Please help. I'm at wits end and am almost broke =(

Tiny
DVAREN
  • MEMBER
  • DODGE RAM
I have a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4. 318 engine, auto trans, extended cab, 129,000 miles.

Recently my rear brake line (the long metal one) corroded out and I was forced to drop the gas tank to access it. This was not too bad, actually, as the truck had lackluster performance previously and the fuel pump/filter were pointed out to me as likely being the problem (factory pump/filter at 130k = bad, I assume).

After replacing all the metal brake line (and the rear brakes, spring kits, and both rear cylinders. Grrr), I proceeded to install the new pump into the gas tank, and reinstall the tank. I then bled all the brakes, and added 1 gallon of gas to the tank.

Also, while my wife went and picked up some more gas for the tank, I replaced the battery with a brand new Interstate.

I am telling you all of this because I believe something I did may have started the trouble I will describe in a moment. Although this truck has always been a bit short of power (it tends to "bog" out when you ask it for some power), it has always started like a dream, ran smoothly, and has never stalled.

After the brakes, gas tank, and battery were all finished (and another 3 gallons of gas added of course), I proceeded to take the truck for a spin around the block a few time to test the brakes and engine. Everything seemed wonderful. Brakes were better than ever, and the engine seemed a LITTLE but better (or maybe just wishful thinking).

Today I took her out in the morning and while cruising the 3-4 blocks to the gas station, it suddenly just stalled. It did not run rough, or give any warning, just POOF. I put it in nuetral and it started back up "fairly" easily. I figured she was a bit too low on gas, so I filled the tank completely (thank god I was close to the station). I drove for less than 10 minutes after this and the engine just shut down completely 3 more times, with no warning. 2 of the times it started back up easily, and 1 time it did not (took 2 minutes or so). I noticed an ODD smell the entire time I was having these issues.

This is what has been recently done to the truck (all at the the mechanics except for the brakeline, fuelpump, and battery I just did): Plugs, wires, cap, rotor, (2) O2 sensores, cat. Convertor, trans filter, air filter, a "fuel system cleanout". Whaterever that really is lol, fuelpump assembly, brakes/brakelines, and battery.

What I've noticed so far:

The truck will do this when it is just sitting there at idle. It will do it while moving, seamingly at any speed. There is a better chance of it happening when I hit the brakes. I notice the idle drop a hair a split second before she dies. There are no error codes. There is a really funny smell. All of this started happening after I changed the fuelpump assembly, brake line, and battery.

I hope this is enough for someone to help me, as without this truck I cannot go to work (I work out of it), and without going to work, I cannot afford to take the truck back to the mechanic =/

PLEASE help =/
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Monday, September 17th, 2007 AT 10:18 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Hopefully you used the dealer pump on this one. Check the fuel pressure on it, it is critical that it is in spec.
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Tuesday, September 18th, 2007 AT 7:30 AM
Tiny
DVAREN
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Although I didnt order it from the dealer, I luckily got a Chrysler pump from Autozone (yes. Its has the Chrysler badge and exact part numbers stamped into the plastic and the metal pump)

I will check the fuel pressure on it shortly (have to buy a pressure gauge). Anyone know what the pressure should be?
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Tuesday, September 18th, 2007 AT 8:33 AM
Tiny
WRENCH
  • MEMBER
I believe the fuel pressure should be around 35 to 45 psi. I would also check the auto shut off valve (used to kill voltage to pump in case of crash or turn over) if I remember right that is used to run the pump and is located near the tank or pump. So if no pressure or pressure stops at one point then check that it still is operating.
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Tuesday, September 18th, 2007 AT 11:45 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
At curb idle it should be 44.2-54.2 psi
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Tuesday, September 18th, 2007 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
DVAREN
  • MEMBER
Is the auto shutoff valve located on the pump assembly itself, or just nearbye? The reason I ask is this, and it may be important, although I did not think so at the time....

The pump I bought is identical to my OEM one in every way but one: There are three connections on top of the pump. (1) Is the electical harness, and that is identical. (2) Is where the main fuel line attaches to the metal pump, and that also is identical. (3) Is a plastic nipple that stands straight up about 2 inches and this is NOT identical to the OEM pump. On the OEM pump that nipple (a) is part of a round plug that is located exactly where the new pumps nipple is, and (b) is perpendicular to the pump assemble as opposed to straight up like the new one.

The line from the truck is still attached to the new pump on the straight nipple, mind you, but there is that slight variation in the two pumps that I thought might be important.

Excellent...thank you, both of you, for looking into this and providing me with this information. Although I've been taking this truck to the mechanic regularly, (much TOO regularly *sigh*) I just can't afford another trip there (been there 6 times in 6 months...repairs from 350-800 each time...I'm spent)


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/99131_fuelpump_1.jpg



The part circled in red is the one in question...mine sticks straight up (I dont even know what it is..lol)
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Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 AT 4:56 PM
Tiny
WRENCH
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I believe that the relay it self is in with the fuses, and the pump has a plastic shut off piece fits in top of pump, that is usually swaped from old pump to new. (Maybe yours came with a new one)
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Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 AT 8:15 PM
Tiny
DVAREN
  • MEMBER
Ok.I have some new information, which may or may not prove useful =)

1) The truck drives perfect for about 4 minutes. After this, I can keep the truck running "fairly" well by keeping constant pressure on the gas. After about 10 minutes, I can still keep the truck running by giving it constant gas, but it gets more difficult.

2) When the truck stalls it either (a) starts right back up or (b) doesn't. Lol. But.I found out today that by pressing the gas pedal to the floor before starting her, as if she were flooded, the truck will always start back up.

3) Today, the truck stalled when I had some friends around, and they said it was pouring out black smoke, and a noxious odd odor (I knew it wasnt just me, lol, that odor really IS odd)
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Thursday, September 20th, 2007 AT 3:39 PM
Tiny
WRENCH
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Okay starting to get somewhere, sounds like you are getting to much fuel or not able to burn the fuel your truck is supposed to have to run. At frist it sounded like it was starving for fuel but now its not. We realy need to get some engine codes at this point to better help in diagnose. Do you have a code reader or can borrow a friends. Not sure if your truck can do this becouse of the year but you can try.(1996 is kinda the cut off)
try this with the key switch turn ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON dont wait to long between cycles the check engine light will then flash a code (have pen and paper ready to write down with) count how many blinks of light, if more than one code than there be about 4 to 5 second delay between. (Example one flash pause four flashes 5 second pause two flashes pause two flashes = code 14 for the first and code 22 for the second). So give that a try it would be best if you could get a code reader, becouse evan if that works its not the most reliable.
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Thursday, September 20th, 2007 AT 4:32 PM
Tiny
DVAREN
  • MEMBER
The on-off-on trick doesnt work with this truck (it also doesnt give me any check engine light btw)

I hooked a fuel pressure gauge up, and she's sitting perfectly at around 50-52. And this does not change when she shuts off)

I removed the new pump and bought another new pump and installed it. Same problem. Start her up, wait about 4-5 minutes, and she shuts righ toff again. No sputtering or anything. Just dies.

Am replacing the IAC and TPS right now. Running out of options *sigh*
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Saturday, September 29th, 2007 AT 12:48 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
I would suggest having the computer accessible. Get it to the point of the stalling problem.

Have plastic bag ready and a cooler of ice, ( might want to add a few beers to it :mrgreen: ) When it stalls and doesn't restart, pull the ecm out, put it in the bag, put it in the ice for a few minutes, then pull it out and plug it in and see if it starts right back up.

If this seems to be helping it, get a reamn from the dealer on this one, not aftermarket.

Crank sensors are somewhat common problem with the Dodges.
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Sunday, September 30th, 2007 AT 12:08 PM
Tiny
DVAREN
  • MEMBER
Well.I think I may have fixed it. Lol

I installed the new TPS and IAC valve and found the problem didn't change at all. I also changed the ASD relay. No dice. Problem still exists *sigh*

So I was sitting in the truck, basically with my head in my hands, when I became aggravated and started her up one last time. As she began the stall (as usual), I hit the gas and fought her.

. For about 5 minutes.

. Over and over. Taching her all the way up to 4500 RPMs at times but not giving her up (I was just aggravated. Lol.)

And then I got her fairly stable at around 2100 RPMs. It wold still fight me a bit, but not as often. So I just sat there. At 2100 RPMs. For 10 minutes. And evertually she didnt fight me anymore at all. So I let go of the gas.

. And she ran. I got out of the truck, and continued our drink-fest for another 30 minutes. No stall.

Un-frikkin-believeable
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Sunday, September 30th, 2007 AT 1:54 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
There are some tihnings that are unexplainable. Possible insight is there was some carbon causing you some greif. You may benefit from doing a little de-carboning procedures.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Sometimes drink fests are the best part of the whole thing! :Lol: :mrgreen:
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Sunday, September 30th, 2007 AT 6:33 PM

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