1988 Dodge Ram No Spark No fuel

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  #1  
Old 06-22-07, 10:18 AM
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1988 Dodge Ram No Spark No fuel

I have a 1988 Dodge Power Ram 100 5.2L TBI 318 w/ auto trans and 4x4 124,000 miles.

Upon driving to town the problem started as a small *miss* then it progressed to a shutdown of the motor with no response from the accelerator for a 10 second timeframe then the motor would kick back in. At first I thought it was a bad fuel pump or injectors so I replaced them both, but the problem still exists. The truck most of the time will not start at all now it will crank over just fine but there is no power to the fuel injectors and no spark to the plugs. It seems intermittent it will run sometimes for 15 minutes fine then it will die suddenly, with no spark/no fuel.

Another symptom is that it will run fine while idling, as soon as I place it in gear however it will not accelerate, if I try to press the pedal it will not accelerate but if i press the pedal lightly it will slowly gain speed.

I have recently replaced both fuel injectors, fuel pump, filter, spark plugs/wires. I've checked the injector wiring for proper resistance and the wires are fine. Also the 12V lead to the computer is supplying 12V when the key is on. I am wondering if it would be the ECM? Or could another sensor be shutting the system down? Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-22-07, 01:18 PM
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would try a new pickup in the distributer, remove cap and rotor and believe there is just a couple of screws that hold it in you should also look at the plates inside below pickup to make sure they are ok and not loose.
 
  #3  
Old 06-22-07, 07:29 PM
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Thanks Bejay, I will try that and post my results here. Is there anyway of testing the pickup? In any case I will either test it or replace it tommorrow.
 
  #4  
Old 06-23-07, 02:29 PM
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not really any way of testing a sensor with an intermitant problem with out expensive equipment like a lab scope to monitor the signal, it will test fine any time the van runs, its not a very expensive part would probably just change it out it will cause no spark, no fuel and no power to the injectors if the computer dont see any signal from the pickup its not going to power up the injectors while cranking and only for a second when you turn the key on.
 
  #5  
Old 06-24-07, 02:57 PM
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I replaced the pickup and much to my dismay this issue still occurred. However, I unhooked the harness from the ECM and with the key on plugged it back into the ECM the truck started right up! It will run fine for 30 mins or longer then all of a sudden a complete shutdown, no spark/fuel etc no spitting no sputter just instant shutdown. Now anytime this happens I can go unplug the computer and plug it back in and it will start right up again. If I don't do that it will turn over endlessly with no results. It seems that when I unplug the computer and plug it back in there is an extra audible noise like from a relay or something that there is not by just shutting off the key switch and turning it back on.

I have heard of a shutdown relay energizing could this be faulty? And where is it located?

Also It still will not accelerate in gear unless i touch lightly on the accelerator and nurse it up to speed. I can kind of pump the gas and it will gradually gain speed. But if i press it down to far it will choke out basically, it will stay running but will not accelerate if it floor it.


New parts are:

Fuel pump, fuel injectors, filter, plugs/wires, cap/rotor, coil, pickup and I also purchased a ignition control module but I cannot find where the old one is I looked on the firewalls and fenders no luck. Thanks again for any help.
 

Last edited by njullman; 06-24-07 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Added shutdown relay question
  #6  
Old 06-24-07, 03:25 PM
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I have the same year and model except in a 3/4 ton 4 spd.

When I got mine a couple of years ago I had a problem with intermittant fuel pump failure.
Turned out to be some corrosion on the main cable going into the ECM.
I used a lubricating contact cleaner and a fine bristle brush to clean it up and it has been good for two years.

If yours is in the same spot as mine just remove the battery on the driver's side fender and you will be looking right at it.
 
  #7  
Old 06-26-07, 05:18 PM
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Thanks Greg,

Whereabouts would I find the Ignition control module??? Everywhere I look says the firewall or fenders I've looked top to bottom and havent found the ICM. I did clean the cables/contacts on the ECM and am waiting to see if ti acts up again or not. Thanks.
 
  #8  
Old 06-27-07, 08:15 PM
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Just an update after two days now the truck no longer mysteriously shuts down. Thanks Greg H for the tip on cleaning the ECM plug.

The only problem remaining is the motor performance when i shift into gear. I can revv it up in nuetral and park, however as soon as I shift to drive or reverse or 1,2 the motor dies pretty much and won't accelerate. Any more tips or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much,

James
 
  #9  
Old 06-28-07, 09:33 AM
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if it dies when put in gear even if you put a little gas to it to bring up the rpm a little and if it still dies you still have a problem maybe with the wiring or could even be transmission related.
if it will run in gear with the rpm up you might try cleaning the throttle plates this should raise your base idle speed so the computer can compensate better when placed in gear.
 
  #10  
Old 06-30-07, 08:45 AM
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I woorked a little more on itlast night. Cleaned the throttle body and also replaced the TPS while I was working there. The situation is: I can now put it into gear and it will stay running and idlling however it will not accelerate unless I pump the accelerator. I went down the dirt road by us pumping the acclerator for a bit then I can hold the pedal steady and it will gain speed. It shifted through the gears normally and I was up to 50 mph in no time. The problem appears to only be on beginning to move, the engine somehow misses/spits and sputters it seems to be more of a timing issue then any transmission issue. Is there some kind of transmission sensor that tells the ECM how to time the spark etc?
 
  #11  
Old 06-30-07, 09:48 AM
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If you have access to a scan tool I'd be a lookin at the action of the MAP sensor............MAP see's engine vacuum drop when the throttle opens and ECM then adjusts fuel and spark timing accordingly.......In fact........after re-reading the whole thread, I'd check for proper vacuum .........thinking about a clogged Cat Convertor......or otherwise restricted exhaust
 
  #12  
Old 06-30-07, 07:54 PM
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Success!

First off I'd like to thank everyone who submitted ideas to help fix the problem.

Secondly and to close the thread here was the solution:

I was fiddling with the MAP sensor unplugging it etc while the truck was running when I happenned to look at the TBI and noticed that one of the injectors was no longer spraying fuel. I took a small piece of cardboard to make sure my eyes weren't fooling me and it came out dry. In tracking down the problem I tested the wires again and they tested out ok from the computer to the injectors. The problem ended up being a wire that wasn't pushed far enough into the plug by the injectors so it was making intermittent contact at best. I pushed it back in with a needle nose pliers and it runs like a charm.

Thanks again!
 
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