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'94 Dodge is hard to start

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by whwright, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. whwright

    whwright Member
    Messages: 39

    Hey again guys.

    You may recall about a month ago you helped me get my father-in-law's (Doyle's) Dodge van running better. Well, all good things must come to an end.

    It's a '94 Dodge 1-ton van with a 360. It has about 140,000 miles on it. I've done the tune-up thing with plugs, wires, cap, and rotor. I've also run injector cleaner through it (several times), replaced the air filter (it wasn't too bad), and cleaned the throttle body (per your directions).

    It ran good for about a month (and about 2000 miles), but now it's hard to start in the morning. It sounds like the motor turns over about eight times, staggers awake, and "chug-chug-chugs" until it gets breathing. After a few good revs it runs fine and idles fine. Occasionally it will "chug" while sitting at a stop sign, but it hasn't died at a stop (yet). If you shut it off and start it immediately, it fires right up. I haven't been able to figure out the "magic time" where it gets hard to start. According to Doyle, if he takes it to the store sometimes it fires right up and other times it doesn't.

    There is no "check engine" light, so I don't think it's a sensor or something the computer monitors.

    Could a fuel injector be leaking? Do you have any more pearls of wisdom?

    Doyle is going to Louisiana on Wednesday (we're in Oklahoma City) and I am hopeful that whatever is making this happen won't go completely south while he's on this trip. His logic is that it is running fine once it gets started, so he isn't worried. Is this symptomatic of something that could get worse and break down on the road?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Catalytic converter perhaps? That could go and not throw any codes.
  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I've seen a lot of problems with Chrysler MAP sensors and crank sensors causing that same problem.You need a scanner and a good lab scope to diagnose them properly.If you can borrow or try another MAP sensor,you might be able to eliminate it by swapping it on and driving it to see if it's any better.
  4. whwright

    whwright Member
    Messages: 39

  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    That is just a code reader,and will not display realtime data.You need to look at the MAP data in real time to see if it's reading correctly.

    I don't know if your old scope would work or not.You need to backprobe across the crank sensor and check the waveform to see if it's steady and consistent.You will be able to see it drop out if that'syour problem.
  6. whwright

    whwright Member
    Messages: 39

    You're right -- that's just a code reader! Even though it says "scanner" in its name.

    It appears that true "scanners" are really expensive.

    Is a '94 Dodge OBD I or OBD II?

    What about this thing: http://www.scantool.net/
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The 94 would be OBD I,but there is still a ton of data available with that system.

    I know there are a lot of kits available to read data with a laptop,or PC,but make sure it will workbefore you buy anything.Find some forums or message boards and talk to people before you buy,as there are lots of compatability problems,and poor support for certain vehicles

    CTAYLORPLOW Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I have a 87 Ram with the 318 and it has a vertically mounted fuel filter. When it freezes sometimes moisture accumulates in the bottom of the filter, preventing fuel flow. Try repositioning the filter so that its Horizontal. Its easy just add the necessary amount of line coming out of the filter to the engine.
  9. -STORM-

    -STORM- Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    You also might have an intake gasket leak.
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    it could be lots of things, o2 sensor for example.
    Do not waste money on any scanner for Dodge vehicles- Dodge is NOT OBD2 compliant and will not be any time soon.
    They have their own systems and the only scanner that works properly is the DRB from Miller specialty tools ($6K). Some OBD2 codes DO register on a proper scanner (like the Snap-on) but most don't.
  11. rondoga

    rondoga Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    check fuel pressure
    I have a 95 dodge cranked long.. to start
    ran fine after
    replaced fuel pump no problem since