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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I was wondering if any of you may have ideas as to what's happening with my truck. It is a 96 ram 1500 4x4 5.9l gas. Over the past week or so it has broken down on me three or four times. It begins to miss and buck and loses power. The fuel was quite low and it has been quite cold so I thought maybe there was condensation in the tank which may have frozen or maybe there was dirt in the filter. The first time I added more gas and used some methyl hydrate to ensure any moisture wouldn't freeze and it seemed to help, but then it began acting up again. It seemed to improve after sitting for ten minutes or so, but now you can feel it skip when the engine is revved while sitting still and when you try to drive it it loses power, skips and at a certain point it skips so bad it shakes the truck. The only code that shows is 1-2 then of course 5-5 for end of codes. Today as i was limping home the engine light cam on and flashed repeatedly till I turned the truck off. It seems to start fine and doesn't idle too badly, but when the accelerator is depressed thats when the skipping starts. I've been thinking possible dirty filter, water in the fuel, fuel pump problem, or maybe even coil trouble? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
 

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I would check your fuel pressure and flow. It sounds like the pump might be going out since it only does this when you are low on fuel. Other things to check would be the cat and possibly moisture in the dist. cap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I've already hollowed the cat due to a previous problem, but I'm going to check the other things you suggested. What is the significance of the low fuel condition? What I mean to say is why would the pump work better when there is more fuel in the tank? I thought if it was bad it was bad. Just curious. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One more thing. Is it easier to drop the tank, or lift the box to access the fuel pump? I've even heard of people cutting a hole in the floor and making an access panel for future use. Is this doable and if so where exactly should the panel be placed. I've never had the tank of so I don't know exactly where on the tank the lines fasten, ie: front, back, centre, etc. Thanks again.
 

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Hey i just changed my fuel pump on my 5.9 at home with few tools.My truck was doing the same thing when the tank was low it would miss, pop, and alot of other wierd things.I don't know the significance of it being low ,but mine lasted 1 month just by not going under 1/4 tank then finally got bad even above that. I not much of a mechanic but was able to change pump and tank by my self.Tips i wish I knew....
OH i dropped it from under neath it just has 2 nuts on two metal bands warning when you undo them they will pop down and pinch you fingers! Also i should have know better but before you take it down disconnect the vaccum line and gas line on pump, it s hard to reach but i broke mine because there waws not enough slack in the lines.note: I got more room to reach pump by jacking up on my hitch. just make sure it is very secure before you stick your arm in there.
wish you luck after my install my pcm is giving me all kind of trouble
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply, Jared. I guess I might as well plan on changing the pump. I'm going to have a friend check the pressure with his gauge first though...considering the unit I need to buy is $400....and that's with my brother's discount...$590 without. Sucks to be me right now, lol.
 

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On my last truck I cut an access panel through the bed with a cut-off saw. Barely go deep enough through the bed metal to cut it, too deep and you could see flames.

I cut a piece of another bed an inch bigger all around than my hole and tack welded a piano hinge on one side. Instant access panel.

To mark the location for the hole, crawl underneath and measure from the front of the bed to where the hoses go into the tank and from the seam for the side of the bed to the center of the width of the tank. Cut a foot by foot hole topside and whammo!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks PhatKat. I think that is the route I wll go. Hopefully the spot I need to cut out is far enough back on the tank so I can cut through the bed. My truck is a club cab and I haven't checked yet. Keeping my fingers crossed. That would make the job much less of a pain in the ass.
 

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When you don't have much fuel in the tank then there is less pressure in there. If there is less pressure then the pump will have to work harder to pump up to the proper pressure. It's basically the same in a way when you siphon water from a fish tank or gas tank. When you hold the end too high (out put side) above the water line it will stop, but if the hose can go past the bottom of the fish tank then you will be able to suck it dry. That definition probably didn't help you much but it's worth a try. I haven't done a fuel pump on a Dodge but I have always dropped the tank instead of pulling the bed off any truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for the clarification, 98QuadCabV10. It makes perfect sense. I really appreciate your help. In fact I appreciate all the comments and suggestions from everyone who responded. Thanks a million. I'll be sure to return the favour in the future if possible. Take care all, I'll let you know how the repair turns out. Thanks again guys.
 

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.......heat kills electric pumps......fuel in the tank acts like a heat sink. it draws the heat away from the pump allowing it to run cooler. i generally advise to use the half tank line as empty . pump runs cooler and lasts longer.

if you really want to hurt your pump, run it out or gas....once or twice and very soon after the pump goes south.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I never thought of that before. Makes perfect sense though. Thanks for the excellent information, gramol. I'll be sure to keep the tank topped up from now on!
 

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I would do the pressure and flow test before you replace the pump though. Just to make sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update

Ok guys. It seems the fuel pump is pumping fine. In fact I have over 100 psi at the fuel rail!! Therefore I assume there is a fuel regulation problem of some sort. Maybe sensor related? Is there a fuel regulator somewhere it wouldn't be evident? There is nothing on the fuel rails at all. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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The pressure regulator is on the fuel pump in the tank. I'm not 100% sure that it's there but it should be on the pump. If you only have 1 fuel line coming from the tank and to the engine then the regulator is in the tank. If you have 2 fuel lines like older vehicles have, then the regulator is usually on the TB.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I found that the regulator is on the top of the unit in the tank. It actually sits right on top of the tank. It appears by pictures I have seen on the internet that it can be changed without changing the whole tank unit. I have found at least one parts supplier that sells the regulator seperately. If any of you know if and how it can be changed seperately could you please let me know. Thanks very much for your replies so far. All your ideas and comments have been very helpful.
 
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