Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

BenchTest

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2023
Posts
52
Reaction score
62
Location
Midwest
Ram Year
2018
Engine
3.6
Greetings Folks,

Like many others here, I've found this forum in search of others having similar experiences/issues and hopefully, ultimately, resolutions. I've owned my truck for about 16 months now. I purchased it used at about 43k miles. I now have 65k +/- miles. Here's what I can share so far:

Engine oil filter housing/cooler adapter - like millions of others, mine leaked. I opted to go with the Dorman Solutions fix. My thoughts on it were pretty simple - Mopar hasn't gotten it right in numerous attempts at revising the design, so I'm not going OEM. As a little background on my Pentastar experience, my former employer ran 70+ 3.6 Pentastars in various vehicles as part of their service fleet. I was a Regional Manager and dealt with quite a few of the regular failing items on these vehicles (filter housing being one). The replacement was pretty straight forward, albeit a bit aggravating having to do that on such a low mileage engine. No need to go into replacement details as that's been covered ad nauseam. I have about 12k miles on my replacement, operating in long duration road trips in various temps, with no issues to report. I feel the Dorman fix was the right decision. At this service, I replaced the thermostat/housing combination, radiator cap, and antifreeze following standard procedures for such. It was accessible during the housing swap and I'd rather do it sooner than later and while it's accessible.

Transmission service - I've read TONS and TONS of information from a bunch of different resources (including the manufacturer) in preparation for servicing the 8 speed ZF transmission. Again, more about me - I've been in a service/technical industry for 30+ years, some of which have been within automotive. Everybody has different and varying opinions on what the exact right thing to do is when servicing a transmission. I'll share what I did and my results. You may agree or disagree, but this is just what I did. The transmission pan and filtering unit are all-in-one on these transmissions from Mopar/ZF. There are different aftermarket units that provide for replaceable filter-only services going forward. I opted for a Mopar pan/filter combo as I believe this is a critical part that needs to adhere to specs. The original pan design had a drain port which was handy. However, the replacements/updated design from Mopar have eliminated this port. That's unfortunate as it makes futures services a bit more tidy (and drain/refills easier). I opted for Valvoline ATF for the refill. Some may balk at the idea of not using the specific ZF Fluid or Mopar re-bottled version. Again, ATF usage has been discussed ad nauseam as it relates to these transmissions. If money isn't a concern, then take the safe route and use OEM spec fluid from the OEM. I'm 10,5k miles since service with no discernible performance difference using Valvoline. For what it's worth to readers, I have used Valvoline for drain/refill type services on NUMEROUS vehicles for years without issue. Not all fluids are the same, yes I'm aware. Do your homework and make sure your refill product meets spec, confirm with manufacturer, etc. There is a specific procedure on the refill to achieve proper fill within temperature parameters. It's not like the good ol days of drain/refill/check with a dipstick (sad face here).

Fuel/air delivery system service - This could be a lengthy area, but I'll keep it as brief as possible. I run pump-delivered fuel system cleaner approximately every 5k miles. Better said, "add to tank" cleaner. I use Berryman's. Used routinely this PREVENTS deposit buildup. It's much easier to prevent buildup than to correct it. This is usually where people make the comment "well, if you use TOP TIER fuels, you don't need fuel system treatment". I can argue that extensively having 20+ years experience working with motor vehicle fuels, additives, and the like. In a perfect world, fuel delivered from the refinery/loading racks to the gas station would have the proper brand-specific additives in the proper ratios, thus negating the need for additional treatment. E.g. if you ALWAYS filled up at the same Chevron gas station every single time you needed fuel, and that station was always delivered fuel by the same transport, dropping the properly mixed fuel every time, you'd be getting the correct amount of Techron in your tank always, and you'd be set. That's just not reality. Especially if you drive cross-country or even across your state regularly. That's cleaning the fuel system from the tank forward. Obviously this isn't a 100% cleaning as no fuel treatment will remove ALL deposits. There is no "miracle in a can" - again, PREVENTION is way better than trying to CORRECT a neglected fuel system. This is all done preventatively. As I am not the original owner, I have no record of what had been done prior to me taking possession of the truck. During the tear-down process of replacing the oil filter housing, I took note of the intake ports and runners on the plenum and noticed some carbon/gunk buildup, which is inherent in the delivery system over time. Everything accessible was manually cleaned while apart. This includes the throttle body. If doing this process, take the time to do it correctly (throttle body relearn is a thing). If not, drivability issues will emerge. This is also true with APPS (accelerator pedal position sensor, it needs to know it's range from top to bottom (think decreased MPG, shift points incorrect/shift quality degradation, hesitation/idle issues).

Driving - I do a mix of highway driving and inner-city. I average about 18-19mpg regularly (unloaded, single or double occupied). I recently completed a 3200 mile trip and averaged 22.3 MPG. This consisted of mostly highway driving, mix of rolling hills and flat land, and in 0-25mph head and cross winds. There was quite a mix of all the above. The highway portions were averaging 75mph with approx. 450lbs of cargo (camping, offroad recovery gear) About 400 miles of this trip was at an elevation above 5000', some above 9000' (peaks near 12k'). Portions of the mountain driving were 4x4 Hi and a small portion in 4x4 Low (pulling steep grades offroad). All that combined, to average 22.3 MPG, I feel that it performed well. To propel a full-sized 4x4 truck with those criteria, I'm satisfied.

CEL - Check Engine Light (MIL - Malfunction Indicator Lamp for some folks). This machine has been through the gamut of EVAP codes. It's irritating, frustrating, aggravating, punch-it-in-the-face provoking. Crawl under it, remove a this or that, pop the hood, remove a this or that...start doing OHMs readings, checking volts, blah, blah. If you've ever chased EVAP, insert BURNING FIRE EMOJI here. So yes, I've been that route. Currently it's quiet, but I have ZERO doubts that it'll puke a P0JUNK code sometime soon. POOR design by Mopar (and all manufacturers really). Can't help but think it's a money grab. Does the "carbon footprint" really get offset when you compare all the EVAP parts that end up in a landfill to the amount of gas vapor being "reclaimed" by this garbage? I doubt it. Pure junk. I've travelled in excess of 2 million miles doing service work over my 30+ years. I've been through some vehicles and EVAP issues.

Slow/no flow during fuel delivery to gas tank -
Many of you have experienced this or read about it. I have done both. My truck was a giant PITA to fuel. .10 CLICK. .35 CLICK. 1.17 CLICK. *AGGRAVATING* Again, a lengthy topic. It could be your this valve not opening, it could that not venting properly, it could be a bad nozzle on the fuel dispenser (yes dispenser, not pump). So off I went checking the this's and that's all over the truck. Meter, OHMs, volts, blah. Guess what, still won't flow fuel into the tank as it should. After doing some looking around, research, and cussing, I found that there is a vapor canister filter on this truck. On this particular model, it's attached adjacent to the fill neck (which has been another source of fueling issues for Ram). Hmmm. Solid engineering, not. A paper filter element exposed to ambient moisture, dirt, and temp extremes, that doesn't show up as a serviceable item on anything that I've seen. I removed the housing and element. It was caked in dirt. I looked online and did not readily find any resource for this part or an actual OEM name for it (I eventually found it after some prolonged searching). Prior to actually finding the name for this part, I had gently tapped the filter in every direction to knock the excess dirt off, followed by low pressure compressed air from the inside out to help convince some of that dirt to go away. During this time I had read about the vapor canister developing a "blockage" of sorts as a result of prolonged restricted air passage from this very filter. I decided to drop the vapor canister and investigate (there is a lengthy history of these being problematic for several years/makes/models). That process wasn't difficult. Once the canister was out, i used LOW air pressure through a fabricated "fitting" to check air flow in and out. Initially it had a slight resistance. I "exercised" the air back and forth through the canister several times through all ports. Seemed that the initial flow resistance faded away. Did the charcoal some how clump up over time and then decided to release to smaller granules? IDK. Reassembled everything and guess what.... 20 gallons straight into the tank 3 different occasions without a single hiccup. Using the same dispenser, same nozzle, and basically the same flow rate (standard gas station nozzles should flow product at a rate of 8-10gpm).

I guess that's enough rambling for now. Hopefully this information is useful to somebody trying to figure out similar issues with their ride.

Thanks all,
BenchTest
 

Redfisher1974

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2023
Posts
347
Reaction score
410
Location
Palmerston Ontario Canada
Ram Year
2017
Engine
3.6
Good info, my 2017 3.6 with 70k on it has never leaked oil from filter housing, however I’ve always used torque wrench on it as not to over tighten it. I’ve replaced all fluids at 60k. Only failures since new has been AC compressor, transfer case shift motor and a few issues with bad grounds and such… nothing more frustrating then chasing intermittent chassis codes…
 
OP
OP
B

BenchTest

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2023
Posts
52
Reaction score
62
Location
Midwest
Ram Year
2018
Engine
3.6
Good info, my 2017 3.6 with 70k on it has never leaked oil from filter housing, however I’ve always used torque wrench on it as not to over tighten it. I’ve replaced all fluids at 60k. Only failures since new has been AC compressor, transfer case shift motor and a few issues with bad grounds and such… nothing more frustrating that chasing intermittent chassis codes…
Bummer to read about AC compressor going out that early. Mine is a bit noisier than I'd prefer, but no performance issues that I can tell so far. I've done all fluids as well. The lovely stealership that I bought it from "certified" - which I inherently don't trust - I found condensate in the rear diff to the point of starting to have milky appearance in fluid with only 45k on the clock. That was immediately replaced, ran for 500 miles, and replaced again. That was 20k or so ago, no issues. Wiring issues are the worst. I've chased them for years. Intermittent = intermittent nightmares.
 
Top