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Leo
Leo, Auto Service Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 770
Experience:  2005 Dodge ASE master technician of the year
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RAM 3500: START...STARTER-SOLENOID..STARTER RELAY..THE TRUCK STARTED

Resolved Question:

I HAVE A RAM 3500 DIESEL TRUCK(CUMMINS) THAT WILL NOT START. I HAVE REPLACED THE STARTER-SOLENOID, TWO BATTERYS, STARTER RELAY. THE TRUCK STARTED OK FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS AND THEN WOULD NOT START. CHECKED WIRING AND ELECTRIAL CONNECTIONS, RECHARGRD NEW BATTERIES,vOLTAGE IS OK, TIGHTENED UP ELECTRIAL CONNECTIONS AT STARTER-SOLINOID WITHOUT SUCCESS. I AM RUNNING OUT OF THINGS TO TRY.iS THERE SOME OTHER RELAY OR SOMETHING THAT IS KEEPING THE TRUCK FROM STARTING. THANKS
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Leo replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

Just to make sure I'm reading this correctly, the starter motor doesn't crank the engine over correct?

Do you have access to a voltmeter? We should be able to do some basic checks to get to the bottom of the issue.

Also could you let me know the year, and if your truck is equipped with a standard or automatic transmission?

Leo

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Leo-There is no cranking at all when the ignition switch is put in the start position. When starting, the ignition switch is first put in the run position until the wait start light goes off then into the start position-nothing. The truck is a 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 with Cummins diesel engine. It is equipped with an automatic transmission. I have a voltmeter. I have not checked out the ignition switch(replace it?)-Tom
Expert:  Leo replied 6 years ago.

Hi Tom,

Lets do some simple checks first.

If you haven't already, shift the transmission to neutral, and see if it'll crank (just a quick way to check transmission linkage adjustment). If it starts, then it's time to check the linkage out (it's a long shot but worth checking).

The easiest way to do the testing is at the starter motor relay in the fuse box under the hood. Pull the relay out, look on the side or bottom and it'll call out the pin numbers.

Using your voltmeter check for the following voltages at the pins (with the relay out);

Pin 86 - 12 volts only when the ignition key is turned to the start position

Pin 30 - 12 volts all the time

Pin 85 - with the key off, check resistance between this pin and the battery negative terminal

Let me know the results and that will help us narrow down what part of the system is at fault.

I've got to post this as an answer, but please don't click accept until we get to the bottom of your problem.

Leo

 

 

Leo, Auto Service Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 770
Experience: 2005 Dodge ASE master technician of the year
Leo and 10 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Leo-no luck when cranking in neutral(nothing).Pin 86 got 12 V. in start position, pin 30-got 12 V all the time. Pin 85-got 0 ohms with key off between pin and battery negative terminal.-Tom
Expert:  Leo replied 6 years ago.

Hi Tom,

Good info, here's what it tells us...

Ignition switch is good, neutral safety switch is good, and you've got power to go to the starter solenoid..

So, the next step is testing the ciruits to the starter.

The big heavy connector 12 v all the time obviously

The small terminal, 12v with the key in the start position

If they both check out OK it's time for a voltage drop test... Put one lead on the lug the heavy wire connects to at the starter and one on the positive battery terminal. Try to crank, watch the voltemeter and let me know what you get for a reading.. It should be 0v, if you see 12v you've got problems with the heavy wire or it's connections.

I'm assuming the starter does nothing correct? No click / thunk / any type noise?

Leo

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Leo-sorry I did not respond yesterday. I was not at home. Ran tests- big heavy connecter-got 12 V.small terminal-got 10 V (not 12), got 0 V with one lead on the heavy wire luge at the starter and while cranking. CORRECT the starter does nothing.-Tom
Expert:  Leo replied 6 years ago.

Hi Tom,

Only 10 volts at the small terminal, that's a bit strange..

That tends to make me think there is some stray resistance in the wiring between the starter relay and the starter itself, but it should still be enough to operate the starter motor.

I would attatch another wire to the small terminal and run it up near the battery.. It would be best to fuse it if you've got a fuse holder laying around.

Jump it to battery positive and see if the starter cranks over.. Just make sure the truck is in park + parking brake set so it doesn't take off on you. Be prepared to quickly pull the wire away, if there is a short in the starter it'll get real hot, real quick!

If the starter won't operate by jumping it like this, the new (remanufactured?) starter has gone kaput on you (assuming the truck batteries are fully charged) because at this point your elimnating all the truck circuits.

It's not uncommon for reman starters to fail in short order like this, they tend to bench test them, but that doesn't put an real load on them (like your Cummins engine does anyway!). I suspect you've got a new, bad part. Take a wooden hammer handle or the like, and tap on the starter solenoid while a helper turns the key, it might 'jar' it back into existance enough for it to operate.

Try it and let me know the results.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Leo- the starter did not crank when it was jumped to the battery positive. However the truck started when I tapped the solinoid. I guess the next step is to remove the starter and get another one from the parts store( part has a warranty)?-Tom
Expert:  Leo replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

The part should have a warranty I would imagine. I'd print this whole thread out and bring it as proof that you did a complete diagnostic on the starter circuit (you did a fine job!). We know everythings working, but the starter.

Leo

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Leo- THanks for the help. I am a native upstate New Yorker. Graduated from Rochester Inst. of Technology 40 years ago. Now live in Houston Tx. You did a great job for me. Thanks again.-Tom

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