crushed intake valve ring

This is a typical intake valve seat failure. It doesn’t matter that this is a 4.7 Dodge pickup truck head. It happens to other car models as well. In most cases it is the intake seats, occasionally the exhaust. I don’t know how much money Chrysler saved per engine but my cost difference between powdered metal (a.k.a. sintered metal) is $.50 on average. Chrysler, to the best of my knowledge, fixed the problem in 2009.

Except for the new 3.6 liter V-6. 

My longtime friend (30 years) is parts manager at one of the local Dodge dealers. I haven’t seen work from him in over a year. When I called explaining I wasn’t sleeping with his wife, asking why haven’t I seen any work from you in a year? He said he has 2 “heavy line” mechanics and they’re too busy replacing 3.6 liter heads under warranty, they don’t have time for customer pay. Chrysler, trying to put out the fire (I presume) is selling those heads brand new, complete cam, lifters, and rocker arms for less than $300.

intake valve damage

Common mistake # 1: Not replacing all the intake seats

Years ago we used to give the customer the option, replace all the intake seats or not. Here’s what happen when the customer declined replacing the other 7 seats:

Two months later, it overheated again. These are out of the right side of that engine. If the customer declines all the intake seats, we won’t do the job.

not replacing intake valves

Common mistake # 2: Not verifying the rings aren’t seized from a crushed ring land.

At first glance you have to replace the piston (this one’s bad), maybe. The cosmetic damage is irrelevant. If there are no pieces of the seat embedded (can cause hot spots and you can pick them out) and the piston floats you’re OK. To check whether the ring(s) are seized, with to piston at the top of the bore, try and move the piston from front to back. It won’t move much, a few thousands of an inch. If it moves, you’re OK. The other thing you should do is run the piston down to the bottom of the bore and check for cylinder wall damage. The picture above is and extreme case. Most failures we see are not that bad.

Common mistake # 3: Not cleaning the intake plenum.

crushed intake valve ring

When this seat failed, the engine, if shut off immediately, still would have turned over a number of revolutions sucking all the “shrapnel” up into the intake plenum. By not cleaning it, more than likely those pieces will be sucked back down into the engine and you might wind up doing it all again, ughhh.

If you have any questions about this or any topic (no marriage counseling) please call us anytime, 407-730-9777.

Thanks for your time,

John Lantry


  1. February 16, 2018

    Good evening
    Before tell you a joke pls be kind and inform me why in the cummins cylinder head the EX valve seat broken and make a damaged in the cylinder iner and the piston in the 1st cylinder (Euro 4)6.7 l hope you can help me .
    I asked my friend in 2017 Valentine day what you do to your wife he answer me proudly I send her to China and I asked him again what you will do to your wife this year he answer me I’m thinking to send her back home

  2. March 7, 2018

    What generation Cummins engine valve seat broke ? call me @ 812-969-2444 thank you!

  3. November 21, 2018

    In 2008 l purchased a new ram 1500 4×4 with a 4.7.I have to admit it ran well for 150.000 miles . But one day it picked up this funny noise.sound like a firecracker in a barrel with the cap on coming from the exhaust pipe.Not every rpm but every 15 to 20 seconds(pop) .A Couple days later ,after stopping for gas I started it and l
    Thought it broke a piston shut it off idmeditly. Towed .home pulled head (Dam) dropped intake valve hard seat..#1cyl with the year model and #of miles l (had to think about the old(girl).!!! Thought,I’d keep her around you know depend ability and all so a 48.000.mile engine was purchased via the web .WEll the 28.000dollars was real the mileage probly wasn’t . Who knows anyway ran great first couple days no leaks checked oil and pulled rad cap ok .well down the road aways temp warning comes on it’s hot but not pegged good.. Anyway the guy never got the cap on right so l had to ask my self had I Wasted the 37years of my life twisting wrenches .well this time it dropped 7of 8 intake hard seats. Well that’s one” oh shit”. How’s your day so far

  4. April 16, 2019

    So… I don’t see a recommendation on Exhaust valve seats… what are the thoughts there? Replace those too while you’re at it or no?

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