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Discussion Starter #1
My 97 318 has a sluggish start. You have to crank it over for about three or four seconds before it wants to start. Once started if you turn it off and turn it back on immediately it will start right up. But after 15 minutes its back to holding the key down... Any clues on what might be wrong.
 

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Three or four seconds doesn't sound that bad. I had a similar problem on a different truck and it was related to a vacuum leak of some sort that allowed fuel to leak back into the tank. Starting it was a thirty or forty second crankfest.
 

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My 97 started doing the same thing a couple of months ago. Before you could breath on the ignition and it would start, now it takes 3 or 4 seconds.

I would also like to find out the deal with it.

Jason
'97 Ram
145,000 miles
 

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Either of you boys did a good tuneup lately ? Plugs, cap, rotor, wires etc. Sounds like it may be a good place to start.
 

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That was the first clue to me that I needed to do my plenum gasket. The truck took longer to start, and then stumbled a little bit before it ran right. That and the puff of blue smoke at startup (with only 37,000 miles on the motor) told me it was time to do the gasket.
 

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OK, when was the last time you cleaned/serviced the injectors and TB.
 

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Well, after doing my plenum gasket I'm still having the extended cranking problem. So, it may have been premature to attribute that problem to the gasket.

So far, I'm not liking what I'm coming up with for a cause, though. Fuel pressure. Guess I need to check mine out. I hope it's not the fuel pump. Please, Lord, not the damned fuel pump...
 

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Well, just checked the fuel pressure and it's fine (48 psi). My next supect is the Idle Air Control Motor.
 

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My 2001 4X4 5.9 started doing the same thing at 33K miles and one week remaining on the 3 year warranty. Took it in and the dealers service dept. told me that I needed a complete tune-up. I paid an obscene amount for the tune-up plus fuel injector cleaning, nearly one thousand dollars. The morning after I picked up my truck from the dealer the truck took even longer to start, maybe more than a minute of cranking. Back to the dealer I went. They checked the fuel pump pressure and It was fine. The truck cranked up fine at the dealers. Several days after my 36 mo. warranty expired the truck would not start. I towed the truck to an independent auto repair shop. They replaced the fuel pump for a little more than $200 and so far I have not had any engine related problems. ( I do have other problems though.)
 

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Well, I've replaced the Idle Air Control Motor and that seems to have helped some, but it hasn't eliminated the problem, totally. El Vato, I hope this isn't the case for me (fuel pump). I've just fixed my plenum gasket and while I did that I gave the truck a complete tuneup (new plug wires, rotor, cap, coolant flush).

This problem started before the plenum gasket fix (in fact I thought the extended cranking times was because of the bad plenum gasket). This problem hasn't seemed to be helped much by anything I've done to the truck (new plenum gasket, the above new items, new plugs, new fuel injectors, new 180° thermostat, new throttle position sensor, and todays new IAC motor).

This morning I watched the fuel pressure gauge that I hooked up to the rail when I turned the key to "on", then cranking, then running. The entire time it looked perfect. And, coincidentally, the truck started right up for me, too. Guess I better hook the gauge back up and start up the truck a few times throughout the day to see if there is indeed anything going on with the fuel pump... (please, Lord, not the damned fuel pump!)...
 

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when you have the gauge hooked up start the truck the pressure will go up like you say then shut it off. it should stay at that pressure if it dont could be the pump or the pressure regulator

just my 2 cents chris
 

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Just fired up the truck with the fuel pressure gauge hooked up again. This time I had an extended crank (an easy 5 to 6 seconds, when normal is about a half second) and watched the fuel gauge. It jumped to about 45 psi with the key "on", then fluctuated between 40 and 50 psi while cranking. Running it stays a pretty steady 48 psi, even when I rev up the engine.

Thoughts???
 

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I sure do hope AutoTap can figure out why my AutoTap won't talk with my trucks' PCM pretty soon... I sure could use that to see if some sensor is out of whack somewhere...
 

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The fuel pressure does leak down ever so slowly after I turn the truck off. I'd say in an hour the 48 psi is down to zilch. Is this significant???
 

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OK, I just read in my service manual that a reading of 0 psi on a cooled down vehicle is normal. The real test is to see if it falls to below 30 psi within 5 minutes of turning off the motor. If so, there's a leak somewhere. But, from what I saw, I'd be very surprised if it got below 30 psi in 5 minutes. I'll go check it out in a few...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
up towards the top of this thread...someone mentioned a vaccum leak? which caused the gas to go back to the tank, could that be why you are losing pressure, but if there were a leak there should be gas coming out that leak. who knows i just want my truck to start when its supposed too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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OK, I'm gonna have to rule out fuel pressure as a possible source of this problem, at this point. I just went out to do a bleed-down test and after well over a half hour since I shut the truck off the pressure is still some 34 psi... well above the spec of no less than 30 psi in 5 minutes. This and the fact that the pressure comes up to spec immediately and stays during cranking and normal running... this just doesn't look like a fuel related problem to me.

Now, vacuum... I supposed this could be a vacuum line or device somewhere that is rotting... Getting worse as time goes on, which is how this extended cranking problem is going. But, then again, sometimes the truck starts totally normal, like this morning! A half second and it was purring!

I would think if it's not vacuum then something with the computer... either the PCM itself or a funky reading from some sensor somewhere.
 

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Mine does the same thing. Seems like it starts better in cold weather?
 
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