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I'm not great at titles and sorry to be in the wrong group but I've got a 2002 ram van 3500 with a 5.9 that I'm working on for some friends. This may be long and I'm not great at sticking to the point so I apologize and ask people to hear me out haha.

It all started with a water intrusion issue. Wouldn't run at all. Before I figured that out, I got all parts happy and popped in a new cam and crank sensor. I finally found the water in the cylinders and got plenty of it out. Fired it up and it ran like crap and slowly it started getting better. Changed the oil twice because of water in the oil and got it to where I felt OK letting it run.

Compression test was mostly high 140's and 150's with one at like 135. So a little imbalance, I'm ok with that. Just need it right.

Chemical block test showed no signs of exhaust gas in the cooling system.

No more water in the oil.

Sweet, drive the crap out of it and let's see about how it's doing.

And the problems begin haha

I drove it with them and randomly it would just miss and run crappy, went and put 91 in it ( had less than 1/8 tank) and it started out real peppy and nice. Then it would be crappy but still drive ok. It wouldn't really pick up speed like it should and would be a little vibraty sometimes.

Get back.

Ghost code p0351. No illuminated CEL. I think that may have been from taking the coil wire off of the distributor during comp tests. So I'm thinking I can disregard that.

Redneck reset pcm. Let it idle for 20-30 minutes. No codes. I leave the guys to take it out again and they let me know what happens.

I get a text sayin it started out great then it would get rough. At one point, it was very rough on acceleration and the CEL started flashing. Guy told him gun it and he did and it went back to normal. When he went about 70, the temp rose a little and when he slowed back down, it went back to normal.

That's what they told me.

Another observation I had was the exhaust from the tailpipe was pretty warm. Smelled like nothing really. Like a blow dryer. No cherry red cat though.

Anyway, my question is why? Hahaha. Can water ruin the cat? And if so, if I pull both pre cat o2 sensor out and it's warm and goes to a closed loop, will it run really bad? I can't really test the cat as I've never done it before but I've had it explained.

I like to think I'm fairly knowledgable with engines, I've been working on cars since I was a teenager. But this has me boggled.
 

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P0351: would check coil connector/s etc etc for moisture (there's others, but wd-40 is cheap and handy to lift/remove moisture frommmmm)

http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/

... My 99 had a bad coil leaking spark out the "bottom" (could see slight sparks reflecting off of the shiny trans cooler lines below it!; truck still ran but was not exposed to storm flooded roads).
 

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The p0351 hasn't come back since the pcm was reset. Can that code happen from having the coil to distributor off while trying to crank it?
I'm telling you key99, it goes from on thing to another on this haha. But i can go ahead and spray the connectors with wd-40. Was the leak at the boot of the coil to distributor wire? And in previous thread, you mentioned the tsb. I did my best with the wires so I think they are ran alright now

Another thing I do not believe I mentioned is initially, as far as I know, it was water intrusion and changing out those crank and cam sensors would have done nothing. Is it possible I got some bad sensors?

And why does the exhaust feel so hot? It seemed abnormal to me.
 

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but a lean condition can cause excessive heat right? If the cylinders aren't combustion well, (i.e. Losing spark strength) that would cause a rich condition?
 

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The p0351 hasn't come back since the pcm was reset. Can that code happen from having the coil to distributor off while trying to crank it?

Was the leak at the boot of the coil to distributor wire? And in previous thread, you mentioned the tsb. I did my best with the wires so I think they are ran alright now

Is it possible I got some bad sensors?

And why does the exhaust feel so hot? It seemed abnormal to me.
... I doubt coil wire off will cause P0351, unsure.

... If referring to my 99 coil; it was leaking thru the "bottom/underside" of coil body.
..While visually checking it's plug/coil wires on a dark night, I saw the leaking sparks reflecting of the "shiny/clean" trans lines underneath the coil, WTF!; I then realized bottom of coil was leaking and what I saw was a reflection coming from shiny lines (a piece of newspaper held between coil and shiny lines confirmed this).
..A mirror held under coil would have showed the same leak from underside of coil "body", but I prefer not to hold anything "hard" that close to the fan/belt, especially in the dark!
..Piece of newspaper is soft, and safer, worked fine and safe for me.
..I just keep the trans lines clean/shiny now; but now, lol, I always wonder if the "hidden side"/"motor side" of coil is possibly leaking :serious (I've only mentioned this as a possible place for moisture to enter buds coil).

... Cam or crank sensors, would stick with quality only; seems many say Dodge dealer, or Delphi brand, maybeeeeee

... Unsure about hot exhaust (see below).

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but a lean condition can cause excessive heat right?

If the cylinders aren't combustion well, (i.e. Losing spark strength) that would cause a rich condition?
... Lean burns hot in chamber; "late" ignition timing is said to shed/transfer more heat to cooling system due to a lot more of the cyl wall/s being exposed to combustion (am guessing exhaust may be hotter and dirtier too, unsure).

... Cyl not combusting well: will deliver dirty/rich (low oxygen) exhaust to the 02 sensor, causing PCM to lean mixture (that's my "guess" anyway).

PS: unsure if ingested water will ruin cat, perhaps cool/cold gulps of water pushed out of flooded cyls could crack/break the honeycoomb when it's hot (could whack it with your hand and listen for broken innards rattling).
 

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Glad you found the issue. ... Just curious; was the coil just bad/failing, and/or did coil body have a pinhole in it? (allowing moisture to enter)
 
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