Loud Tappets on my 4.7 Liter 2005 Dodge ram 1500 Lite Duty

About 7 years ago, I bought this truck with 111K on it, knowing it had been over-worked for the size truck it is.
Though it’s a light duty two-wheel drive it was used to tow heavy trailers by a contractor. Just how heavy, I can’t say.
It starts well, runs well. However, when I start it, the tappets are loud, very loud. A mechanic said I should up the weight of the oil from 5-30 to 10-30.
Like my doctors, I prefer a second (or more) opinions before jumping on an idea.

While I have someone knowledgeable, when I first start it on a cold morning, I have to let it run about 5 minutes before putting it into drive. If I don’t use this process and immediately put it in drive, it will not engage for a bit–seems to slowly slide into gear. If I warm it up, no delays and immediate engagement.
Financially, I’m in no position for major work, so I need to nurse it through.
Any ideas on either or both subjects would be appreciated.

Using a heaver weight oil takes longer for the oil to flow thru the engine which makes cold start tappet noise last longer.



Any additives or alternatives I might try?

I would try adding SeaFoam to the oil.


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When that symptom reared its ugly head on my much-older-than-yours Ford truck, it was in the shop for a complete transmission rebuild 2 weeks later. Wallet-hit, but solved the problem completely. Worn transmission clutches. Yeah, automatics have clutches that wear out too unfortunately. Your truck’s transmission is probably much differently configured than my C4 automatic though, so yours could be – knock on wood — a simpler fix.

If you want to try something on the cheap, replace the transmission fluid with fresh stuff.

Thanks! I’m looking into it. I’m Colorado with tough emissions test requirements. Could this product have any deleterious effects.


I’ve used SeaFoam for over 50 years and never had a problem.

Just follow the instructions on the can.


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Thanks. I’ll have to nurse it through for now. Financially, that’s a risk I can’t take at the moment. It’s been this way for a few years and considering I drive aonly 2-3K per year, so nurse it through I will.

Will do. . .Thanks

I’ve noted there are different treatments. Are you recommending it as an additive to the fuel, oil or both.
I’m looking at reviews online and they have a great reputation.

I thought I made myself clear?


Agree on the tapped noise. As far as the trans goes, don’t allow it to slip at all, even if it means manual shifting. Always going to be some slippage when it shifts on it’s own imho.

Thanks, I’ll keep warming it before putting in gear

Will do. The testimonials are outstanding. I watched this YouTube video and that was the clincher.

(1) Seafoam–can’t believe what it did to my engine!! - YouTube

The delayed shift at cold start is probably due to hardened seals in the transmission. allowing transmission fluid to leak past them.

This prevents the transmission fluid from building the proper hydraulic pressure to engage the clutches.

If you let the transmission heat up by idling before shifting into gear, it causes the seals and the components they seal to expand which minimizes the leaking.and the transmission shifts.

For this problem, I’ve used this product with success.



This is going to sound crazy, but try using a Motorcraft oil filter. My 3.3 liter Chrysler minivan got lifter noise on cold startup and I read a tip on a Mopar minivan forum that said a Motorcraft filter had a better anti-drainback valve. It worked for me. The 4.7 has a filter that sits kind of sideways like my minivan and if the oil drains out overnight, the filter has to refill before anything gets oil.

Thanks Tester. I’m receiving a host of ideas and I’m investigating every lead. “Tester” has shared some good ideas as well.

Again, I double check EVERYTHING before taking action. In the workshop, I measure twice and cut once.

Are you sure this is valvetrain noise? 4.7 engines have a habit of breaking exhaust manifold bolts, creating a single cylinder exhaust leak that can be mistaken for lifter noise. As the engine heats up the manifold expands and quiets down the leak.

It was my mechanic who initially said to increase oil weight for the tappets. I do trust his opinion, but always compare the experience of others as well; condense the alternatives and apply what appears to be the logical.