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I have a new to me 2002 dodge dakota quad cab slt 4x4. gorgeous truck. slowly fixing everything on it.

anyway on the way to work last week (I only drive it once a week) when I neared my destination I heard a sound I did not expect or want. low oil tapping sound and oil pressure dropping intermittently.

took it easy got a quart to hold me over to destination (10 more miles)

4 quarts low!! (including the quart I added so 3 more). holy shit. that is never a good thing. Must be burning it as the coolant seems fine and there are no drips. engine and trans are bone dry on the exterior. not even a "seep" anywhere.

it ran SO nicely I got complacent and did not do my job and check it regularly. I screwed that one up.

well. the tapping continues even with full oil and pressure. now I assume I will need to address lifers or valves at some point. time scale for failure or escalation?

the oil loss. rings? (going to compression test this week)

suggestions? (its the V8 4.7)
 

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I have a new to me 2002 dodge dakota quad cab slt 4x4. gorgeous truck. slowly fixing everything on it.

anyway on the way to work last week (I only drive it once a week) when I neared my destination I heard a sound I did not expect or want. low oil tapping sound and oil pressure dropping intermittently.

took it easy got a quart to hold me over to destination (10 more miles)

4 quarts low!! (including the quart I added so 3 more). holy shit. that is never a good thing. Must be burning it as the coolant seems fine and there are no drips. engine and trans are bone dry on the exterior. not even a "seep" anywhere.

it ran SO nicely I got complacent and did not do my job and check it regularly. I screwed that one up.

well. the tapping continues even with full oil and pressure. now I assume I will need to address lifers or valves at some point. time scale for failure or escalation?

the oil loss. rings? (going to compression test this week)

suggestions? (its the V8 4.7)
Some things to check:

Pull up the plastic thing in the oil fill tube. It has a little hole in the top of it and you can run a wire through it to help you yank it out. Check for sludge. With these 4.7ʻs they have very small oil channels. They will plug up with sludge if the oil is not changed regularly. To fix it you could run seafoam through it. However the only true way to fix it is to pull the heads and timing chains and clean out the block with some long gun barrel cleaners or industrial strength pipe cleaners. Not a fun job. This was my experience.

You could also pull the valve cover (passenger side is easier) and check the lashers. Youʻd have to get a valve spring compressor, pull out the rocker arms, and then pull out the lashers. When you get them out, if they are soft or move at all, they need to be replaced. Still...this would not solve the oil loss problem.

Do you have smoke coming out the rear? I would think that if your rings were shot you'd see the oil and smell the oil burning. Start it up, rev it up, then get outside and look and sniff. If you got smoke, your rings are shot. Much bigger job than the two I described above.

If no smoke, I think you've probably sludged up your engine. Put some seafoam in there. After 50-100 miles, drain the oil and check it for metal shavings. If there are no shavings, replace the oil filter, put in some new oil and see if that does not stop the tapping.

From experience, the tapping could be your lashers are not getting enough oil due to plugged channels, your lashers are shot, or your timing chain guides are shot and are slapping inside the timing chain cover. For me it was all three. All three issues are a PITA to solve, so hopefully the seafoam does the trick.

Good luck!
 
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