Truck will not start and run

Tiny
AUSTINGS1
  • MEMBER
  • 1985 DODGE RAMCHARGER
  • 5.2L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
My truck will not stay running. It's not getting fuel to the carburetor. The fuel pump is good, I replaced the fuel filter, and I can blow air through the fuel lines and hear bubbling in the tank. The float isn't stuck. I'm at a loss of what could be the problem.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Monday, December 24th, 2018 AT 10:05 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
BRANDON SIMON
  • EXPERT
Have you checked the fuel line going to the carburetor?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, December 24th, 2018 AT 10:22 AM
Tiny
AUSTINGS1
  • MEMBER
Yes I have.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 AT 5:45 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's a couple of things to consider. The first is there is a chance you're making the problem worse by blowing air backward into the tank. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but I have an 1980 Volare that I used to dump in a measured gallon of gas, then run it out to check the fuel mileage, and I found it would never draw a prime from the tank by just cranking the engine. I had to pour a little gas down the carburetor, then crank the engine. That car has the slant six-cylinder engine with real long intake runners, so it won't flood easily. I can dump in enough gas for the engine to run about three to five seconds. Sometimes I have to do that two to four times, but eventually running at that higher speed gets the gas drawn up to the pump.

The second problem has to do with the fuel strainer inside the tank. Other than with diesel engines, you will never solve a running problem on a Chrysler product by replacing the fuel filter. They last the life of the vehicle unless they rust out and start to leak. That strainer is a different story. With fuel injected engines, the common symptom is the engine runs fine for the first few minutes, then it will stall when the highest volume of fuel is being pumped, which is during coasting from highway speed. The volume goes way down during acceleration and when under load, and that is when the engine will run better.

Carbureted engines are just the opposite. The highest volume of fuel is pumped during acceleration and at higher speeds, so that is when the problem acts up. The engine will often start and idle fine. On the highway, when the stalling occurs, the strainer will stretch back out after sitting for a few minutes, then you can usually get another few miles before it stalls again.

I had collapsed strainers in two cars with carburetors, and then twice over a period of 400,000 miles on a fuel-injected minivan. The part for carbureted vehicles used to cost around $3.00, and about $12.00 for the fuel injected ones.

Also check for wetness along the fuel supply line that would indicate a leak. If air can be sucked in, gas won't be drawn from the tank. You might try carefully blowing a little compressed air into the gas tank, then check the supply line again for wetness.

If the engine will idle okay, but you can't accelerate to higher speeds, that also suggests a fuel volume problem. Look for a kinked steel line that got hit by a rock, and look at all the rubber hoses to be sure none are bent so sharply that they are pinched.

The last thing is to remove the lines from the pump, then run one in from a can of gas. If no gas is pumped out of the outlet port while cranking the engine, suspect a problem with the eccentric that strokes the pump's lever. That is bolted to the front of the camshaft sprocket. You can see it with a small mirror after you remove the pump.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
AUSTINGS1
  • MEMBER
It doesn't even crank over unless I pour gas or starter fluid into the carburetor.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 AT 5:57 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Are you saying the starter doesn't spin the engine? That's an entirely different problem. If the starter is cranking the engine at normal speed, but the engine doesn't start and run, that is exactly what I addressed in my reply. I have to pour gas into the carburetor on my Volare for this same symptom you described.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 AT 6:26 PM
Tiny
AUSTINGS1
  • MEMBER
Sorry. Yes it cranks just no fuel goes through. The sending unit, strainer, filter, and pump are all new. And lines don't have leaks. It is almost as if it is stopping mid line.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 AT 6:30 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. It still sounds like the pump hasn't primed yet. Run the engine a total of about ten seconds by repeatedly pouring gas down the carburetor a few times, then, pull the inlet hose off the pump and check if it is wet or if gas runs out. If it is still dry, use a hand-operated vacuum pump on that supply hose and suck the gas from the tank. If the gauge on the pump shows vacuum is building up, there is a restriction. If no gas shows up after pumping for a minute or two, and no vacuum has built up, there is a leak somewhere. Previously you said you heard gurgling in the tank when you ran air backward into it, so if there is a leak, it is going to have to be pretty small. A good suspect is a dry-rotted rubber hose where the metal pipe connects to the unit on the tank.

If you get gas to the supply line at the pump, the next step is to verify the pump can move that gas. Screw a fitting into the pump's inlet port, then connect a short piece of clear plastic tubing and run that into a small container of gas. Watch if the pump draws that gas up while cranking the engine. If it does not, or it lifts the gas very little, unscrew the line where it goes into the top of the carburetor, then try again. If the pump draws gas up now, the needle is stuck to the seat. That assembly can be unscrewed to be cleaned, or you can try to unseat the needle with a short blast of compressed air. If you give up for the night, don't leave the clear tubing sitting in gas as it will melt or dissolve in it.

If the pump still isn't doing anything, it is defective or there is something wrong with the eccentric on the front of the camshaft sprocket. Be aware too that the wrong pump will bolt up to this engine. The big block pumps have a short lever, ... Say about three inches long. You need a small block pump. Its lever is around five or six inches long.

What is the history leading up to this problem? The same 318 c.I. Was used in later years with fuel injection. Those would not have the eccentric on the camshaft, so if one of those engines was transplanted into your truck, you'd have to add that or install an in-line electric pump with a pressure regulator.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 AT 7:12 PM
Tiny
AUSTINGS1
  • MEMBER
Okay. Will check and get back afterwards. Thank you.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 AT 7:32 PM
Tiny
AUSTINGS1
  • MEMBER
So I need to drop my gas tank and it has a hitch assembly bolted in around it so I cannot get it off without taking the hitch off. All of the bolts are rusted and just spin with the nut. Any ideas on how to get them off? I have tried PB Blaster and tried cutting the nuts off.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, December 28th, 2018 AT 3:59 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Plasma cutter. Most body shops have them.

Also try Chrysler's "Rust Penetrant". I've heard good things about PB Blaster but I have never used it. I can tell you that Rust Penetrant will do in 20 minutes what WD-40 can not do in a weekend. It goes on black, and it sizzles. Once the bolts are apart, be sure to wash the stuff off before reassembling them. This oil opens the way up for moisture to follow it in, then those bolts will be even rustier next time.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 29th, 2018 AT 4:13 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Sponsored links