1998 DODGE RAM ELECTRICAL

  • Tiny
  • Ramman98
  • 1998 Dodge Ram
  • 142,000 miles

I just changed the left head (driver side) and now my truck won't start. It has great ground. The gauges will not work and my fuel pump won't kick on. I checked the fuses and they are good. Rechecked that I hooked everything up to the engine and I did. Can you help me?

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Sunday, September 1st, 2013 AT 4:22 PM

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  • Tiny
  • caradiodoc
  • Expert
  • 25,453 posts

At what point are you expecting the fuel pump to run? What are you doing and how are you determining the pump isn't running? Have you checked for spark?

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Sunday, September 1st, 2013 AT 4:51 PM
  • Tiny
  • Ramman98
  • Member

The pump should turn on for about 20 seconds when the key is turned on. I have not checked for spark. There is power going to the coil packs though.

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Sunday, September 1st, 2013 AT 6:11 PM
  • Tiny
  • caradiodoc
  • Expert
  • 25,453 posts

You have the right idea but 20 seconds is way too long. The automatic shutdown (ASD) relay turns on for just one second after turning the ignition switch on, then again during engine rotation, (cranking or running).

The ignition coil(s), injectors, alternator field, oxygen sensor heaters, and fuel pump or pump relay are powered from that relay. Often you can hear the fuel pump run for that one second but it can be easier to monitor the voltage at the ignition coil. Use a test light if you have one because most digital voltmeters don't respond fast enough.

What's important is if that voltage comes back during cranking. If it does, you have a spark or a fuel supply problem. Most commonly it doesn't come back. The usual cause is a missing signal from the crankshaft position sensor or the camshaft position sensor. You didn't say which engine you have but since you mentioned coil packs you don't have a camshaft position sensor in a distributor. Given the recent service I'd be looking at the wires and connector to the crank sensor. It's right behind the right head in the transmission bell housing.

Be aware too that if you have spark and fuel pressure, you can have a failure to start simply from disconnecting the battery. The Engine Computer has to relearn "minimum throttle" before it will know when to be in control of idle speed. Until then you may need to hold the accelerator down 1/4".

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Sunday, September 1st, 2013 AT 9:01 PM

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