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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Engine rebuild parts suggestions?

Hey guys! Rebuilding my engine and I want your input on parts and upgrades!

Long story short, I dropped a valve seat in Cyl 5. It didn't break so the piston and cylinder are fine (yay!). The head is a little dinged where the seat bounced around on top of the valve during my attempts to figure out the issue, but that's the extent of the damage. (Read about my adventure chasing electrical ghosts HERE.)


I now have both heads off and I am piecing together a rebuild plan for preventative replacements and upgrades and I'd like to see what you guys think!
Since the valve seats are a common issue, I definitely want them replaced with a better alternative. Other common Hemi problems (at least on 03-08s) are valve springs and lifters...I want to replace/upgrade all of this NOW before any of it potentially creates bigger problems while I have the engine apart!

First, the heads. I'm planning on having Inertia do my head rebuilds. They have an authorized installer about an hour from me, but I'm not sure if they can do everything there or if I still have to ship to Inertia's main location. Regardless, their head jobs fix and prevent the issue with better parts and I believe pricing INCLUDES shipping. Since I want to fix the other head issues, I will be doing one of their upgraded head packages that includes a full 6.1 valve train, plus head bolts and gaskets. I want to at least do the fuel economy package (ported/blended exhausts), but at that point I might as well go for the full performance (intake & exhaust ports)...however, that's getting pricey with my end goal in mind

The lifters. I want to keep MDS and any "upgraded" lifters I can find are MDS delete versions. So, Rock Auto has Melling and Enginetech lifters. I read somewhere that Melling recently (2016?) upgraded their design. I don't think I want to go with Mopar OEMs since I still read about those failing up to 2011, maybe even newer. Thoughts?


I'm also very heavily considering a new cam. In fact, yes, I'm going to do a new cam . I don't plan on doing any racing, so I don't need a really tall one, but I want to do something. I was leaning towards a CompCams 260H-13 but now I think I'm set on a Crazy Jay Plus from Inertia. I like the CJP since Inertia is already doing my heads and valve trains, etc and they seem a bit better, being custom and all. The Plus has better low and mid range over the regular CJ, which is better for towing and for just how heavy the Commanders are (over other Hemi vehicles). Plus, they are the same price! I'll be getting either 6.1 push rods or Inertia's Custom Forged as a result here.


The head rebuild will come with head gaskets, and considering everything else about Inertia, I would assume they are good. So, suggestions on intake seals, valve cover seals, and exhaust gaskets? I saw some people swear by Percy, some by Mopar OEMs.
I need new exhaust bolts: Nord-locks? Suggestions?



While I have the front of the motor off for the cam....should I consider replacing anything?? Other Hemi rebuilds (mostly in the Chargers) suggest so, but most of them are racing....113k miles on everything currently. I know the general idea would be "yes, just replace everything!"....but I'm trying to be realistic here as none of these are THAT complicated to replace later.

Considerations:

  • Water Pump (new one was put on by previous owner. I would guess around ~70k miles)
  • Timing Chain
  • Timing Tensioner
  • Entire timing set? (Cam/Crank gears, chain, & tensioner)
  • Oil Pump


Exhaust. Having the heads off is the best and easiest time to upgrade or replace exhaust manifolds on these beasts....except, no one makes shorty headers for the Jeeps. Also that these are the most restrictive part of the engine for us with these ridiculous logs, so upgrading nets the biggest performance boost. I have already exhausted my research with ideas and attempts. I know there's a few GCs and a few of you who have full custom builds, or using stock SRT headers, etc etc etc. Seems like no matter how I go, I'm going to have to have some custom parts. Which gets expensive, and possibly time consuming, in a hurry. I did find that American Racing makes a set of long tube headers (w/ or w/o cats) for the GCs that, I believe, bolts right up to most Cat-Backs and should work on the Commander. Dyno testing with the Borla Cat-Back back for one guy was about +30 or 40hp with everything else stock. BUT at $1500....ehhhh...not to mention, I have to put the heads back on first because long tubes- so this upgrade can be done at any time....however it'll suck. I do already have a Borla Cat-Back, so that's something....

All intake things can be done at any time, so that's not a concern to me at this point.

Other minor things I will be doing:
  • 180* thermostat
  • High Speed fan temps reprogrammed?
  • New Rad cap
  • Belt looks fine, might replace anyways
  • Belt tentioner?
  • EGR valve
  • O2 sensors worth replacing?
  • New oil, coolant.


And obviously a tuner to round it alllll out! I know there's a lot of threads here on tuners, and I haven't dove too deep; but it seems Superchips is the more popular here, all the other Hemi vehicles seem to swear by the Diablo Predator, though. So I'll be diving into different threads more geared on that when I actually get this thing back together!


SOOO...thanks for any input or suggestions!
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 04:19 PM
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So I have to ask, what are all of these engine upgrades going to cost you?


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2018, 07:26 PM
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If you're looking to maybe save a buck, you can swap in a 6.1 cam, that's a real common 5.7 hemi swap part, and since 6.1 owners are always looking for fat cams, the stock ones are a dime a dozen.

As far as lifters go, I believe if I'm remembering correctly, ALL hemi lifters are interchangeable, and rumor is if you order a set of lifters for your hemi (using the part number for your specific vehiy) from the stealership, you'll actually end up receiving hellcat lifters. It could have been a different part other than lifters, I don't remember EXACTLY. But it was a valvetrain part. I'd look into it.

Springs are a good idea to replace, beehive springs are pretty great. But springs can be expensive.

Heads! Before you pull the trigger on inertia for heads, at least look into thitek heads. They are sworn by every hemi owner that has them, and they out perform any other head for hemis manufactured by a significant margin. They flow fantastic and if you ever wanted to get performance parts, that head has a TON of options. Hellcat superchargers fit on them. And I saw 5 for sale a couple weeks ago for $2k a piece brand new, which is an absolute steal.

Sorry, went on a rant there. Hope this was helpful.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkulhunterM42 View Post
If you're looking to maybe save a buck, you can swap in a 6.1 cam, that's a real common 5.7 hemi swap part, and since 6.1 owners are always looking for fat cams, the stock ones are a dime a dozen.

As far as lifters go, I believe if I'm remembering correctly, ALL hemi lifters are interchangeable, and rumor is if you order a set of lifters for your hemi (using the part number for your specific vehiy) from the stealership, you'll actually end up receiving hellcat lifters. It could have been a different part other than lifters, I don't remember EXACTLY. But it was a valvetrain part. I'd look into it.
I forgot all about looking into 6.1 cams...I'll have to revisit that! I definitely like the idea of a cheaper alternative, I'm not made of money after all
That is interesting about the lifters, I guess I'll dig some more and try to compare Mopar part numbers. I KNOW there is a difference between MDS and Non MDS lifters and the 6.1s DON'T have MDS. However, I keep seeing that the 6.4s do have MDS, I guess because they aren't an SRT motor...?

I wasn't considering complete custom heads. I did look into doing a 6.1 head swap, but that started with different compression ratios, required a different intake and opened up the exhaust issue again. While that'd be nice to drop in an Eagle intake with ported throttle body, headers, etc...that's getting way more expensive than I want this whole thing to be. However, at $2k for a set of custom heads...I'm going to be paying almost that for Inertia.
I haven't researched yet, but with high performance heads like Thitek, do I run the risk of HAVING to run performance tunes and 91 octane or something? While I am doing some performance upgrades, I do want to keep this thing slightly "daily driver-ish" and economical (hence the inertia fuel economy build heads)...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Blue View Post
So I have to ask, what are all of these engine upgrades going to cost you?
As the plan sits: Inertia heads will be around $2k depending on the build I go with, and that includes upgraded springs all the other new/upgrades parts I want/need. New lifters will be around $350, Push rods are cheap. A new cam is $150-600 depending on what I decide on and what deals I can find.
Those parts, plus any of the other preventative replacements I mentioned, gaskets, fluids and a tuner- ballpark of $3200? For a peace-of-mind, long term engine with better performance.

Last edited by Wombler; 07-09-2018 at 03:47 PM.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2018, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wombler View Post
As the plan sits: Inertia heads will be around $2k depending on the build I go with, and that includes upgraded springs all the other new/upgrades parts I want/need. New lifters will be around $350, Push rods are cheap. A new cam is $150-600 depending on what I decide on and what deals I can find.
Those parts, plus any of the other preventative replacements I mentioned, gaskets, fluids and a tuner- ballpark of $3200? For a peace-of-mind, long term engine with better performance.
That's reasonable in the grand scheme of things.


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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wombler View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkulhunterM42 View Post
If you're looking to maybe save a buck, you can swap in a 6.1 cam, that's a real common 5.7 hemi swap part, and since 6.1 owners are always looking for fat cams, the stock ones are a dime a dozen.

As far as lifters go, I believe if I'm remembering correctly, ALL hemi lifters are interchangeable, and rumor is if you order a set of lifters for your hemi (using the part number for your specific vehiy) from the stealership, you'll actually end up receiving hellcat lifters. It could have been a different part other than lifters, I don't remember EXACTLY. But it was a valvetrain part. I'd look into it.
I forgot all about looking into 6.1 cams...I'll have to revisit that! I definitely like the idea of a cheaper alternative, I'm not made of money after all [IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/JeepCommander_2016/smilies/tango_face_smile_big.png[/IMG]
That is interesting about the lifters, I guess I'll dig some more and try to compare Mopar part numbers. I KNOW there is a difference between MDS and Non MDS lifters and the 6.1s DON'T have MDS. However, I keep seeing that the 6.4s do have MDS, I guess because they aren't an SRT motor...?

I wasn't considering complete custom heads. I did look into doing a 6.1 head swap, but that started with different compression ratios, required a different intake and opened up the exhaust issue again. While that'd be nice to drop in an Eagle intake with ported throttle body, headers, etc...that's getting way more expensive than I want this whole thing to be. However, at $2k for a set of custom heads...I'm going to be paying almost that for Inertia.
I haven't researched yet, but with high performance heads like Thitek, do I run the risk of HAVING to run performance tunes and 91 octane or something? While I am doing some performance upgrades, I do want to keep this thing slightly "daily driver-ish" and economical (hence the inertia fuel economy build heads)...
No I don't believe a higher octane tune would be required. As far as exhaust manifolds go though, I'm not entirely sure. What I do know, is that the thiteks come with new valvetrain as well, well, besides the cam. And the post 2010 intakes are actually cheap ( I sold a brand new one for $250 a while back), although I believe the thiteks are configured to mount ANY intake you want. I'd look into it, but I believe that's the case.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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If I remember right, the main reason for HAVING to swap intake and exhaust manifolds with a 6.1 head is because the ports are different sizes. I want to say the intake is even at a different angle or location? We can swap a 6.1 exhaust manifold to 5.7 heads (with the 6.1 gasket) because the smaller exhaust ports are dumping into a larger manifold opening, you start working against yourself with large ports dumping into a smaller manifold!
The MAIN reason I dropped the 6.1 head idea was the immediate change in compression ratio....while you can fix it, that's more work/effort than I want to do considering the modded stock and custom 5.7 head options out there.
With that said, putting a different intake on 5.7 heads...well, upgrades for a later time

I looked a little into a 6.1 stock cam, and the general opinion is that while you can; you will loose some low end and mid-range. Exactly what I DON'T want! This can be slightly remedied by advancing the cam a few degrees, but overall people suggested just saving and getting a cam specifically made for the 5.7s since there's so many now.

I keep looking around at these Thitek heads....the only distributor pricing I found was about $3400 with Beehive springs, $2600 with no valves/springs. Everyone else either doesn't have the heads listed at all (Inertia is a distributor) or I have to call for pricing. Where did you see a deal for $2K? While these would be awesome; at these prices, and with how much I'd take advantage of what they offer, I'm def back at an Inertia build...that extra $1.5k could go towards long tube headers or some other toys!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 03:04 AM
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While those heads are nice, they are unnecessary unless you are planning on forced induction. The Edelbrock heads will outflow the Apache heads and are half the price. Summit sells them for $1100 each. Not bad for 350 cfm head and if your trying to save money, definitely the way to go.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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While those heads are nice, they are unnecessary unless you are planning on forced induction. The Edelbrock heads will outflow the Apache heads and are half the price. Summit sells them for $1100 each. Not bad for 350 cfm head and if your trying to save money, definitely the way to go.
That's what I was thinking...and I have no intention of doing forced induction. I'll look into the Edlebrocks, though!


Anyone have any input on the wear parts I was considering? Oil Pump, Timing set, O2 sensors, etc??
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 02:36 PM
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Most definitely worth the investment if you can afford it. I would never spend that kind of money and skimp out on a few extra bucks. My preference is high volume oil pumps. I would also swap in a high end double roller timing chain. You can inspect the waterpump and tensioner pulleys and make a call. I wouldn't replace the egr unless it's defective. Same for the O2's.

My waterpump just blew apart yesterday morning at 93k miles. Just started screaching and bang, no more coolant in 5 blocks. When I stopped, it was literally pouring out the front like out of a hose. One of the pulleys was buzzing for awhile and I was already planning on replacing it but for the extra $25, I got both the tensioner and idler. I went with the 192* . The 180 is too cool unless you are running hot or forced induction and will increase engine wear.

You may aalso wish to consider ARP head studs or at least head bolts for added strength. Pricey but several times the holding strength of factory fasteners. I would also purchase an under drive balancer. I bought the PowerBond 25% piece and will install it now with the waterpump repair.
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