guides/seals. Did you even discuss this with him? How did you come to the conclusion that it needs valve guides/seals? Head gaskets .vs. valve guides -- two very different problems.

Just because you saw it on YouTube doesn't mean that's the problem with your engine.
That's a solid point brother. I sincerely appreciate that! To my understanding the only "diagnostics" he conducted was simply driving my truck around. Putting the truck at a stop, waiting, and than stepping on gas to discover that the oil is burning. He also told me he did a compression test and everything looked good.

So your saying just replace the head gasket and I should be good? The head surface is what he talked about that needed machining? When he said it needs the heads machined I assumed he meant cylinder walls

It was nearly two years ago and the guy had a thick accent. Perhaps the YouTube video influenced my thought process into believing it was the valve stem seal... dang..
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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It's not 100% clear from his estimate, but usually it's machining of the heads that's required, not the block, when a head gasket is blown and leaking. But it could be both. I'm not a mechanic, but I doubt R & R'ing the entire engine would be only 13 hours of labor, which is why I assumed the heads only. I could be wrong. Either way, it's got nothing to do with valve guides.

But NO, just swapping out head gaskets will not solve your problem. When a gasket blows, the hot combustion gasses damage the head and/or engine block. Hence the need for machining.

The cylinder walls are not in the heads. They are in the block. They are different from the head, the head mating surface, and the valve guides.

The date on your estimate is just last December. The mechanic should still be able to give you a thorough explanation of his diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
It's not 100% clear from his estimate, but usually it's machining of the heads that's required, not the block, when a head gasket is blown and leaking. But it could be both. I'm not a mechanic, but I doubt R & R'ing the entire engine would be only 13 hours of labor, which is why I assumed the heads only. I could be wrong. Either way, it's got nothing to do with valve guides.

But NO, just swapping out head gaskets will not solve your problem. When a gasket blows, the hot combustion gasses damage the head and/or engine block. Hence the need for machining.

The cylinder walls are not in the heads. They are in the block. They are different from the head, the head mating surface, and the valve guides.

The date on your estimate is just last December. The mechanic should still be able to give you a thorough explanation of his diagnosis.
Thanks a lot brotha! I'll call him on my lunch break today in 3 hours. He DID mention how the price could be higher depending if the machine shop determines if everything is in "tolerance" or not. And yeah he mentioned machining the head is required. I just assumed cylinder walls.

I have zero problem investing in an engine hoist as long as theirs a guide to disassembling the engine with torque specs Included.. apparently theirs a website I can go on and pay for a membership and it includes video tutorials for everything. You just type the car model and year and bam lol but I cant recall what that source was called! I'd really like to go and purchase new parts and swap em out if I will be going through all that trouble of dissassembling it. I'm talking new valve seals, valve springs, rocker arms, valve cover gasket MAYBE a new camshaft.. I was in an autoclass and the teacher said the camshaft will last a lifetime. So I may just NOT buy a new one of those.. but if it's dirt cheap... I believe I got quoted 200$ for all the parts I listed above.

If anyone has recommendations other than the Chilton manual that was a good source in helping them take on such a hefty of a project that'd be MUCH appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay so I just got off the phone with the mechanic that gave me this estimate and he said the engine is required to go to the machine shop so that they can do a "Valve Job" I asked him if that meant machine the cylinder walls and he mocked my question back to me in a ridiculed manner and stated "Machine the cylinder walls??" Clearly I am not a mechanic so I don't understand the terminology I was simply trying to get him to give me more details; so that I can better explain to yall the issue...this is the reason I was unable to be detailed to begin with. He seemed very urgent to give as little detail as possible and to just get off the phone.

He said that the machine shop will do a "valve job" and if they find anything else needs to be done the cost may go up an additional 500$. Or he said the cost could go down. He said "it could go either way"

He said he doesn't know if I have a blown head gasket. He just said that I am being charged to replace cylinder head gaskets 13.5hr labor job because "That is what I will need to do"
 

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Do you have the tools and capability to remove the engine and engine components?
If so I would suggest replacing the entire long block.
Here is what happens in many cases:
You completely rebuild the heads and put them back onto your old block.
The head works and the valves seal up like new. But wait! Since you have a worn shirt block and new heads you now experience lower end problems ring blow by and other problems.
Just the opposite when you redo the lower end block and put added pressure on the worn heads. Leakage.

Pouring good money into bad is always an option but usually an expensive one.

Check with some of the engine builders in your area and see what they would charge for the complete engine rebuild.
Good luck
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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The entire engine does not need to go to the machine shop for a valve job.
 

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2900 you could basically get a new set of performance heads, installed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
2900 you could basically get a new set of performance heads, installed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I thought this would be great information for yall; I got off the phone just a bit ago.

I called a shop to get a quote on an "R and R" which means they take the engine out. And put the engine in.

So cost of labor would be 1926$ altogether. The price does bot include sparks. New boots. New coil ignition packs.

So they would take out the engine and send to a small business custom engine repair shop... THAT shop will machine the entire engine and completely rebuild it. The charge was around 4200$ from them.. so altogether a tad over 6,000 dollars for an entirely rebuilt engine.. but also cost of parts to be added in.. And that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So I was thinking... I should probably use this as a project truck to learn. I'd like to take out the engine send it to get completely machined and me personally install all new parts.. than offer rebuilding engines as a service; using MY truck to tow and or transport the vehicle/engine. I really would appreciate any sources yall have to offer to assist in making this aspiration a reality.
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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Let me get this straight -- You're going to send your engine out -- and then suddenly become an expert and offer that service to others? You, the guy who didn't know that the cylinder is not in the head?

Good luck with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Let me get this straight -- You're going to send your engine out -- and then suddenly become an expert and offer that service to others? You, the guy who didn't know that the cylinder is not in the head?

Good luck with that.
No, if you read the first part of the message you would see it stated how I should use it as a project truck to learn. How to dissassemble the engine... send that engine to a shop to be machined.. and than I personally attach all of the parts back together..

No one was born understanding how to dissassemble an engine. We all have a day where we decide whether or not we are willing to learn the craft. That's why I was asking if anyone had any resources to learn that they could offer pertaining to this dodge dakota engine.

I am sorry for the miscommunication.
 

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I don’t really know why you’re planning on rebuilding the whole shebang. From what I’ve gathered reading this thread, it’s just a head gasket. Take the head off, get it machined, put it back together with new gaskets. Rebuild the timing while your at it and it’ll cost (very roughly) $500 or so.

I hate to dash your hopes of rebuilding engines, but it’s gonna take more then that. For it to really work you’d have to be extremely familiar with more engines then just one, and even if you could succeed specializing with just one, you’d have to have experience with more then one scenario. Could you succeed doing something roughly along those lines? Yes, but it would take more like years of experience working on multiple 4.7s, if not multiple different types of engines.
 
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