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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
When it happens you will discover the situation resolve itself like all matter of life. There are many unknowns in life. Maybe trade it in if it bothers your personal tranquility.
Correct it will. If this were a car I drive around home, I'd just keep driving it and put a new engine in at the time it blows. Motor goes 26 hours from home, it's a crap shoot as to which mechanic will work on it, how good are they, will they take me to the bank because of my situation, and all the other logistics of being so far from home. Then I have a warranty but who the **** wants to drive 26 hours to get warranty work on labor done? Right now to get a new motor from the dealer in Butte, MT I'd be #37 in line. She said it could be a year before the motor comes in.

I'm going to call my dealer at home and see if they can give me a price on the job. If I can get a brand new motor I may do that and then sell the van and build another. With a new motor w/ 100k mile warranty I should be able to get all my money back out of this one considering the current van life craze. All the new technology (adaptive cruise control, etc) in the new vans is enough that I'd want a new one. Because we're spending extended periods in the van (1.5-2 months on this trip), a 159 would be more comfortable and allow us to have a bathroom.
I'm wondering if she noticed out-of-town plates and took the opportunity to swing for the fences. $2000 in parts???

Here's a cut and paste of the email from my Dodge dealer for the work of replacing all the rocker arms and lifters and 1/2 of the spark plugs in my Caravan, prices in CAD.

It is 24 rocker arms and 24 lifters

Rocker arms $346.80
Lifters $148.08
Labour 5.5hrs $687.50 (this time includes the diagnosis time, you have to remove the camshafts)


Total $1182.38

(Note: the total is before taxes and the shop supplies, etc., which is why I said that all in, it was $1600 CAD. Not in the list above were also 3 spark plugs at $20 each, some valve cover gaskets, etc., if I recall.)

Doing the math, the rockers come out to a bit more than $14 CAD each. Kip said he gets them for $5 USD. In my post above, an OEM Mopar camshaft is sub $300 USD each.

How did she figure the parts got to $2000 USD???

Re: 13 hours labour. Is she claiming that it will take 6.5 more hours to replace the camshafts? And why is that? The camshafts are right there. Would they replace the rocker arms (and in my case, also the lifters), put everything back together, and then remove them all again just to do the camshafts???

I believe you are on the road and thus may have limited time. But if you do have some moments, ask around for a few more quotes.

Our engines are all Pentastars just like my Caravan. I'm thinking that any Dodge dealership can do this repair. Often Dodge/Chrysler dealers are not allowed to do warranty work on Promasters and sometimes they blindly decline all work on our PMs simply because they don't have hoists big enough to lift them up, but engine work won't need the lifts.

Maybe call an independent or two.

Update: it gets better. As I type this, I asked my wife to kindly find the invoice for my Caravan work. The taxes in, out-the-door price was not $1600 CAD, it was only $1348 CAD (or in today's exchange rate) $1081 USD. Even if both camshafts are replaced (again, mine were not because I caught this problem early), I can't see Josh's job costing more than $2000 USD.
I'm guessing they thought they had me pinned in a corner. The other two dealers close by (Whitefish and Bozeman) couldn't get me in until the end of October and November. Maybe this is why the dealer in Butte could get me in. They thought they were going to hit a homerun.
 

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2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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Maybe expand your options to include any Dodge dealer. There should be lots to choose from. One of my other vehicles is a Lexus, but any Toyota dealer would be able to work on its engine and there are many more of them in town. Maybe one of them could have an earlier slot for you.

I do acknowledge that the PM's engine in a more cramped space than my Caravan and I could see a reluctance by a mechanic to work on it. But it's still the same Pentastar.
 

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I've searched the forum and it appears the cost to replace both cams and all rockers is $1500-2500? Am I correct? I was able to get my van into a dealer today that can get the work done on Tuesday/Wednesday but they want $4400 to replace them all including spark plugs. At that price I'd rather have a new motor for $7200. Only problem is motors are on backorder with no ETA. I think I'd rather just run it and take the risk of messing up the motor. Any thoughts? @Kip-on-truckin what you think?
This quote is high but are they replacing all cams because their are 4 and all 24 rockers and rappers? I do this job weekly on Promaster so and that repair usually runs around 3000 here in New York State and my dealership hourly rate is 139 and to all that say it should take days to do, it would if you haven’t done this job before and don’t know the torque specks and have the special holding tools to do it plus after about one thousand of these cams replaced I have gotten very good at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
This quote is high but are they replacing all cams because their are 4 and all 24 rockers and rappers? I do this job weekly on Promaster so and that repair usually runs around 3000 here in New York State and my dealership hourly rate is 139 and to all that say it should take days to do, it would if you haven’t done this job before and don’t know the torque specks and have the special holding tools to do it plus after about one thousand of these cams replaced I have gotten very good at it.
Thanks for the info. At $3k I probably would have let them do it. I just couldn't see how they arrived at $4400.
 

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I’ve replaced multiple rockers, I think they are 7-14 dollars each. I just pull the cam covers off and feel for the bad ones. They will disintegrate if you drive with a bad one for to long. I’ve never had to replaced a cam and think you would need to have a bad issue to need that.
 
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