2001 Dodge Ram

2001 Dodge Ram 1500 53,000 miles. I have been having problems starting my truck. I think it could be a starter and fuel filter problem not sure. Here are the symptoms I try to start it but the battery seems drained and the battery gage also shows that but I used a voltage meter and it tested fine. After awhile I finally get it started but I have to keep my foot on the accelerator to keep it running and alot of exhaust comes out really strong smell. After I keep revving it for awhile it will finally stay started. What could be the problem?
December 10, 2006.

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