Dodge Engine Replacement Tips

 Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge Dakota and Dodge  Durango

NOVEMBER 22, 2013 By Powertrain Pro


While ensuring that your Dodge truck is properly maintained will help maximize engine life, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, hidden flaws in engine casting or early failure in internal components means that you’re in for an engine replacement. That’s no fun, but knowing a few things ahead of time will help make the process a little less onerous. Owners of a Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge Dakota or Dodge Durango will find the tips and tricks below helpful.

First Things First

The first thing you’ll need to do, whether you’re driving a Ram 1500, Dodge Durango or Dodge Dakota, is get your truck on a lift. If you’re doing this on your own, you can use ramps or jack stands (front and rear). If you’re doing it in a shop, put it on a vehicle lift.

Next Up

Before you raise your truck, make sure to pop the hood and disconnect the battery. You can also go ahead and begin the teardown. You’re replacing the engine, so everything has to come off, including:

  • Thermostat/radiator hoses
  • Belts
  • Cowl
  • Electrical connectors/wiring harness
  • Alternator
  • A/C compressor
  • Starter

In some instances, you’ll need to remove the valve covers as well, but verify what components are supplied with your replacement engine.

Raise It Up

Now it’s time to put your truck in the air. You’ll need to remove quite a few things from underneath. These will include the driveshaft (to give some play), and the exhaust. You should also drain the oil while the truck is in the air. If your replacement engine does not come with an oil pan, you should remove the old one after draining the engine oil.

Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge Dakota and Dodge Durango owners will also need to remove the mounting bolts that secure the engine to the transmission. Double-check the bottom half of the engine for any wiring connectors that haven’t yet been removed, as lowering the engine with them still attached can add significant costs.

Don’t forget to remove the headers from the engine (after disconnecting the rest of the exhaust and the O2 sensors, of course).

Replacing your engine might not be your idea of a fun time, but it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. You can also use this time to replace any other components that are damaged or in danger of failing (engine mounts, transmission mounts, exhaust components, etc.).