318 engine died suddenly, cranks ok; no start... - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
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#1 Old 07-17-2010, 11:23 PM
RamVanMan
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Thumbs up 318 engine died suddenly, cranks ok; no start...

Our 1996 Ram Van 2500 - 318 - 5.2 l just died suddenly.

Pulling out of the driveway - just boom, (it had been idling for maybe 2 minutes, totally normally), then just shut down like a switch was thrown.

I put it into park, it cranked just fine - no overt electrical outage, just cranked & cranked like it wasn't even thinking of starting.

So that's where we are now.

I'm just thankful it happened it my driveway, not on the side of the road many miles from home.

I did get the list of things to check:

1) Is there Spark or Fuel ?

2) Check: PCM ground or function, ASD relay (what does this do ?), fuel pump relay, ignition switch, pick up coil (same as engine coil ?) crank sensor, distributor cam.

Did I miss anything ? Appreciate help from anyone .....


Best Regards, David / Ram Van Man

1996 Ram Van B-2500 Conversion Van - 318, Electric Engine Cooling Fan - "The Family Bus"
1997 3500 Cummins Ram Truck - 19.5 wheels, pacbrake, Gearvendors OD - "Pocket Peterbuilt"

Tyranny Rising ? The answer to 1984.....is 1776 !

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#2 Old 07-18-2010, 10:40 AM
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Dave,

I have had the same problem with my 2001 Ram conversion van 1500 318 CI Engine. I have replaced the Ing Coil, Crank Sensor, Pickup Coil/Cam Sensor, Cap and Rotor. I have Checked voltage coming into all these parts and they are good. There is still no spark coming out of the coil though. I also checked the Ing Coil Ground to the PCM to make sure there is no short and there is not. the only thing I can think it could be the PCM. My Engine just shut off on the Freeway and Ill it does is Crank. The code I get from the odometer is p0351. Good Luck on your hopefully someone will come up with and answer for both of us.

Marty
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#3 Old 07-18-2010, 10:41 AM
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My ASD relay is fine also. you can swap the AC Relay to check because they are the same part #. in the Fuse block in the Eng Compartment
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#4 Old 07-18-2010, 12:12 PM
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Thumbs up Back to you Marty, thanks....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnahtyga View Post
My ASD relay is fine also. you can swap the AC Relay to check because they are the same part #. in the Fuse block in the Eng Compartment
Marty, I appreciate your input - and sorry to hear of your troubles. Same boat, it sounds like !

I'll try the relay swap - it can help eliminate one cause anyhow.

Do I understand that the ASD (auto shut down) relay COULD be bad itself, or it could be seeing a bad signal / no voltage from either the crank sensor or cam sensor (in distributor), and thus doing it's job and shutting down the fuel pump ?

Please correct me if this is incorrect. I read about 50 threads...late last night on the Van & Truck forums, and this 'sudden death' problem is quite common - but has various causes.

In a couple of instances, guys found it to be the pcm / ecu engine computer. In just as many cases, guys replaced it (at around $ 400 - yikes), and found it was some other lesser cause.

I don't know if the 'key dance' routine works on my 1996 B-2500 - is it ON & OFF cycle it three times, leave ON then code appears ? My year lacks the digital Odometer, so it must display some other way......

Thanks for your input, maybe we can solve these problems together.......

Best Regards, David / Ram Van Man

1996 Ram Van B-2500 Conversion Van - 318, Electric Engine Cooling Fan - "The Family Bus"
1997 3500 Cummins Ram Truck - 19.5 wheels, pacbrake, Gearvendors OD - "Pocket Peterbuilt"

Tyranny Rising ? The answer to 1984.....is 1776 !

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#5 Old 07-18-2010, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamVanMan View Post
I did get the list of things to check:

1) Is there Spark or Fuel ?

2) Check: PCM ground or function, ASD relay (what does this do ?), fuel pump relay, ignition switch, pick up coil (same as engine coil ?) crank sensor, distributor cam.

Did I miss anything ? Appreciate help from anyone
Posting the answers to these question would be a positive start.

The key dance doesn't work for 96 models, you will need to use a scanner to check for codes. Of course codes would be helpful if there are any.
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#6 Old 07-18-2010, 01:01 PM
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I have Fuel pumping and voltage coming into all those parts. My thread on this site. Another guy told me to now check the Crank sensor neg wire to the pcm to see if that is bad. I will try in a few. I was just at advance auto parts my PCM is 135 Dollars but it has to be flashed so it will be a week if I order it tomorrow. My old 97 neon If you did the 3 crank on the key you need to count the "Rings" of the door open bell it will ring pause, ring pause ring pause then just write down the numbers for each set of bell rings
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#7 Old 07-18-2010, 01:33 PM
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Pop the dist. cap and see if the rotor turns when cranking. If not it has broke timing chain or stripped teeth off the cam gear.

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#8 Old 07-18-2010, 01:36 PM
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My 2001 the Rotor is turning fine
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#9 Old 07-18-2010, 02:27 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be sure to check them asap, and report back.....

David / Ram Van Man

1996 Ram Van B-2500 Conversion Van - 318, Electric Engine Cooling Fan - "The Family Bus"
1997 3500 Cummins Ram Truck - 19.5 wheels, pacbrake, Gearvendors OD - "Pocket Peterbuilt"

Tyranny Rising ? The answer to 1984.....is 1776 !

"Evil is powerless, if the good are unafraid."
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"You never have to give up an ounce of Liberty to obtain security."
Ron Paul

"Stand fast, therefore, in the Liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage..." - Galatians 5:1
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#10 Old 07-18-2010, 05:55 PM
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Back with more observations.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by alloro View Post
Posting the answers to these question would be a positive start.

The key dance doesn't work for 96 models, you will need to use a scanner to check for codes. Of course codes would be helpful if there are any.
Ok, did some checking, observations:

1) No fuel pump noise upon keying ignition - appears to be non-functional

2) Tried switching AC with ASD relays; no changes.

3) No smell of gasoline at exhaust pipe when cranking

Next, I plan to pull the doghouse, check for spark, distributor rotation - if so, it must be fuel pump.

I've not taken loose the fuel pump hose at the injection rail area. Any special considerations ?

thanks, anyone for advice,

David / Ram Van Man

1996 Ram Van B-2500 Conversion Van - 318, Electric Engine Cooling Fan - "The Family Bus"
1997 3500 Cummins Ram Truck - 19.5 wheels, pacbrake, Gearvendors OD - "Pocket Peterbuilt"

Tyranny Rising ? The answer to 1984.....is 1776 !

"Evil is powerless, if the good are unafraid."
Ronald Reagan

"You never have to give up an ounce of Liberty to obtain security."
Ron Paul

"Stand fast, therefore, in the Liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage..." - Galatians 5:1
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#11 Old 07-18-2010, 06:13 PM
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Do check for spark as well, but I would be by trying to force the fuel pump issue.

First try banging on the bottom of the tank with the key on. Sometimes this allows them to work for a little while longer and is an instant diagnosis if it works. Some have applied 12 volts directly to the FP plug at the tank. Some just jump the fatter wires on the ASD relay. Some just drop and replace the fuel pump without being sure.

Swapping relays won'y have any effect if they are not being powered by the ECM/PCM, or if the Fuel pump is inop.

You can also get a can of TB or carb cleaner and see if you can start the van when spraying that down the intake.
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#12 Old 07-18-2010, 06:30 PM
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On the 96 and 97 vans the key dance does work but the information will be limited to the older (OBD-I) two digit codes through the flashing of the check engine lamp. If the code for the lamp is not compatible with the older ones I do not think it will flash the lamp. An example would the the P0420 "catalytic efficiency below minimum threshold".

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#13 Old 07-18-2010, 06:38 PM
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Also swap the fuel pump relay with the starter relay and see if the fuel pump comes on.

Check in the PDC (Power Distribution Center) box for a bad fuel pump fuse.

1977 Chevrolet Impala Sedan, 5.0L, TH200, 2.56:1, 106K miles, 37 Lifetime Warranty Parts.
1989 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 5.7L, 5 Speed, 3.08:1, 327K miles, 0 Lifetime Warranty Parts.
1997 Dodge Ram B2500, gone.

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#14 Old 07-18-2010, 09:28 PM
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thanks, observations & more questions.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97B2500CCV View Post
Also swap the fuel pump relay with the starter relay and see if the fuel pump comes on.

Check in the PDC (Power Distribution Center) box for a bad fuel pump fuse.
I checked all fuses; fine. I did the relay swapping as you said, and no apparent change.

Couple of hours later, I sprayed starting fluid down the intake, and it started. It idled fine for 3-5 minutes. I shut it down, and then keyed it - my son said: "I hear the fuel pump running..."

So we set off on a test drive (doghouse off-hot !) and it ran 1/2 mile, then quit, just died. Checked for fuel pump noise - nothing.

Came back with starting fluid (after a 40 minute walk & return), (& tow rope !), it started, drove back .25 miles, quit again & had to tow home.

So, we appear to have intermittent fuel pump operation, ideas.......thanks for any advice,

David

1996 Ram Van B-2500 Conversion Van - 318, Electric Engine Cooling Fan - "The Family Bus"
1997 3500 Cummins Ram Truck - 19.5 wheels, pacbrake, Gearvendors OD - "Pocket Peterbuilt"

Tyranny Rising ? The answer to 1984.....is 1776 !

"Evil is powerless, if the good are unafraid."
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"You never have to give up an ounce of Liberty to obtain security."
Ron Paul

"Stand fast, therefore, in the Liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage..." - Galatians 5:1
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#15 Old 07-18-2010, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RamVanMan View Post
So, we appear to have intermittent fuel pump operation, ideas.......thanks for any advice,
Get a pressure gauge on the fuel rail and try to get it started with the spray. Your goal is to see if the pressure drops like a rock or if it's low as the engine stalls.
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#16 Old 07-18-2010, 09:38 PM
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When my fuel pump failed, and after I replaced it, I kept the old one, and would put 12 volts to it. Sometimes it would buzz, sometimes not. If I flicked it with a finger a couple times, it would buzz away happily, for 30 seconds or so, then quit, and would not restart until it cooled down completely, flicked or not.

While you could still have an electrical issue leading to the pump, I'd say it is way more likely the pump is simply failing.

Try rocking the van around to slosh the fuel around and cool the pump, then banging hard on the tank those times when it quits.
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#17 Old 07-18-2010, 09:45 PM
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OK pull the fuel pump relay out and look at the bottom or side of it for a diagram. Then find where Pin 30 and 87 are, then make a small jumper wire with the blade type crimp on connectors and plug in to the slots where pin 87 and 30 of the relay would on the PDC board. This will jump power to the fuel pump. See if the pump will continue to run, it will do this even with the key not in the ignition. If the pump still shuts down on its own then either the pump is bad or the wiring to it. My bet will be the pump is failing.

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#18 Old 07-18-2010, 11:28 PM
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OK guys, I've been digging into this no start or engine shuts off randomly for two weeks now. Over at the Dakota forums I found this mentioned by a Chrysler tech.

"There is a check valve in the fuel pump that goes bad and those are the exact symptoms. What happens is that the check valve can no longer hold the fuel up to the injectors and it drains back to the tank. When you go out in the morning and try to start it there is no fuel in the lines and it takes a little longer to build up the pressure. Crank-crank-crank-crank-crank and maybe it will start. Good thing is that you do not have to replace the whole pump module. There is a brass colored oval filter/regulator on the top of the fuel pump, this is where the check valve is. The bad thing is you have to drop the tank in order to replace it.

You need to buy the filter/regulator. The local parts store probably won't have one but the dealer should know what you are talking about."

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#19 Old 07-19-2010, 08:01 AM
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Hi David,

I had a similar problem with our 1996 van with the 5.2/318. Seems like there's a time-delay internal to the fuel pump check valve that tells it to self-destruct!

Take a look at this thread:

http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=286499

I'd suggest that you replace the entire fuel pump, and not just the check valve. It's a major PITA dropping the fuel tank, and you may as well replace the entire assembly while the fuel tank is down.

Tom
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#20 Old 07-19-2010, 09:59 AM
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Gentlemen: Thanks for the gold mine of advice. So many leads to follow up on....

Alloro: Your comment suggests there is a pressure - schrader type or whatnot - valve onto which I can mount a fuel pressure gauge, correct ?

The starting fluid worked yesterday, but only sometimes - which makes me wonder if we have an electrical glitch thing going on here - intermittent ignition spark ?

Could an incorrectly functioning PCM / ECU be sending 'shut-down' signals to either the ignition or the fuel pump ? OR could the PCM be working fine, but getting a 'shut-down' signal from a malfunctioning crank or cam sensor, making it appear like the Ignition or Fuel pump is defective ?

LYacht318: You may be right, I'll do what 97B2500CCV said and try to jump the terminals on the relay slots in the PDC to check pump operation....

Stev: Great job of research. Grand idea. But: if you had the job of dropping the whole tank, would you opt to PAY Dodge whatever they get for that 'regulator' (really a check valve & filter assy, it seems), and hope the whole pump keeps going, or having the Lifetime Warranty pump just switch out the whole unit ? I am super curious to see if that filer is clogged or whatnot. This could explain why for the past approx 3 months / 10 k miles I sensed a kind of slight gurgle or roughness at idle, if the check valve / regulator was failing to keep fuel pressure regular & consistent.

Bonus question: Could driving on a clogged catalytic converter for many miles or months cause enough back pressure or resistance on the fuel delivery end of things, causing premature failure of this regulator ? Hmmmm......

Tom: I'll read that thread right now. From your comment, it sounds like what Stev has mentioned......
maybe this is why Dodge fuel pumps seem so trouble prone & short lived ???

tried the Key Dance routine - it showed nothing, no 'check engine' light ever showed.

When the fuel pump slowly lost life last time, the engine sputtered & popped a lot, and set off the 'check engine' light numerous times. Apparently, this type of pump failure (if indeed that's what it IS...) isn't picked up by the diagnostic algorithm.

At the risk of being redundant, the prime question is still:

Could an incorrectly functioning PCM / ECU be sending 'shut-down' signals to either the ignition or the fuel pump ? OR could the PCM be working fine, but getting a 'shut-down' signal from a malfunctioning crank or cam sensor, making it appear like the Ignition or Fuel pump is defective ?

I don't relish pulling the tank & fiddling with the fuel pump if I can avoid it. The tank is nearly full - lots of gas to deal with !!

I'm glad I got the fuel pump with the Lifetime Warranty from Advance Auto Parts, in any case.

And guys thanks for all your input & advice. You're appreciated more than you could know !

David / Ram Van Man

1996 Ram Van B-2500 Conversion Van - 318, Electric Engine Cooling Fan - "The Family Bus"
1997 3500 Cummins Ram Truck - 19.5 wheels, pacbrake, Gearvendors OD - "Pocket Peterbuilt"

Tyranny Rising ? The answer to 1984.....is 1776 !

"Evil is powerless, if the good are unafraid."
Ronald Reagan

"You never have to give up an ounce of Liberty to obtain security."
Ron Paul

"Stand fast, therefore, in the Liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage..." - Galatians 5:1
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