Mechanics

150 4WD PU , AUTOMATIC 318

1988 Dodge Ram

I purchased this one from the State of WA Fish and Game Commission, about 2 yrs ago and it was running pretty well for it's age and lower mileage 79,500 showing. I believe it was a newer engine installed as they remembered sending it in for a tranny replacement while in waranty. The engine starts right up when cold, but as soon as it heats up and shut down again, almost impossible to fire it up when warm. This happened like all of a sudden and I haven't tested the new fuel yet but it may be that. It cranks irratically almost like the old vapor lock days when the fuel lines used to get air in them and same things happened. I'm guessing fuel problems first or emmission controls clogged. Oh the service engine light has always been on and I couldn't find the way to shut it off.
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Kjman
December 29, 2006.



When you say cranks erratically do you mean it doesnt sound smooth?If there is weak compression in any cylinders it will effect the starting. Starting warm could be many things. The " check engine light" is the PCM telling you there is a problem. Scan the vehicle and the trouble code will most likely give you a good direction to go in as far as the over all problem

Tiny
Jack42
Dec 29, 2006.
I haven't checked compression hot or cold as so far I hadn't neede the test but that is a good tip and as far as the cranking, it is engaged ie turns the flywheel without slipping out. You get the ra ra ra hard pause, r-r-r-r faster cranking then back to normal but just won't start untill it cools down. Yea I don't have that older computer checker so will have to take it in. Also losing some coolant somewhere but the oil doesn't show any water there.

Tiny
Kjman
Dec 29, 2006.