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Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 17219
Experience:  ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
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Dodge RAM 1500 4x4 Can a do it yourself tune up be sucessfully

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Can a "do it yourself" tune up be sucessfully performed on a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 with a 5.9L engine with about 93, 000 miles and is there a set of instructions available? My mechanic says computer readout says cylinder 6 is running rough and also the oil pressure gague is eradic and my mechanic says I need a tune up and probably a replacement of the oil pressure switch. I would like to do it myself since I have tools and do frequent minor repairs.

Hello and welcome to Just, Super mechanic here. About your vehicle.

The oil pressure switch will need a special socket, (normally found at any autozone store and it's like) and it is right next to the distributor. Being that the age of the vehicle, and milage, it would be best to do a complete tune up on it.

1. Spark plugs

2. Cap and rotor

3 Ignition wires

4. Air filter

5. PCV valve

Let me start with the oil pressure switch. Here is a picture of it and it just unscrews, (after the wire it unplugged)


Removal and Installation


Fig.36 Heat Shields

On 3.9/5.2/5.9L engines, spark plug cable heat shields are pressed into the cylinder head to surround each cable boot and spark plug.

Fig.38 Cable Removal

  1. Always remove spark plug or ignition coil cables by grasping at the cable boot. Turn the cable boot 1/2 turn and pull straight back in a steady motion. Never pull directly on the cable. Internal damage to cable will result.
  2. Prior to removing the spark plug, spray compressed air around the spark plug hole and the area around the spark plug. This will help prevent foreign material from entering the combustion chamber.
  3. Remove the spark plug using a quality socket with a rubber or foam insert.
  4. Inspect the spark plug condition. Refer to Spark Plug Condition in the Diagnostics and Testing.

Special care should be taken when installing spark plugs into the cylinder head spark plug wells. Be sure the plugs do not drop into the plug wells as electrodes can be damaged.

Always tighten spark plugs to the specified torque. Over tightening can cause distortion resulting in a change in the spark plug gap or a cracked porcelain insulator.

When replacing the spark plug and ignition coil cables, route the cables correctly and secure them in the appropriate retainers. Failure to route the cables properly can cause the radio to reproduce ignition noise. It could cause cross ignition of the spark plugs or short circuit the cables to ground.

  1. Start the spark plug into the cylinder head by hand to avoid cross threading.
  2. Tighten spark plugs to 35 - 41 Nm (26 - 30 ft. lbs.) torque.
  3. Install spark plug cables over spark plugs.

The cap and rotor, you just take the scerws out from the cap, (at the distributor) and the rotor just pulls off. You don't have to loosen the hold down bolt.


The igntion wires you will want to do one at a time.

Service and Repair

Fig.38 Cable Removal

CAUTION: When disconnecting a high voltage cable from a spark plug or from the distributor cap, twist the rubber boot slightly (1/2 turn) to break it loose. Grasp the boot (not the cable) and pull it OFF with a steady, even force.


Fig.40 Engine Firing Order

Install cables into the proper engine cylinder firing order.

When replacing the spark plug and coil cables, route the cables correctly and secure in the proper retainers. Failure to route the cables properly can cause the radio to reproduce ignition noise. It could also cause cross ignition of the plugs or short circuit the cables to ground.

When installing new cables, make sure a positive connection is made. A snap should be felt when a good connection is made between the plug cable and the distributor cap tower.

The PCV valve just pulls out also.


The ignition timing is not adjustable and there are no mixture adjustments. You may want to just clean the throttle body with some throttle body cleaner though, (I always do)

Jerry and other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello thanks for your great instructions on the tune up and also the replacement of the oil sensor switch. The truck is running much better but I continue to have eradaic activity and pinging from the oil pressure gauge. How do I fix that problem since the computer says my oil pressure is fine?
Your welcome.The oil pressure gauge problem could be that the gauge itself is bad, (erratic operation) but it would need some extensive electronic testing to be sure. Most times it is just the oil pressure switch, but there are times when it is more involved. You would need at least a good scan tool that can communicate with the PCM and IPC, and sometimes the BCM modules to determine what the root cause may be.

The oil pressure gauge gives an indication to the vehicle operator of the engine oil pressure. This gauge is controlled by the instrument cluster circuit board based upon the cluster programming and electronic messages received by the cluster from the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) over the Chrysler Collision Detection (CCD) data bus. The oil pressure gauge is an air core magnetic unit that receives battery current on the instrument cluster electronic circuit board through the fused ignition switch output (ST/RUN) circuit whenever the ignition switch is in the ON or Start positions. The cluster is programmed to move the gauge needle back to the low end of the scale after the ignition switch is turned to the OFF position.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
After replacing the oil pressure switch do you have to drive a certain number of miles for the new switch to start operating correctly? If that is not the answer, who typically has the kind of scaning tool you refer to?
No, they normally start to work right when they are replaced, (if that was the problem) but may not have been.

I know the dealership, (stealership) has the scan tool but there are a lot of independent shops that would also have one. I would think that an eletrical auto shop should have one and most of the larger companies, (like Carmax) as well.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your help
Your welcome and come again, anytime, thanks