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One of the most common problems with a ’94–’98 12-valve Dodge stems from a dowel pin that locates the gear housing on the front of the engine. This small steel pin can work its way loose over time and then fall into the engine’s front gear train. When this happens, a number of possible scenarios can play out.

The first scenario is that the pin misses all the engine’s gears and falls harmlessly into the engine’s oil pan. Unfortunately, there are a lot of gears in the front cover, and the steel pin usually pinballs off more than one, sending it through the aluminum front cover and creating a huge oil leak. A hole in the front cover also means a new gear housing and extra labor to repair the engine.

An unfortunate scenario (which is the least likely but the most catastrophic) involves the pin landing between the gear teeth and jamming the gear train; this can result in some serious internal engine damage.

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Diesel World June 2019, OUR BEST ISSUE YET, Triple Turbo : It's the Perfect Truck, Save Yourself $15K, CP4 Failures Explained, Vintage Diesel With Spark Plugs, And More....