DODGE RAM FORUM banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I recently bought a 2001 Ram 1500 QC with a 5.9. The more I drive it the more I think that it should have more power than it does. I love the truck and it has low miles at 83K, but it seems to have much less power than my previous 1997 Chevy pickup. Is there any think I could do to wake up this motor, or are there any issues that might be causing it to be a dog? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Hello all. I recently bought a 2001 Ram 1500 QC with a 5.9. The more I drive it the more I think that it should have more power than it does. I love the truck and it has low miles at 83K, but it seems to have much less power than my previous 1997 Chevy pickup. Is there any think I could do to wake up this motor, or are there any issues that might be causing it to be a dog? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
What makes you think it's under powered? Describe whats going on
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The big thing that grabs my attention is that it is seems to always downshift going up a hill, even a gentle slope. Its got a 3:55 gear ratio and the chevy I had was a 3.42 both with 265/75/16 tires. I live in Iowa so there are really no giant hills. I feels a little slower off the line too, but I can attribute that to a different torque curve.
Do all the 5.9 down shift that easlily? It almost feels like I am pulling an empty trailer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
The big thing that grabs my attention is that it is seems to always downshift going up a hill, even a gentle slope. Its got a 3:55 gear ratio and the chevy I had was a 3.42 both with 265/75/16 tires. I live in Iowa so there are really no giant hills. I feels a little slower off the line too, but I can attribute that to a different torque curve.
Do all the 5.9 down shift that easlily? It almost feels like I am pulling an empty trailer.
Sounds like the throttle valve cable is out of adjustment causing early upshifts which makes it seem slower off the line, and would contribute to a early downshift. I would give that cable adjustment a shot and see if that helps. Either it be a 5.9 or 5.2 there is more then enough power to move the weight of the vehicle, unless you are having engine or fuel problems which are also possible. You should check the fuel pressure, it should be 43 PSI when the engine is running and when you turn the engine off it should drop to 35 PSI and hold. If the fuel pressure is low like 35 when engine is running then you will have a slightly lean fuel mixture which actually won't always throw a code, it's not until the fuel pump dies and you have no fuel does the engine throw a code lol (ask me how I Know ha)

But I don't think it's the fuel pump to be honest because it's nearly as common as a out of adjustment throttle valve cable.

I have my van and I was having some weird erratic shifts almost like gear hunting, I had adjusted my cable for higher shift points, so it shifts at redline. Now the thing takes off like a rocket, the only problem is it kills on fuel and it's very sensitive at low speeds (hard to keep it 35 wants to go faster).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well i figured it should be able to move itself a little easier than it does, but it get around good enough that it wasnt a glaring issue.

How do you adjust the throttle valve cable?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Something does sound out of whack. I have a 360 4x4, moving up from a 318 2wd and the 360 has noticeable more power than my old truck. I've had a GMC with a 350 and a F150 with 351 and the 360 is definitely comparable. Does sound like your transmission is shifting funny (unless it is the OD that is kicking out, which would be understandable going up a hill). Try adjusting the kickdown.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Well i figured it should be able to move itself a little easier than it does, but it get around good enough that it wasnt a glaring issue.

How do you adjust the throttle valve cable?
I have a PDF of instructions on another thread for this
http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?p=768952#post768952
It's somewhere in their. Anyway's try adjusting for redline shifts, this will bring out the true power but it's not going to be nice when around town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,315 Posts
i had a 5.9 in my 96 ram and man the thing was friggin powerful...quick for a stock motor (just exhaust upgrade) and it seemed like it could pull down a house if the chain wouldn't break...you may have an issue...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the good ideas so far.

So I tried the throttle valve cable over the weekend and it didnt seem to help much. I also took the truck on a long trip over the weekend and noticed that the kickdowns happend much more when the truck was in cruse.

I also checked the tranny fluid and it looked pretty dark and smelled a little funny so I changed the fliter and that seemed to help a little. It still seems a little weak though. I noticed when going up a hill if I kicked it down and floored it at about 50-60 it really wouldnt climb in speed.

Do you guys think a weak tranny could be causing it?? Do you have any other ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Thanks for the good ideas so far.

So I tried the throttle valve cable over the weekend and it didnt seem to help much. I also took the truck on a long trip over the weekend and noticed that the kickdowns happend much more when the truck was in cruse.

I also checked the tranny fluid and it looked pretty dark and smelled a little funny so I changed the fliter and that seemed to help a little. It still seems a little weak though. I noticed when going up a hill if I kicked it down and floored it at about 50-60 it really wouldnt climb in speed.

Do you guys think a weak tranny could be causing it?? Do you have any other ideas?
It's possible that you over adjusted the TV cable which can cause the fluid to darken (burn) however it doesn't happen overnight. The transmission shouldn't have to kickdown when going over a hump especially in cruise, unless the speed decreases 5MPH then it will kick down. If it is the transmission then you're going to want to have that thing looked at by a transmission shop. My guess is they're going to tell you to rebuild the transmission and I would agree with them, if your fluid is burnt then most likely your clutch packs are worn out.

But I don't want to jump to any conclusions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, Im afraid of that. I know my adjustment wouldnt have an impact. I only drove it a few miles afterward. I took my trip before I adjusted it.

The tranny doesnt seem to slip or anything other than that. I guss we'll have to see what happens. Im not really too worried about, I can get around as much as I drive it normaly as is. I am just worried that if I ever pull anything it doesnt have the power to do it.

I would be pretty upset though if I bought a truck with a bad tranny. I cant believe I didnt check the tranny fluid durring the test drive!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Yeah, Im afraid of that. I know my adjustment wouldnt have an impact. I only drove it a few miles afterward. I took my trip before I adjusted it.

The tranny doesnt seem to slip or anything other than that. I guss we'll have to see what happens. Im not really too worried about, I can get around as much as I drive it normaly as is. I am just worried that if I ever pull anything it doesnt have the power to do it.

I would be pretty upset though if I bought a truck with a bad tranny. I cant believe I didnt check the tranny fluid durring the test drive!!
Well I didn't really want to say the transmission may need a rebuild. You might just need a valve body rebuild, matter fact some other member was having issues with his 1-2 shift having some bad hunting, in his case his 1-2 shift valve and 1-2 timing valve is probably sticking which is a common problem with these old torque flites, you might have a similar issue. If the springs inside the valve body are weak they you could have some excessive downshifting. I really wouldn't worry about it too much. You could just pull out the valve body rebuild it and see if it does you any good.


Anyway's don't feel bad about not checking the transmission during the test run. Many many people overlook these things, think about it when you buy a new vehicle people don't check the fluid in them because it's new so they assume it's all ok but their is a thing, fluid's have a shelf life and well the rest goes without saying... Another thing you should do when you buy a DODGE is to go under the truck and check the bolt torque on the transmission fluid pan, they for some reason seem to find themselves loose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,040 Posts
Just a side note on judging fluid color. The red dye used in ATF+4 is temporary. It will darken normally over time and the odor will change. In this situation, changes in color and odor do not automatically indicate damage or failure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Just a side note on judging fluid color. The red dye used in ATF+4 is temporary. It will darken normally over time and the odor will change. In this situation, changes in color and odor do not automatically indicate damage or failure.
This is true however it is good practice to still go by colour and scent, the pink dye will turn red over time, but if their are traces of brown that is a indication of burnt clutch packs and fluid that has literally boiled.

You can still judge by smell no problem, burn smell is burn smell. I can't speak for ATF+5, But for 3 and 4 I can.

Oh they were still using ATF+3 up until it's discontinuation in 2005 if the fluid in his truck hasn't been changed it's probably ATF+3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
How long have you had this truck? When was the last time it was tuned up, throttle body cleaned, etc? If this isn't done on a regular basis it will make the truck sluggish.

Also, 02 sensors are known to make it shift funny, or at times it really shouldn't..Even if there is no check engine light or codes.. It's worth looking into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the input. I have only had the truck for about a month now and havent gotten to drive it as much as I like since I commute 60 miles a day and have a car for that. That being said, I have put a couple hundred miles on it.

The check engine light is on but it was a code due to the evaporator?? It had a cracked vacume line and I swapped that out although the light is still on. I dont know how long it takes to go off or if I need to have it cleared. I also changed the spark plugs in the truck since the fellow I bought the truck from said he didnt think they have ever been changed and the truck has 83K on it. When I pulled them I found NGK iridium plugs, but i replaced them anyway with NGK copper plugs. I should probibly clean the TB.

Also, the dipstick said to use ATF +4 so I asume that was what the pickup came with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,040 Posts
+4 was introduced in 2002 and phased in as +3 was phased out over multiple model years. First thing I'd do would be to cut out the anti-drainback valve in the transmission return line coming from the radiator cooler (or at least replace it). They are notorious for corroding shut and frying transmissions. Drive and re-evaluate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
+4 was introduced in 2002 and phased in as +3 was phased out over multiple model years. First thing I'd do would be to cut out the anti-drainback valve in the transmission return line coming from the radiator cooler (or at least replace it). They are notorious for corroding shut and frying transmissions. Drive and re-evaluate.
Well eitherway ATF+3 and 4 are very similar, the difference is the friction coefficient better friction modifier and it has better resistance to heat however it still has the same base stock. What I hate is yea they make a fluid that allows the fluid change interval to be expanded, great, but I still would stick with the old interval, or atleast meet half way because I like to have peace of mind but doesn't everybody.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,315 Posts
+4 was introduced in 2002 and phased in as +3 was phased out over multiple model years. First thing I'd do would be to cut out the anti-drainback valve in the transmission return line coming from the radiator cooler (or at least replace it). They are notorious for corroding shut and frying transmissions. Drive and re-evaluate.
I believe my check valve was responsible for frying my tranny in my 96 ram...thus the 2010 i now drive...good thing bad? i dont know..the 96 was paid for!! haha

i agree id look at changing the check valve or deleting it all together for peace of mind...
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top