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Electrical 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Electrical Problems and Questions.


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  #1  
Old 08-20-2013, 05:31 PM
magart magart is offline
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Default '08 Ram--Yet another electrical "Gremlin"

Hi guys. I see there are many related posts and I am gonna scroll through all of them looking for a similar problem.
My '08 Ram 1500, 5.7, quadcab has been quite tempermental lately. Funny thing is it only act up when connected to my 31' Camper. All systems in the trailer seem fine, and then problems only show up in the truck and relate to truck-only components.
August of last year, after being on the road 4 hrs, "check guages" light came on, and oil press guage was fluctuating.....jumping up and down. You could tell it wasnt an oil press problem, and it cleared itself so i kept driving. No more issues. Figured it was bad pressure sensor.
This yr I went to Florida. lPart way the "check eng" light came on but no driveability problems so i kept going. As soon as I entered Ga., the truck started to shake violently at part throttle. Lift your foot or push it farther, and it went away. I stopped at the welcome center, lifted the hood, looked around, nothing. Started it up...no m.i.l.'s or anything, so away we went. Engine light came back on. Got to disney and unhooked the trailer, and after about an hour of running around shopping, the light went out and stayed out for the duration of our stay at disney. Hooked up to head north, and within an hour, light is on. Entered Ga again , and it started missing again. My nephew told me via cell phone that flashing engine light is a misfire code.
It went away for a while, then came on and off for the rest of the trip home (round trip almost 5000 mi.)
got it home and had codes read...misfire #8. Pulled all 16 plugs, and replaced, checked all coils, all looked ok. NO lights on or driveability issues. Figured I had it fixed.
Went on another 400 mi, trip this past weekend. After 3 hrs on the road, "guages" light came on with a chime, oil press Guage was flat. Uh-oh i thought. Opened drivers door and engine sounded like it was starving for oil. I checked it, and level was ok and oil looked ok but had a smell. I had just changed it and used cheap oil with the intention of changing it again as soon as school starts. I reached my destination and unhooked. Drove aroung for a bit- 40 -50 miles. Warning lights out, no issues. I changed the oil and used good oil this time. Hooked up to trailer and within 5 minutes, i got a chime, and "check guages" and "check engine" lights both came on. I kept driving. Had to stop to service trailer tanks and when i went to leave the campground, it was sluggish starting. Voltmeter in dash was reading a little low so i watched. It dropped steadily over the next hour and half, to the point my seat belt light, abs light, and park brake light were coming on and off. Made it to a walmart, hooked up a multimeter-showing 10.2 v. Checked stud on alternator-same. Told my son to unplug trailer and as soon as he did, the truck quit and voltage on truck batt showed 9.6v. Checked trailers deep cycle batt-it showed 12.6 v. So i had been running on the trailers battery for over an hour. So here i sit-dead in the water. Took alt off, and waited till morning to get one. Put new one on-still not charging. checked what i could, took new alt off and put the old one back on. Not too far from home so my friend boosted me and i made a run for it, Within five minutes, the guage jumped up and i could hear the alt whistling. Started charging again all on its own. I got home safe and sound, and it did briefly stop charging once over 150 mile trip, but then came back on again.
So I'm wondering do I focus on the truck, or could the problem be in the trailer...inverter or something?
I'm a heavy truck "mechanic"...not a diagnostics technician so I"m over my head here. Any help or insight greatly appreciated. (p.s.-sorry for the long -winded post)
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:37 PM
magart magart is offline
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since I got it home I have started and shut it off ten times. Four times it would not charge right away, and twice i let it run, and you could hear the alternator "turn on" and begin to charge. Last five times, it charged right away. In the driveway, trailer is unplugged, and warning lights are out. Everything seems fine
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:43 PM
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RogerRamJet RogerRamJet is offline
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I'm wondering if the battery on your trailer is causing havoc with your truck's charging system. You say it only happens when you are pulling your trailer, then it has to be related with the trailer somehow. I'd check your trailer battery and/or the wiring harness. Sounds like a wire is getting crossed somewhere and the truck's computer can't figure it out.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:45 PM
magart magart is offline
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I have gone through and tested every possible component on my trailer that could affect /cause this. No signs of anything. My meter readings were all over the place at first so I tried to be very deliberate with my probing esp. at the grounds. Finally I decided to take it for a drive. Spent about ten min on the road, and all of a sudden it started charging. Took it home and disconnected the trailer, and let it sit over night, and now it doesnt want to charge, Took the truck for a drive by itself, and after ten minutes, its still not charging. The fact that its intermittent is puzzling.
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