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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought my first dodge a few weeks ago... I dont attribute this to it being a dodge, I attribute it to having 124k miles on it... my point is that I know ZERO about dodges and really need some advice.

The truck is almost undrivable at this point...

Yesterday it didnt seem to do this, it may have and I just never noticed, but its never died on me, and today its died 4 times in 8 miles.

Symptoms:
driving normally (any speed) and I take my foot off the gas, dont do anything else, and the RPM will drop to zero. If I am going slow enough, the engine will just die. If I am going fast enough, the engine/transmission turning over will keep it running.

Info:

  • 1997 Dodge extra cab

  • 5.2L engine w/124k miles on it

  • Automatic trans

  • appears to be bone stock

What I have done:
popped the cap and looked at the air cleaner - its clean.

What I suspect:

  • bad throttle position sensor?

  • Vacuum leak? (though I cant HEAR any vacuum leak)

  • bad 02 sensor? - doesnt seem likely as the truck runs perfectly fine when I am on the gas

  • plugged fuel filter? - doesnt seem likely as the truck runs perfectly fine when I am on the gas

Thanks in advance... ANY help or direction would be GREATLY appreciated
 

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Fuel filter and/or TPS would be my first guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Fuel filter and/or TPS would be my first guess.
TPS was my first hunch... I will have to do a search, but are there directions/DIY on here by anyone on cleaning/setting the TPS on a 2nd gen ram?
 

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Go to Autozone or the like and buy a chilton's manual or other service manual for your Ram. Very handy to have.
 

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Internal vacuum leak due to a blown plenum pan gasket or the IAC motor and passages may be dirty.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Internal vacuum leak due to a blown plenum pan gasket or the IAC motor and passages may be dirty.
With the pan gasket blown, wouldnt it smoke and idle rough? I havent owned it long enough to know what the mileage is or if it burns oil yet.

it doesnt seem to smoke, even on startup and when its sitting at idle, it idles and runs nice and smooth.

I did find the "Throttle body cleaning procedure" thread, so I will probably be doing that when I get home tonight.
 

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Typically, you won't notice any smoking and you won't always have a rough running condition with a blown plenum pan gasket but you will see oil consumption between 1-2 quarts between oil changes @ a 3000 mile interval.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Typically, you won't notice any smoking and you won't always have a rough running condition with a blown plenum pan gasket but you will see oil consumption between 1-2 quarts between oil changes @ a 3000 mile interval.
hmm... ok. How do I know if thats the problem? (how do I identify a blown gasket?)

I just ran to the auto parts store and grabbed a Haynes manual and when I tried to start the truck, it took 3 tries. then died once on the way there. Then when leaving the store it wouldnt start without me holding the gas down (about 1k rpm) and wont hold an idle at all anymore without me holding the gas down (about 1k rpm)

I am going to go get a replacement IAC after work (wife's car), but if I have a blown gasket, it would be nice to get and fix that at the same time as cleaning the TB and replacing the IAC. I am assuming its relatively similar to a chevy in pulling off the intake, replace gasket, bolt intake back on and your good to go?

Any suggestions on how to prolong the life of the plenum gasket once I do replace it?

Thanks for the help guys... if you cant tell, I am learning all I can right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for the info guys... I replaced my IAC and viola, problem gone. I havent looked at cleaning the whole TB yet, I didnt have much time tonight so 30.00 and about 30 minutes to fix the problem was about right. Something tells me the previous owner knew the truck had a problem and didnt know the solution... so passed the problem off on an unsuspecting new owner.

but, thats ok... 30.00 and a little of my time and he is out a great truck

Thanks again for the advice and help. I am still curious on how to detect the blown gasket, but with any luck, I will have a little bit of time to figure that out and plan it to be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok... on the drive in this morning, the truck ran much better than it did before I had the RPM drop problem, not to mention, no RPM drop!

There is a new problem however...

When the truck is in gear, and I am accelerating, there is a "sucking" sound, it sounds like there is a disconnected hose or something. but I cant find any loose hoses.

Is there a gasket between the IAC and the TB that I missed? there was/is a rubber O-ring on the IAC that I made sure was there when I put it in, but I didnt notice any other gaskets.

Additionally, I pulled the air filter and replaced it... and after doing that, I wonder if the previous owner ever did ANY maintenance on this truck. So I now know I need to replace the diff fluids and tranny fluid... but thats a different thread.

Any thoughts on the sucking noise? I cant imagine its normal... maybe the ECU learning the new IAC?
 

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The IAC is only sealed with the o-ring you mentioned. Check and make sure the housing is on the throttle body correctly and check for any disconnected vacuum lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will take a look at it again tonight when I get home. it felt fine when it went in/on.

I looked for loose vac hoses, but I will take a closer look at that tonight as well.

Were there multiple sizes of IAC from different years? I suppose its possible I have the IAC from the wrong year of truck, nothing against the guys at autozone, but anything can get packaged wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ok, well if thats the case, then I have some investigating to do.

It doesnt quite seem like a vacuum leak since its not making any noise at idle and no noise when there is no load on the engine... we'll see I guess.
 

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I'm having similar problems but not that bad, could my IAC starting to fail?. my problem is similar where I'm driving and i let off the gas and it plum its below idle RPM and dies but doesn't do it as bad and i don't have a problem restarting or starting it.Think it just needs to be cleaned?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thats how mine started... ended up being the IAC that eventually failed. the truck always restarted, but died at every stoplight/stopsign.

Its a cheap part to replace, around 30.00, and to clean it you have to remove it completely anyway... IMO, worth replacing and not having to worry about it.
 

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Very true, ill go buy one tommorow and go ahead an look at my TPS and MAP sensor while im at it and make sure they are ok themselves. Thanks hopefully this fixes it
 

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Discussion Starter #20
best of luck! it fixed the problem for me immediately, so with any luck, it will for you as well.
 
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