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Discussion Starter #1
OK RAM-Guys (and Gals J), I desperately need your help! Here’s the scenario…

My truck recently hard a hard time starting after running well 8 hours before. Cranked well, but didn’t want to start. Then started fine. Drove for about mile in city traffic then she (don’t ask why I think it’s a girl truck, it just is) up and died. Didn’t want to start and tach was bouncing crazily while starting attempt was made. Finally, she started, but was bucking and snorting like she wasn’t getting enough fuel. My first guess was fuel pump (replaced with the last 4 years) OR water in the fuel lines. We get pretty crappy gas here in Arizona. That being said, I was down to less than a quarter tank.

I got her pulled in to a gas station and topped her off and added “HEET” for the potential water problem. She started right up, but started sputtering AGAIN! I pulled in to a parking spot and let the engine run (after having to restart a few times) for little while, occasionally revving the engine. She finally smoothed out with no “tach-bounce” and was able to drive home 20 miles on city streets.

The next morning, I tried to start her up and at first she did. Lasted only a few seconds before she died. She won’t fire at all now, even after several tries at different time intervals.

I think it could be the fuel pump or maybe the fuel system relay in the PCM. I did swap out relay modules and that had no effect. I REALLY don’t want have to replace the pump. Not that I can’t, but because (after topping off) I have about 33 gallons of fuel in the tank!

So, these are the obvious possible solutions. But am I missing something a little less obvious? The “tach-bounce” thing really threw me off, so that might be something.

A brief history about the truck:
The last 2 years or so, the truck has inexplicably died at varying speeds/rpms and restarted by itself. Maybe pump stopping and restarting?

Anyway, any advice/assistance would be GREATLY appreciated!

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!
 

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While it's cranking, but not starting, have you checked for spark?
 

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I think the 94-95's, like my old one, had a "schrader"style valve on the fuel rail. I went to AZ and rented the fuel-pressure sensor and ran it under my hood, and under the wiper, so I could watch the fuel pressure as I drove. Just sayin. It specs 50psi, but will run at 18-25 psi, very poorly.
Another thing of the motor turning "off" and restarting is the crank position sensor. When it starts to go bad, it will happen more often, and not re-start for longer periods. PITA to replace, just like any distributor part on our Rams. They called it "cab-foreward" design. I call it "distributor-under-dashboard".
 
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Did you check to see if you have spark coming out of the coil..
Then check to see if you have spark coming out of the distributor...

I may have the same problem as you. I am working on it now... got spark at col but not coming out of distributor. I changed out cap and rotor... what PITA the screws that hold the cap on snapped off and I had to remove the whole distributor and drill out old screws and re tap. When replaced the cap and rotor no change... Now I am looking into the Crank Positioning Sensor. I wish I know how to check out to see if its bad or not instead of just wasting money and time...
 

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This happens alot in winter, replace the distrib cap.. condensation builds under the cap. Ive seen it alot on the 5.9s ...
 

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If you removed the dist did you mark it on the block and put it back 100% the way it was? If not you just messed up your fuel sync.

Also, I second the crank position sensor. Don't get one from the parts store, go to the dealer. Our trucks don't like after market cps. And its kind of a pain to get to.
If you replace the cps you might as well replace the cam sensor in the dist. seem to go bad around the same time.

1. Do you have good spark every where?
2. fuel pressure good?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your ideas! All of these are possible solutions... I have considered them but have not even had a chance to try the fixes. I will try very soon but I'm dreading the "changing dist cap and sensor by brail" process! Never fun!

Thanks again!
 

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Solved my problem!

After changing plugs, wires, cap, rotor, cam shaft sensor (in cap), and checking fuel pump/pressure, all intake sensors, and coil (and resistance). All was within norms. Except for no spark!
After all of this, I literally only had one choice left: the CRANKSHAFT SENSOR.

I did the ignition switch check for error codes and this was confirmed by error code 11. This error code will only report if the computer (PCM) has been reset since the problem has occurred, so wiping the memory is crucial for "convincing" the PCM to report the problem.

After diagnosing this problem, I a shop replace the sensor (also known as the "Hall effect" sensor) because it was simply too difficult for me to get to. It is located near the engine-side edge of the automatic transmission bell housing, a huge pain to get at with aftermarket headers! The shop actually had to pull off the plastic fencer wells.

When it was all said and done, the truck runs perfectly! Fixing this item solved a lot of my problems that I have noticed recently.

I highly recommend replacing this part!
 

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Voonderbar! Good to hear you got it fixed. I've heard that it's a PITA to swap out. Thanks for the update, Kevin!
 

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Thanks for the feed back! It helps everyone when the solution is found and posted. Glad you found it. Replacing the CKPS pegs the "Suck-Meter" at "11"! So much work for only two screws!
 
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