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S. Allen
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
09:53:25

Subject: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Ok...its getting closer and closer every day...the day I order my new 2003 Quad Cab!

(oh...I can't wait!)

I sure hope the new rear disk brakes are good and they've solved the rotor problem by then.

Anyways, I was leaning towards the 4.7 V-8 automatic (got to have an automatic - lots of stop and start traffic here!), but I think the 5.9 is available on the SLT Plus Quad Cab as an option and you don't HAVE to get an R/T to get the 5.9 engine.

That being the case...which of these engines is the most reliable...the 5.9 or the 4.7? My cousin has a 96 Ram with the 5.9 and well over 100K miles and has had no troubles with it. Chrysler has made the 5.9 since the 60's (right?) so they probably have it "down" real good by now.

Still, the 4.7 is interesting and may get a little better mileage. I also worry about that plastic intake and alloy piston heads as far as long life goes. It doesn't seem ot have been around long enough to "prove itself."

So...is the 5.9 a better choice for long term ownership? Is it easier to work on and get parts for? Doe it respond better to light performance mods, like intake/exhaust mods? Does it run smoother?

The gas mileage difference is not that huge between the two, so its just a matter of me picking an engine.

Does the 5.9 get mated up to a better auto tranny than the 4.7 or do they both share the same automatic tranny?

Any advice/sugestions from those that own either and those who have driven them considerable mileage (50K miles or more) V-8 would be appreciated. If you just bought one last month...good for you...but I would like advice from those that have some time behind these engines.

I am NOT trying to start a fight over 5.9 vs 4.7 or anything like that(lets PLEASE keep this civil!)...just trying to find out which is more reliable for long-term ownership.

Thanks in advance!

-SA



TorqueMonster
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
11:48:38

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Well thats a stupid question. Of course the 5.9 is more reliable. It has more torque like a tractor motor so it doesnt have to work hard like a small motor. A 4.7 motor is peaky and has to be revved out all the time in order to go anywhere. Any motor that can rev higher will brake easier. Race car motors rev high and look what happens to them. Go with the 5.9 motor and don't rev it out all the time and it will last like my motor has. TORQUE RULES!



EyeTrip
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8/01/2002
11:49:14

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Get the 4.7 if your worried about it. It's a really strong motor that can be moded for a reasonable price. Not to mention the MPG is better.
The 5.9 is not for the lighthearted. And it needs some work to be unleashed.


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kota on 20s
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8/01/2002
11:56:58

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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S. Allen, i have a little over 80k on my 318 (almost the same as a 360) and i have had ZERO problems with it. (and i "hot rod" it A LOT) my uncle has a 360 in a 94 ram with over 170K on it and also no problems, and a friend with a 360 ram with 180k, but he had to replace a water pump.

the 5.9 it REAL EASY to work on!! you have room everywhere, and you can go to any auto zone to get parts.

i dont think the 4.7 has been around that long to get any good data. i have HEARD that since the rings are close to the top of the piston, this MIGHT cause it to burn oil at about 100k, but who knows.

also, no matter with engine you get, i HIGHLY recomend getting the limited slip rearend with the 3.92 gears!!!!!

Eric, 98 5.2 5speed, K&N gen II, 50mm TB, 2bbl M-1, 1.7RR's, JBA ciramic headers, carsound cat, dumped gibson, and a lot more

S. Allen
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
12:36:45

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Oh don't worry...the limited slip rear end is going on either engine I decide on. I will do some light off-roading every now and then - not enought to warrant spending extra for the 4x4, but enough to need limited slip. I will also be getting the trailering package and limited slip comes in handy at the wet boat ramp.

Its just that these newer engines with all their non-steel parts really worry me on the longevity side. I know other carmakers like Honda have made aluminum engines that are reliable and go many 100K miles, but the Americans are still pretty new at it.

I know the 5.9 is pretty much "low tech" when you compare it to these newer engines with their multiple cams and ingition systems and all, but theres something comfortable about "tried and true" designs.

I have a friend that waited to buy a new Silverado, until the newer (1999) body style and new 5.3 engine came out. He wanted the newer body style and the newer "higher tech" engine.

Well, instead fo going ahead with the tried and true 350 small block Chevy V-8, he got a new-fangled engine that has an annoying problem called "piston slap." This lovely little problem causes him to burn oil at 15K miles and the damn thing sounds like a light diesel at idle.

(Lots of GM full-size truck people are having this problem right now with the new GM V-8s)

This was an "unproven" new design and he paid alot of money for a problem that was unseen for many miles. GM won't do a thing about it and says "thats normal". (typical GM...isn't it?)

Really...an engine SHOULD burn a qt. of oil between changes at 15K miles and sound like a diesel at idle? I don't think so! That was a 26K dollar screw-up and hes going to dump this Chebby real soon....sad.

(moral of the story - he should have gone with the "tried and true" Chevy 350 - say what you want about GM, but that engine has proven itself)

-SA



alex
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
12:42:52

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Well, if your buddy's Chevy grenaded at 15,000 miles, then you should definitely get the 5.9 motor. I've got the 4.7 motor and it's already gotten so bad that I have to put more gasoline in it every 350-400 miles. It's awful. And I have to get the damn oil changed every 3000 miles. What kind of reliability is that?? I've already had to change the damn oil like 16 times in two years. SHeesh.

And the tires? Jeez. I have to rotate those things like every freakin 5000 miles. I may have to buy a new set of drag slicks, here before too long. It REALLY eats those things up. Jeez.

Just unproven aluminum crap!!



Buggy-Bumpers
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
12:58:02

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Go for the 4.7. The engine is great. I have about 24K on my 2001 QC SLT Plus. I just put 8K on it for vacation and the tranny that is comes with is a work horse. This is the same engine that is an option in the Grand Jeep Cheroke. The engine pulled my Travel Trailer from West Coast to the East Coast then to Florida and back to West Coast without any complaints except it was upset when I finally took off the trailer. It took it about 3 days get use to having the brick behind it. I pulls the mountains without any complaints and all it asks for is a little bit better grade a gasoline when hittling the mountains with the load. I reccomend using mid grade or better when towing.
The 5.9 will be discontinued in about 2 years, its being replaced with the 5.7 Hemi head.

2001 QC SLT Plus
4.7Ltr FT4WD LSD
TT HD LINE-X
Access Tonneau Cover
PIIA Fogs Brush Bar



TorqueMonster
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
13:08:06

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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See what I mean? Alex is already having all kinds of troubles with his 4.7 motor and now it has piston slap with only 15k miles. It's gotten so bad that he has to change his oil all the time. I've had my 5.9 engine for 60K miles and I've only had to change my oil 3 times! These low revving 5.9s will last forever because they have TORQUE! The reason I don't have to change my oil so often is because some of it disappears when I'm driving. It doesn't leak anywhere but I end up adding about 1 bottle a week. You know its a good motor when it doesnt leak oil. So all you 4.7 motor idiots just keep changing that oil and I'll keep driving my torque building 5.9 motor. And S. Allen is an idiot if he doesnt get a 5.9 like I have. TORQUE RULES!



alex
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
13:25:18

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Another thing that's bad with this engine is how bad it is on air filters. Mine has the K&N filter and I'm always having to clean it every 10,000 miles. Jeez. That's not a very clean motor.

Oh- and I've already had to take off the clutch fan. And I had to do that at like 35,000 miles. it just kept on spinning around & around and sucking all the torque out of my motor. And you know how little torque this motor makes.

I'd get the 5.9 motor. It's got enough torque to overcome that clutch fan. Plus it revs to 4700 rpm!! Now THAT's performance!!



S. Allen
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
13:58:49

Uhh...ok
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So the 4.7 has been good for some of you...thats a good thing, because its hard to find a 2wd Quad Cab that has the 5.9 on any Dodge dealer's lot - almost all are 4.7s or (no way) V-6s.

I have actually driven both motors and could not tell that much difference in power (really).

Still, I'd like to hear from someone that has 75-100K miles on a 4.7 and still thinks it is great.

ANY engine (I dont care who made it) should go AT LEAST 20-30K miles without anything more than oil changes. Both of my Fords did this. So did my ratty and crude old S-10 Blazer (what a rattle-trap!).

...anyone out there with a high mileage 4.7?

-SA



alex
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8/01/2002
14:25:54

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Does it matter that I've been actively drag racing my 4.7 for the majority of 52,000 miles? The only things I've replaced were because I was installing a higher performance version of the same part.

So basically I've been hammering this motor since it was about 3 months old and nothing has failed yet. It gets 20-22 mpg on the highway and runs 14.96 @ 90 in the quarter mile. And there's plenty of performance left to go. I garantee you that by January/February of 03, there will be some jaw-dropping developments in the 4.7 performance arena. I also garantee you that by January/February of 04, there won't even BE a 5.9 liter motor being produced any more.

Just soemthing to think on.....



Alan
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
14:29:52

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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I drove the 4.7 around for several days and I ended up getting the 5.9 QC 02. One thing that I am not to impresssed with the the all wheel drive all the time. Seems to really slow my Dak down. Seemed to me that the 4.7 had alittle more pep.



WallyR
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
14:30:18

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Monster,
A quart a week?! In how many miles/week? If it's not leaking, where on earth is it going? My guess is the tailpipe.

Alex,
The dirty filter has to do with the environment the vehicle is operated in. Knowing that K&N released the 4.7 FIPK only about a month ago, how did you rack up 10K in a month? I wouldn't gripe about 400 miles per tank, you're getting over 16 MPG with your foot in it.



alex
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
14:43:23

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Okay, seriously, did you not see ANY humor in my posts, there?

I've put 52,000 miles on the motor. Every 3000 miles makes about 16 oil changes. Gas every 400 miles on my 22 gal tank means I am getting abotu 18 around town and about 22 on the hwy and that's doing 80 mph. You didnt' really think I was serious about the motor making the air filter dirty did you?

But overall, it's just plastic and aluminum crap that will never last. Hahahahahaaa

Plus it's got no torque! Well, okay maybe 350 ft-lbs at the crank, but that's not much!!!!

hahahahahaaaa



WallyR
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
15:18:40

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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OK, Alex, you get me. Score one for you!

One good thing about the lack of torque-you can launch the thing and not do as much damage to those crappy factory Goodyears!

Later



TorqueMonster
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
15:57:21

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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There is no way the oil is going out the tail pipe. Some motors just need more oil than other motors do. Mine is one that does. Somebody said my intake manifold gasket might be leaking but I don't see any oil so its not leaking. My motor pings sometimes but thats mainly because my 5.9 motor has high compression torque settings and they only sell crummy gas around here.



alex
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
16:04:28

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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I heard that 5.9 motors are supposed to run a hi-torque producing gasoline. I think it comes with Amoco silver from the factory. Maybe it's Amoco gold. How much torque does Amoco gas produce?



S. Allen
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
17:18:53

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Thanks Alex for the posts (yes...I chuckled at it).

Your 52K hard miles counts as long term useage...definately. Harder driving is as good a gauge as longer mileage.

Yeah, it does worry me that the 5.9 is going away. Not that parts would go away anytime soon, but dealers will stock more 4.7 parts in the next 5-10 years (usually the timframe I run one truck) and thats something to consider.

Besides, this had to be a good engine to completely replace Chrysler's flagship V-8 - the 318.

I liked the 4.7s I drove in the Dakota and Ram, lately. Especially the one in the Dakota. It seems a little punky in the big ol' Ram, but I'll bet that when the 5.7 comes out, it will eventually be THE engine that most people get in the Ram. A 5.7 Ram is going to literally squash any F-150, Tundra or Silverado out there south of the Lightning (which means 99% of 'em). A 5.7 Dakota will border on missile status!

Of the "newer" engines that Chrysler has come out with in the past 10 years or so, it seems like they thought this 4.7 out better than some others.

Besides, with that big ol warranty they're offerring, if it turns into a turd within the first 7 yrs/70K miles...they're gonna eat it with a fork and spoon!

Thanks for the input guys...I cannot wait to order the new Dak!!

-SA

(hey, if I can make a 1991 3.0 V-6 Ranger go 111 years and 185,000+ miles on the original engine/tranny...making the Dak go a long time should be gravy!)



S. Allen
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
17:21:41

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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OOOPS!

thats 11 years...not 111!

sorry!...this PC keyboard sucks

(I miss my Mac from home)

-SA



alex
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
17:32:59

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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I really dont' think the 4.7 has enough balls to carry the Ram very well, but then again, I never thought the 318 was enough for that either. I read a post on moparchat.com thismorning where a guy in the Ram forum ran into a Chrysler engineer who was driving a Hemi Ram test mule to the gas station. The engineer gave him a ride and he said the difference is night & day. It was a 4x4 2500 I think and the engineer said it was getting 11-12 mpg on the street. Sounds like it should be interesting to see if it makes it into the Dakota......



2k4x45.9er
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
20:35:12

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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go for the 360
this motor is nothing like the olden days.... todays 5.9s have state-of-the-art computer management system so you can have the best of both worlds mine has over 45K miles and it feels like new it could go on for ever im not kidding this motor would last forever trust me...




Hersbird
Dodge Dakota
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8/01/2002
20:49:17

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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I'd have to say both the 5.9 and it's automatic are more reliable long term then the 4.7 and it's auto. The 5.9 is just relaxed in stock form where the 4.7 is a bit pushed. OHC motors with aluminum heads almost all have problems with vlave guides and head warpage at about 150,000. Then there is the timing chain replacement that will be needed on a high mileage, older 4.7 where the 5.9's will last indefinately. The first thing usually needed to be rebuilt on a 5.9 is the rings and bearings (about $150 worth of parts) and they can easilly go 250,000 miles. Sure either motor can have premature failures of different parts but the suff on the 4.7 is just pretty much designed to be replaced sooner. The new 5.7 hemi that is coming out is basically the same old 360 design with different heads. It has some other improvements to make the short block stronger but it's virtually the identical size and design of the pushrod 360 just with hemi heads on top. I just don't see never touched 150,000 mile OHC motors that don't push smoke out the tailpipe, maybe dodge has done something that not even Honda and Toyota can do with the 4.7 but I bet given 10 years of average 15,000 miles a year will show the smoke on a 4.7. Somebody may have a 2 year old Dakota with the 4.7 and over 100,000 miles with no problems but you really won't see the problems develope on a long highway runs it takes to get that kind of mileage in two year. Drive it hard, and put it away wet, stop and go, 15,000 miles a year for 10 years and that is the real test. Lots of 92 and 93 318 Dakotas (really identical to the 360) have accomplished this, maybe the 4.7 will to.



WallyR
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8/01/2002
22:28:05

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Just to add some comments:
1) A good compromise between output and durability is 1 HP/cubic inch. Neither the 318 or 360 get near this, that helps to give them the durability they're known for:
360 (5.9)=0.69 HP/CID
287 (4.7)=0.81 HP/CID
Based on this theory, the 5.9 is potentially a more durable motor. Shame the factory has detuned it so much. Given the same ratio as the 4.7 the 5.9 would output 291 HP in stock form. Not bad.

2) Chains are chains. The 5.9 has no tensioner to compensate for wear, the 4.7 does. I'll bet the 4.7 lasts longer here.

3) Properly engineered OHC motors are just as durable as OHV ones. Look at a well maintained Benz or Volvo from 20 years ago. Hopefully DCX did their homework on this...

4) 45K on a 5.9?? Just broken in! BUT, state-of-the-art computer control does not overcome a very outdated design. The 4.7 is by far more efficient.

All in all, I guess we can only hope that DCX hasn't designed a "throwaway" motor and that we will be enjoying our 4.7s for years to come.

One more thing-look at the bracketless components and just imagine the fun we're gonna have after milling heads and decking blocks-better have a bag of shims handy!

Wally




TODD
Dodge Dakota
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8/02/2002
08:54:29

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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I HAVE A 2000 5.9 Q.C 32,000 ON IT
AND I LOVE IT .
IT IS THE BIGEST MOTOR IN THE L.A FAMILY AND BEEN IN PRODUCTION SENCE 1972.
AND YOU CAN STILL GET THE 426 HEMI.
AND IT HAS BEEN OUT OF PRODUCTION SENCE 1969.
AND DEALERS DONT STOCK PARTS.
THEY ORDER THEM.
GO FOR THE 360.



alex
Dodge Dakota
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8/02/2002
09:37:46

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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I think that if this guy can go 11 years on a 3.0 Ranger then he's not gonna be warping the heads, cushing the valve guides and wearing out the rings & bearings on any Dodge motor.

Hersbird, where do you come up with this crap? Have you ever actually worked on a car, or do you just read Popular Mechanics?




WallyR
Dodge Dakota
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8/02/2002
09:46:52

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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Todd,
If the Hemi went out in '69, how did the factory build Hemi Cudas (and others) into the early seventies??

The Hemi was dead-killed by the so-called gas crunch in the 70's and was brought back in recent years as a crate motor. For many years it was pretty much aftermarket or nothing. If DCX doesn't see a demand for hi-perf 360 engines and parts they'll kill it too. Hopefully won't happen since there's many of them out there, just remember you're dealing with the same company that kills things for no reason (case in point-XJ Cherokee).

Wally



Chris
Dodge Dakota
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8/02/2002
11:36:24

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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I have 70k miles on my 4.7l, I am on my 4th set of rear skins and I drive mostly 80-90 highway miles.. So you can imagine how I take off and shift the 5-speed... So far this thing starts evry day and kicks ass every day... I hit at least 100MPH once on my daily commute of 80 miles... even this time of the year with the A/C on...

What Can I say, I am still in love with this truck. If something happened I would have to buy another 4.7... leave the low revving 1960's technology for the R/T's (yes I know the 360 only dates back to 1973+-)... Hell they can't even get a 5-speed... but whatever at that point... Buy what you want, I don't think either engine will dissapoint... maybe go at it based on initial cost, insurance, and mileage... I think the 4.7 will win this war in the end...

CHris
(stepping off my pedastal)...
2000 4.7 s-speed, cc, 2wd... LOADED...



mdandl
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8/02/2002
12:18:20

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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i got 3 jeeps with 4.7L
1 with 145852 miles
1 with 141444 miles
1 with 165021 miles
all 3 have been 25000 miles between oil changes using amsoil, have not done any work to them but plugs, pcv, and oil changes

also have rams 5.2L & 5.9L both have performed well in hd construction use

1997 Dakota Sport RC V6, Magenta, Dynomax Ultra Flow, K&N, APC Clear Corners, NR White Face Gauges, Mopar Boards, rails and Others to come
2000 Dakota Sport RC V6 Soon to be PLUM CRAZY
NEW TOY 1987 Dakota RC LB V6 60241 miles

Demon Dakota
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8/02/2002
12:25:22

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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There's nothing wrong with the 5.9 or the 4.7. The HP to cubic inch thing is totally bunk for a reliability rating. There are plenty of 200 HP 2.0L Acura engines with 200K miles or more that still run like champs, and I guarantee they have hit rev limits that our trucks only dream of. The 4.7L is picked on b/c it's new, and the 5.9L b/c it's older tech...but SO WHAT! They both work just fine in the end. It only matters what you test drive and think feels the best for your needs. If you want to keep the engines stock and do some towing/offroading, then get the 5.9L for it's superior stock towing power and torque. If you want efficiency, plenty of revs, and a greater power to weight ratio, then get the 4.7L. Hell, you can always buy the HO Cams and HO Intake for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and install them yourself on your 4.7L and even the odds dramatically. Then get the computer reflashed. It'll be mor efficient (still) than the 5.9L and with more power and torque in it's stock trim, and will still come out to be less money than the 5.9L off the lot. OK, I'm done rambling...



Hersbird
Dodge Dakota
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8/02/2002
18:39:41

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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The 5.9 is $500 more then a 4.7 on the quad cab. Yeh you can add cams, intake, and get a custom flash on the 4.7 but it costs more then $500 for that. You can aslo get a custom cam, intake and PCM flash for even lower prices on the 5.9 and end up getting a better gain. But this is about reliability. I have worked on many different cars at the hobby level since 1985. I have seen the mainstream introduction of the OHC motor and have seen the differences I pointed out eariler. I have torn apart 20 year old 250,000 mile LA small blocks and seen what's worn and what's not. I don't know what the reliability on the 4.7 will be, I already said that. But I do think it will be tough to beat the proven 5.9 design, so good that is now what they have returned to for all the Dodge truck motors current and future, except the 4.7. While I normally don't think Consumer Reports has the most accurate information they do get the results from somewhere and the worst ratings they have ever gotten in their history were on the new for 1999 Grand Cherokee with the 4.7 and the 45RFE. Like I said, normally I don't put much faith in CR but when they say it's the worst stats they have ever seen it gets my attention.



Hersbird
Dodge Dakota
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8/02/2002
18:50:03

RE: which is more reliable 4.7 or 5.9?
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And the 5.9 can be added for that $500 to the Sport, Sport+, SLT, or SLT+ on the quad cab. The only way to get then 5.9 on a CC or RC is to get the expensive R/T package, there the 4.7 ends up being much less expensive.



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