Preemptively replacing cam and lifters on a 5.7 Hemi *before* tick?

Bearded Lion

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Hi all,

I know this is discussed multiple times per day in Hemi world, but almost everything I read is about either rebuilding the top end after failure or bad ticking starts, or for a high performance street truck.

My question is: does it make sense to replace cam, lifters, rockers, etc. on an otherwise fine 5.7 to avoid future problems? Would this be an effective strategy?

My situation:
- 2012 Sport 5.7 4x4 Crew
- approx 120k miles soon
- 3.92 rear end, 6spd auto, jba shorties, corsa exhaust, s&b intake, hemifever tune on diablosport trinity
- daily(ish) driver in heavy city traffic with expected mild occasional offroading for camping on fire roads, beach, etc.


My logic is that the truck is perfect for me except for two main gripes... the six speed sucks and I wish I had the 8 (can swap when it dies), and I worry the truck will leave me and my family stranded at some point when it eats a cam. I know it's not the majority of hemis that die catastrophically, but when they do, I'd hate for it to be far from home, offroad, or to grenade the rest of the engine with tiny metal shards of death. Putting in an upgraded cam and lifters and associated goodies, doing proper maintenance, maybe I could expect another 100k or so out of this engine and have peace of mind. There's a school of thought that you can just toss another engine in when it fails and that might be cost neutral, but then you don't know what you're getting unless you buy new, in which case it might have the same Achilles heel.

So, do people do this? If so, any recommendations on a trustworthy installer not too far from NoVA? I am probably capable of doing myself, but as the truck is mostly a daily and I'd probably not do as well on my first attempt as an experienced mechanic, I'd likely have someone do it for me. I know it would be expensive, but so is an engine replacement or buying a Tundra or something.
 

Burla

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What makes you think a new cam and lifters would stop hemi tick? It often does not and then dudes are out thousands.

The 6 speed rfe is incredible and buildable, can improve and fix psi and tune shift points. if you want more info let me know, or swap your 8 speed.

Look up redline lubrication strategy, redline 5w30 and royal purple 20-820, look at poll results.
 
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Bearded Lion

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Do what you like, I have 2 2012's. One with 225,000 miles and one with 145,000 miles. Both run great and I'll never change anything on them before it goes bad. Who knows, the new cam and lifters you put in could be defective early. Wish I had a crystal ball too! Good luck in whatever you choose.

I go back and forth on that philosophy. Viewing risk as likelihood x consequence, it's the high consequence of breaking down somewhere very difficult to get out of, on family vacation, or killing the other parts of an otherwise solid engine that drives my consideration. True, don't fix what ain't broke is logical too... I could make it worse with defective parts or a poor install.

If your going to upgrade to an aftermarket cam and lifters I would say it’s absolutely worth it since you’re going to be gaining some extra power as well as removing that variable completely from the equation.

That's another thing I wonder about. The truck really has all the power I need, and I definitely don't want to lose low end, so I'm assuming a mild upgrade would be appropriate. It's the "removing that variable completely from the equation" that I like... rather than driving a ticking time bomb, NPI.
What makes you think a new cam and lifters would stop hemi tick? It often does not and then dudes are out thousands.

The 6 speed rfe is incredible and buildable, can improve and fix psi and tune shift points. if you want more info let me know, or swap your 8 speed.

Look up redline lubrication strategy, redline 5w30 and royal purple 20-820, look at poll results.

Well, it's not the tick that bothers me at all. I had the manifold bolt failures and replaced with headers and quality hardware of my own sourcing, and my engine is relatively quiet. I'd want to go after all the parts that are most likely to lead to catastrophic engine failure in the top end... I've read about plenty of ways to reduce or eliminate the noise, but if the thing ticked like a metronome for a million miles I'm sure no one would complain. I just want to address supposed inferior parts in the drive train, and although no one can agree on the exact cause(s) of the cam failures, it sure seems like the roller bearings in the rockers, the cam itself, or some combination thereof are likely culprits. I've read the idle hours and oil pressure and flow rate discussions, and I can't get past the fact that people run all combinations of oil, filter, interval, pumps, and yet it still seems like the failures are unpredictable. That points more to a mechanical defeat imo.

I'm convinced to switch to RL at next change at least. Have seen your polls and the feedback, and I have RL fluids going in the diffs and xfer case soon, so it makes sense.

That's good to hear about the rfe... maybe I'd go that route instead of a swap. I am mostly after reliability (mechanical engineer, a bit fanatical about redundancy and reliability), but the shift points and lugging with the six speed tuning drive me nuts sometimes.
 

Burla

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Yeah, my 545 shift points with the 3,55 are horrible as well. You can tune them out, or drive in tow haul which changes the low rpm garbage. with 3.92's and a 6 speed, just a tweek on a tuner is all youll need.
 
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Bearded Lion

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Yeah, my 545 shift points with the 3,55 are horrible as well. You can tune them out, or drive in tow haul which changes the low rpm garbage. with 3.92's and a 6 speed, just a tweek on a tuner is all youll need.

I'm a total noob when it comes to transmission tuning... how would I go about that? Take to a reputable tuner or buy HP Tuners and mess with it myself or?

The 3.92 is great, but I might bump up to 35s at some point and that'll just exacerbate the problem.
 

HEMIMANN

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I switched from PUP to RedLine at mid-20k miles. Why wouldn't you want to? It's a $9,000 engine, not including loss of use if it fails.
 

Burla

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68, 66, or 65 the upgrades will be the same. If you want to go big, you get a plate instead of a gasket, will never leak, increases costs a couple hundred. Get a metal thread and synthetic filter upgrades. I dont have a tuner, but I know guys who do, changing shift points is very easy. You need a plate or gasket to increase psi, which will help a lot changing gears.

 

tron67j

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I had the 5.7 with with the 5 speed transmission in a 2003. Never wished I had 8, ran great. I come from the school of 1) maintenance is critical, and 2) it it ain't broke don't fix it. My two cents, run and enjoy it until it is time to fix something.
 
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