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2003 Dodge 2500 Hemi, good motor for plowing?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by odd1or2even, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. odd1or2even

    odd1or2even Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    In the market to buy another plow truck and I've been told to watch the engine because certain years were not good for dodge. I figured I'd ask the guys who plow with the trucks for the real dirt...

    2003 Dodge 2500 single cab, Hemi motor 5.7L with 105K miles... about 7900 dollars. Good or bad? Thanks
  2. RacingZR

    RacingZR Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 400

    Thats the same motor I have. I'm not aware off too many issues with the Hemi. They had some sludging issues with the 4.7L but we had a Jeep for 120K and never experienced that. Did a tuneup when I bought mine and have never had any motor issues. More than enough power to get it done at 345 HP. Did have some heater issues, make sure the heater works and listen for any vibrations with the heat on. A lot of issues with the HVAC doors and heater cores plugging. And a plow truck without heat is not good, haha!
    Also check front end parts. U-joints and ball joints are going to have to be replaced if they haven't already. Did mine with lifetime parts, greasable parts.
    I like my Dodge and that seems like a pretty good deal. I got my 03 QC with 109K for $9500 and I thought that was a pretty good deal.
  3. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    I'm with RacingZR. The HEMI and 545RFE Tranny have turned out to be very very reliable. I frequent many Dodge Discussion boards, and unless you mod the motor to the tune of about 450-500RWHP, the tranny will basically never fail.

    As for HEMI Problems- The early model's had a "tick" from the lifters. Some would drop lifters into the cylinders obviously ruining the motor. Dodge took care of these engines back in 2003 so if that particular truck had any issues, they would've been fixed by now. Other than that, they haven't had any widespread problems. The HVAC or Recirculation door can be a problem, but is a fairly easy fix on the 2003-2005 trucks.

    The last thing I'll say is change your plugs at 30k intervals. The motor will run fine without it, but you'll definitely notice a difference in MPG and power if you change them around the 30k mark. Also, stick with the copper basic plugs, don't go with platinum.
  4. mow 4 u

    mow 4 u Member
    Messages: 42

    I have a 2004 regular cab hemi that I have been plowing with for 3 years now. Am happy with the truck, have had the usual front end issues, but all in all a good plow truck
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    I like my 05. It's pushed everything from a 8.5 straight blade to a 9'2" vee with-out problems
  6. dakotaskustoms

    dakotaskustoms Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    Ive been plowing my 2003 HEMI for 3 years now. My ONLY issue has been valve springs. I have broken 2 of them. Cyl 1 and Cyl 6. The OEM springs (Intake Especially) in the early 2003 year have been known to break, causing the valves to drop. I lucked out both times and didnt drop it so far as to tag the piston (phew!) On the second time, I spent the extra money and had ALL the springs (Intake and Exhaust) replaced just as a precaution. Been great ever since. Dig go through a Front Hub, but those are cheap and easy to replace. When it comes time for the ball joints (2-3years of commercial plowing), spend the extra and get lifetime warrenty ones. It will pay for itself.

    As for power, I run a 2003 QC 2500, 8.5 EZ-V, and ive never been down on power, even when running stock. I got a Cortex Tuner (made by Superchips) and changed the tune to the Towing Mode .. got an extra 2mpg avg while plowing. And i get an extra 4mpg around town with no plow. At $3/Gal ... The $400 for the tuner was paid for in short order in savings.
  7. Cromer_22

    Cromer_22 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    5.7 Hemis work good...I've plowed 4 seasons and tow a 30ft 9800lb house trailer and its held together fine for 130000km so far....I heard rumors the 03's were no good but to each there own.
  8. huskerfan523

    huskerfan523 Member
    Messages: 51

    Couple things. 1- what happens when a valve spring needs replaced? My truck ticks sometimes but my mechanic said that's just a hemi thing, done iit since I got it 10k miles ago, 2004 2500 50k miles, anything I should worry about? And 2- where'd you get that tuner? Any different one anyone is using that they like better?
  9. V_Scapes

    V_Scapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,072

    I just started plowing with my 2007 hemi and it had plenty of power behind it, especially with this blizzard we just had but having the dually is a different story.