My 1998 Dodge Ram has no power going up hills.

Tiny
DANO84
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE RAM
  • 170,000 MILES
The truck runs fine on a flat surface but I can barely get it up to 40mph on a hill. I've done everything I can think of to boost performance including changing the oil, Sea Foam-ing the engine, changing the air filter, trying lots of fuel additives and putting in expensive Bosch spark plugs but nothing seems to work. Please help. It is a V6, 5 speed manual. Thanks.
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 9:58 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
PROAUTOTECH
  • EXPERT
It's most likely a clogged catalytic converter, do you have an engine light or any stored codes?
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 10:11 PM
Tiny
DANO84
  • MEMBER
There is no engine lights on and I don't know anything about codes. Is a clogged catalytic converter something I can try and fix on my own? I'm not a mechanic but I'm pretty handy and enjoy working on my truck. And I'm not too keen on paying alot to have a pro fix a truck I just bought for $2K:)
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 10:19 PM
Tiny
PROAUTOTECH
  • EXPERT
Go to autozone or advance and have it scanned for codes for free. Let me know.
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Friday, January 20th, 2012 AT 10:39 PM
Tiny
DANO84
  • MEMBER
I will do that. Thanks.
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Saturday, January 21st, 2012 AT 1:59 AM
Tiny
DANO84
  • MEMBER
I took the truck to Autozone and they checked for codes but their were none.
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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 AT 4:55 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Yes, you can unbolt the y-pipe from the manifolds and take it for a quick test drive. It'll be loud, but it's the easiest way to check it.

You can also try calling a few repair shops in your area to find out which ones will scan for soft codes for free.
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Friday, January 27th, 2012 AT 7:53 AM
Tiny
DANO84
  • MEMBER
So I got under the truck and disconnected the exhaust from the catalytic converter. (There was no y-pipe. Just 1 pipe coming off either side of the manifold and going into the cat separately. So 2 pipes welded into the catalytic converter.) Then I hit the highway and tried it out on some steep exit ramps at high speed. It was loud but I definitely noticed an increase in power going uphill. So I guess a clogged catalytic converter was the problem, as you suspected. What now? I'm pretty sure it's illegal to drive around with no exhaust system and the cat is welded into the exhaust. I don't have the equipment or the expertise to weld on a new catalytic converter so does this mean I have to take it to a repair shop and get a new one installed? Thanks for the advice.
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Saturday, January 28th, 2012 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Hook it back up. Then go to a parts store and buy the replacement converter and three pipe clamps of the proper size. Cut the cat out with a hacksaw or sawzall (metal blade) and slide the parts together. You may need to ask the parts store to 'swaydge' the cat openings (expand them a little) so the exhaust pipes fit into them.

Then take the old cat to a recycler. You can get as much as $20-$40 for it because of what it's made of.
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Saturday, January 28th, 2012 AT 10:26 PM
Tiny
DANO84
  • MEMBER
I'll do that. Then I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks alot!
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Saturday, January 28th, 2012 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
My pleasure. Don't forget to block one wheel front and rear when you climb under it.
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Sunday, January 29th, 2012 AT 12:07 AM

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