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65Mustangs 06-20-2008 01:09 PM

'03 WJ 4.7L Roller Rocker "Falling off"
I just traded my XJ for an '03 WJ and now I'm having issues. Started with a misfire code; turned out to be a roller rocker that "fell off". It's happened on both cylinder 3 and cylinder 5 (at different times).

I've had my mechanic look at it (certified +25yrs. exp.) and neither of us have any clues. It's not loosing fluid (no hydraulic), happened on more than one cylinder (most likely not galled valve guides), and only seems to occur at start up. After she is running and warm it purrs like a kitten; and I'm getting 21mpg on the highway.

Has anyone heard of this or had this experience? I'm running out of ideas. I have an after market warranty, but it's a little aggravating to head in every couple hundred miles to have a rocker put back on. I can't find and TSB or any forum/internet search I have done produces nothing. Any help is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!

gatorayde 06-20-2008 03:19 PM

Sounds like a major engine disaster waiting to happen. I'd get it fixed permanently asap since it's under warranty.

IDK what the cause of it would be, but is sure isn't good having your roller rockers randomly decide to pop off :p

millman 06-20-2008 06:08 PM

is the 4.7 a rocker under cam engine? if so the camshaft lobe may be worn down. i had a 2.3 ford that did the same thing. use that warranty before its expires.

65Mustangs 06-23-2008 02:29 PM

It's a three year warranty; so I have three years, minus a few weeks. ;)

The only problem is I can't make a warranty claim until they can figure out what is wrong. There is no visible damage to the cam or rockers, the rockers just come out from under the cam and no longer open the valves. Once back in place she runs beautifully. It's the strangest darned thing.

It's been almost a week now since one has fallen out (almost 200miles).

Thanks for the replies.

tsconver 06-23-2008 02:58 PM

saw this in the FSM

CAUTION: Make sure the rocker arms are installed
with the concave pocket over the lash adjusters.
Failure to do so may cause severe damage to the
rocker arms and/or lash adjusters.

65Mustangs 10-07-2008 04:17 PM

I had this happen four times overall. The third time I brought it to the dealer (rather than my mechanic) and let them have a go. They replaced the follower and lash adjuster. I had mentioned that it was running warm, and losing coolant, and asked they check that out.

Picked the rig up Friday night and drove over the weekend. Sitting in traffic Sunday it started to overheat (+240) so I took it straight back to dealer and dropped off, left a nasty voicemail. Monday morning while trying to get it to overheat, follower popped off again. So they completely rebuilt the left head. Other than one bent valve (assume that happened when the follower popped out) they couldn't find anything obviously wrong.

Nevertheless, she runs like a top now, and 200miles later has still yet to throw another follower. Not sure what the deal was, but hopefully it's gone. Just thought I'd let everyone know. Too bad I never did figure out what caused it in the first place...

jblues 01-19-2011 01:45 AM

I know you posted this a few years ago, but if you have an update on the status of your Jeep it would be appreciated.

My Jeep 4.7L H.O. WJ just had a rocker on Cylinder #2 fall off and one on Cylinder #1 was loose.

I was wondering about reliablity after this type of repair. Did you keep your Jeep, if so any other problems?


65Mustangs 01-19-2011 08:26 AM


Originally Posted by jblues (Post 10812217)
I know you posted this a few years ago, but if you have an update on the status of your Jeep it would be appreciated.

My Jeep 4.7L H.O. WJ just had a rocker on Cylinder #2 fall off and one on Cylinder #1 was loose.

I was wondering about reliablity after this type of repair. Did you keep your Jeep, if so any other problems?


Yea, no prob. I'd hoped this thread would help someone, someday.

After numerious trips to the dealer (under warrenty) and my personal mechanic (since I don't trust the dealer), we ended up with two bent valves in the head, consistant with the thrown followers. It'll never be known if it was the "cause" or the "result" of the thrown followers, as sticky guides could have also caused it.

I ended up having the head completely gone thru (new valves, guides, etc), and it was all covered under warrenty. I've had zero problems since. I've since put around 30k miles on it, without as much as a hiccup. The passenger side never had an issue, and I did NOT have that head worked on, only the problematic one, since I would have had to pay for the other.

If your rig isn't still covered under warrenty, (factory is 7-7, seven years, 70k miles) than this can be a costly "replacement troubleshoot". I'd reccomend having someone qualified look at the cam and followers for any signs of wear/damage, then have them re-installed and drive it. If your Jeep is like mine, it won't take more than 100miles for it to pitch one again. If it does, I hate to say it, but I'd go through the head, especially valves and guides.

I hope this helps. Good luck!! Keep me posted.

65Mustangs 01-19-2011 08:30 AM

I just noticed that the forum has changed since I posted this, and it's in the wrong section. Maybe a mod could help move it...?


jblues 01-20-2011 01:44 AM

65mustangs I appreciate the quick response, and thank you. I had googled "WJ and Roller Rockers" and found your thread. We love our Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 2004 4.7 H.O. We have had the normal window actuator failure and leaking front and rear pinion seals, but that did not bother us to much; for one they were under warranty at the time, and two they didn't cost that much.

We now have 74,600 miles on the Jeep, and as you said 7yr & 70,000 is the warranty. So unfortunately it is out of pocket this time. The dealer replaced the rockers/lifters on Cylinder 1 & 2, and buttoned it back up. When I went to pick it up they drove it around and it still had a really slight knocking noise to it. They heard it also, and ask if that was normal (receptionist pulled it around not mechanic.) I said "no" so they kept it and are going back through it.

It is still at the shop. We were headed on a vacation in three weeks and were going to drive it several hundred miles. I am not sure now if we are going to do that since it will be fresh off a major repair. Thank you for your input, I will keep you posted.

We love the Jeep, this is our first one, and it has been an amazing vehicle. Took on Northern Iowa snow like a champ, and even got rear-ended by a camero at low speed and took no damage at all, except a little scratch to the skid plate. The tow hooks were on at the time and punched into the hood of the poor camero. We will stick with it and hopefully get many more years of enjoyment out of it.

Thanks again!

65Mustangs 06-28-2013 11:04 AM

Nothing like reviving an old thread, but I figured I should at least update this one with my complete rebuild, as I'm pretty sure it's all related. Of course I can't prove any of it, but I had issues with the motor since I bought it, and the dealership never really did give me a vote of confidence...

And I'm not really sure how this ended up in the ZJ thread... Maybe since its so old?
Anyway hope my trials and tribulations help someone else...

Peace! Keep it rubber side down!!

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