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2nd Gen Ram Tech 1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.

Ram won't start

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Old 05-01-2013, 11:52 PM
JulieC JulieC is offline
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Default Ram won't start

My son has a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 4 x 4 - 5.9L

A week ago he went to help some friends out how were stuck in a grassy field area. There are trails on this area that are full of ruts. He was in the side that had some water but not alot but a pretty bumpy ride. He was in 2 wheel drive so not very deep.

He went through the puddle path and got onto the dry trail. The truck died on him. There were no lights or anything and it would not even attempt to start. He opened up the hood and saw that one of the wires on the positive battery terminal had come loose. He stripped the coating back and tightened down the terminal with the wire under it. The lights came on in the vehicle now and he was able to get it to turn over but it wouldn't start.

He couldn't get it started that night so the next day we had it towed into his work. He has been trying to diagnose what is causing it and here is what he found so far:

There is no spark, the fuel pump does not turn on so it is not getting any fuel, and when you try to start it, the RPM gauge does not move. The TOW truck driver thought it would be the crankshaft position sensor. He is having trouble locating that but knows the general area of it.

He changed out a blown fuse in the interior box for the cigarette lighter. He changed a fusible link in the engine box that was marked for the trailer. He changed out the ASD sensor which was actually testing good. Today he opened up the distributor and looked for moisture and found none. They tested for spark at the coil and found no power going to that so it was swapped out for a new one. It sounds stronger since that was changed but still will not start, even with starting fluid in the throttle.

Any ideas what to try next? From searching the web most people are saying crankshaft position sensor or the PCM. Another thought was the ignition switch but not sure how to test any of these to see if they are good.

Also worried that if the wire came out of the positive battery, could it have shorted out the link and fuse and possibly something else but don't know where to start to figure it out. A friend told him it appears that it may have gone into some type of safety mode since there is no spark or fuel.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to get all the details out.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:23 AM
dodge dude94 dodge dude94 is offline
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It's possible that water could have gotten up into the Crankshaft position sensor and fudged it up. Granted, this is, of course, assuming the CKSP sensor was likely already fudged up before the water got to it.


The Crankshaft Position Sensor is located between the transmission and the engine, on the backside of the engine. It's really awkward to get to and you'll get pretty dirty in the process.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:41 AM
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Crank sensor is behind the passenger side head. Right on the bell housing. Better have your arm with three elbows to change that.

Keep in mind, you will only have power at the coil for about three seconds when you turn the key on, unless the PCM sees the engine turning. (crank or cam sensor)

Test for power at the coil when the key is first turned on. Also test for power at one of the injectors when the key is first turned on.

Fuel pump should prime when you turn the key. If it isn't, you have an asd event going on. Search for posts by cmckenna for some REALLY good troubleshooting hints.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:50 PM
JulieC JulieC is offline
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Thanks! When we checked for power at the coil, we had some type of gauge hooked up that lights up if it gets power and it did not light at all. The ASD relay tested as good but maybe that could be the problem? The fuel pump does not prime when you turn the key so we have no fuel or spark. I'll check out the posts you refer to by cmckenna.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:56 PM
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Sorry but I have probably a dumb question. In looking at what the CKPS looks like, it has a wire attached with a connector. Where does the connector plug in?
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:17 PM
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It plugs in to the harness around the back right side of the distributor. Look for a hanging opposite plug connection back there some where.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:26 AM
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Have fun with the crank sensor. Lol, I did.
Take off the intake and its A LOT easier to get to the distributer cap. You can feel the two bolts holding on the CKPS if you weasel your hand in between the firewall and the passenger side exhaust manifold. It's on top of the bell housing at a 2 o'clock position, or 10 o'clock if you are laying across the motor.
They should be 1/2" bolts holding it on and they are a pain in the *** to get to because the tranny dipstick hose is in the way for the second one. It is possible though. Also make sure you route that wire around everything or you will be a half a inch short like I was and have to reroute it. It is a pain in the *** but once you do it once you will become a pro.

First time took me about 5 hours because I had to many beers. Now I can change one out in about 5 minutes.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:03 AM
JulieC JulieC is offline
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Thanks ZMan. I figured it was an easy spot but couldn't find confirmation. He noticed when he put the distributor cap on that there was a wire with a connector that was loose on the right side of the distributor. I'm wondering if that could be the sensor that is unplugged all along, maybe from the ruts he hit or if someone unplugged it when they were trying to diagnose the problem. He works at an oil change place so he has people around him that know some things about vehicles but they have been stumped on this one. Of course they haven't been able to get into it much because they have been so busy.

Thanks Chroma. I'll make sure to tell him not to drink beer until AFTER he changes it. I'm thinking based on other posts I've seen that it might be easier for him to put it on the lift and reach up to it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:43 AM
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A plug right next to the distributor could also be the camshaft position sensor.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieC View Post
Thanks ZMan. I figured it was an easy spot but couldn't find confirmation. He noticed when he put the distributor cap on that there was a wire with a connector that was loose on the right side of the distributor. I'm wondering if that could be the sensor that is unplugged all along, maybe from the ruts he hit or if someone unplugged it when they were trying to diagnose the problem. He works at an oil change place so he has people around him that know some things about vehicles but they have been stumped on this one. Of course they haven't been able to get into it much because they have been so busy.

Thanks Chroma. I'll make sure to tell him not to drink beer until AFTER he changes it. I'm thinking based on other posts I've seen that it might be easier for him to put it on the lift and reach up to it.

Don't put it on the lift. It's WAYYYY easier to get to from the top. Tell him to just lay across the motor, it's a two hand job. One for CKPS and one for the wire.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:17 AM
 
 
 
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