New Promaster engine


Well-known member
Well today we started on a new to us Dodge Promaster repair !
Our first, with a replacement gasoline engine.
This one lost it compression at 132,000 miles,
So its getting a rebuilt Jasper.
Cost is just shy of $5000 retail with a $600 dress kit and 16 hours of install.
Unlike the Sprinter, this unit drops out the bottom of the van like the Dodge Caravan, its predecessor.
Funny to us, but much of the undercarriage main components have Fiat or Alpha Romeo stickers on it all.
Parlimo Italiano?


Active member
First time wandering in here but I thought it was common knowledge that the Dodge Promaster was based on the Fiat Ducato. Reminds me of the surprise I felt discovering all of the Ford parts that were used to build up my 2005 POS Volvo!

Starting in 2009, Ram engineers started worked on adapting Fiat vans to American needs. The Ram ProMaster, based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, was the first jointly developed product of Ram Truck and Fiat Professional. Production was at Chrysler’s Satillo (Mexico) plant, because it is in two overlapping free trade zones.
What did Chrysler change? An engineer told us:
We have engineers that worked with Sprinter, so we took all our lessons learned and things we wanted to change or couldn’t change. We got unlimited “whatever you want” inside. That’s why you see a lot of those changes in there, like the big cup holders, the radio in different places [than the Fiat], the knobs, everything. There’s no “squiggly line button” and you’re saying, “What the heck does that button mean?” None of those. [We spent] three years working that tailbone off. You know, the whole group working on that trying to make it just the way we could.
Under the skin, ProMaster was retuned for rougher roads and higher payloads, with more corrosion protection. The Ram ProMaster has a maximum 5,145 pound payload capacity, with a 5,100 pound maximum towing capacity. The gross combined weight rating for the 3.6-liter V6 is 11,500 pounds and 12,500 pounds for the 3.0-liter diesel. These capacities are far higher than Fiat Ducato, whose maximum payload is roughly 3,472 pounds.


Well-known member
Oh yes!
Three days into the hand over we got a come back, CEL on!
Scan showed a cam phaser issue on bank one. Re-calibrated the phasers.
All seemed well.
Vehicle handed back.
Several days later it was back same issue.
We re-calibrated the cam phasers sensors AGAIN and it was seemingly ultimately resolved by changing out bank #1 exhaust phaser position sensor.
That lasted for about five days and it was back with the same issue , except this time we got valve train noise (chain(s) & lifters ) with it, as an added bonus.
On cold start up the engine exhibited excessive mechanical timing chain noise emissions from bank #1 & same CEL problem, & rough kerbside idle
Report the issue to Jasper .
Agreed on a possible warranty claim for a defective engine.
As a comment:- Study of the valve train oiling system seems a bit over the top in complication for what it is supposed to achieve compared to competitors.
Drop the oil viscosity to 0/20 , re-calibrate and let customer use it "as is" for feedback.
Worked for 5 days then it was back !
Resolution , Replace engine unit under warranty .
This replacement engine shows better valve train phaser control and tighter on spec adherence.
Van is now back with the customer. Let's hope it stay that way.

So far there seems to be no significant major updates on the transmission other than service problem fixes .
In any case its doesn't in my opinion measure up to the competition on shift quality and shift readiness associated with a modern electronic transmission unit.


Well-known member
So far there seems to be no significant major updates on the transmission other than service problem fixes .
In any case its doesn't in my opinion measure up to the competition on shift quality and shift readiness associated with a modern electronic transmission unit.
Thanks. I can live with outdated shift quality. The main concern I have with that vehicle is power going up and down hills and mountains with some heavier build out in back and keeping up with 70 mph traffic.

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Thanks. I can live with outdated shift quality. The main concern I have with that vehicle is power going up and down hills and mountains with some heavier build out in back and keeping up with 70 mph traffic.
Our local UPS driver was given a Promater to test on his route. He liked to drive the vehicle compared to his larger old brown. The route is not in a city but out in the country with narrow roads and hills. You know the area since you visited.

He could not deliver packages to some of his customers when it rained. No traction with FWD in wet conditions. He had to wait for a dry day. A full UPS van would be like a conversion.

He would regularly show up with one of the reliable old vans because the Promaster had issues. I think it had two transmissions replaced. After about 6 months they gave up on the Promaster and he was back in old brown. Van was not reliable for their use.

I kind of smiled because one of the reasons I had decided against the Promaster was the transmission. It is the same unit that is used in the minivan. I was concerned about the transmission used in a minivan would not be adequate for a possibly much heavier large van. From what I read the transmission had been strengthened for the Promaster application.
the engine technology these days sounds sci-fi with terms like 'cam phasers'!


Well-known member
Well in the case of the Promaster engine ,which I might add is across the board install for ALL Chrysler produce's with the exception of the big lung Charger, employs some old fashioned "iron age" magnets for VVT control.
Essentially each cam shaft (all four) have a magnetic disc like sensor located in the valve cover and give off a pulse as each cam rotates for ECM control reference. Being a permanent magnet they should be stored individually when the engine is torn down for service work.
Additionally, located at the back of the engine, (again in the valve cover) are two cam reference sensors (one for each engine bank ) & sitting between the cam shaft set to provide the ECM with a wave form reference signal for precise VVT control. (like 1,2 degrees of tolerance) .
If its disturbed it or has new parts added, it has to be programmed in with a scanner.
Just like any other VVT equipped engine you can observe valve train activity in live data.

Boiled own its a bit of a cheap arsed imitation of MB's DOHC set up with their V6 gasoline renditions.

I suppose I have to state in comparison Ford is at the top of the pile on this for domestics, and their export spin off power packs like Landrover's AJ series units prove it. Certainly when when looking back at the decades older units in things like their Crown Vic "land crabs" & Lincoln Conti-mentals . (in short boring Yankee bent iron) but reliably impressive with added neglect durability tolerance factors added in .
Of the Asians, Toyota/ Lexus is bullet proof in reliability, (no surprises there! )

AND then we have BMW oh poor BMW!
Don't neglect it with infrequent oil changes it has to be the key word here ! NEGLECT
It will eat your wallet alive with Vanos & DOUBLE Vanos.
Do a few of those and you too can buy a nice hand made Italian bespoke suit from Milan or Naples, and look like an Italian Count "countin de moeney"! :devilish:
Its called SPREZZATURA.:thumbup: STYLE
Last edited:


Well-known member
Dodge could barely service Sprinters when they were in partnership with MB. My FIL had multiple problems with them when he bought his Sprinter there. One of the best was Dodge provided the van with optioned alloys, but didn't install the necessary longer studs.....Wheel fell off shortly after, fortunately no one was hurt.
Well they don't do such a stellar job with Promaster either.:giggle:
Focusing in on the now defunct diesel version, stuck injectors and plugs means a new cylinder head.
A mere $US 6000 a pop. :devilish: No less!
The curious one is the hold down bolt.
A 10,9 grade 8 x 1,25 bolt about 90 mm long torqued to 21 lbs ft only.
Having a stepped threaded hole, corrosion gets down inside the cavity and rusts it solid.
The first order of the day is this Yankee flat rate stuff, prevalent in domestic brand shops. Tech takes windy gun to the bolts and sheers of the "dreaded threaded" section deep down in the head cavity. (sounds 'r familiar )--solution new head!:devilish:

A curious bolt this specimen, a hardened tip but soft in the middle and $52 each.
I have cut a few out with cobalt drills, saving the head, but I have only had about a 30% success rate cleaning out the threaded section. Corrosion eats away at the metal, and running an aircraft length tap down in the hole results in the "crumblier" side of fixing stuff like this. So I use a timesert insert to recover it.
Trying to get parts for these "DOO CAT TOW" engines (or is it really Mitsupussy? ) isn't easy either, and a new leak of rail has limited availability at $151 a pop.
Tech at the dealer busted off the injector insert Tee piece . Sorry Dude, flat rate strikes again! :LOL:
The Mopar factory tool for pulling these injectors out is a joke, we have the tools from Eurolandia, which makes life easier . (a must have)

As usual not much has changed in the Mopar camps, and the biggest debacle I have come across is the 2012 Sprinter towed in on the hook with a no start, no crank.
Turned out on a Friday evening , in the usual "Yankee flat rate frenzy" tackling the 906 Sprinter, the "house battery" got changed under the hood , but NOT the defective starting one under the floor ! Oh me gawd !:devilish:

After the dust had died down I spoke to the service manager in jocular tone . Hey Rick this wan't your finest hour was it and the lady customer was about to scratch someones eyes out! FFS
A friendly verbal retort between us both then ensued ! We hate those eefing Sprinters anyway!
You can have em all Dennis
Oh well, it all makes work for the working man to do .
Cheers Dennis


Well-known member
Well it seems to be a familiar expression at Dodge dealers.
I was at a Metro area Dodge dealer the other day picking up stuff for a 2001 Dodge/Cummins PU.
I ran into an old friend who "works" the dealer circuits from time to time!

Hey Dennis I hear you folks are big into Sprinters these days, & I went past your place the other day --Yahda Yahdah.
When I was at Northglenn Dodge we hated those eefing Sprinters !
What else?
I see you have quite a few Landrovers in the yard!

Yes and we also seem to be striking out on Promasters as well !
Hey do you know why Dodge dumped the diesel engine variant a few years ago. I asked?
Oh have you worked on any of the that Schit came the question????
Oh yes blown out injectors, stuck glow plugs seem to be popular, plus the seized park brake cables issue wrecking that transmission they stick in the diesel version.
I am glad that all got dumped!! We always hated those eefing diesel Promasters anyway! :D :thumbdown::devilish:
Oh well ,more for Uz.


New member
My coworker has a Promaster.. his transmission literally fell out as he was driving, apparently they have no crossmember to hold them in. his mount broke and he was dragging it on the ground.


Well-known member
Well that's an extreme case.
Its a transverse power pack install remember so East West config .
The whole lot is hung off the body chassis frame rails being suspended by a forward and transmission tail mount with a torque reaction stay arrangement.
Being a transverse design the whole lot is supported by a K frame which means on production and in the workshop the whole pack & subframe suspension & brakes etc etc are dropped out of the bottom as complete lump.

The transmission must have been making quite a warning racket before it said "bye bye I'm outta here!" :devilish:

Top Bottom