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Distributor removed without marking / Engine won't start now

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  #21  
Old 11-28-2010, 01:26 PM
Slomojo Slomojo is offline
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I think I'm having this same issue. I just dropped in a fresh salvage rebuilt engine (I rebuilt) and cant get the damn thing to fire. (On my dads truck, its a 99) its got fuel and spark but just turns over and over with occasional back pressure blowout. The distributor is set properly and I have check my wiring multiple times.

So I take it from this that my timing cam is off? Can't use a timing light cuse the damn thing wont fire. Gettin pretty f'in frustrated.
You might want to try changing the PCM if you have a spare, even if its from another model year, you might find that the engine will fire because of that alone, if that's the issue, just find yourself a suitable replacement and your on the road again.
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  #22  
Old 11-28-2010, 09:42 PM
JerrodL JerrodL is offline
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Default I have a similar problem...help!

I have a problem along the same lines. Here’s the description:
I just got a 99 Ram 1500 with a dead 5.2l. No CEL -- I hooked up an OBD scanner and there are not codes. It fires a little bit when just turning over and it fires a bit better with the gas pedal floored but never gets running on its own. I’ve done the following:
+ checked the distributor alignment – set the 1 cylinder at TDC on the compression stroke and the distributor rotor was pointed right at the #1 cylinder mark in the cam position sensor.
+ I had a low resistance on the coil so I swapped it with the coil from my running 99 Ram 1500 with a 5.9l. The 5.9l didn’t run with the other coil but the 5.2l still doesn’t run with the ‘new’ coil installed. Even switched the coil wires around and no difference.
+ I switched the PCMs around and there was no difference.
+ Checked the fuel pressure and it’s 48 psi at the rail.
Still no CEL or any codes at all and all it does is fire a little when I first turn it over and when I floor it, it ‘surges’ (almost runs) but doesn’t catch. I’m at a loss on what to do next. I have the 98 5.9l here so I can switch parts over but which ones?
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  #23  
Old 11-28-2010, 10:39 PM
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Jerrod,

It could be a number of reasons. Cmckenna should be able to help you since it seems like something electrical (Fuses, injectors not firing).

--Dan
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  #24  
Old 11-29-2010, 03:03 AM
Slomojo Slomojo is offline
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Quote:
I have a problem along the same lines. Here’s the description:
I just got a 99 Ram 1500 with a dead 5.2l. No CEL -- I hooked up an OBD scanner and there are not codes. It fires a little bit when just turning over and it fires a bit better with the gas pedal floored but never gets running on its own. I’ve done the following:
+ checked the distributor alignment – set the 1 cylinder at TDC on the compression stroke and the distributor rotor was pointed right at the #1 cylinder mark in the cam position sensor.
+ I had a low resistance on the coil so I swapped it with the coil from my running 99 Ram 1500 with a 5.9l. The 5.9l didn’t run with the other coil but the 5.2l still doesn’t run with the ‘new’ coil installed. Even switched the coil wires around and no difference.
+ I switched the PCMs around and there was no difference.
+ Checked the fuel pressure and it’s 48 psi at the rail.
Still no CEL or any codes at all and all it does is fire a little when I first turn it over and when I floor it, it ‘surges’ (almost runs) but doesn’t catch. I’m at a loss on what to do next. I have the 98 5.9l here so I can switch parts over but which ones?
When you swapped the PCM, did you take the replacement PCM out of a running vehicle or from a shelf? I had a bad PCM so I swapped it with an extra I had off of another 1999 Ram. When I tried to run the engine, still nothing. Engine would kinda start for a second when engine was cranked but then nothing. Only way to get it to run was by dumping fuel into the throttle body. Eventually after checking everything I could think of, I tried another PCM out of a running vehicle. Truck fired right up. Only way I know how to tell that a PCM is working is by pulling it out of a running vehicle in the first place. Don't make the same mistake I did.
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  #25  
Old 11-29-2010, 02:14 PM
JerrodL JerrodL is offline
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Yes, I swapped the PCM from my 98 which is running perfectly. I also swapped the crank and cam position sensors (one of the dist cap bolts broke off....so that's nice) and it still acts the same...nothing's ever changed with the exception of switching the coil (VERY slight improvement).

I hooked up the fuel pressure gauge to the test port on the rail and located the dial so I can read it while cranking. The gauge fluctuates about 5 psi as the engine cranks at idle and is rock solid at 49 when floored. I assume that the injectors are being turned off when the gas pedal is floored which is why the needle is solid at 49. I'm a bit concerned about the 5 psi fluctuation at idle but I'm not sure what's normal for our trucks (and my formerly running truck really isn't anymore due to the parts swapping). I also can figure out why it fires a little better when I floor it vs. idle (after a while of flooring it, it stops firing but fires a little bit when it goes back to idle and then nothing again).

I'm beginning to suspect the injection system but not sure where to start with this thing...it has me baffled (not saying that this is a major accomplishment but it's a mystery!).

Thanks.
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  #26  
Old 11-29-2010, 08:44 PM
JerrodL JerrodL is offline
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Is there a list of things to try now that I've exhausted all of the obvious? It's like there's a switch on this thing that I just need to turn on (or switch over from my other truck).
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  #27  
Old 11-30-2010, 03:25 PM
Slomojo Slomojo is offline
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Sounds like something could be triggering the Automatic shutdown relay. Either that or the relay has been shorted. Might want to try moving some relays around in the box near the battery. If for some reason the ASD relay was triggered, it would automatically kill your engine as soon as you start to crank the starter. If that's not it, you might need to find out what sensor is faulty enough to trigger the Automatic Shutdown Relay. Focus on the simple stuff. Coolant sensors aren't gonna stop your engine from starting, transmission sensors wont, rear axle, etc... Try going back to the stock coil, check all your grounds, throttle body sensors, other sensors on the block pertaining to maintaining air fuel ratios. Check to see if you are getting proper voltage to the sensors that are used for startup, that will help you find bad wires if you have them.If you have a scanner that can display engine parameters, this would be the time to use it. If not, Scanguage is a good one that is about $150-200 that can display all your engine parameters which will help you eliminate the possible sensor or sensors that are malfunctioning.

Also, tell us what you did to the truck or what happened suddenly to cause this. Try just retracing your steps.
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  #28  
Old 11-30-2010, 05:50 PM
JerrodL JerrodL is offline
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I tried moving the relays around and there was no difference. I assumed, at the time, that an ASD relay trip would result in an OBD code...Do you know if this is true? The OBD scanner I used didn't have the sensor outputs (only fault codes and the sensor that led to the fault codes) so I don't know what the sensors are doing, just that the PCM thinks that they're all cool. You'd think that the PCM would sense that your cranking away, the engine's not starting and tell you why but I may be asking a bit much (in 1999, anyway...the engineers were too busy partying like it was 1999...because it was).

It does seem like the injectors are firing (since I see a fluctuation on the pressure gauge that goes away when I floor the gas)...some other sensor isn't jiving with the rest of the system enough to let it run but also not enough to throw a code....hmmm.

I think my next step is to somehow get a hold of a scanner or software+cable for my laptop (Scangauge?) that gives me sensor data. If anyone in Minneapolis/St. Paul who reads this has one they'll let me use, I'll buy the beer! After all, I now have two dead Dodges in my driveway now that half of the sensors from the running one are on the dead one!

Thanks for your input, Slomojo...I appreciate it!
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  #29  
Old 11-30-2010, 06:21 PM
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Software. Free.....

Cable. 38 bucks.
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  #30  
Old 11-30-2010, 08:23 PM
JerrodL JerrodL is offline
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awesome
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  #31  
Old 12-01-2010, 03:03 AM
Slomojo Slomojo is offline
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How is your engine harness? It could be possible that your wires aren't all perfect. Kinda hard to test the harness but with some patience, a repair manual, a good electrical tester, and maybe a helping hand you can do this.

Also, if you have another dodge ram sitting around, you can pull the harness and try using that one. You might be able to get away with hooking it up only to the PCM, engine, electrical box under the hood and the cab to test things out. It might be worth it if your not a pro at finding electrical problems. Switching that harness may save you some trouble.

If you do decide to check the connections, what you should be looking for is that no water, corrosion, dirt, etcetera got into the connections. You should look for voltage at the sensors based upon what a repair manual states the sensor should be receiving on a specific colored cable coming from the harness when the key is in the on position, and you should be looking for continuity between where the harness connects to the pcm and the end of that specific wire you are testing.

Troublesome process that may seem tedious but often times the right thing to do if replacement parts aren't easy to find or if your not 100% sure where exactly to look because you can test one thing at a time to eliminate possibile factors. Personally though, I'd try pulling the harness from the other truck and hooking it up to everything under the hood of the one you are trying to start since you have that other truck sitting right there and testing connections is a pain.

And once again, what exactly happened to start this whole fiasco? And have you tried putting a water bottle filled with gas with a sport top cap or some holes in the cap of the bottle so that the gas will be dripping into a funnel lodged into the throttle body bore to get the truck to start while you crank it? If you can start the truck like that, remove the bottle, and keep it running just by using a foot on the gas pedal then you know that you still have some adjusting of that distributor to do to get things synchronized again. And are you absolutely certain that the distributor has been seated and installed properly? If not, make sure everything is tight and that things are lined up properly before going on some more.

Word of caution though, make sure to be extra careful and to have a hose around incase gas backfires through the trottlebody if you do decide to try that gas in a bottle thing. People have been sprayed by flaming gas before for not taking enough precaution to be safe and caught on fire because of that. Good idea to have someone around to help out with all this stuff and for safety sake.
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  #32  
Old 12-02-2010, 12:37 AM
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I've checked over the harness as much as I can but it's the insides that count, right? I've been checking the inputs/outputs with the key on but it's hard to check those things while cranking when it's just me out there. Where's Stretch Armstrong when you need him? The connections all look good, in any case. I'll switch out the harness as a last resort but the OBD cable's on its way so I wait a day or two for that to show up first.

Not sure what happened to start this whole chain of events. The truck came to me this way. It's in great condition otherwise, it just has this one little problem of not running. Otherwise, it's a great truck....

I'll try the gas bottle thing tomorrow. It sounds like a more elaborate method of what I've been trying: putting some gas in in the throttle body and seeing what happens when I crank it. It has made absolutely NO difference when I've tried this the 6 or so times I've tried it but maybe the 'metered' approach with a bottle will work better. I'll have some water around...the hose will freeze on me as it's a bit cold here in MN! I'll let you know what happens and thanks for the help -- this mystery will get solved one way or another (hopefully with my truck NOT burning down in my driveway).
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  #33  
Old 12-02-2010, 03:23 AM
Slomojo Slomojo is offline
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You said that you took your PCM from a spare vehicle of yours? 1998 Ram? Did you make sure to disconnect the battery from both trucks when taking out and putting in the PCM? If the battery was connected you could have fried the PCM just like that. I did that to mine and my old one that was sitting for a while not being used somehow went bad. I hate to suggest this again but you might want to try another PCM. 96-2002 should at least work to start the engine. sensors wont read right but that wont make a difference if your just trying to get the truck started. Also, double, triple, quadruple check the distributer. Your going to get this eventually and its gonna be something simple. Bad Computer, wires, timing/synchronization, blah blah blah. This type of thing is a real pain in the ***. Probably one of the reasons so few people are commenting on this. But if nothing is standing out as obvious and you are checking all the possiblities maybe its time to start going back over things that you may not have done 100% right the first time.
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  #34  
Old 12-02-2010, 08:01 PM
JerrodL JerrodL is offline
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Yes, the spare was from a running 98 5.9l Ram and it worked just fine in that truck both before and after I tried it in the 99 5.2l. The batteries were disconnected (in fact, I have just one battery that I use for both trucks) so there was no power connected at the time. I'm on my tenth or so check of the distributor and before checking again (laying on top of the engine with my head wedged back there with a mirror to see what the alignment is up to) so I'll keep checking everything I can. I may end up pulling the entire distributor out of the running engine, wires and all and putting it into the bad engine. Won't take too long but I'll be marking the crap out of the distributor before I take it out of the running engine, that's for sure.

I'll keep posting the progress here since I've been reading all the history of other threads looking for that one nugget that will get me running...it all goes in the database! I think there'll be that one or two things that get me there...the old coil being bad is one thing but I know from experience that you have at least four times the trouble when there are two things wrong (probably more like ten times) but since there's no code, the computer thinks that everything's in the range of ok, at least.

BTW, changed out the MAP sensor with a known good one (again) and there's no difference. Onward!
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  #35  
Old 12-06-2010, 09:10 PM
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Default Setting up the computer

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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Software. Free.....

Cable. 38 bucks.
Hey there, HeyYou:

I have the cable now and the software but it is having communication problems in that the software is looking through the serial port and the cable is USB. Is there a settings protocol that you used to get the computer to listen to the truck with this set up?
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  #36  
Old 12-06-2010, 09:18 PM
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I haven't actually used it. I have the software package... but, no laptop..... (an no cable 50 feet long to reach out to my truck. There should be a configuration for it somewhere.......... Give me a little while, and I might be able to point you in the right direction.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:04 PM
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Crap. it doesn't appear that software package supports USB cables......... There might be a way to have your USB port 'pretend' it is a serial port, methods vary by what version of windows you have...... There are also USB>Serial adapters, or PCMCIA cards with serial ports........
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  #38  
Old 12-06-2010, 11:13 PM
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I've tried the various methods of having a USB port emulate a serial port but the software doesn't seem to want to cooperate. Thanks for the reply...wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

From the looks of it, I should be able to find freeware that will do the job. I'll post here what I find and be sure to let me know what you find, too.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:13 PM
 
 
 
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