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Ask Dodgerench Your Own Question
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3404
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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Maybe you will be able to help me. I have a 2003 Dodge Ram

Customer Question

Maybe you will be able to help me. I have a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L V8 4x4. I am getting codes p2108 and p2106 after a massive replacement of parts due to a broken valve spring, cylinder #3. This is what I have replaced:
Optima Red Top Battery (warranteed, wouldn't hold charge due to sitting so long)
Fuel pump
APPS (Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor) calibrated correctly
Valve spring, cylinder #3
Crank position sensor
Camshaft position sensor
Cleaned MAP sensor, PCV, O2 Sensors(both downstream and upstream.
Throttle body
Spark plugs, gapped correctly
And probably missing a few more things I can't think of at the moment. The truck was running fine on my way to work one day when all of a sudden it bogged down and would barely idle. After I had replaced everything, other than the spring, I took it to the Dodge dealership. They said it wasn't throwing any codes so they did a compression test. Everything had normal readings except for cylinder #3. It was getting 0 co
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer!. This is Ed.

Dang. You've left a TON of great info, but right at the end -- right where you mentioned compression numbers -- the box-fill quotient got filled.

Did you mean to say that you compression was zero on cylinder #3?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correct. Sorry didn't realize there was a limit. I added the whole message into my notes. I can send it in pieces if that's possible
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

It might not be necessary. Thanks.

Having no squeeze on the same cylinder as your bad spring is almost certainly the core problem even yet.

It appears that the valve involved earlier actually got smacked and bent. Having no way to shut off flow through the bad cylinder, exhaust gases get pulled through the bad hole... past the intake valve... and into the intake manifold, where the gases (that are sorely lacking in oxygen) get dispersed into other cylinders, ruining their days almost as much.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

My only concern would be where the compression loss happened. If it's through the broken-spring valve, you almost certainly have a bent valve. Piston damage will also be possible, but is best diagnosed once the cylinder head comes off. If it's just a cosmetic ding in the piston, chances are good that your parts list stops there.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Many-- if not most-- valve spring failures end with the less-unhappy outcome of just replacing the spring externally (head still installed). But... and I say this with a heavy heart... some result in engine damage and your Hemi might be one of them.

Broken springs by nature hinder the spring from returning to a closed state. Often, even with the reduced closure pressure, valves still manage to evade contact with the piston right below. Compression readings at compression test speeds often show good results on the bad holes, but that's only because time is stretched. If you start the engine, the spring can't keep control, so things go bad quickly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay. From what I saw when replacing the busted valve spring, the valve didn't look damaged at all. Are there any other possibilities? I'm going to remove the cylinder head, regardless, to see what the issue is and if I am able to fix it. I knew I should have just removed it... Will I still be able to come back to this message once I get the cylinder head off or will I have to ask another question?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

This makes finding the location of a bad spring on engines that still control slow geometry of that valvetrain difficult. In your case, it's much easier because you already know the offender, so at least you know which side of the engine to work from.

Figure out if the compression loss on #3 is from a valve, first.

If it's the valve, remove the rocker shaft next to be sure that the valve is allowed to close completely. A %leak tester is ideal for this.

If leakage continues past the valve with the rockers off, it really leaves you with no option other than pulling the head.

Can you come back? Absolutely. I'm not online 24/7 because I work a regular week, but I'll always be here for followup. It's what I do.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Awesome. Thank you very much for you're help. I really appreciate it. This truck is driving me crazy but I love it too much to let her go.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

No problem-o. I think things will sort out pretty quick once you've found your compression loss problem. These engines are incredibly smart for the time they were built. They depend totally on mechanical servitude and when that falls apart, stuff does, too.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 1 year ago.

Just letting you know I hadn't forgotten about you. If everything worked out as we figured, I'd be most grateful if you'd rate your JustAnswer experience favorably.