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brownjeff, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 13886
Experience:  17 years experience, ASE certified, dealership certified, Service Manager for 15 years,
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2003 Dodge RAM 1500: it barely starts and idles very rough../tps..psi

Customer Question

2003 Dodge RAM 1500 5.7l hemi All of a sudden it barely starts and idles very rough.
I have replaced plugs, electronic throttle housing w/TPS, checked fuel pressure (47 psi).
Not throwing any codes. What should I check next or any ideas?
Wanted to add that when you press on the accelerator it seems to run fine above 1800 rpm.
Sometimes when starting, I need to press the accelerator also.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
You are describing a failing cam sensor or crank sensor. Until one fails they will test good so you have to wait until it fails or take a guess and replace one and hope for the best.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I replaced the crank sensor and cam sensor and it did not change anything
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
You may have a catalytic converter plugging up. Try disconnecting the exhaust pipe in front of the converter and see if it runs any better.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
That appears to be difficult without cutting a pipe?
Any other ideas.
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
Any connection in front of the converter will work.....just loosen it
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Seriously? We are talking the bolts that connect to the exhaust manifold?
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What about just pulling the O2 sensor in the pipe in front of it?
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
You could try that. Not sure if that is a big enough leak or not but would be worth a try
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I will have to try that tomorrow.
Not to deviate from your thought, but could this be a vacuum leak problem?
What would I check? I have sprayed around the injectors and manifold with
no changes. Another hose or connection I could check?
Also, does the 03 have a Idle Air Control?

Thanks for your help so far. I will make sure you get paid no matter what.
Kind of at my wits end with this.
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
No it does not have a idle air control motor. Also a vacuum leak will not cause the problem you described
brownjeff and 3 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have accepted the answer, but you should know the problem turned out to
be a broken spring on the intake valve on #5 cylinder. The intake was being held
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the follow up......That is rare for one to break but it would certainly cause the problem
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Actually, after doing some research, that appears to be a common problem on the hemi's.
Both on 03's and 04's. They mention something called the "hemi tick" which can
appear at almost anytime.
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
Not sure I would call it common.......but anyway glad you got it figured out