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  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 11:32 PM
spadams spadams is offline
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Default Ram Shudders, check engine light flashing

Hello all – been lurking for a few months getting ideas for mods; now I need your help!
My 01 Ram issues started out a month or so ago. It began accelerating roughly at higher speeds – it had just ticked 100k miles so I figured it was time for another cap/rotor/plugs replacement. This was approaching hunting season so I kept putting it off as I didn’t have any time for it (or didn’t prioritize is more honest). It shook a bit when accelerating uphill, or at higher speeds especially in OD – mostly in around the 1500 RPM range. I found that turning OD off and/or gunning the engine a bit up to 2500 RPM or so eliminated all symptoms.
By the time I changed the cap, rotor and plugs (which had zero effect) the shuddering was a lot worse – then engine light is always on now, and when I rev the engine to get past shuddering now, the light starts flashing which, according to the manual, means my truck is about to commit suicide with me in it. With OD off I can maintain about 50-55 MPH but OD on is constant shuddering. Don’t get much shuddering in 1st or 2nd but it’s becoming more pronounced in 3rd and 4th. Cannot drive faster than 55 MPH without either the flashing check engine light or the shuddering.
I found a similar problem posted on here recently but that one seemed a little vague, thought since I had all these little details it might make a difference. Can anyone help?

2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 5.9L Magnum V8 with 103K miles
Installed a Spectra air filter assembly about 4 months ago; everything else is stock
When I replaced the plugs this month I used those Bosch Champion 4+ that supposedly don’t need to be gapped, for what that’s worth.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:16 AM
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A flashing check engine light means that a misfire is happening. It would definitely be helpful in diagnosing if you could get the codes.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:30 PM
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Again, rule out the intake plenum gasket first.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:39 PM
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Sounds like what was happening to my 2nd gen. How is it at idle? Does it smell bad while running? I had a blown plenum gasket and all the oil blowing through the motor eventually clogged the cat. Mine shook so bad it felt like the fillings were going to come out of my teeth. The shuddering would only go away above 2000RPM's.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:40 AM
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Okay, will check gasket in morning and see if I can borrow a tool to get the codes. In the meantime:

-I didn't replace the wires when I did cap/rotor/plugs, was that a mistake?

-I'm due right now for an oil change and the engine is half a quart low - not sure if this is indicative of a leak though since that's been pretty normal for the last couple of years

EDIT: Oh also my repair manual doesn't mention a plenum gasket, does it go by another name?

Thanks for help all!

Last edited by spadams; 11-17-2012 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:27 AM
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As far as the wires if they look/feel OK and haven't been on there forever you may be OK. The plenum gasket is under the intake manifold. If it's blown you will know as soon as you see it. How fast is it loosing oil? Mine lost a quart a month. Nothing on the ground and only an occasional puff of blue smoke. Truck was 14yo with 58k on it. I didn't even drive it that much. Always on my Harley.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:50 PM
spadams spadams is offline
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It's only losing about half a quart every oil change.

Got trouble codes today, they are:
P0300 Random/multiple cylinder misfire detected
P0301 Cylinder no. 1 misfire detected
P0307 Cylinder no. 7 misfire detected

Also, it's the first time I've ever used a code reader so not sure what the rest of the readings mean:

2 Monitors Incomplete:
Catalyst
Evap

5 Monitors Ready:
Misfire
Fuel
Comp
O2 Sensor
O2 Heater
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2012, 05:57 PM
spadams spadams is offline
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Honestly without removing a bunch of parts, not sure how to get a good look at the plenum gasket, any ideas?
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:47 PM
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Remove the air intake and look into the throttle body
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:54 PM
spadams spadams is offline
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Okay ... seems like if I need to remove the intake body just to check, might as well plan on doing the plenum fix. I'm a methodical (read=slow) DIY mechanic and everyday my truck's down is a day I have to pay for a rental car as it's my commuter vehicle.

Looks like the new Hughes kit comes with a thermostat...keeping in mind my truck is 11yrs/100k miles, any other things I should be doing while I'm in there, that won't add a lot of hours to the project?
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