Doug Fisher’s Mangled RAM Piston

Doug Fisher has babied his RAM 2500 since it was new. In fact, David Caldwell, his friend and Red Seal mechanic, figures Doug has never even pushed the pedal more than 70% to the floor. So, it came as a huge surprise when Doug found himself on the side of the road with only 180k miles on the odometer. A loud ticking was cause for alarm. Just three months earlier, David recommended that Doug perform the jiggle test at every oil change. Doug explained, “If the +12v lead on the grid heater jiggles, don’t drive it. Tow it to me.”

Sadly, and without warning, Doug’s grid heater failed, allowing the small nut and bolt to fall into the manifold, work its way past the intake valve, and enter cylinder #6, where it mangled the piston and valves. You can see the bolt embedded into the piston above. 

A bit beyond David’s scope of work, he recommended David tow the trick to Killer Diesel Performance in Dawson Creek, British Colombia. The team at Killer Diesel tore down the engine, replaced the piston and the valves, and machined the head. Unlike dozens of other grid heater bolt victims, Doug’s cylinder walls were unharmed and did not have to be sleeved. At just over $6,400, Doug’s bill was half that of other RAM owners who have suffered the same failure. David was quick to calm Doug explaining, “You got dealt a bad hand, but it could have cost you a new engine.”

To future-proof Doug’s daily driver, Killer Diesel replaced the factory grid heater assembly with a Banks Monster-Ram featuring a high-flow billet intake place and coil heater to aid cold starts. The new mod improves Doug’s throttle response and allows him to drive his RAM without worries of engine failure. The Monster-Ram is available for all 2007-2024 RAM 6.7L pickups, including chassis cabs.