How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Steve Your Own Question
Steve
Steve, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience:  25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
157173
Type Your Car Question Here...
Steve is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

1983dodge Ram..run fine..stumbles and stalls hard to restart

This answer was rated:

I have a 1983Dodge Ram With a 318 /2 barrel engine two wheel drive !The problem is the truck starts good but idles rough, after letting it warm up engine seem's to run fine but still idles rough but not as bad. Almost impossible to drive , when I put truck in gear engine engine idle become very rough,stumbles and stalls hard to restart and sometimes back fires up through carbuator any idea's Checked carberator & timeing , changed wires , plugs at a higher range no change in engine preformance .

    There are several possible causes for the symptoms you describe.     Taking a logical approach to isolatiing the problem and not skipping any steps is the key to finding the cause.


   Start from scratch; just because you checked something previously, does not mean that you may not have missed something along the way; it happens to all of us.


Start with teh basics: engine mechanical condition.  If you have a mechanical fault, no amount of adjusting or tuning will help the engine to run any better.


(1) Compression test the engine.   All cylinders should be above about 120psi, and all should test withing about 10% of each other.    If one orXXXXXdifferent than the rest, or if all are low, then there is a mechanical problem such as a leaky valve, cam wear, or timing chain failure causing the rough running.   If you suspect a leaking valve, a cylinder leakdown test will be needed to check it.


(2) Install a vacuum gauge as close to teh intake manifold as possible.    Look for engine vacuum to be steady and around 20 in/hg.   If the needle is bouncing, there is a valve leaking.   if the needle is low, cam timing may be off.  


  Assuming the engine mechanical components test OK in teh abosteps, then it is time to try to determine why the idle is rough.   


(3) Cylinder balance test the engine to determine which cylinder(s) are weak and causing he rough idle.


Hook up a tach to the engine and disable any idle control system, if it has one.      Short the cylinders one at a time to kill spark, and note the RPM drop on each cylinder.  if you find one not dropping RPM nearly as much as the rest, then that is the cylinder with the problem.   Check the plugs, wires, cap, rotor for problems if you find any inconsistency in the RPM drop test.


Also, look for any engine air (vacuum) leaks.    Take a can of spray carb cleaner and mist around the carb base and any components attached to vacuum lines.   Pinch off the brake booster hose and see if the idle smooths out.   Remove and check the EGR valve for leakage, creating an internal vacuum leak.     When teh engine is running, try using a vacuum pump to open the EGR valve; the idle should get rough and the engine may even stall; that is the normal response.  If not, then teh valve may be sticking open all the time causing the idle concerns.


(4) Assuming cylinder balance test results are even, then the last likely cause would be carburetion.    Try backing the idle air bleed screws out slightly (maybe 1/2 turn) and see if the idle improves; if not, try running them in the same amount.   If you are getting no change, remove the air horn (bowl cover) from teh carb and look for any sediment or dirt in the bowl that could be blocking fuel flow into one of the jets.  if you find any unsuual sediment, try rebuilding the carb, especially making sure all internal passages through the casting are open.


 


 

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: My truck starts good : must wait about 3 minuites till warm-up or can not drive back or forward :
I now can drive normally after warming up but need to sometimes hit the gas hard to continue to prevent stalling, rough idle most of time but not as bad then drives good :
If I turn engine off have problems restarting , back-fires trough carb sometimes :going anyware is impossible finding it nessary to gun engine at times then after a few tries and back fires runs good .
MAY BE dirt in Carb ? Timeing good, vacumn fine !
Yes, dirt in the carb restricting a jet, resulting in a lean condition is a definite possibility here, as I noted in my original response...
Steve, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience: 25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
Steve and 6 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: will remove carbarator and clean :
Can this also be caused by timing chain ?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: Truck starts and is drive-able once warm for about 10 minutes then engine dies :
Hard to restart , but when it does sometimes restart backfires through carbuator ,then starts and idles rough :
Impossible to drive , stalls when put in gear :
When trying to step on gas no response :
Only way to get the truck to move is to floor gas peddle if lucky then pump gas till it hold idle:
after all that problem may be able to travel a short distance and problem starts all over again:
Maybe Carburator ? What you think ? Maybe replace ?

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Previous | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Excellent reply, and also very quick. Really sounds like the Expert knows what he is talking about. I will be back to use your service when I need more help with my RV. Dutch USA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Chris (aka-Moose)

    Chris (aka-Moose)

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1006
    16 years of experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/muddyford/2012-6-13_1204_1.64x64.png Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1006
    16 years of experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TE/TedG/2012-6-15_14759_avaLarge.64x64.jpg Ted G.'s Avatar

    Ted G.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1694
    20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/joecamel90/2008-11-13_03615_head_shot.jpg George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1447
    ASE Master Tech 15+ yrs, AAS Automotive Technology, Factory trained Asian specialist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BL/Bluegorilla/2012-6-21_16298_cam.64x64.JPG GM Tech (Cam)'s Avatar

    GM Tech (Cam)

    Auto Service Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    669
    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AM/amedee/2013-10-24_23656_Amedee1.64x64.jpg Amedee's Avatar

    Amedee

    Former ASE Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    2406
    ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/supermechanic/2013-8-23_03546_500.64x64.jpg Jerry's Avatar

    Jerry

    Master Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    2123
    ASE master, 30+ years. All makes and models. Trouble shooter, shop forman, service manager
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CR/crzydrvr00/2013-11-3_12123_246347.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar

    Richard

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    992
    12 years Ford Lincoln/Mercury Jaguar dealership as a technician and shop foreman reparing all makes