Mechanics

DODGE RAM TOOL PROBLEM

1994 Dodge Ram • 217 miles

My dodge van stalls intermittently. It will start after waiting for 10 to 40 minutes. I've replaced ignition switch and module, coil, pick up coil in distributor, distributor cap and rotor, o2 sensor, egr valve, crankshaft position sensor. Plugs and wires are fairly new. It has fuel pressure. Please help.
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Guest
March 5, 2013.




When it doesn't start, is the fuel pressure within the manufacturer's specs? Is the spark to the plugs a good hot blue snapping spark.


I have three mid-nineties Chysler vehicles, two Jeeps and a RAM truck. I have finally learned over these many tortured years that the very first place to start when experiencing random behavior is the PCM plug connections. The pin sockets have sprung gold alloy fingers that get relaxed over time and can cause all kinds of intermittent problems, from random stalling or ignition cut-out to rough idling, to improper pressure regulation in your transmission (which is controlled by the PCM) as well as poor voltage regulation.

I learned my lesson the hard way after many years of chasing down random gremlins on all three of my vehicles, replacing all kinds of sensors and such, thinking the problem is gone only to return in hours, days or weeks, change of weather and such, and for many others like me this will be the last thing they try that finally resolves their problem(s). So to all others I advise that it should be the first thing they try before opening their wallets.

I wrote a detailed write-up of this problem and how to repair it (for free) at jeepforum dot com under the thread "Infamous stalling problem - The REAL fix", but in short it involves pulling out the plugs and bending in the fingers with a sharpened dental tool. The two photos attached show 1) two plugs, the one on the left repaired and the one on the right prior to repair, fingers visible on the left, none visible on the right, and 2) the method of tool insertion. Each pin socket, the actual metal shell crimped onto the wire, has two internal gold alloy contact fingers. You need to get your needle or tool behind that finger, between the finger and the shell, and continue inserting the tool inward to bend the finger gently inward and restore contact pressure. If you do not have good eyes, the proper tool and good coordination I would recommend asking your dentist if he makes house calls, or combine appointments on your next cleaning: -)

A final note - Make sure you disconnect the battery before removing those plugs, and since that will reset the PCM you need to drive for a bit to be sure the problem is resolved. You could still have other issues as the root cause, but this one needs to be ruled out first.
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Tiny
InterpreDemon
Mar 5, 2013.

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