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The 5.7 Hemi engine was introduced in 2003. It came in as a replacement for the 5.9 Magnum engines that were used in Dodge trucks before that time.
Hemi means hemispherical. This is because the engine has a hemispherical combustion chamber. This allows for larger valves to be installed, which will, in turn, help burn the fuel mixture much more efficiently due to the larger area and higher power output of the spark plugs.
The first incarnation of this engine was seen on the Dodge Ram. Some other notable Dodge vehicles with the engine is the 2009 Dodge Challenger, as well as some Chrysler vehicles like the 300C.
Before I get to explaining the 5.7 Hemi Engine Common Problems and their solutions, I’ll first discuss…
What is a 5.7 Hemi Engine?
To keep things from getting too complicated, the hemispherical engine works more efficiently than the standard flathead engines. With larger valves in place, the engine can efficiently maximize the amount of pressure within the combustion chamber, burning the fuel mixture completely. The whole engine has been designed with efficiency in mind.
There have been engines with hemispherical designs since the 1960s, like the Plymouth Hemi engine, but the 5.7 Hemi Gen III furthered the technology and design, creating a modern equivalent.
What is The 5.7 Hemi All About?
The 5.7 Hemi V8 engine is an excellent engine that is strong, handles well, and can push through even the most demanding of tasks. It outputs a great deal of torque and horsepower, making them great farm trucks.
That said, all engines come with flaws too. But before we take a look at the 5.7 Hemi common problems, let me highlight some of the great things about them.
The first thing is that the hemispherical combustion chamber allows for larger valves and a larger area allowing a dual spark plug design, which in turn makes the engine burn fuel more efficiently, increasing output power.
The variable camshaft timing and higher compression ratio also helps with the efficiency of the engine. All this means that the engine can output up to 345 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque
Now let’s move on to the…
5.7 Hemi Engine Common Problems
This is a common issue a lot of off-road SUVs and pickups struggle with. When engines are pushed to the max, a lot of things can fail. This is especially the case with vehicles that have OEM parts on them. OEM air filter systems tend to struggle to keep the engines cool under the pressure of an off-road track, leading the engine to overheat.
There really isn’t much you can do to fix this issue. The best thing to do if this happens is to install an aftermarket cold-air intake system. Boosting the air intake will not only keep the engine cool but could lead to a minor performance increase.
One that I would highly recommend is the Cold Air Intake System with Heat Shield Kit + Filter Combo BLACK Compatible For 09-18 Dodge Ram 1500/09-18 Dodge Ram 2500/09-18 Dodge Ram 3500 HEMI 5.7L V8 / 2019 Ram 1500 Classic 5.7L. It will work for a vast range of Dodge engines, but make sure it is suitable for yours.
Broken Exhaust Manifold Bolts
Exhaust manifolds collect all the gas from the cylinders and send them down one pipe. Essentially, this is where the cylinders in the engine connect to the exhaust and is a crucial part of the engine system.
The exhaust manifold bolts that are connected to the rear cylinders on the 5.7 engine tend to break or snap. This is due to them being constantly subjected to heat. Being at the far end, the last few manifold bolts do not get proper cooling, weakening them much faster than the bolts up front. This happens especially with vehicles that still have factory cooling.
Replacing the bolts are not difficult, though, although you will need some tools and knowledge about engines. The Everbuilt Exhaust Manifold Gasket + Bolts & Studs set Compatible for 2009-2020 Chrysler Dodge Ram 5.7L V8 Engines are a great set and highly recommended, but again check for compatibility.
V8 engines are well known for their emission issues, and the 5.7 Hemi is no different. Sure, the 5.7 Hemi V8 has been designed with efficiency in mind, and the dual spark plug system helps with that, but with such a large engine, it is a drop in the ocean towards fixing the issue.
The best thing to keep emissions under control is to use high-quality fuel, keep the oil changes regular and use a high-quality cleaning agent mixed with the fuel or oil every now and then. This should not only keep the emissions as low as possible with such an engine but should also keep the engine in good condition.
Check out our in-depth Best Oil Additives Reviews for some quality recommendations.
A Ticking Sound in The Engine
A ticking sound in the engine is usually caused by lifters tapping. There are quite a few culprits, and the tapping should be sorted out immediately before it leads to much larger damage.
This sound can be caused by faulty valves or even low-quality fuel. The best thing to do when this happens is to get some high-quality synthetic oil and add it to the engine; this should help lube up the valves and lifters.
It’s Always Best to Fix The Issue
Low-quality fuel, bad valves, and faulty lifters are the main cause of this. However, some experts believe that you shouldn’t even worry about it unless you’re constantly pushing the Hemi to the limit. But, since this is a rather expensive engine, it would be best to at least try and solve it rather than wait for it to get worse.
One of the most effective solutions is to use high-moly oil (synthetic). It is known to “smooth out” the valves and the lifters. A great oil to use is Valvoline’s High Mileage 5W-20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil.
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All engines are not made equally; therefore, if you have driven your 5.7 Hemi engine over 200,000 miles without issues or had to replace parts early on, you can never be sure whether an engine will last or not.
Keeping the oil changes regular and servicing the engine at the appropriate intervals will keep it running smoothly, for the most part, no matter the engine.
Now that I’ve been through some of the most common issues with the 5.7 Hemi V8 engine. If your vehicle has any of them and you don’t think you can tackle them yourself, it is always best to get it looked at by a professional.