Saving a RAM from Destruction

Tony is a regular customer of FTM Diesel and Off Road in Point Arena, CA. “He came in with a check engine light on his 2014 RAM,” explains technician and owner Jaycie Cochran. “The code was for the grid heater circuit. I believe it was the P2609 code that I’ve seen mentioned online a few times. I immediately wiggled the grid heater 12-volt supply line. It was totally loose! I removed the stock intake elbow and the grid heater. When I flipped over the grid heater, the nut and bolt were missing,” she recalls with terror in her voice. “The bolt wasn’t there! I found it all the way back, resting against the #6 intake valve. If Tony had driven it for a few more days, the bolt would have killed the engine.”

Jaycie sent a camera down the #6 cylinder expecting to find shrapnel. Luckily, there was no debris, and the walls were not scored. “Tony is the luckiest human on earth,” she says with a chuckle. When Tony pulled his 2014 RAM into FTM Diesel, the odometer read only 118,000 miles. As diesels go, this engine is barely broken in. 

Rather than replacing the grid heater with a factory unit that fail again, Jaycie opted to upgrade her customer to a Monster-Ram. “I can kill two birds with one stone. I can prevent engine damage and improve throttle response at the same time. I have a customer waiting to have a Monster-Ram installed preemptively, so I borrowed his and installed it in Tony’s truck.”

Jaycie explains that for her to come across one means that the issue is more widespread than people think. “I’m in a very rural area. We’re not repairing hundreds of trucks. Our turnover for vehicles is not super high, so I’m a little surprised that I’ve seen one fail. This is not one in a million if I got one in my shop.”