Notes: The 2002 has the well-known and documented problem with their dashboards falling to pieces, but it also has engine failure from oil sludge. That's a doube shot of awful in your morning coffee.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
95,600 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. completely rework both heads (2 reports)
  3. replace hydraulic lifters & rocker arms (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #9

May 012011

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


After a complete valve job done vehicle came back in 2 days misfiring with one of the rocker arms popped. My question is, if I replace all rocker arms with revised new design will that fix the problem once for all? Please help.

- randy7161, Rialto, CA, US

problem #8

Dec 012009

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I acquired the truck from my boss. I had it less than a year when the first rocker arm popped off. I took it to a garage to get it fixed. They replaced the arms on several occasions. Same thing happens over and over. I'm told it will cost somewhere between $1500 and $2500 to get it fixed. From what I have read on this and other sites...even that might not fix it. Mine has been sitting in my driveway for over a year now! This just goes to show "what a wonderful Co. Dodge is", They have had tons of these and should have recalled them! They wont back their own work. I will never buy anything under any name that is made by Dodge! They obviously have NO integrity, and make JUNK!!!!!!!

- Kathy P., Stone Mountain, GA, US

problem #7

Oct 082010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

click to see larger images

rocker arms keep popping off rocker arms keep popping off rocker arms keep popping off

My 2002 dodge 1500 with 70000 miles has rocker arms on the passenger side that are just falling off.Thought it was broken valve springs,but when i took off valve cover all srings were ok .As i looked around i found the rocker arm on #8 cylinder exhaust valve had fallen off.I found nothing wronge so i put it back on.I drove for 25 miles to find the same problem.Loss of power and bad vibration ,along with knocking sound.I again took off the valve cover to find that now #6 cylinder exhaust valve rocker arm was off.Called local dealership to find that they had only one truck come in with this problem..He said i needed to get new rocker arms and hydraulic lifters...I then went to and ordered the parts,ya my warranty ran out last year at 7 yr.I am just now going to install parts..tbc

Update from Apr 10, 2011: Ok, well its been 4000 miles since i replaced all the hydraulic lifters and rocker arms on the right side, so far everything is going good.Soon I will replace the left side .The parts i ordered were of new revision,the lifters had larger holes and the arms had a hole to the side instead of straight up.The oil hits the cam a lot faster, instead of hitting the top of the valve cover in hopes of it landing on the cam,with the old design.Its an easy fix, to bad dodge doesn't think so and recall these damn engines.Talking to a mechanic i know and he said 02 and 03 were bad engines,dodge corrected the problem in 04 .

- jessiej, Plattsburgh, NY, US

problem #6

Jul 282010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,700 miles


The truck is back in shop now. The first time for #8 cyl rocker off, now 3 rockers off on right bank & 2 off on left bank with broken lifter& it poked a hole in the valve cover. The truck has only 78700 miles on it. It came with 7yr-100000 mile ,so Iam over by 2yr & 22000 under miles

- cmiller0713, Antwerp, NY, US

problem #5

Jun 152009

Ram 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,400 miles

My truck started missing and 'ticking' and the check engine light came on. I took it to Kurt's Autowerks in Austin, TX for a diagnosis. $85. They said #3 was not firing but coil, plug, and compression were good and recommended pulling the valve cover suspecting a bad valve spring. the next day they pulled the cover and found the rocker had fallen out. They said they had never heard of anything like that happening before and stuck the rocker back in and replaced the valve cover. $220. Then they road tested it and it started missing again. This time it was #8 on the other side. They pulled the cover, stuck it back in and closed it up. another $200. They said it was a freak accident and shouldn't ever happen again. It DID. In less than 50 miles it was back to missing again. They refused to guarantee any of the work they did and said they would not even look at again without charging me the 'standard' $85 diagnostic fee.

I ran out of money and have been driving it like this for the past two weeks. I've researched the problem on line and concluded Dodge builds crappy engines and I need to rebuild both heads. Oh, and Kurt's SUCKS!

- lesmoore, Austin, TX, US

problem #4

Sep 092008

Ram 1500 Sport 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have had this problem five times; my rocker arm on my Ram 1500 keeps popping off. I am really mad because they don't know what is causing it to happen at the garage.

- pbrower, Windsor, NY, US

problem #3

Oct 152008

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


I own a 2002 Doge Ram 1500. The engine sounds like a diesel engine. It is very noisy, but the truck is still running. I have changed the oil every single time at the dealership and I cannot believe they have not noticed this at all. They have not brought this to my attention. The dealership is Frank Parra in Irving TX. I searched online to see if I could find any information on 2002 Dodge Ram 4.7 L V8 engine, I cannot believe I stumbled into this website. I just hope that I do not have to replace my engine, I cannot afford to do that and I am almost done paying it off. I will confront the dealership and have them diagnose the engine, I wonder what will happen?? I will let you all know what I find out. E-mail me at if Dodge is willing to clean up their mess. I cannot believe all the people that have had problems with this engine!

- Rafael G., Euless, TX, US

problem #2

Nov 072007

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

My truck started having lifters or roller rockers noise - every morning make more noise -it's unacceptable to me that this truck doesn't have 100,000 miles and the engine start making noise- possible the quality of this engine is fair because this truck always get the service @ time never been overheat just started doing noise.

- Alvaro M., Ontario, CA, US

problem #1

Nov 302006

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 quad cab. I really liked the truck until I started having problems with the rocker arms. I first had it in the shop for a ticking noise. the mechanic told me it needed new lifters. This fixed the problem for a couple of months and then it came back, only this time it was accompanied by a really bad miss and service engine light.

I took it back to the shop and they told me that the rocker arm had come off of the #1 cylinder, but they put it back and it should be fine. Two weeks later, same problem. This time they said it was the rocker arm on the #8 cylinder, and that it was caused by a buildup of sludge on the pickup tube in the oil pan. Again, they told me it was fixed. Two more weeks later, the oil pressure gage starts dropping to zero and the check gages light comes on. I take the truck back to the shop and they tell me that the oil sending unit is leaking, causing the gage to fall. They replace the unit and tell me that it is fixed. Three weeks later... you guessed it, the truck develops a mysterious bad miss and the service engine light comes on. Same old story, only this time it is the #5 cylinder. I tell them not to do any work to the truck. Then I took it to another shop and explain the history to the mechanic. He says the only way to really eliminate the problem is to completely rework or replace both heads at a cost of $2500-$3000. I told him to just put the *&$#@ rocker arm back on again so I can get the pile of s@#t home and figure out what to do with it!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the $2000 extended warranty hasn't paid a dime for any of this because they say that it is "normal wear and tear".

- Brian K., Nicholasville, KY, US

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