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bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
5/6/21 10:08 a.m.

I like it

RandolphCarter
RandolphCarter New Reader
5/7/21 12:04 p.m.
JeremyJ said:

Appliance epoxy remains my go-to black wheel paint. It goes on thick and shiny, is easy to work with, and looks great afterward. It's also pretty tough in my experience.

I've also had good luck with appliance paint.  I'm assuming you're using Rustoleum rattle cans?

Just wish it came in more colors than black, almond, and white.

Also love the truck so far. 24 year old me wishes you kept the 'meatball' tail lights.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/7/21 1:07 p.m.

Thanks for the compliments. 

I've used the Rustoleum cans in the past, but I couldn't find it in the store. I stumbled upon the Krylon variant this time and it seems to work just as well. Thick and glossy. It dries fast, too. It also comes in a stainless steel color that looked pretty cool. 

I've never been a fan of the "meatball" or "Altezza" style tail lights. Not even in their heyday. I like my tail lights red, I guess. I was able to sell them to another Dakota guy for a few bucks, so they didn't go "in the bin," as the MCM guys would say. 

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/7/21 7:23 p.m.

I've found disc brake caliper paint to be surprisingly durable as well.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/14/21 10:24 a.m.

My new Luk master/slave setup showed up from a new vendor. It's the same berkeleying unit as the Dorman. Again. This means RockAuto didn't send me the wrong part after all. This was a fear I had; that multiple manufacturers changed over to the same part for cost cutting measures or whatever. I think I'm just going to install it and hope that it works longer than a few weeks this time. I did manage to find a Mopar unit online, but it's pretty expensive and I don't want to deal with more returns right now. I bookmarked the page for future reference. If this unit fails, I'm going to fork out the cash for the Mopar parts and be done with it. For now I'm just going to wing it with the inferior replacement. Wish me luck. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/17/21 10:26 a.m.

I put it all back together and we're good to go again. For a little while, at least. I washed the truck and took it for a drive to the exhaust shop, where I scheduled an appointment to get some new pipes installed next weekend. I snapped some pics in an empty lot on the way home. 

On the way, I also noticed a new feature for the truck. I call it the Smoke Screen. After idling for a minute or two, it emits a nice puff of smoke from the tailpipe once I start moving again. Apparently, I need new valve seals. Add that to the list. The heads have to come off now, which is going to be a pretty large job. Especially since its a SOHC motor. There are three timing chains that need to be aligned upon reassembly and it looks a bit daunting. I'm not looking forward to it. Assuming it doesn't get much worse, I'll probably save that job for the fall, so I can enjoy the truck more this summer. I really wish I had the funds for a Hemi swap right now. That would be so much more rewarding than fixing this 4.7.

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/17/21 8:12 p.m.

Can't you do valve stem seals with the heads in place ? I'm not familiar with that particular engine though. Is there something I'm missing ?

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/18/21 9:46 a.m.

There's an air tool that threads into the spark plug sockets and pressurizes the cylinder. This keeps the valve in place so the spring/retainer/seal can all be replaced without removing the head. That would be my only option to keep the heads on. This being an overhead cam engine, I won't be able to get any of my valve spring compressors onto them with the cams in the way. Removing the cams and messing with all the timing chains is 90% of the work to remove the heads, so they might as well just come off. I have some broken exhaust studs that need to be removed anyway, and doing that will be ten times easier with the heads off the truck, so there will be some advantages of taking it all apart. I'm just nervous about the timing setup because it's foreign to me. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/21 10:10 a.m.

Do they still make the h.o. cams and headers for these? Because scope creep....

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/18/21 10:56 a.m.

I don't think they still make the cams, but they can be found at junkyards. Headers are readily available, but they're like $600 and  there's a huge ongoing debate over whether they provide any gains or not. Part of me wants to do all the bolt-ons while I have it apart and another part of me just wants to save that money for a future Hemi swap. Decisions decisions. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/21 11:22 a.m.

In reply to JeremyJ :

If a Hemi swap is the eventual plan, I wouldn't even fix the valve stems

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/18/21 11:39 a.m.

Hemi swap. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/18/21 12:45 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to JeremyJ :

If a Hemi swap is the eventual plan, I wouldn't even fix the valve stems

The issue is money. It's going to take me a while to save up the money for a Hemi swap. I need this thing drivable in the meantime and I'm not a fan of the Smoke Screen feature. Hemi is my end goal either way, but I still need this 4.7 to be reliable for the next year or two. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/20/21 9:48 a.m.

The truck settled down another half inch in the front and was resting on the tall bump stops that came on the control arms. I swapped them out with some pancake style bump stops that I had left over from another project. Here's the truck with the suspension hanging and the tall stops. You can see that there's not a lot of room here. 

Here it is with the shorter bump stops.

And here it is lowered onto the ground with the shorter stops. There's not a ton of suspension travel in the front. 

Definitely helped the ride in the front. I don't know why the bump stop mounts are so tall on the control arms. Probably to keep the tires off of the fenders. I've contemplated cutting the mounts off and remounting the taller bump stops directly to the arm, but this was a whole lot less work. It'll do for now. 

Next up: exhaust time!

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/24/21 10:02 a.m.

The exhaust on the truck has two cats; one at the end of each manifold, 2" pipes that lead to a restrictive Y pipe, and then a 2.5" pipe that leads back to a huge muffler. This past weekend I had the 2.5" section replaced with 3" pipe, a Magnaflow muffler, and a turndown. It sounds amazing. It pops and burbles like my old SRT-4 then screams V8 noises at full throttle. It sounds so good. In the next couple of days, I'm getting the cats and 2" Y pipe replaced with 2.5" straight pipes and a high flow 3" Y pipe. Then the exhaust will be complete. 

Magnaflows tend to sound deep and mild when cruising, but then really loud and aggressive when pushed. This is the perfect mix for me and so far, it's turned out great. I'm going to attempt a video once the rest of the pipes are installed. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/25/21 11:22 a.m.

I ordered new seats for the truck. The ones in there sit up too high and they're flat as a board. It feels like I'm going to fall out of them if I take a corner with any sort of speed. I wanted something sporty, so I ordered a set of Corbeau Evolutions. Black with red stitching. Unfortunately they aren't in stock, so I'm going to have to wait about six weeks to get them, but they will be worth the wait.

The only thing I don't like about them is the fact that it says "Corbeau" twice on the seat. I asked about deleting the second logo and changing the stitches to black, but that would make them special order and take up to sixteen weeks! I'm too impatient for that, so I decided to stick with the default setup. They'll look great either way and they'll do a much better job of holding me in place. Plus, Corbeau actually carries bolt-in rails for my truck, which makes the install a breeze. No fabrication needed. I'm excited to get these in. 

untchabl
untchabl Reader
5/25/21 10:13 p.m.

The 4.7 isn't too bad to work on. The wife's WK Grand Cherokee dropped a valve seat, so I had both heads off on it. And I'm currently replacing head gaskets on my brother's Dakota. Waiting for the machine shop to finish his heads so I can get it back together.

The special tool to hold the cam chains to the idler gear is a must have, otherwise it can all be done with normal tools. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/26/21 9:48 a.m.

All the YouTube videos feature guys using tools they made for that. I have yet to see the actual tool in the flesh. Do you happen to have a link? I wonder if something like this would work: Universal Tool

untchabl
untchabl Reader
5/26/21 7:04 p.m.

OTC 522902 on Amazon

OTC 522902 is the exact one I've got. Everything else I can do with standard tools but holding those 3 chains is super easy with this tool. Apparently works on the 3.7 also but I've never messed with one of those.

 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/27/21 10:57 a.m.

That's great. Thanks for the suggestion. If I work up the nerve to tear into this thing, I'll definitely pick one of these up. I've heard of guys using vice grips between the cam lobes to hold them and that just doesn't sit well with me. 

untchabl
untchabl Reader
5/28/21 5:17 a.m.

The OTC 522902 tool is just for reinstalling the cam chains. It holds the 3 cam chains onto the idler gear when you install them. 

I've used a set of channel locks or vice grips between the cam lobes to hold the cam in place when removing/installing the cam gear bolts. You also have to slightly rotate the cam shafts when reinstalling the cam chains. Haven't had any issues with doing it this way. 

Overall, its not a difficult job to tear into the 4.7's, basically the same as any other OHC v8. Do some reading about the valve seats falling out of the heads on the 4.7's, if you plan to tear into the engine. Seems to be a common issue for the valve seats to get loose in the head and actually fall out and hold the valve open. In some cases, the head of the valve breaks off and does quite a bit of damage to the engine. Typically it's the intake valve seats that are the most common to fail. SWMBO's Jeep had an exhaust valve seat partially fall out, luckily there was no damage to the valve because the valve was hung open enough for the rocker arm to fall off but not far enough for the valve to hit the piston. We had the machine shop replace the one faulty exhaust valve seat and all the intake valve seats. Replacing headgaskets on my brother's Dakota right now and we went ahead and are having the machine shop replace all the intake valve seats while it's apart. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/28/21 9:51 a.m.

I've read a bit about the valve seat issue. It seems to be common for engines that have been overheated or run too hot for extended periods of time. This one runs pretty cool, but it also has about 189,000 miles on it, so I'm wary of the condition of the seats. I'm still weighing my options. I'm the type of person who wants to change everything while I'm in there, so the valve seal replacement is going to turn into head work, oil pump, new timing setup, manifolds, studs, HO cams, valve springs, water pump, gaskets, seals, etc. By the time I have everything purchased, it's no longer a cheap fix. 

A Hemi/TR6060 swap, which is my end goal for the truck, is going to cost somewhere between seven to ten grand. It can be done for less, but I want to utilize all the Holley goodies and they aren't cheap. I won't have that kind of disposable income for a while. My second option is the rebuild. It'll cost anywhere from one to two thousand in parts and machine work. It's the cheapest option, but it also leaves pistons, rings, and bearings with 200K on them. I could replace those too, but that just adds to the cost and the work to be done. The more I'm thinking about it, the less I like this option. My third option is to drop in a reman 4.7. This will cost about three grand. It'll give me some confidence in the engine itself, being all new, and will spare me the work of tearing everything down. I've done engine swaps before and they really aren't that bad. This is the way I've been leaning lately, as much as it kills me to think that money could have gone towards a Hemi. 

Long story short, I need to figure out what I'm going to do before I start buying specialty tools. 

untchabl
untchabl Reader
5/28/21 10:07 a.m.

Think my brother has around $700 in parts so far and we haven't got the heads back from the machine shop. That was around $550 the last time I had aset of 4.7 heads done. It's not cheap but it's worth it to get the truck back on the road. His truck has around 175k miles on it.

Good parts aren't cheap, the Cloyes timing kit with new gears was around $300. And even it's no longer made in the USA, comes from China now.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
6/7/21 10:21 a.m.

I had the rest of the exhaust redone this past weekend. Off the manifolds, it had two cats, 2" pipes, and a super restrictive Y pipe. I had it all replaced with 2.5" pipes and a high flow Y pipe that runs to the 3" section that was installed a couple of weeks ago. Not a single section of the OEM exhaust remains. What a difference it makes. I felt a huge seat of the pants gain with this new setup. It feels really good. Not only that but the sound is amazing. There's nothing like the scream of a V8 at full throttle. Like I said earlier, the Magnaflow keeps things bearable while putting around, which prevents the truck from being obnoxious to drive regularly. I really like how it turned out.

For the motor, I think I have a solution for the time being. It has developed a few minor leaks and it smokes after idling for more than a minute, meaning the valve seals are going out. Seeing as how it has 190K on it, it's about time for a rebuild, but I'm not too keen on rebuilding this thing. I'd really like to do a Hemi swap, but that's going to cost me around ten grand and I just can't afford that right now. I think a good compromise would be to swap in a 2008+ 4.7. In 2008, they re-engineered a bunch of the components and bumped the power from 235 to 310, and the torque from 295 to 335. That's a really healthy bump in power for what is essentially the same engine. I can find complete engines with low miles, for less than three grand online.

All that I'm going to have to do to make it work is extend the injector harnesses by a few inches, purchase a TB adaptor (they switched to DBW in '08), and have the exhaust rerouted to the manifolds, since the new manifolds exit at a different angle. That's it. That's some pretty minor fab work, really. With this exhaust, a proper intake, and a tune, this thing will feel pretty quick for what it is. All for relatively cheap, too. It won't be a Hemi, but I think it will feel pretty good considering the smaller investment.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
6/9/21 10:08 a.m.

I got a better image of the exhaust while I was under the truck. You can see the 2.5" pipes that come off the manifolds and the fabricated Y pipe that leads to the 3" rear section. 

My cell phone mount arrives tomorrow. I'm going to attempt to capture an in-car video of the sound. I hope I can do it justitce. 

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