In a previous article, we’ve talked about the infamous “Hemi Tick” – why it happens and what you can do to prevent it. However, due to popular demand, we’ve decided to expand on the topic even further.
In this article, we’ll talk about the 5.7 Hemi lifter replacement – how much it costs and whether it’s possible or even viable to attempt the replacement yourself.
The Infamous 5.7 Hemi Lifter Problem (AKA Hemi Tick)
In case you’re not aware, the big 5.7 Hemi might have a serious design problem with the roller bearing lifters and a bunch of people are finding that out the hard way.
There are a number of cases of the 2009+ 5.7 Hemi MDS engines making a loud ticking noise and eventually failing due to hydraulic lifter failure. It starts as a slight ticking noise, then it progresses over time and gets louder and louder. If ignored for a long time, the engine starts to misfire and sometimes throws P0300 and P0308 fault codes.
Now, this issue does not affect every single 5.7 Hemi made after 2009, but it is a known problem among owners and mechanics. While there are a few theories on why that happens, nobody really knows for sure, and as of the time of writing this, Chrysler has not issued a TSB or a statement about it. However, the most likely cause appears to be a lack of lubrication of the roller bearing lifters at low RPM with the MDS off.
For more information on the Hemi Tick, check out this article.
The Average 5.7 Hemi Lifter Replacement Cost
Here’s the short answer – depending on the severity of the problem, the 5.7 Hemi lifter replacement cost can be anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500. Of course, that’s just the average and your particular case might be cheaper or more expensive.
As far as parts go, you’ll typically need 16 hydraulic roller bearing lifters ($1100 from Mopar), new camshaft ($420 from Mopar), gasket kit ($300 – $400), and an oil & filter change ($100). Lastly, lifter replacement on the 5.7 Hemi takes around 8-10 hours, so you can expect to pay at least $800 to $1000 for labor if not more considering the inflation right now.
Now, you might decide to only replace the lifters that absolutely must be replaced in order to save money, but let me warn you – that would be a big mistake. Once a single lifter goes bad, the rest are likely to seize soon as well. Considering that it takes around 10 hours of labor to do the job, you have to replace all 16 lifters at the same time, otherwise, you will be paying twice.
If caught early, you probably won’t have to replace the camshaft, however, if you wait too long, the lifter failure will damage the camshaft and you’ll have to replace it as well. The good news is that you can replace the camshaft with a performance camshaft and potentially increase the power output of your 5.7 Hemi by at least 50 HP while you’re at it.
Can You Replace the 5.7 Hemi Lifters Yourself?
You might be thinking – “Why not just replace the lifters myself and save a bunch of money?”. The answer is – you could, but it’s not going to be easy.
First of all, the 5.7 Hemi is a relatively complex engine due to the MDS system and variable valve timing, and to complicate things further, most bolts are difficult to reach. Unless you’re a decent mechanic and have worked on engines before, I would highly advise you to pay a mechanic to do the job for you.
You’ll need to remove the heads in order to access the lifters, which requires the removal of the intake manifold, fuel rails, coils, rocker arms, pushrods, and the power steering pump. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to inspect or replace the camshaft at the same time – this requires the removal of the radiator, bumper, vvt hub, etc.
Now, the other thing to consider is the fact that if you make a mistake, you could damage your engine beyond repair. If that happens, you’re looking at a much bigger repair bill, so it’s not worth the risk if you’re not experienced with working on engines.
In order to get a better idea of the complexity of replacing the lifters and the cam on a 5.7 Hemi, check out this video:
To sum up, replacing the lifters on a 5.7 Hemi is a difficult task, but it’s certainly possible if you’re a decent mechanic and have worked on engines before. If that’s the case, go ahead and replace them yourself. That way, you’ll save yourself $1000 at the very least.
The 5.7 Hemi lifter replacement is very expensive and can set you back by $3500, but it’s a necessary repair if you want to keep your engine running.
I would highly advise you to replace all 16 lifters and the camshaft while you’re at it in order to avoid paying twice. Furthermore, you should also consider deleting the MDS system, as it seems to fix the lack of lubrication of the lifters.
Lastly, If you’re not used to working on engines, have a professional mechanic do the job for you, as it’s quite complex and a small mistake can easily lead to a much bigger repair bill.
Eddie is the co-founder of CarCareCamp.com, and the site’s primary contributor.
Under his belt, Eddie has a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Electronics Engineering and almost a decade of experience working as a semi-truck technician (specializing in electrics).