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Amedee, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 26254
Experience:  ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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Dodge RAM 1500 4x4 1998 Dodge 1500 4x4 with 360 engine and

Customer Question

1998 Dodge 1500 4x4 with 360 engine and automatic trans.

Early in the year (Feb) I would be driving my truck down the road and it would suddenly start bucking and sometimes die. Sometimes it would start right up again and other time I would have to try a few times or waite a while before it would start again. One day it finally kicked a misfire code and crank sensor code. I replaced the crank sensor in March and it ran fine for a few months. Suddenly one day in June it started bucking again, very similar to what it was doing the first time, but the vehicle never died. I replaced the same sensor again since it was still under warranty. In September is started doing something similar again. When I first start it up the vehicle it will do it within the first five minutes of operation, then it will run fine. You can see the electrical is being cut off because the tackometer is jumping down when the truck bucks. I hate newer vehicles with all these damn sensors and electrical gadjets. I have waited for it to kick a code, but it just has not happened. Afraid that it might eventually die on me in a bad location I have taken it to a mechanic. Granted Thanksgiving was last week, but he has had my truck for over ten days and I think he may be as stumped as I am.

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Amedee replied 6 years ago.

Hello there!


Are you saying that there currently is no code in the computer?


Are you looking for ideas as to what could be cause this condition?


Does it happen all the time or intermittently?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No, it has not kicked a code for me. Since September I have been waiting for it either stop running or kick a code, but it has not done so yet. Winter has kicked in hard here in Utah and I do not want to get stranded in extreme cold if and when it breaks down, which is why I took the vehicle to a mechanic.


It has been doing this during the first five minutes of running after start up. Outside temperature conditions make no difference. Once the vehicle has been on the road and running for a while it will quit.


Yes I am looking for what may be the cause?

Expert:  Amedee replied 6 years ago.
Is the tach still jumping around when this happens?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes, the tach jumps around when this is happening. Because I see the tach jumping I feel that the electical power is being intermittently cut. Maybe something related to auto shut down???? Without it kicking a code though I am in a quessing game.



Expert:  Amedee replied 6 years ago.

Ok.. yes... this is very common!


Has the camshaft position sensor been replaced? If not, this might be our next step. Both the camshaft and crankshaft position sensor go bad and short out causing your rough running and can even cause your tach to jump around. The only other thing causing this would be a module on the BUS circuit. For example, the instrument cluster, PCM, BCM, TCM etc...

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Which sensor is it that bolts to the back of the head on the passenger side and sticks down into the bell housing? This is the one that has been replaced twice already. Where is the other located?
Expert:  Amedee replied 6 years ago.

The Camshaft Position (CMP) Sensor is mounted in the distributor housing



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Your picture of the distributor has refreshed my memory. I replaced the complete distributor about six months before the first crank sensor. About 14 months back.

Expert:  Amedee replied 6 years ago.



SO one of your new sensors can be bad (very common) or one of the modules on the BUS system is shorting out causing your condition.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It is -8 degrees outside this morning here in Utah. I need to let the sun shine for a little bit before dive into this again. If your answer proves correct, I will gladdly pay you. I have used you guys before and it has proven to be worth it. Thanks
Expert:  Amedee replied 6 years ago.

You bet!


I hope this helps. You can always accept my answer now, and repost back again later on if you have any more questions. If you want to discuss it some more just hit "reply", it's free to do so otherwise don't forget to hit "accept" and leave positive feedback if you found my answer helpful.