Non Power Wagon, but 97 1500. Knowing when an engine really

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Posted by Pat_H [] on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 14:40:59 :

As a disclaimer, even though I've turned a fair number of my own bolts, especially when younger, I'm a highly amateur shade tree mechanic at best.

So here's my question. Among the Dodges in the stable is a 97 4x4 1500. The "Sport" model. It's been a good 4x4 truck and it now has 150,000 miles on it.

For a long time the engine has been anemic. When it went into the shop recently to have a "check engine" light cleared on it, one cylinder was at 70lbs when it should be around 120lbs.

We've pondered replacing it but we seem to live in the land of Nearly New Trucks and I don't really want to spend the cash for a nearly new one. And around here it seems impossible to find a decent older one. So I thought if the engine needed to be rebuilt (or replaced) we'd look into that. But I can hardly get a straight answer from any mechanic on it as they seem to just always suggest they can get it to keep on keeping for the time being until I replace it, which isn't exactly what I have in mind.

So how do you really know, prior to a complete failure, that its time for an engine overhaul?

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