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EQ Magnum head issues?

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  • EQ Magnum head issues?

    I have bought 3 sets of EQ Mopar heads over the last 10 years, 2 of which went onto LA blocks with all the "conversion" parts// the custom pushrods, Magnum engine rockers, valve covers, etc. These were drilled with the LA intake pattern from the factory.
    The 1st set was bought bare, and I fitted it with the best pieces cherry picked off of 5 cracked OEM Magnum heads' valves, springs and retainers, put onto an 83 318 in a 3/4 ton truck. Ground the valves and lapped them in. . the 2nd set was bought "fully dressed" and put onto an LA 360. and into a Ramcharger. Runs fine with no issues. both of these are carb'd applications.
    not sure that means anything but thought I'd mention it
    In both instances, there was a huge noticeable difference, in how the engine they were installed onto, ran.// though to be fair, in both cases they also got "1 step over stock" RV type cams along with the EQ heads......the 318 went from 2bbl to 4 bbl, and the Ramcharger went from that horrible late 80s TBI to a 4 bbl and "Mopar orange box" ignition at the same time, as well.

    now the 3rd set.... actually went onto a Magnum 360 bottom end, otherwise 100% stock rebuild in an 01 Durango. only deviation was an 0.030 overbore and coated hypereuctic pistons. I had plans for a couple of bolt on upgrades once it was broken in// but never got that far.

    A little backstory/ get a beer, some popcorn maybe some no-Doz..... sorry. PLEASE BEAR WITH ME//// ASKING FOR OPINIONS/ASSISTANCE I haven't been here in a while, things have been crazy. and not just with this Durango either.

    I had bought this Durango 5-6 years ago, as a clean transplant from the South, no rust at all, came from Louisiana just a month before I got it. Had the highest miles on it of any vehicle I have ever bought, right off the bat. but it was CLEAN. it was a choice between either this one, or a black 01 a mile from home, with 100k less miles but a 4.7 engine and a "rebuilt" title. I wanted a 5.2/5.9 "or nothing". still haven't owned a 4.7 anything. This Durango was found on CL about 55-60 miles away. was a great vehicle for us from 214k (when I got it) until 250-some K miles when I started getting a chronic code for a cyl 6 misfire. Fought that for most of a year, thought I had it licked, then the bottom end started getting rattley. I had done a thorough tune-up, many sensors, had injectors rebuilt, went thru wiring harness, and more/ everything humanly possible from "outside" the combustion chamber. Until just before the end, the code would come up but engine didn't run like it had any sort of misfire. in the end, "it showed".

    so figuring that my misfire must be internal, (yes I had done a compression test a few times while chasing "external engine" possibilities and it was always 150-ish) but I bought a used 360 from CL and proceeded to tear it apart completely, sent to a machine shop for "the treatment". Complete stock rebuild. Not wanting to get into paying someone to tune a computer for mods, I went back stock.
    I rebuilt the trans at the same time. Brand new cat, muffler, tuneup, O2's, sent starter and alternator in for rebuild at local starter/alternator shop, everything. New fuel pump at same time, even. just because.

    I thought I had my misfire licked, I had sent the computer in to one of those "computer rebuild" places. still had issues. went to a local boneyard and got another 01 Durango 5.9 brain. Start/quit. Start/quit. reminded me of the old ballast resistor issue. It was the damned "security" crap. So I sent the original brain and the junkyard brain back to the computer store. told them that between the 2, please get me 1 good working functional computer, that will run this damn truck. program junkyard brain for my VIN. They did as I asked, "n/c" because I was still having problems. Did what was asked for BOTH brains for free. said both had lifetime warranty, both ran fine on a "test truck" they had out behind the place. Upon the 2nd time sending them in, they apologized profusely for the problems with the original one, and made it known "in no uncertain terms" that the guy who had worked on my original brain "no longer works for us, you won't have issues with either one, very sorry". I guess that whatever had worked loose originally and was re soldered back in, had come loose again. being that the original had been into twice IDK if I can ever trust it again..... they hole sawed a hole in the computer housings and silicone the drilled out piece back in. IDK if that is "normal procedure" or not. I hate computers anyways. the newer you go the more of a PITA they are.

    so I pull the original 360 (still here collecting dust, sitting in the same spot) and put this overhauled 360 in its place with those brand new out of the box EQ heads on it. Fired right up, ran excellent/ not even a lifter tick when it 1st fired/ everything seemed great. I reused the original cam, but brand new OEM roller lifters. Warmed it up good a couple of times in the garage, set distributor SYNC with a scanner, felt good about it.
    The 3rd night, I decided it was time for maiden voyage. I took off, and right off the bat I tried and failed to get the thing to achieve 60MPH. Built up gradual, was acting like it was starving for fuel. Went 2 miles, got it up to maybe 50 max, (all it would do) slowed down, left turn, it stalled. Started right up. Went a mile, tried another left, died again in middle of turn. Would not restart. had gone a total of 3-1/2 miles at this point.
    Called my son for his truck + a tow strap, and while waiting the whole truck was glowing underneath like red neon. the whole exhaust was cherry red. In the end it melted down the new cat, and the front half of the new Magnaflow muffler is now gun barrel blue.
    Got it home, got it running connected the scanner, and don't remember all prameters but one stuck out.... the injector "on time" which should be ~3 to 3.5 milliseconds at idle was running 17.some second mS. yes like 6 times what it should have been..... at this time having no clue where to go next, wondering if it was still the computer, or the injectors that were just rebuilt, flushed, and screens replaced, or what, I went to a U-pull and there was an 01 R/T Durango. Looked like a brand new rebuilt trans, computer was missing, it was a "sale weekend" so I got the whole wiring harness, and that fresh looking trans for a price I could not leave behind (always good to have a spare!)
    I put that other whole engine harness on, and no change. Don't really remember seeing a problem with the original one, but grasping at straws at the time...

    The kicker was going to drop the break in oil out and do the 1st oil change on it, with about 3 hours'' (max) run time. It came out a silver slurry, more silver in the mix it seemed than oil. It needed to come back out.

    In the meantime I parked it, forgot about it. that was Nov. of 2016. The wife absolutely loved that Durango and she has been bugging me since to get back on it---- but I was pissed at it and decided I dint feel like screwing with it no more.... I needed to cool down and quit seeing RED. go at it with a clear mind. Besides I had 2 Dakotas, I pointed at the '96, 4wd one and said "Drive it"....
    well I found a (nother) 136K mile 360 on CL (more than 100K less, than what is on the Durango's body!) for a better than good price. this time, no rebuild.
    the plan was to regasket this (2nd) CL 360 and drop it in. Head off any leaks before it was confined in an engine bay, preventive maintenance sort of things...
    but there was 1 thing... I had that brand new set of EQ heads sitting on that engine that had gone bad on me, sitting in the Durango engine bay, hey, I WANT my $700 new heads on this engine! I pulled the CL engine down to its short block anyways, so I might as well get some good out of that $700 that I'd spent on those things (a small small percentage of what I have in this turd)
    but guess what.... I go to pull the heads off, while that engine is still in place.... WHAT!? #4 exhaust pushrod bent... bad. pulled the valve covers.... #4 exhaust valve stuck wide open. This thing has sat, all this time untouched, to this point I haven't turned the crank a bit from when I pushed it into that side of the garage. W T F!?

    so I pulled the EQ's, and also got a set of stock original heads out of the shed that I have here, a set of heads that is "guaranteed" to be good, off of a buddy's 200k mile 360 that has had synthetic oil from day 1, whose owner removed only because he wanted to build a stroker and wanted aluminum heads..... and these were now "in his way"..... I also still have the ones here that came from the (2nd) CL engine as well.....
    I took the EQs, and the set of heads from the shed (just in case) out to a machine shop that I have worked with several times in the past.....

    I got to the machine shop and the guy recognized them as EQ Mopar magnum heads before I even had a chance to say a word. I carried in the 1st, he went out and got the other one....
    He said " Let me guess... You bought these fully assembled EQ heads, bolted them on your engine and the valves are sticking".... He was dead nuts 100% spot on....
    As it turns out he had a set do the same. He told me he built up a 318 for some kid with a 60s Dart, and thought this would be ideal.... save machine work, time, and not much more than what it would have cost to go thru the original heads from that engine. "No brainer" well in his case he had this customer's 318 on the Dyno (I didn't even know they had a Dyno) and during the 2000 RPM cam break in, the set of these same heads that he had bought for his customer had done the same thing.... said it ruined a piston, ruined the new cam, and then some.....

    So now I am REALLY confused.... did the sticky valves (and now bent/ stuck open #4 exhaust) cause the clogged cat and wide open injectors somehow? OR did the fuel problem cause the valve issue?
    I have let this thing sit for most of 3 years (and out of 3 winters, 2 of which very bad, the only "good" part of this mess) and am determined to solve this issue. I have to get a mechanically "sound" engine back in there to eliminate that part of the issue, down the road I have some shorty headers, 1.7 roller rockers to put on, and then (guys on another Dodge forum that I am actually an admin on are twisting my arm) maybe a computer tune. I'm ready to put an Edelbrock 4bbl and Mopar "orange box" on this thing. I have to get it going and get some miles from it, the only way I am gonna get any of my moneys worth out of it.
    being as how the wife likes it so much (or "did) I don't think that will be an issue.
    When we were regularly driving this Durango, we did pull trailers with it occasionally.... nothing huge, the biggest load was a Wrangler on a borrowed trailer down, and a 80s Bronco II back, 600-ish mile round trip... and I'd have appreciated a bit more grunt.... usually a 6-1/2'X13' with a lawn tractor or 2 on it, sometimes a '78 Apache popup camper.
    When hauling the mowers or the popup, the Durango always handled "like it wasn't even there" these are the most typical loads towed, and only a handful of times a year at that...…
    so, if you made it thru to this point, can you PLEASE offer me some suggestions and insight on this Durango situation? Chicken or egg? Fuel system/computer issue vs sticky valves. This is 1st car/truck engine I have ever experienced valves sticking with, in my life. is there still life left at Mopar Style? I have never ever had this many problems in all of the vehicles I have owned over the years/ let alone all of this on ONE vehicle.... I am not going to be defeated
    Last edited by volaredon; 07-11-2019, 06:31 AM.

  • #2
    nobody knows anything about sticky valves on brand new heads?


    • #3
      I read the entire Post, and I'm at a loss for a logical response. Frankly, I'm not familiar with EQ Heads. Hopefully someone will guy gave an answer.
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      • #4
        ok I cut out some of the extra side story stuff out, that may have been confusing things...that make it any easier to help figure out W T F happened to this thing? . but yeah things have been nuts around here.

        since I came back here and asked for help with this thing, I went onto another (used to be) popular Mopar site and did a search... seems like lots of similar issues with these heads in that same timeframe...
        so would the sticky valves have anything to do with the long injector "on" times? To add to the story, cyls 1,2,3 looked like I bolted the heads on and took them right back off w/o running the thing, cyls 4-8 were as black as coal on the combustion chambers and the plugs....


        • #5
          just heard back from the machine shop... essentially needs a complete valve job in the proverbial sense, all 16 guides "too tight" and need reamed to size, will need at least 1 exh valve (bent) and new guide seals (even though the heads have less than 3 hours of total run time since taken out of the box...… $200+ parts... SOB..... He said I am "lucky" as the last set of these he had, cracked the head around the set didn't/ at least.... gonna have more in the damn heads than in the whole rest of the motor (well almost) for a stock rebuild.

          this has me wondering about the set of EQs that we bought and bolted onto my son's Ramcharger…. he has ~500 miles on that engine, hasn't said anything about any problems/ but he bought "those heads" because he knows how much they woke up the 318 that I put the 1st set of them that I bought.... if his go to $#!T I will never hear the end of it


          • #6
            All throttle , no bottle .


            • #7
              Does anyone here know if sticky valves can cause the computer to add fuel? What is the thinking of computer theory related an issue like this?
              could the computer or injectors still be faulty it has taken me almost 3 years to be able to afford to get back into this thing, I CANNOT afford to destroy another engine. I have rebuilt many engines before this one and a couple since, and never encountered any of the problems as I have on this one job. I have thought about converting to a carb to eliminate the damn computer. As crazy as that sounds


              • #8
                All throttle , no bottle .


                • #9
                  huh.... nobody here has any idea? In a "which came 1st/ chicken or egg" line of thinking I called the outfit that rebuilt the Durango's computer at the time.... supposed to have a lifetime warranty (as long as I own it)
                  but I gotta pay (again) to mail it back to them.... called to pick their brain today and they said they'd recheck things for me, no problem..... still at a loss..... as I again gather parts, and wait on the machine shop.
                  picked up a Cloyes double roller for this CL engine.... its going back. cam sprocket from Taiwan, chain from freaking China.... no way..... not in MY engine.....


                  • #10
                    Aggravated. Feel like I'm talking to myself.
                    was hoping for some kind of comments/discussion.
                    Well I got the heads back and they were a freaking mess. Machinist had to pound out the valves once he had the springs off. Some of the intakes were worse to get out than the exhausts. Reamed and honed the guides, redid the seats to recenter them to the guides, lapped the valves, had to replace the one exhaust valve that was stuck, said many of the seats were egg shaped. A helluva lot of work needed for a brand spanking new set of heads with less than 3 hours on them.

                    I'm PO'd, another $200 into them, that makes$900 into a set of basically stock "brand new" heads, plus the cost (what ever that will wind up costing) to to re-rebuild the short block. Plus the $200 I spent on this other engine from CL because of the damages to that lower end.... So that I can get this thing mobile again, while I go thru that short block once again. Even if the damages there aren't terminal that short block isn't going to wind up going back into this vehicle.

                    The whole reason that I went with the new heads to begin with was to NOT have any issues pertaining to the overhaul/// instead they have caused me nothing but grief


                    • #11
                      Well Don if you ever get a reason why they went bad , or got into the shape they were in , let me know. I got a magnum , bone stock. It's been sitting in the garage for about 1 year or better now.
                      All throttle , no bottle .


                      • #12
                        I'd love to help, but I'm just not familiar with those heads. What my experience is with Edelbrock, it that the loaded Performers are shit out of the box. I put a set on my Magnum and had to take them back off and send to a machinist.
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                        Members are encouraged to be Participants, by posting.
                        Check out my Blog "Life & Times of an Old NSS Racer"


                        • #13
                          well, like I thought I'd added somewhere above, (but maybe was "going to" and never did?) I have the heads back, they magg'd them for cracks and found none, (whew) seems like many of the valves (both intake and exhaust) had to be "pounded out" because they were so tight in the guides.... the machine shop reamed and honed them "to where they liked them to be"\\ seems to have been manufacturing error.
                          even though these are aftermarket heads, the machinist did say that since about 1985, Mopar hasn't been able to cast a truly round valve seat "to save their life"

                          Since I removed these EQ heads from the original engine that I had installed them on-- and discovered the problem with them--- I have done several Google/Bing type searches on this situation and "after the fact" had several hits on similar issues with EQ heads from all over the place. Supposedly Hughes, who sells a lot of these heads rebranded as their "iron ram" heads, now won't sell a set of them without going thru them and installing bronze guides before they sell them.....
                          It seems that most of the "hits" that I have had on problems with these particular heads, were from around the same time frame that I bought mine.

                          From what I understand, when they started, these heads were "all they had been cracked up to be" and were originally cast in Australia, shipped over here, and QC checked and "finish machined" somewhere around Vegas. IDK if they shifted "all" production to China, or just "some" but somewhere along the way they shifted production to freaking China. IDK if they still go thru Vegas or not any more, before being sold /like they originally were.

                          Also, from what I understand, these heads went from "great" to "troublesome" somewhere within the production run, and now are supposedly "past" that, and are at least "good," once again.
                          they shifted to "troublesome" coincidentally, right during that stretch when I bought them.

                          I would have to go look at my old 83 D250, that my cousin now owns to tell, but according to info found elsewhere online, the way to tell Chinamade vs Aussie made, is in the finish of the ends of the heads. One is totally "flat," while the other has the holes that were drilled within the ends of the head in "cast-in bosses" that protrude from the surface. I forget what style was used on that set, but I know that this set (the ones that I put onto the '83 318) was bought while production was still in Aussieland. Had I known that they started casting them in China at any point, I would have been more "picky," had I bought them at all. I hate Chinamade anything.

                          IDK when the shift to China happened within their run, (I have not found a before/after date online, and the heads aren't marked, that I have seen as to country of origin) or if that "happened to be when" the problems started-- or not---- or if they shifted production back to Aussieland-- or if they go thru the machine shop in Vegas anymore-- or perhaps again, as the case may be.

                          When I bought the ones that are on that 83 D250, they were shipped to my door from Vegas. This set, I went to a warehouse in Chicago and picked them up myself, and after I paid for them and went into the shop area to actually pick them up, I got the last head from one pallet, and the 1st head off of a freshly unwrapped pallet full of them. I have no idea now which head was the last one from the one pallet or the 1st off of the other. Nor did the machine shop say that either head was worse-off than the other, sounds like they were both equally bad with reference to tight guides.

                          now in typical "chicken or egg" kind of fashion/ and given the history of this particular Durango with its #6 misfire with the original engine/ (before the low oil pressure/high mileage issue that made me replace the engine came up) I can't help but wonder if all of the running problems with this engine was due to the faulty top end, OR if there may still be something to the computer system to chase??? I won't know til I get this engine in and running.... and I will be pulling the short block that I originally had these heads mounted onto back apart, to find the source of the slurry of bearing material that I got out with the 1st oil change..... but at the time, that slurry was the "last straw" that caused me to shelve this project, for as long as I have. That engine certainly was NOT my 1st time thru an engine, but the 1st time I have experienced ANY of the problems that I have encountered on it, let alone ALL OF THEM AT ONCE. Due to time passed since I 1st dug in, I can't remember all of the details any more. "CRS" these days.

                          I will say, that because of that history with computer/injection issues with this particular vehicle, and never personally having dealt with stuck valves on something that HASN'T been sitting untouched, outdoors, for years on end/// I certainly was NOT thinking of a physical, mechanical engine problem to cause the symptoms that I had at the time.
                          I was chasing the electrical side of the equation.... a 2nd computer, a 2nd trip in the mail back to the computer rebuilder (they did find additional issue within the original unit the 2nd time, or more correctly, improperly done repairs from the 1st time they had it) a complete replacement engine compartment wiring harness, adding redundant grounds, chasing threads with a tap in case the then-newly painted engine, was insulating the ground wires so that they couldn't do their job, things like that. I almost did something with this Durango---that to date, I have still never done with ANY vehicle.... I seriously considered hauling it to a stealership at the time... ALL tuneup parts, sensors, belts, hoses, were brand new with the install of this troubled engine, and the injectors had been thru a BOSCH certified fuel injection place for a flush/test and overhaul. also starter and alternator both made a trip thru the local starter and alternator shop for a "freshening" upon this engine rebuild.....

                          I sure in the He!! hope that like some people we know, all of this Durango's problems were "in its heads"
                          I am still questioning what "what the sensors seen"... that made the computer react the way it did, if in fact it was the mechanical issues within the heads to cause all of this.... so that the next time I see parameter like such via a scanner, to look for such a possibility in the future...

                          and I have heard in several places online since this ordeal, that whether you get EQ's, "Iron Rams" Edelbrock, Indy, or any other brand of heads that comes to mind, to never trust them "out of the box" that they would truly be "ready for install," without the added expense of a machine shop "go thru" Maybe I'm "too trusting" but I'd have never thought that "out of the box" would mean anything BUT "ready for immediate use"
                          Last edited by volaredon; 08-04-2019, 02:46 PM.


                          • #14
                            and Shorty, for your "bone stock Magnum" that you have in the garage, other than checking your existing heads for cracks between the valves, you should be good to go if they are original OEM heads, if the bottom end is in good shape.

                            this engine that I have had all of this issue with, was bone stock... rebuilt, bored 0.030", but all parts used were "OE stock equivalent" replacement, EXCEPT FOR the heads/ which were, and still are marketed to be "stock replacements" and not "performance" parts. I used Federal Mogul Hypereuctic coated pistons "stock replacement" and a double roller chain and gears. I have heard that OEM stock pistons on the Magnums were hypereuctic from the factory, though not coated. I even reinstalled the original factory camshaft into it upon rebuild. I did replace all the lifters with new ones, though.

                            I still have the original 258k mile 360 sitting here that came out of this Durango..... and a 226K mile 92 318 Magnum sitting here on a stand, that I would not be afraid to drop in to something "as is" because I know where that particular engine has been for the past 1/4 of its life.... plus enough parts to assemble 2 more 318 Magnums sitting here.....
                            I do plan on weeding out some of these parts ONCE the Durango is back running on its own.... but I don't think I will until then.


                            • #15
                              Don , I hadn't read so much , or been attentive in some while. Thank you for sharing this information.
                              All throttle , no bottle .