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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to replace the spark plugs at 50,000 miles and 2 1/2 years as in my experience, waiting for 100,000 can cause problems with things that won't come undone. I discovered that this is an impossible task because of some water leaks and the result is that the two back screws that hold the top of the intake plenum on have rusted away, or at least the heads have rusted away. The others are fine so I put them back in and as the van is still under warranty I take it back to the selling dealer, Hendrick Dodge in Cary NC and ask them to change the spark plugs and I explain the problem that I encountered. I obviously expect a bill for their labor (3 hours allowed) plus the plugs and assume that the rest will be under warranty.

Now Hendrick is a 2-1/2 hour drive from my location. An hour later they say that if they replace the plugs, my bill will be $1,600. They will charge their price for a complete plenum as they will have to destroy the top and bottom to do the job. WTF?

First the service advisor say that I broke the screws. Then later I speak to the service manager and he explains that this would not be covered under the 100000 mile power train warranty as the intake plenum is not part of the power train.

I instructed them to leave the van alone and now have it back. I can do this job but am annoyed that I have to fix something that is caused by a fault in the van. Hendrick's have lost a customer who has purchased 4 vehicles from them since 2012. If this is indeed the warranty interpretation, FCA should be guilty of false advertising.

I have uploaded some photos which will show where the leak is when driving in the rain and one of the rotted away screw heads. Obviously these are the back ones and the hardest to get to.
 

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NCboatrx,

Sorry to hear of your bad experience, I know your pain well, I have had every water leak possible in the Promaster.

Funny to see your post first time I've checked back in on the forum in an age, just this morning I found water dripping in from the headliner in a heavy down pour:( In addition I had a dead battery so a jump start was in order. When I opened the hood to jump start I noticed a continuos drip of water coming in through a screw in the gutter below the windshield. the water was pouring on the electrical system/fuse box and various connections arg!!!!!!!!!!

My two cents worth, try a different dealer and for sure report it as papab advises. I had a major leak in my wheel wells and my selling dealer tried to tell me it would not be covered by FCA. I called the customer services and they said it maybe covered but, I had to get a diagnosis by a dealer. I told them my story about my dealer and they advised me to find another dealer to diagnosis the problem. I did follow through on a second opinion and got the leak fixed under warranty.

Good luck,

Dave
 

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Do we have to remove anything to see if our screw heads are rusted?

It's not clear to me where this screw is.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The intake plenum is a plastic piece that is held on by 7 torx head screws that look a lot like a wood screw with a flange under the head.
5 of these screws are around the edge of the plenum and are real easy to access and 2 are in a recess tunnel in the top of the plenum. You can see in my one photo (#95054) that there is some brown stain between two of the intake tubes. One bolt is below that stain and the other is to the left of that tube.

Here is a link which shows a line drawing of this assembly http://www.rampartsinc.com/p/Ram_20...ml?partner=googlebase_adwords&kwd=&origin=pla
You may have to click on the small picture to enlarge it.

I don't have the software (or the know how to use it) to put an arrow on the photo.

I have spoken to another dealer and he said that this is not covered under the 100,000 mike power train warranty. At least he was polite and not as ass---- like the guys at hendricks.
 

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I've had similar issues on other vehicles (Heads of the small screws rusting off). While it may be an expensive fix at a dealer and it sucks that they won't warranty it, at least this should be a cheap fix at an honest non-dealer mechanic. Take out the old screws (Or what's left of them), and replace with new and preferably stainless. The dealer just doesn't want the hassle and low paying gig of removing the rusted off heads without destroying the surrounding part.

The water intrusion into the engine bay is still very worrisome, especially seeing those water stains actually going into the intake area. I'd be double checking all electrical connections and exposed metal in those areas and changing screws to stainless and applying corrosion grease anywhere possible.
 

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Wouldn't a 45 degree carbide chamfering tool remove the head with very minimal damage to the plenum?

I spent decades doing steam plant repair. These bits will chew off a head of a fastener very quickly. Then the plenum can be removed and you should be able to grab the stub with vice grips to spin it out.
 

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It really should be covered under warranty. RAM has bolt supplier issues. Just look around my van see random rusted bolt heads at door openings. While other bolts at same openings have zero rust. Clearly bolt supplier has quality issues applying coatings.

BTW, don't use stainless. Thermal expansion rate of stainless way different that steel. It will cause leaks when hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will only be attempting this repair in a few weeks time as I will be away for 10 days.

I have ordered 3 of these screws as they are on back order. hopefully they will be here by the time I return from my trip. As these 2 screws are difficult to access being in a tunnel, my plan is to try with a right angle drill and some left hand drill bits. These bolts ate not very tight and maybe the LH bit will grab and start turning the bolt out. Hopefully I won't make too much of a mess. I will take a few photos and report once the job is done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE. I got mad when I started on the job. Why the **** am I fixing something that is still almost new and should never break?
I did phone the Ram warranty line and as a result, an appointment was made with East Carolina Dodge in Greenville, NC. They provided a loaner vehicle (a car, not a van but I can manage) and they have had a little back and forth with Ram. They have to destroy the intake plenum and the parts are on order. They expect the parts on Tuesday next week and with luck, I can get my van back on Wednesday. I agreed to a $100 deductible for the total repair.

I will definitely make sure that there are no water leaks over the engine to stop a repeat of this.
 

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UPDATE. I got mad when I started on the job. Why the **** am I fixing something that is still almost new and should never break?
I did phone the Ram warranty line and as a result, an appointment was made with East Carolina Dodge in Greenville, NC. They provided a loaner vehicle (a car, not a van but I can manage) and they have had a little back and forth with Ram. They have to destroy the intake plenum and the parts are on order. They expect the parts on Tuesday next week and with luck, I can get my van back on Wednesday. I agreed to a $100 deductible for the total repair.

I will definitely make sure that there are no water leaks over the engine to stop a repeat of this.
Interesting. That is who sold me my leftover 14 van almost two years ago. Great price. But most awful job of filling out paperwork I have ever seen! They screwed it all up so bad that they never got the mess thru DMV. After my temp plates expired, they sent the whole paperwork pile to ME and refunded my processing fee and I had to spend hours at DMV letting a clerk there repair the damage they did to the paperwork. Great price, but I paid in other ways to get it! Hope they do better service on the trucks than they do on paperwork!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Update. I collected my van today. It was ready when promised and the under hood looks clean and tidy.
FCA did step up to the plate and looked after this issue.
Rich, they definitely did a better job on my repair than on your paperwork!
 
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