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Dodgerench
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3125
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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96 dodge ram 1500: misfire..rotor..map, pickup coil in distributor

Resolved Question:

i have a 96 dodge ram 1500 5.9 litre. I have a misfire truck keeps hesitating missing badly starts a jerking when driving. I have r&r cap, rotor, wires, plugs, map, pickup coil in distributor. I do know the firing order 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 clockwise so wiring is right i have scaned the service engine light keeps comming up with multiple misfire.  Please help i have changed all parts i have told you.  Cap, rotor, pickup coil/cam sensor, plugs, map sensor.  Sometimes it dont act up rite away but about 5 min. driving it starts but most time its right away.  Missing surging when driving jerky jerk feeling.  Ty
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dodgerench :

Hi jeffrey, my name is Ed. Thanks for writing!

Dodgerench :

My feeling is that a sharp, jerky feeling felt by the engine as it begins acting up can go a couple of ways. Loss of fuel pressure can cause misfire that can affect some cylinders more than others as fuel vapor forms at the higher ends of the injector rail... but the sharpness... the jerking... makes me think it may be ignition related.

Customer :

well i have changed almost everything lol

Customer :

we did a fuel pressure test at work and had good fuel pressure what ignition problem do u think

Dodgerench :

It might be a coil. We had problems with coils developing corrosion in the exposed multi-layer stamped steel core that cracked the main body.

Customer :

sorry i did r&r the coil forgot about telling you

Dodgerench :

It would mean you would have reduced spark at all times, but a cold engine tends to require a little less secondary output to keep it happy... which is why I mentioned it.

Dodgerench :

Good.

Dodgerench :

One less thing!

Dodgerench :

Have you checked for trouble codes on your truck yet?

Customer :

comes up multiple misfire 6 & 7 i replaced injector in 6

Dodgerench :

Hmmmmm... Those wouldn't be cylinders I would expect to be involved in a loss of fuel pressure situation. It's normally the 1 thru 4 cylinders that show up first.

Dodgerench :

Was there an injector code stored as well? Is that why you replaced #4 injector?

Dodgerench :

That would be P0206 (sorry... #6 cylinder).

Customer :

no took to a shop in denton, tx they said it was my injector i bought one still doing same

Dodgerench :

One bad injector can't kill the engine completely. How long does it take to get the engine started again?

Customer :

never has said injector code just says misfire 6 & 7

Customer :

starts rite up everytime

Customer :

when u start driving is when it starts that jerking sometime the engine shakes like its missing then sometimes it dont

Customer :

when at idle

Dodgerench :

It really doesn't stall while you have your foot in the throttle then? Only when coasting or braking?

Customer :

sometimes when driving and at a light it will be smooth then next light it would be acting up

Customer :

it dont ever die or anything just does all that jerking and its happens around 40 to 55 miles

Dodgerench :

Did this start almost immediately following a fuel stop?
Has it been going on for more than one tank of gas?

Customer :

ive put gas from different places also put seafoam in it to see if there is water in tank

Customer :

we also did injection cleaning on it to see if would clear up

Dodgerench :

Water was my concern. Being heavier than gasoline, it tends to pick on the rear cylinders in the engine as it runs downhill in the injector rails.

Customer :

what can i do to see if water is in it. I have to drop tank

Customer :

this did start suddenly it was running fine then went crazy

Dodgerench :

Nah. I doubt it's an issue. Most water contamination problems show up before the 5-minute mark of engine operation.

Dodgerench :

My #1 suspect right now is with the crank sensor, which is located in the top-passenger side of the transmission bellhousing right behind the engine.

Customer :

thats what another tech. at work said it would be crank sensor before the pick up coil i r&r

Customer :

this thing starts jerking about 40 50 miles per hr. then sometimes even sooner

Customer :

but lately its been even missing when i start it

Dodgerench :

Yeah.. The crank sensor is a bear to get at on your 96 truck, but the odd characteristics of your misfire problem somewhat fit that of an electronic failure. I'd also like to say that your distributor index could be involved.

Customer :

i didnt take his advice he is usually wrong lol

Dodgerench :

Have you ever turned or removed the distributor?

Customer :

no the only thing i have done to dist. is cap rotor and the pickup/camshaft sensor we use all data at work so it call it a camshaft sensor but ive always called it pickup coil

Dodgerench :

It really is a cam sensor on this engine.

Customer :

wires have been replaced also but i have checked to make sure not miswired

Dodgerench :

I saw that. Another thing checked off!

Customer :

what it the ?distributor index

Dodgerench :

Do you feel that the jerking you get when it acts up is equivalent or greater than cylinder misfire?

Dodgerench :

Does it feel even worse than misfire? Almost like something yanks on the rear bumper of the truck?

Customer :

well i feel it is misfiring because even the tranny was rebuilt 2 months ago had no problems

Customer :

it is a hard jerking but if i mash hard on gas goes away or if i let off the gas

Dodgerench :

It's kind of a fine distinction. Distributor index problems can cause crossfiring problems within the distributor cap, which can feel like a cylinder is being pushed backward at times. That most certainly causes a misfire, but it feels quite a bit more harsh.

Dodgerench :

That sounds consistent with distributor index issues.

Customer :

what do i do about that

Dodgerench :

If you can change your throttle position and soothe the symptoms, it might well need to be reset.

Dodgerench :

Funny you'd ask!

Customer :

ill r&r the crankshaft sensor ive r&r all the others lol

Dodgerench :

Nah, don't go there just yet.

Customer :

i was leaning that the distributor may be the problem because at times it acts up we want even get any codes

Dodgerench :

That was a key piece of information you just gave me. If changing throttle position makes a difference in the situation, it leads me to think that your distributor just needs to be turned a little.

Customer :

the truck at times acts like it has no power at all

Dodgerench :

Cam-crank sync needs to be within 10 degrees of either side of zero offset. But even so, being off a little bit can cause the distributor rotor to be nearer a leading terminal in the distributor cap at maximum ignition advance, which makes that terminal look more attractive to the spark. Going deeper into the throttle reduces timing advance, which may well be the reason why you're seeing relief at higher throttle angles.

Customer :

it did make some backfire noise that why i check the wires to see if i messed up wiring

Dodgerench :

Backfire would be consistent with crossfire.

Dodgerench :

Do you have a digital voltmeter and some hand tools to rotate/ position the engine by hand?

Customer :

i have a voltmeter

Customer :

and tools

Dodgerench :

It almost has to be digital or an analog meter if high impedance.

Customer :

im a tech. but dodge isnt my background

Dodgerench :

Wonderful!

Customer :

so u think the timing may be off

Customer :

dodges are such weired vehicles lol

Dodgerench :

Basically... yes. It's a no-cost thing to index the distributor and it's something that needs to be done periodically anyway. It makes everything else we do more relevant even if it doesn't fix the problem outright.

Dodgerench :

Gee... thanks! =/

Customer :

sorry this has just gave me fits

Customer :

if this wasnt my vehicle would have sent somewhere else

Dodgerench :

This index procedure can be done manually (which I can describe) or you can have it done electronically with the help of a compatible scan tool. What you do with the scan tool is set the distributor to zero degrees of offset by rotating the distributor while in the adjustment window. The factory DRB3 tool comes to mind, but some aftermarket scanners might have the same capability. If you (or someone you know) has one of these, it's WAY easier to use that feature.

Dodgerench :

LOL! No offense taken, bud!

Customer :

ok ill check at work and see if the other tech. has one and ill do that ty hope it works

Dodgerench :

But if you want to do the manual method, I'll surely describe that to you. It's not such a big deal for someone who knows their way around a vehicle.

Customer :

ty 4 ur help


Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3125
Experience: 30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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