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noisy 4.7...how to quiet it down?

17 replies to this topic

#1 NeilG



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Posted March 14, 2013 at 01:19 pm

its in a new to me Durango, 2003 with 155,000 miles and the 4.7 magnum. when i first got it, it tapped some when starting up but after a minute or two it quieted down.  I changed the oil to Mobil1 10w30 and it seemed to get worse/last longer. Then I thought well, I better use a thinner grade so the oil will protect better while cold so I switched to Mobil1 5 w30.  NOw it takes even longer to go away.


No idea what the dealer had in the engine when i bought it but it looked like it needed to be changed. (dark, etc)  come to think of it the Mobil1 I drained out of it after about 100 miles looked crappy as well.


So should I try a thicker oil at this point? the way it was when i got it home, I could have lived with it, just warm it up for 2 minutes and go. Now with the M1 5w30, its noisy for 6 minutes and I swear it never quite goes away.......


And besides that, what is the FIX for this? I see its a common problem, but nowhere have I seen what to do about it. Ive read valve lash adjusters....rocker arms...that there was a service note about using new style rockers with larger/different oil passages....anyone try drilling the old ones out? 

What exactly is slapping here, and is it a clearance problem or an oil pressure issue? (in general I mean--of course no one can tell me what is wrong with my engine, but if this IS a big problem as I see it is, what is the likely culprit?

 Seems the eventuality here is rocker arms falling off, misfire codes, etc...nothing like that on mine except I DO have an evap purge valve code.....


I have access to cheap used parts...is there anything I can do under the valve covers to address the noise and again, what about oil?   If I can get it back to shutting up after 2 minutes I will just drive it till it breaks.


Thanks in advance for any insight!


I should add, it runs well, has PLENTY of power.

Edited by NeilG, March 14, 2013 at 01:20 pm.

#2 ImperialCrown

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Posted March 14, 2013 at 02:45 pm

 Start with an actual oil pressure gauge test. Don't go by the dash gauge. Screw the pressure gauge hose into the sender hole.

Try to determine if the noise is coming from the top end or front or bottom end. A stethoscope can be made with a nail and piece of rubber hose or a long screwdriver, listening to the handle end.

I don't think that a premium motor oil will fix this noise but always use the motor oil recommended in the owners manual, there may be an internal issue. Diagnose first.

#3 NeilG



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Posted March 14, 2013 at 04:42 pm

Drove it at lunch time which was the first time it had been started in a couple days. Took 6 minutes to quiet down. Parked it at work for 4 hours. Starting it up to go home, it tapped only for about 20 seconds!!  and then quiet as a whisper, no noise at all. Revving it sounds awesome, deep rumble, and a throaty roar. The thing seems tight other than when its tapping.  


So after a couple days something is going away....that in 4 hours  didnt so much. I know ZIP about the internals of the 4.7, I am gonna look it up. If it was an LA small block, Id say the lifters were losing pressure after a couple days and then taking too long to pump up again.  Ive read the 4.7 is notoriously hard on oil, alot of sludge issues/pcv valve stuff.

I honestly dont know if the 4.7 HAS hydraulic lifters. Im gonna look that up and get an oil gauge I suppose. 



Heh...just looked at some drawings. Weird. Dear god I should have held out for a 360!!! LOL

Edited by NeilG, March 14, 2013 at 04:52 pm.

#4 KOG



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Posted March 14, 2013 at 04:53 pm

It has hydraulic adjusters. Same idea as hydraulic lifters.

#5 Doug D

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Posted March 14, 2013 at 07:38 pm

Dear god I should have held out for a 360!!! LOL


No, you should have tried to get a Hemi.  More hp & torque than either the 4.7L or the 5.9L (360) gasser.  My '06 Hemi has 345 hp/375 ft-lbs torque.  The newer Hemi ('09+) is 390 hp / 401 ft-lbs.

#6 valiant67


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Posted March 14, 2013 at 07:51 pm

But to get the Hemi you have to go with the 2004+ Durango which (in my opinion) does not have the style the 2003 and earlier Durango had.

#7 jerseyjoe


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Posted March 14, 2013 at 09:02 pm

In some of the 4 cylinder cars there was a drain back  or check valve that was at the oil filter attachment point. the threaded pipe on the engine block. It would stop the oil from draining out of the cylinder heads when you shut it down. That sounds like the problem before they installed that valve in the 4 cylinder motors.

It was Just annoying till the tappets filled and I was told it wasn't a problem. At 155K miles check the oil pressure, if its OK then there is no hurry to fix it. Make sure you are using the oil recommended in the Manual. Wouldn't hurt to invest 39 bucks for an oil change at a Chrysler dealer.

Edited by jerseyjoe, March 14, 2013 at 09:05 pm.

#8 valiant67


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Posted March 15, 2013 at 06:41 am

I've seen several 3.7 and 4.7 vehicles for sale with bad engines, more than 3.9, 5.2 or 5.9. But at the same time I've also seen the 4.7 that seems to run forever.

One of the ladies I used to work with was married to a (now-retired) Chrysler mechanic. He said to stay away from all the .7 engines (2.7, 3.7, 4.7) as they were the most troublesome of Chrysler's engine lineup though still better than some competitor's engines. This was before the 5.7 came out.

Most of the bad 4.7 vehicles I see for sale mention a head issue so I suspect the noise in these must be common.

#9 ImperialCrown

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Posted March 15, 2013 at 07:00 am

 It doesn't have to be Mopar brand, but must meet the API Service Grade Certified.  I wouldn't go thicker than 10W-40 in cool weather, although it may possibly mask a noise for you. 
















When service is required, DaimlerChrysler Corpo- 

ration recommends that only Mopar brand parts, 

lubricants and chemicals be used. Mopar provides 

the best engineered products for servicing 

DaimlerChrysler Corporation vehicles. 

Only lubricants bearing designations defined by 

the following organization should be used. 

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 

American Petroleum Institute (API) 

National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) 


Use an engine oil that is API Certified. MOPAR 

provides engine oils, that meet or exceed this 



An SAE viscosity grade is used to specify the vis- 

cosity of engine oil. Use only engine oils with multi- 

ple viscosities such as 5W-30 or 10W-30. These are 

specified with a dual SAE viscosity grade which indi- 

cates the cold-to-hot temperature viscosity range. 

Select an engine oil that is best suited to your par- 

ticular temperature range and variation. 


An Energy Conserving type oil is recommended for 

gasoline engines. The designation of ENERGY CON- 

SERVING is located on the label of an engine oil con- 



Standard engine oil identification notations have 

been adopted to aid in the proper selection of engine 

oil. The identifying notations are located on the front 

label of engine oil plastic bottles and the top of 

engine oil cans. 

This symbol (not shown) means that the oil has been certified 

by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Diamler- 

Chrysler only recommend API Certified engine oils. 

Use Mopar engine oil or equivalent. 


SAE ratings also apply to multigrade gear lubri- 

cants. In addition, API classification defines the 

lubricants usage. Such as API GL-5 and SAE 75W- 



Lubricating grease is rated for quality and usage 

by the NLGI. All approved products have the NLGI 

symbol on the label. At the bottom of the 

NLGI symbol is the usage and quality identification 

letters. Wheel bearing lubricant is identified by the 

letter “G”. Chassis lubricant is identified by the letter 

“L”. The letter following the usage letter indicates 

the quality of the lubricant. The following symbols 

indicate the highest quality. 

#10 Doug D

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Posted March 15, 2013 at 08:47 am

But to get the Hemi you have to go with the 2004+ Durango which (in my opinion) does not have the style the 2003 and earlier Durango had.


Was that the year the style changed from the more rounded shape to the boxier style?  I can't remember.

#11 ImperialCrown

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Posted March 15, 2013 at 10:08 am

 Yes the 2003 model was a DN and the 2004 was a HB.

I still like the looks of the baby Ram Dakota style starting in 1997. The heavy, steroided look of the HB didn't appeal to me. The dressed up Aspen (HG) looked better, but this SUV line died out shortly after.



#12 BlackSheep01

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Posted March 15, 2013 at 10:48 am

Ok, if it's tappets ... when I was a kid what my dad would do to stop valvetrain noise / rocker noise / tappet noise in the LA engines was ... on the day of an oil change, after the vehicle was at least a quart low on oil (not new

oil, old oil) he'd pour a quart of tranny fluid in the crankcase and drive the car for 30-45 minutes, then change the oil while hot. I never knew this to fail to stop the noise, but some of the crud that came out of those crankcases

could look pretty intimidating.

#13 Bob Lincoln

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Posted March 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Marvel Mystery Oil works even better - great solvent.  Just don't use a whole quart, maybe a cup, as it's quite thin.  But it seems to dissolve varnish faster and better.

#14 ImperialCrown

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Posted March 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

 If you are using ATF as a flush, there are much better choices. Seafoam comes to mind. ATF isn't considered a motor oil and could do engine damage. Don't use it as a motor oil additive.
There is no 'Miracle repair in a bottle', if the engine needs work from worn components you really can't get away from that fact. 
 The following is from the CleanMPG.com website and is the truth:
Personally, I wouldn't do it. ATF has friction modifiers to make it less "slippery" because automatic transmissions rely on friction to transmit torque via multi-plate clutches and/or flexible steel bands. Although it is a lubricant, the properties of ATF are designed to make the bushings and bearings in a transmission happy while allowing enough "grab" to prevent slippage during acceleration. But ATF will break down at very high temperatures (like cylinder head surfaces) and will cause quite a bit of engine wear. The best way to deal with a neglected engine is to keep up with the oil & filter changes. If you determine that the engine needs to be "flushed out", there are solvents on the market for that purpose. But don't be surprised if the sudden de-gunking happens to clog valve lifters (leading to ticking noises) or cause oil leaks (as accumulated dirt washes away from worn seals).

#15 KOG



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Posted March 15, 2013 at 07:36 pm

Mobil 1 or Rotella synthetic are both excellent solvents and will clean an engine with no danger of damage.

#16 AC TC

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Posted March 16, 2013 at 08:48 am

HDEO like rotella, delo, delvac, jd etc.

i wold trie to get it in some xW-30 flavour or a 5w-40.

In summer you can use 15w-40 wich is the most common one.

These oils have high "dirt" carrying capabilities along with a strong cleaning package due

to their use in big diesels and long drain intervals.

- If your engine is sludged inside these oil will become pitch black after a short time!

- Do a couple of short oil changes , say 3kmiles to get the sludge out.

- Many including me use these oils in evrything, cheap, sturdy addpack, good base oil etc.

If you are intrested in making some own witchbrew- pour a quart of redline oil in there.

its esterbased and have good cleaning properties.

Note that the hdeo´s usually are dirt cheap and doesent carry the same syn/ dino hype

as the passcar oils do.

-They do have to meet higher standards thou....

- Look for ci4 or cj and sl or higher after the api code (api ci4/sn fex)

#17 ImperialCrown

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Posted March 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

 This hasn't even been diagnosed yet and that needs to be the first step. We don't know the condition of the inside of the engine.  Start with some preliminary diagnosis beginning with an actual baseline cold oil pressure at idle. Watch the pressure as it warms.

 Don't trust the position of the dash gauge for an assumption of good oil pressure. 1/4 scale could be 4 psi which is the minimum warm pressure. I would like to see at least 10 psi warm idle.

 If it is a noise under a valve cover, determine which side it's on and pull that cover. A blanket of internal sludge actually quietens engines. The hydraulic lash adjusters in these almost never went bad, but there were some valve keeper/rocker issues on some of these engines. PCV hoses also softened and sucked flat that rendered the PCV breather system ineffective. This would cause sludge no matter how often you changed or what oil you used.

 We probably have no clue as to the past history of this vehicle. Even engines that are pampered can go bad. Does it have a trailer hitch or appear to have had a hard working life or been a family wagon?

#18 peterjon1

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Posted March 16, 2013 at 11:15 am

The OP hasn't been back since he said it was sounding better, but possibly the Mobil was cleaning out some sludge which may have temporarily blocked a passage or adjuster, and now the block has moved on?


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