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Richard, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 4141
Experience:  Over 26 years of experience as lead tech and shop foreman.
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2000 Dodge Ram 2500. Diesel engine will crank but wont start.

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2000 Dodge Ram 2500. Diesel engine will crank but won't start. Was running great on the way to 7-11 then wouldn't start up. I swapped out fuel system relay and the fuel heater relay with known good relays. Sounds like lift pump is working. Fuel gauge shows 1/8 of a tank. Engine cranks strong.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

The first thing I would do is try to start the engine on starting fluid to see if it stays running after. Remove the large intake hose from the drivers side of the intake and spray a little starting fluid in as someone cranks it over. Don't use starting fluid at the air filter box, you need to remove the hose from the intake. The large clamp nut is 7/16".

Let me know if it stays running and we can go from there!


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I took the air hose off of the driver's side of the engine and shot some starter fluid in it. It started but did not continue to run. I tried two more times. The noises inside the engine were pretty violent so I did not continue.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I discovered that the batteries were starting to drain. This must be why I had "backfires" and other noises when I tried to start it with the starting fluid. Also, wanted you to know that I have a scan tool if that helps.

Are you getting any fault codes? Check both the PCM and ECM for codes.


Can you remove the plastic cap from the schraeder valve on the side of the injection pump and have someone bump the key to the start position while you press the little valve core in. The transfer pump should run for 25 seconds and you should get a good flow of fuel out of the fitting with the valve pressed in. You might want to hold a rag there to catch the fuel.

Let me know and we can go from there!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My Scan Tool is communication to the OBD-II via 91941-2 protocal but it says that it can't get interface when I ask for the codes. Sorry.
The transfer pump did run for 25 seconds like you said. I pressed the valve with my big fat finger and I got diesel. The diesel coming out made a noise like there was air in the line. I'll bet that was just my finger getting in the way, huh? There wasn't much pressure or volume there.

Can you try to push the valve in with a small screw driver to make sure it has good flow coming out?



Lets try this - Sit in the vehicle with all doors closed and starting with the key in the off position(1 click clockwise from being able to pull your key out) turn it to ON, OFF, ON, OFF, ON(don't turn the key to the start position just on) within 5 seconds and leave the key on and watch the digital odometer to see if it displays a fault code. It will be a P followed by 4 numbers example P1693. When it is done displaying codes or if there are no codes it will say done. If you can't get this to work, please try it again following the instructions!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The code on the odometer was" P done ". Then it changed back to the odometer very quickly. I ran the test three times cause it was so cool.
I tested the flow coming out of the valve.
There is definately air in the line.
There isn't a spray. There is a bubbly discharge.
I have an eight of a tank of fuel.
Should I add 5 or 10 gallons?

P.S. I am having a great time doing this. Thanks!!!


I think you should add some fuel to the tank, even though the tank shows 1/8, you could be out of fuel! We did see some problems with fuel level sending units back then and people would run out of fuel even though the gauge showed 1/8 - 1/4 tank.

After you add fuel you will need to bleed the fuel out again and see if it still has air in it. You might have to do this a couple times.

Let me know and we can go from there!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have a question about bleeding the fuel system.
Please take a look at this link.

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These are my instructions.
You will see that I have highlighted my concern.
I am supposed to loosen the "banjo nut".
The diagram points to a place where a wrench does not fit (#1).
I don't even think that there is a thread there.
I was wondering if I am supposed to turn the whole fitting with the part that is show as (#3)
Then I am supposed to tighten the fitting back to 18 lbs of torque.
The only place that I will be able to mount a torque wrench is on the part shown as (#3)
Can you tell me where the banjo nut is and where I am to grip it?
You don't need to loosen anything when you have that schraeder valve. All you have to do is bump the key to the start position and keep that valve pressed in until all the air is out.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I added ten gallons of fuel to the tank.
I replaced the fuel filter.
I purged the air out of the low pressure fuel line.
I definately had air in the line.
I don't have bubbles coming out of the valve anymore.
I cranked the engine over for thirty seconds.
I did this every thirty minutes until I had cranked it ten times.
Still does not start nor act like it wants to.
What can I do now?


Loosen # XXXXX 3 & 4 injector line nuts(3/4") at the head and crank the engine over until fuel is spraying out and all the air is out. You might have to do this a few times! Don't crank the engine over for more than 15 seconds at a time, let the starter cool after each time.


Then once you have fuel coming out, tighten the lines and try to start your truck. It will knock and run rough, but will straighten out!

Let me know and we can go from there!

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