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Solving The Riddle Of The V10 Chrysler Cylinder Head
"When is something you know not what you think you know?" Sounds like a mystery, doesn't it? For example, when is a car not a car? When it turns into a parking lot!
By Roy Berndt
I know, I know - don't quit my day job. But that really IS my day
job - dealing with mysteries and riddles. In this case, the riddle is
the cylinder heads of the 8.0L, V10 Chrysler truck engine.
Although there aren't nearly as many of the Chrysler V10 engines out in
the marketplace as the Ford Triton V10s, there are enough of them that
you have probably seen them show up in your building at some point. Since
the engine's life span was only 10 years and ended in 2003 they have
now become "orphans" so to speak. Once that happens you know for
certain that someone is going to have to remanufacture this engine and
Typically, either cylinder heads or crankshafts will begin arriving at
your door before the complete engine will. To make things easier, we
are going to talk about the cylinder heads - what you need to watch out
for and what you can do about it. The best/worst part is that you only
need to work with one casting number.
In 1994 the V10 truck engine, which was considered a derivative of the
Viper engine, became the gasoline "big" horsepower/torque application
choice over the diesel for those who harbored ill will towards the
clatter, smell, smoke and huge cost. Before you start writing hate
mail, no, I'm not diesel bashing, just stating the consumer facts.
The cylinder heads used in the 1994 and 1995 model year (MY) V10
applications were c/n 53005854. The intake port is the area where we
want to focus our attention. Look at Figure 1 and examine the upper
portion of the port as indicated by the red circle.
As you can see
there is a very minor clearance relief for the intake manifold-mounted
fuel injectors. However, with this cylinder head, it is impossible to
remove or install the intake manifold without removing all of the
injectors. This obviously was not the plan when it came to servicing
In MY 1996, the cylinder head kept that same casting number without any
suffix or prefix, however a change was made in the top of the intake
port (see Figure 2) to allow intake removal and installation without
having to remove all of the injectors. Based upon the number of calls
that I've received from engine builders not being able to reinstall the
intake manifold after changing cylinder heads I thought it prudent to
let everyone know about that change.
This change is almost unnoticeable
at first until you lay the heads side by side (see Figure 3). Many of
the facilities that I have spoken with are taking the Ram by the horns,
so to speak, to eliminate part of this frustration. They are using dye
and scribing the port relief shape at the top of the port. They then
remove the material at the top of the port of the 1994-'95 cylinder
heads so that they match the 1996-later head.
By doing this they now
have only one cylinder head part number that will allow assembly of the
intake manifold assembly (with injectors) without the installer
This is one of those low-tech processes: it seems that everyone is just
using a die-grinder and carbide burr to make the modification.
In this case, the answer to the riddle isn't necessarily funny, but it will at least keep you smiling.