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Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by CLM1, May 3, 2001.

  1. CLM1

    CLM1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    "98 Quad-cab w/5.9 (360) Spark-knocking. I've tried everything I can think of and has been to the dealer three times for this. Does it with any brand or octane fuel.
    Any suggestions/cures?
  2. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Its supposed to ping slightly on hard acceleration-thats the sign of a well-tuned engine.

    Since its been to the dealer I assume the PCM updates have already been done. If so they would have applied a sticker to the controller with the new update number (controller is against firewall passenger side).

    If its pinging excessively even at light throttle, and the dealer has re-flashed the PCM, 1) check the fuel injectors, one defective one will make the PCM think they are all squirting too much fuel and lean out the mix excessively (this means removing them all and flow-checking them) if they pan out 2) check the intake manifold gasket they are known to be weak on the 5.9 causing too lean running due to vacuum leaks.

    See these links for more info:

  3. CLM1

    CLM1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for your reply.
    But....Been there done that.
    Thinking of after market Computer, throttle body spacer and cold air intake.
    Already running K&N filter and 3" duals w/flomasters.
    You woudln't believe how I ended up with this truck. To make a long story short, since I need to get outta here and do some work, I forced Chrysler to purchase my previous truck back from me for this very same reason. It started spark-knocking at 3,000 mi. and they got it back at 58,000. My '98 started at 36,000.
    Have a good day!
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Please list what has been done-at least, according to the dealer RO's.

    The aftermarket computer will only make matters worse.

    Is the temp sensor operating properly? Where does the dash gage needle stay? Not only does it feed the dash gage but also feeds input to the computer. Your dash gage should stay around 200, maybe a needle width higher or lower.

    The most common reason for spark knock in the 360 is an injector dumping too much fuel into the engine, causing the computer to (erroneously) lean out the air/fuel mixture of the rest of them causing a lean mixture knock. No code will be stored either.

    Ford Mustang 5.0HO injectors are direct replacement for the Ram, before sending the truck to the crusher I would install a set of 8 from the Ford Performance catalog.
  5. lawrence stone

    lawrence stone Banned
    Messages: 8

    That should be good for at least a 2-3 decrease in mpg.
  6. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 29

    To Stone or anyone interested: Why would a more efficient exhaust and more efficient intake (a filter upgrade in this case) cause lower MPG? It seems to me the truck would produce more HP with these and therefore the pedal would be pushed down less and therefore the gas would be used more sparingly. This is based just on logic and as I have found out before my logic is not always 100%. Just looking for a logical explanation to why this is not a more efficient setup. Anyone found ways to increase MPG? Is the K&N I have actually costing me more at the pump?
  7. JV

    JV Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I too have have this knock problem. '99 RAM 2500 4x4. Started about 1,500 mi. 89 or 93 octane helps but who wants to spend the money when the owners manual states the engine is designed for 87 octane (not to mention gas prices). The dealer has cleaned the injectors ($130+)under warranty - helps but not much. Used 2 cans of GM Top Engine Cleaner at once, (shake can first and follow directions - you may have to turn off engine as I wasn't able to stall it out with the TEC), this has been the best fix yet.

    BTW - the dealer said they could "de-tune" the engine, but I would take a hit in fuel economy. I'm already black and blue from the fuel economy - no thanks.

    It's enough to make me look at Chevy again...
  8. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    A friend has this problem....

    I see this post is a few months old. Have you folks found any positive results on repairing this pinging problem?

    I have a friend that owns a 1500 with the 5.9 that pings on a regular basis. Sometimes under load, other times just at idle. It has been to the dealer for repair a few times with results ranging from "nothing wrong" to replacement of two bent valves, only to have the problem reappear a few weeks later. I have also forwarded her the link to this thread so she can look over it and check out the Service Bulletins, etc., and get back with the dealer. (Again)...

    Thanks for any help you can supply.

  9. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I dont know the mileage,but when they get above 50K miles,the EGR valves,and passages may get plugged with carbon,especially on trucks that have a lot of stop and go driving on them.This leads to spark knock,melted/broken catylitc convertors,and eventually,it will aerify the pistons,literally.Ive seen holes in the pistons,all from a faulty EGR valve,or plugged intake EGR passage,so get this looked at ASAP.If there is a problem in the EGR circuit,the lack of exhaust gas reciculation causes higher EGT temps,and these high temps are what damages the cat convertors,and pistons.I would try a good intake /combustion chamber cleaner,like Sea-foam,a couple time,see if it helps.It may be poor fuel,or the timeing is advanced a hair to much,but every high mileage 360 Mag.Ive worked on has had a problem with the EGR system.
  10. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    The service schedule recommends replacing the EGR valve and cleaning the passage at 60k. Mine malfunctioned soon after. No pinging since it was replaced.
  11. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Not trying to be wise but you guys do know that the Ram comes with a very nice diesel right?
  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I know,mine has a hotrodded 24valve cummins,nice is an understatement,it is as good as they come.I like my Dodge,but wouldnt buy one without a Cummins,it makes the truck,IMO.
  13. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I will agree with that. I think the cummins is better then the Ford Diesel. I am not sold on the Dodge as a truck though. Heard of a lot of tranny and rear end problems. Also unsure of the new Chevy Duramax. Sounds like a good motor but I will wait to see how it ages.
  14. DaveK

    DaveK Senior Member
    Messages: 420


    Pinging can be caused by a few different things. The most common are low octane fuel or ignition timing to far advanced, but can be caused by a non-functioning EGR valve. If allowed to continue pinging, you are causing damage to your engine. The pinging is usually from pre-ignition detonation and causes the fuel to fire before it is time (before the desired degree before top dead center). It can actually burn a hole in the top of the piston among other things if it happens frequently and over a period of time.
  15. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Pinging absolutely hammers the rod bearings,and piston skirts,as well as the piston pin,and emlting the top.I think what Bill meant is an occasional light spark knock is ok,which i have to agree with.If its always pinging under heavy throttle,there is a problem,or will be one soon.
  16. AtlasFBG2

    AtlasFBG2 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 62

    Most common cause of spark ping is the plenium gasket.Its under the intake and blows out causeing a vacum leak and a lean condition.A good sign of a bad gasket will be higher oil consumtion since the blown gasket is now leting oil in the intake.Take the air cleaner off and open the throttle while the engine is off.If you can see oil inside the intake you know for sure its blown gasket.I had to have mine replaced twice in 62k miles.If the gasket is not bad try one step colder plugs and a 180 degree thermastat.That completly took care of spark pinging on my 98.A good dodge site that has a lot of info on spark ping is www.moparchat.com
  17. Jamie Slaughter

    Jamie Slaughter Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    My Plenum gasket went bad ( broken in 3 places), it was replaced last month, and my truck still has a slight ping when getting on the throttle. What about lighting the truck on fire, collecting the ins. and getting a new Chevy? or even stick with Dodge, but get a tire burning Cummins like John's?
  18. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    The originator of this thread hasnt posted since the beginning of May. I think his truck problem is a moot point by now.
  19. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Jamie,Welcome to plowsite!!How would you know my Dodge burns rubber?
  20. boturf

    boturf Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 2

    Spark knock

    My dodge it seems has what sounds like spark knock when it shifts ( its a auto) at slower speeds only.................... when on gas hard it doesnt seem to knock or when running down road at normal 55 to 60 mph speed it dos seem to knock . Any ideas or is this normal for a dodge ? My chevy 1 ton 454 doesnt seem to do this