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Engine has no power


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07-13-03, 06:14 PM   #1  
Engine has no power

I'm back with another question. You all helped me quite a bit before and I have a new problem. My friend has a 1999 Dodge Ram pickup with a 318 in it. It starts and idles but when you give it gas it makes noise like the sound we used to get turning our air cleaners upside down. It sounds like it's under pressure. It will onlr drive about 30 mph and when you just rev up the engine and let off the gas it dies. It also smokes slightly on the drivers side of the engine but I can't tell where it's coming from. Also the check engine light is on. Could it be a plugged catalytic converter? I was told to check that out. My first thought was timing but since it is a V8 and (I presume) has a chain I'm not sure.

Thanks!

 
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07-13-03, 09:28 PM   #2  
possibly a weak fuel pump, a guage mounted to the rail and taped under the windshield wiper will determine that as you drive it.


easier than that, put your hand close to the tailpipe, if very little air is coming out when you rev it, time to suspect the cat. without an exhaust backpressure guage to use, take out the upstream oxygen sensor (the one in the front of the cat--7/8" wrench)and drive it, see if your missing power is restored. note: leave the sensor plugged in, also give the cat a good rap with a mallet or your left boot, if it rattles---not good.

yes it has a timing chain, probably didn't jump though, unless it's over a million miles, as for ignition timing, do not touch the distributor--ever! (on ANY dodge multi-port fuel injected engines) it looks normal, normal hold down bolt and clamp, you can even hook up a timing light thinking your going to set timing, but you're not! timing is controlled by the computer and the crank position sensor only, the distributor is used for reference for the fuel injectors and it probably won't run at all if you decide to turn it much, if you want to adjust timing, you have to buy a performance computer(or slot out the crank sensor bolt holes--sssshhhhhh)


also, if the truck has less than 80,000 miles (or 8 years)and has the original unmolested cat, it's covered under the federal emissions warranty, free of charge for you, if you have a flowmaster or any non original muffler 'welded' on to the cat, they may charge you a small fee to cut and reweld it--the warranty won't pay for that--usually up to the dealer's discretion

if you end up in a dead end here, the stored codes will help you(or someone)

let us know what you find

 
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07-14-03, 09:36 AM   #3  
Joe_F
Original poster:

When was the last time the vehicle saw a good tuneup? Mileage?

Run by Autozone and have them extract the codes in the computer. Tell us what they find. We'll go from there.

 
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07-14-03, 09:56 PM   #4  
joe, if you saw the amount of cats i've replaced in the last 4-5 years on rwd trucks, vans and dakotas, you'd start there too, warranty pays .9 i'm done driving it and codes cleared in .6, i've done that many(easy 100). if he tries making it to a shop to read codes, he might not make it back, a few i had would only idle with the gas pedal pushed to the floor, some wouldn't even do that, unscrew the o2 sensor and drive it in

my other comment (chevy caprice)was that no single car in any shape whatsoever is immune from the streets of ny, my grandfather's 80-something chevy nova(toyota engine, fwd) had the ignition lock broken out, but didn't get stolen because of the hood lock/ignition kill switch, it was only pushed down the street, in brooklyn

 
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07-15-03, 03:18 AM   #5  
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Mike:

More often than not, SOMETHING wastes the converter, so that cause must be found or as you know, the new converter will be wasted in short order.

A dealer replacement converter (assuming it's not OEM warrantied) will run a ton of bucks on one of these, so I'd suggest the basics first (tuneup, sensor check, etc) .

As for cars stolen in Brooklyn/NYC, it was probably a joy ride of sorts. I have seen and heard reports of plenty of clunkers being stolen.

Just the other day, I passed through Brooklyn on my way home. There was a 1991 or so Sable torched on the side of the road, complete with NYC Sanitation DVO (Derelict Vehicle Operations) stickers on it. Why someone would light that on fire is beyond me. It was probably worth $5 before the torching and it's not liekly someone's collecting insurance. It may have just been a joyride where someone was malicious or trying to cover their tracks.

The owner could have donated it for a tax write off! . One of the junkyards I frequent in NJ has cars (newer) which have been wasted by fire. Most are insurance jobs---you can tell by the way they burned and also the recent year written in marker on the carcass (2001, 2002, 2000, etc).

Probably people that can't afford the lease payments any longer and figure they will "get out of it" that way.

What part of NJ are you located?


Last edited by Joe_F; 07-15-03 at 03:42 AM.
 
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07-15-03, 10:31 PM   #6  
on most cars that would be true(about something causing the cat to go bad)but i think the vender did something wrong to see this many go bad, i'm talking A LOT! the check engine light would have to be on for a long time to cause damage especially on an obdII vehicle, most systems are designed to set a fault if emissions exceed something like 1.3-1.5 times the federal test procedure(FTP) emissions standards, both out the tailpipe and evaporative, if i remember correctly from school. the cat on my brother's dakota fell victim, without ever a light and hasn't gone bad since, the truck has been problem free (with maintenance) up to 75,000 miles. we'll see!



englishtown area (exit 8a or 123, as we like to say it)

 
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07-16-03, 03:14 AM   #7  
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Yup, know the area, as I go to the E-town swap meet twice a year. 1/2 hour from where I live in the NYC 'burbs. You can guess which boro/burb

 
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07-17-03, 07:37 AM   #8  
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My '98 GMC has two cats. One of the few things fixed under warrenty was one of the cats was bad and set off the engine light--so they replaced one cat--that was 65k ago--no problems. The truck only had like 8k on it when the light came on!

 
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07-19-03, 07:23 AM   #9  
A bit unrelated , and strange. I had an '86 Ram 50 pickup with the 2.0 L 4 cyl. engine. I ahd the cat repalced, and thre head gasket went the next week.

 
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07-19-03, 01:57 PM   #10  
unrelated is the understatement of the day, your truck is all mitsubishi, except for the 'dodge' name on the back

strange, in the fact that usually it's the other way around, usually first the head gasket blows, then, the cat gets clogged or stops working from all the antifreeze that gets dumped into it, probably just a bad coincidence for your wallet though.

 
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07-19-03, 03:02 PM   #11  
Joe_F
I'd agree with that as well.

 
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07-20-03, 04:21 AM   #12  
Didnt replace the head gasket on that truck. Sold it to somebody for parts for $100 a few years ago. THe body wasnt shot and some parts were usable.

 
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