Engine failure in your RAM 6.7L. How to avoid it.

Over time, a bolt in the 2007-current RAM 6.7L Cummins stock grid heater deteriorates, falls into the intake runner, and makes its way into cylinder #6. In many cases, this results in total engine failure. Although this problem has existed for years, many mechanics either aren’t aware of the problem or do not fully disassemble the engine to properly diagnose it. They simply replace the engine. Therefore, the problem persists. With the help of Protech Diesel Center in Kamloops, British Columbia, Gale Banks shows the problem close-up and reveals a cost-effective solution.

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00:00 Intro
01:48 Bolt failure explained
02:28 Bolt failure example
03:28 Stock intake elbow removal
04:10 Closeup look at the broken bolt
05:22 Head removal
05:41 Piston damage
06:53 Bolt wedged in piston
07:02 Look inside the cylinder
07:14 The solution

The Problem:

Looking at the bottom of the factory grid heater, you’ll see a bolt and nut. The top of the bolt is connected to the +12v lead which energizes the grid heater. Current passes through the bolt to the metal strip that travels to the grid heater element. Over time, this nut and bolt assembly has been known to deteriorate and fall off into the intake runner, ultimately making its way down to cylinder #6.

Below, you’ll see the hole where the bolt used to be.

The dreaded bolt that causes engine failure.

Below, Brad Hunt at ProTech Diesel Center inspects the top of the grid heater assembly. The plastic electrical isolator has fallen off as a result of the bolt failure.

As he describes in the video, bolt failure can be detected by wiggling the +12v lead that connects to the top of the grid heater. If the plastic assembly rocks back and forth, it’s likely that the bolt has sheared off and is rolling around the intake runner or worse.

The result of a broken grid heater bolt is often engine failure. Seen below is a ProTech Diesel Center customer’s head whose bolt ended up in cylinder #6. Unfortunately, the gouge was below minimum deck height and could not be machined. The customer had to purchase a new head.

Mechanics’ preferred solution:

The Banks Monster-Ram intake elbow was engineered to provide air mass flow superior to the stock unit and all competitors. This increase in mass flow results in better throttle response and in many cases improved fuel economy. In order to achieve our airflow goals, we replaced the restrictive stock grid heater with a proprietary coil heater mounted vertically within the Monster-Ram. What we didn’t realize at the time of inception was that the new coil heater would prevent the dreaded grid heater bolt failure. The Monster-Ram has quickly become the go-to for mechanics aiming to add throttle response and prevent stock heater failure.

The Monster-Ram is available for 2007-2012, 2013-2018, and 2019-current RAM 6.7L Cummins in Banks red, black, and natural aluminum for custom coating. At Banks, we’re always exploring ways to help your RAM perform better. Learn more about our Ram-Air cold air Intake, Boost Tube Upgrade Kit, and Intercooler systems.