Battle of the Titans; 6.4L HEMI vs 6.2L Ford

As a professional gear head with vast car experience, your automobile is bound to reflect your personal preferences. Although your ride might have the aesthetics and form factor to make it revered on highways, there’s one critical piece of equipment that complements your vehicle’s exterior — the engine.

Many fine diesel and gas trucks are fitted with decent engines. However, some don’t live up to expectations.

Are you among the owners looking for a more powerful engine?

If you’re on the lookout for a truck engine that’ll suit your power and fuel efficiency needs, it’s time to narrow down your focus to two engines that will not disappoint — the 6.4 HEMI and the 6.2L Ford.

6.4L Hemi vs 6.2L Ford

This comprehensive guide will take you through important aspects of both engine variants. Armed with these bits of data you should be able to decipher the engine that suits your needs.

The 6.4L HEMI Gas Engine

Gray Ram HEMI 6.4L badge
Ram

Classified amongst the Big Three in the US automotive industry, Chrysler has gone through topsy turvy times since its 1925 inception. However, the automaker has wriggled through these challenges to churn out stellar automotive offerings ranging from Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), the Ram ProMaster and also a great line of passenger cars. In fact, Chrysler has a stand-alone pick-up truck brand tagged “RAM.”

Besides manufacturing vehicles, Chrysler understands the need for stellar performance. Thus, it’s no surprise the automaker spread its tentacles to create engines. However, it’s important to note that of all the engine variations curated by Chrysler, the HEMI variant takes top spot. 

Chrysler’s HEMI has become the threshold for big and powerful engines known for stellar performance and high reliability levels. Although part of the automaker’s RAM pickups, they can be purchased independently for a certain amount. 

It’s worthy to note that the HEMI naming came from its “hemispherical design.” 

The HEMI produces more power while consuming less fuel. With its energy-saving capabilities, it’s not surprising that most truck owners seeking efficiency and raw speed choose the 392 Apache.

6.4L Hemi History

Although the first HEMI engine came to the fore in the 1950s, the 6.4L variant was manufactured in 2005. However, it was first used in the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8. This naturally-aspirated engine is based on the 5.7L gas engine’s architecture.

In 2014, a revised 392 Apache was developed and was integrated into the RAM 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500. Note that these pick-up trucks were all fitted with Cab Chassis.

The 6.2 Ford Gas Truck Engine

Blue Ford Super Duty towing a John Deere tractor
Ford

In the United States and worldwide, Ford ranks amongst the top revered automakers. Founded in 1903, this car manufacturer produces and markets most of its car offerings under the Ford name. Additionally, it has a luxury-themed subsidiary tagged Lincoln. 

Like Chrysler, Ford ranks as a jack of all trades in the automotive arena. Besides producing 

sturdy cars, this automaker doubles as an engine manufacturer and you’ll find related variations on their latest car offerings. 

So, how has this Ford fared in the engine arena? 

Of the many engine iterations they’ve created, one of the standout mentions is the Ford 6.2L gas engine. This rugged engine is naturally-aspirated and was produced to provide adequate power to heavy-duty trucks and vans in the Ford lineup. 

6.2L Ford History

The 6.2L motor was first developed in 2010 and the first vehicle it was fitted onto was the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Trim. Still produced till date, this engine has undergone several tweaks by Ford over the years. The most notable can be traced back to 2017. During this timeline, the engine’s associated camshafts and tuning were revamped to denote higher torque outputs.

Unlike most engines today, the Ford 6.2L gas engine is a V-8 variant featuring a Single Overhead Camshaft (SOHC). The engine fields two spark plugs per cylinder which provide a smoother fuel burn. An overbored architecture sees the 6.2L using bigger valves. It also promises higher revs with stellar horsepower values bound to excite the gas motor guys. 

The HEMI 6.4L and Ford 6.2L Engines Side By Side

We’ve taken a brief peek at both gas engine variations. From our overview, it’s clear that each has their distinct merits. However, it’s time to dig deeper and uncover their respective specs, giving you the luxury to make an informed decision.

6.4L HEMI Architecture

Hemi 6.4L engine
Ram

The architecture of the 6.4L HEMI is reminiscent of the 6.1L and 5.7L variants. Nonetheless, there’s a notable difference in their associated bores and strokes.

 The 6.4L HEMI has a 90° orientation and integrates a cast-iron cylinder block material showcasing a deep-skirt design. This V-8 engine is classified as an oversquare — motor with greater bore than stroke ratios — fielding a 103.9 mm bore and 94.6 mm piston stroke. 

As such, the 6.4L HEMI is able to earmark increments in RPM range without affecting the piston’s overall speed. 

Another remarkable add-on on the 6.4L HEMI is the piston cooling squirters. These nifty parts spray oil to each piston, thereby reducing heat from combustion and promoting overall output. To ensure the engine didn’t have any issues with reduced pulling power due to environmental elements, RAM integrated an oil to water cooler. 

The cylinder heads on the 392 6.4L accommodate two spark plugs per cylinder. Additionally, these heads integrate an oval-structured and hemispherical combustion chamber. 

The headcovers for SRT gas engines are manufactured using plastic intake manifolds showcasing shorter runners for high-speed automobiles such as the Charger and Challenger. 

On the other hand, it’s pertinent to note that the RAM 6.4 mechanism featured on most RAM-manufactured pickup trucks is an active dual-intake-runner manifold.  It’s responsible for facilitating low and mid speeds without reducing the SRT V-8’s maximum power. 

RAM has for years fitted a unique cylinder deactivation system into the 6.4L HEMI. This cylinder deactivation add-on is tagged the Multi Displacement System (also known as the MDS). The MDS shuts out fuel transmission to select cylinders when power isn’t required. For context, this cylinder deactivation equipment restricts valve lifters to curtail pumping losses.

Ford 6.2L Architecture

The revolutionary 6.2L gas engine falls under the automaker’s “Boss” modular engine line. The 6.2L accommodates two valves per cylinder (16 in total). This engine has a Single Overhead Camshaft (SOHC) valve configuration just like the HEMI 6.4L.

The Ford 6.2L engine integrates a cast-iron cylinder block and aluminium-themed cylinder which results in a dry weight value of 710 to 735 pounds, depending on the iteration. 

It’s clear that Ford forsook the route of modern direct injection and went the route of the somewhat traditional port injection. As such, the 6.2L gas engine still depicts the top-notch durability numbers attached to other variants in Ford’s Modular family. 

To ensure drivers don’t experience unexpected engine breakdowns, the 6.2L V-8 engine integrates dual-knock sensors on every cylinder.

6.4L Hemi vs 6.2L Ford; Towing Performance

When deciding which engine to purchase in a tow vehicle it is important to know the tow capabilities of each engine. 

RAM 6.4L HEMI Towing Performance

Red Ram Rebel 2500
Ram

The 6.4L HEMI engine that comes standard on all 2022 RAM 2500 vehicles has a towing capacity capped at 17,540 LBS. 

Most new trucks from RAM integrate a uniquely-designed functionality tagged “Tow Mode.” 

When active, trucks pulling trailers with heavy loads can climb steep hills without the transmission experiencing extended wear and tear.

Ford 6.2 Towing Performance

To compare the  maximum towing capacity of the 6.2L engine, we’ll compare it to the 2022 Super Duty Ford F-250. 

With different iterations available, the variant running the 6.2L has a maximum conventional towing capacity of 15,000 LBS. However, it’s crucial to note that adding a gooseneck bumps this figure by 800 LBS. 

Both figures are easily beat by the RAM 6.4 HEMI engine. Nonetheless, attaching a trailer to the  Super Duty Ford F-250 should see you hauling big loads with relative ease.

6.4L HEMI vs 6.2L Ford Torque and Horsepower

Most gearheads consider a car engine’s torque and horsepower before purchasing it. While the latter represents the power generated by your engine at any given time, a car’s torque is the tell-tale of the twisting force that it is capable of creating. 

RAM 6.4L HEMI Torque and Horsepower

The 6.4L Dodge gas engine has undergone several tweaks since it first landed on the market in 2011. The first generation of these engines (2011 to 2014) generated 470 hp at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.ft. at 4,200 rpm.

2015 was the year where the RAM 6.4 HEMI got an upgrade. Here, it showcased a higher horsepower value of 485 hp at 6,100 rpm and an increased torque curve gauged at 475 lb.ft. at 4,200 rpm. This increment stemmed from a revolutionised intake manifold and different tuning.

Ford 6.2L Torque and Horsepower

Just like the RAM 6.4L HEMI, the 6.2L gas engine has had several changes since its creation. For example, Super Duty trucks manufactured between 2011 to 2016 had horsepower values of 385 hp at 5,500 rpm and torque was at 405 lb.ft. at 4,500 rpm. 

However, 2017 marked a difference in this engine’s specs. For context, Super Duty trucks up until this time had the same horsepower as their predecessor at 385 hp at 5,750 rpm. Meantime the torque had an increased value, coming in at 420 lb.ft. at 3,800 rpm.

Nonetheless, it’s critical to note that when placed side by side with the HEMI engine, the 6.2L cannot win with its low torque and horsepower numbers. 

So, the 6.4L HEMI engine clearly wins this battle. But has it won the war of the engines?

6.2L Ford vs 6.4L HEMI Maintenance

As a vehicle owner, you probably think about maintenance costs associated with one before making a purchase. Oil changes, spark plug changes, air filters, and other costs can quickly add up depending on the engine requirements. 

So, between the 6.4 HEMI and 6.2 Ford gas engine, which would see you spend more? Let’s find out!

6.4L HEMI Maintenance Costs

The 6.4L HEMI ranks as a top-tier engine that screams durability across the board. As long as you maintain the engine and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, you should have a smooth sailing and cost-effective adventure with the 6.4L HEMI.

The HEMI 6.4L engine has 2 spark plugs per cylinder which is the same as the 5.7L HEMI engine. Because of this tune ups tend to cost more than an average engine. Expect to spend between $500-$700 dollars to get this work done at a shop and roughly $250 to replace them yourself. 

As far as oil changes go, the 6.4L HEMI requires synthetic 0W40 engine oil. This special oil costs more than regular conventional oil making oil changes more expensive.

Ford 6.2 Maintenance Costs

The Ford 6.2L engine has some of the same high cost maintenance items like the HEMI engine. The two engines have the same two spark plug design which leads to higher tune up costs when replacing spark plugs. $500-$700 to have a repair shop change the spark plus or roughly $250 to change them yourself is what you will look at paying to have this done.

The oil requirement is a 5W30 grade synthetic oil. This oil is more common than the 0W40 engine oil the HEMI requires, which makes it cheaper when it comes to oil changes. 

As you can see these engines do not have any maintenance items that are alarming. But just like every vehicle out in the market. Preventative maintenance will have your vehicle running for the longest period of time possible. 

6.4L HEMI vs 6.2L Ford Fuel Economy

Shell gas station and price sign
Mike Mozart via Flikr

We aren’t clairvoyants. But we’re pretty sure you don’t want a truck that makes you look at the fuel indicator regularly on the highway. As such, we’ll be considering the fuel economy between the RAM 6.4 HEMI and Ford 6.2 engines.

Many Chrysler cars integrate the Dodge 6.4L. However, using one of its revered trucks — the 2022 RAM 2500 — for context, you’d discover that the vehicle has a 12 mpg (miles per gallon) range in the city and 13 highway mpg.

Since the standard RAM 2500 hosts a fuel tank of 31 gallons, you should be able to embark on trips ranging from 372 miles to 558 miles on a single REFILL!

Using the 6.2L flex-fuel engine variant attached to the 2022 F-250 Super Duty vehicle as context, patrons can expect a combined 13 mpg average. 

6.4L HEMI vs 6.2L Ford Engine Reliability

LIke anything on a car or truck engines have varying life expectancy periods. As such, one critical aspect when trying to figure out which engine is best, RAM 6.4L and Ford 6.2 engines, is to consider how long you can expect them to last.

You should expect a maximum mileage of 200,000 to 250,000 on the 392 Apache. However, this value is only achievable with proper maintenance.

Properly maintaining and taking care of a 6.2L gas engine could see your gas or diesel truck run up to 200,000 miles.

There are many variables that affect the long term life of an engine. Continuous pulling or hauling can significantly reduce this engine’s life expectancy.

Cost of the 6.4L Hemi and 6.2L Ford

Would you like to know the cost of a new Ford 6.2 or HEMI 6.4 engine? Here are the approximate price tags to note:

6.4L (HEMI) Engine: $8,000 to $9,000 

6.2L (Ford) Engine: $5,000 to $6,000 

It is important to note a few things with engine prices. Prices vary substantially with what you are pricing. Long block vs short block, accessories that are included with the purchase price, new vs rebuilt, and if installation is included in the purchase price.

Make sure you call a local supplier to get a more accurate price on one of these great engines.

Common problems of the 6.4L Hemi and 6.2L Ford

Although the RAM 6.4 HEMI and Ford 6.2 engines are great, they have several shortcomings in the mix. Let’s take a look at these drawbacks.

Common Problems With the 6.4L HEMI

The HEMI 6.4L ranks as one of the most rugged and durable engines in the automotive market. However, it isn’t bulletproof.

Over the years, people have made complaints revolving around the following:

Faulty MDS System

The idea behind the Multi Displacement System by Chrysler for its 6.4-liter HEMI is great to reduce fuel economy. This system shuts down several cylinders when the load on the engine is low providing the fuel economy advantages of a six cylinder engine.

Despite its stellar attributes, some car owners have reported prolonged cylinder shutdown. This event occurring can negatively impact the engine’s oil, spark plugs, and other lubricants required for its seamless functioning.

Engine Tick

Although there’s a notable difference between the 5.7L-liter HEMI and 6.4-liter HEMI, complaints about engine ticks have been made on both. According to some, these ticks are regular and don’t cause further damage to the HEMI gas engine.

However, it’s important to note that this ticking sound has led to several 6.4 HEMI owners having to replace engines or complete an overhaul due to failed camshafts. 

It is no secret to anyone that is familiar with the HEMI line of engines that camshafts are a weak point. When a camshaft fails, metal filings travel all through the engine. The cost of completing this repair can quickly cost the same as replacing the engine. 

Transmission Failures

Some 392 HEMI engines are attached to different transmissions. However, people have noticed transmission failures in HEMI engines fitted on the RAM 2500 and 3500. 

Why? Due to their seismic pulling and hauling needs, they stress the transmission components. 

When there’s prolonged wear and tear, engine failure crops up. Besides RAM trucks, gearheads using Dodge and Jeep vehicles have made similar complaints.

NOTE: The 6.4 HEMI always displays certain symptoms before a total shutdown. Notable mentions include clunking sounds, missing gears, and rough shifts. 

Engine Misfires

Misfires on the 392 Apache can be attributed to MDS and camshaft/lifter issues. However, it’s a tad harsh to classify misfires as a common problem attached to this engine variation. Especially when the problem might stem from faulty spark plugs and ignition coils.

Since the 6.4 HEMI hosts 16 spark plugs and 8 ignition coils, these issues are bound to crop up more often. It will be best to replace spark plugs every 60,000 to 80,000 miles. For ignition coils, consider replacements every 120,000 to 160,000 miles if you are concerned about a misfire occurring. 

Common Problems With the Ford 6.2-liter 

Some more common problems that people have run into on the 6.2L are:

Weak Valve Springs

The early 6.2L gas engines experienced frequent misfires. For a long time, the root of this issue was almost impossible to find. However, as time passed, the culprit was revealed — weak valve springs. 

If the customer couldn’t detect the issue of misfires long enough, they risked having these valves dropping into the cylinder and wreaking further havoc on the engine. Most times, this issue prompted a replacement. 

Oil Burning

Another notable complaint about the 6.2L engine was oil burning. According to multiple reports, oil burning usually starts at 100,000 miles. Nonetheless, there’s a ray of hope as this only occurred on the vehicles of those who thought it was okay to skip oil changes regularly.

Water Pump Failure

One notable issue with the 6.2L motor is the fact that water pump failures can occur unexpectedly. As such, overheating is inevitable. If this isn’t checked promptly, the motor might have further damages that’ll require large amounts of money to repair correctly

Bottom Line: Which Is Better?

It’s always best to go with equipment that suits your needs. With so many truck engines in the market, we’ve focused on the two notable variations — the RAM 6.4L HEMI and Ford 6.2L.

To choose the variant that tickles your interests, read through their features alongside notable drawbacks. 

The 6.4L HEMI is stronger and more durable. However, if you’d like something that doesn’t cost much whilst maintaining a decent dosage of ruggedness, the 6.2L is one to consider.

John Morris
John Morrishttps://autoknowit.com
John Morris is the technical editor for AutoKnowIt.com. His years of experience in automotive repair as well as an automotive professor have prepared him to ensure that even the most technical information is accurate and concise at all times.

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