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Mike S.
Mike S., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 7500
Experience:  ASE certified
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Ram 1500 slt 5.9 magnum: Rebuilt my sons ram 1500 5.9 but it

Customer Question

Rebuilt my sons ram 1500 5.9 but it wont start, the balancer has 3 timing marks on it, I assume the mark that goes all the way across the balancer is the tdc mark as the timing chain marks align with crank and #1 tdc, distributer is on #1 but the truck wont run it will fire up when the pedal is floored but only goes to about 600 rpm and dies when you let off the pedal, what am I missing? All my older dodges run when i set up timing this way.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
What do you have the timing set at? What is your firing order?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
Actually I see the base timing isn't adjustable.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Firing order is as per the factory service manual I have, I don't remember what it is off the top of my head.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
It's 1–8–4–3–6–5–7–2 Clockwise.
Did you make sure that cylinder #1 was on the compression stroke when dropping the distributor in?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yup and dealership confirmed it was right but they cant explain why it wont start either. New ecm new injectors all new sensors new coil new fuel pump excellent compression but wont fire unless floored then dies
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
Will it start up for a few seconds after spraying a few small shots of starting fluid into the throttle body?
Is the check engine light on or flashing?
Have you retrieved any codes?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wont start with starting fluid but has good blue spark, no check engine light or codes.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
Ok, check and make sure the spark plugs are not gas fouled.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Checked #1 was sparking at tdc with compression gauge on #1 and spark occurs at the same time as good as the eyes can see, sprayed some starting fluid in it tonight and got a lil fire ball out the throttle body, going to replace the plugs again tomorrow cause they did look a little bit gassed. Can you swap wires 180° instead of pulling the distributor like on the older dodges if you were 180°out?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
Yeah, you should be able to swap the spark plug wires 180 degrees. It does sound like the timing is off.
You said though you were sure #1 was on the compression stroke.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
A friend of mine was rolling through town and he is a dodge mechanic too and he double checked I was on #1 tdc and distributor was at #1 he said I was dead on, ive read online other dodge mechanics saying that you have to use one of the other marks on the balancer to set actual ignition timing (v6 mark tdc mark v8 mark) and one who said roll the motor back 25° and set the distributor to number 1 but my factory manual doesn't say anything like this so I'm at a total loss as what to do or believe.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
You said, "distributor was at #1 he said I was dead on", but you never said it was the compression stroke. How are you confirming that it is the compression stroke?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Compression gauge
Expert:  Mike S. replied 2 years ago.
Ok, once you know you are on the compression stroke, how do you know you are at tdc? I wouldn't rely on looking at the timing mark on the damper, just incase it slipped which might be the case here, so stick a plastic coffee stirrer into #1 spark plug hole and feel the top of the piston. When it reached the top it will pause then start going back down. Backup to exactly in the middle of that pause, then see if the timing mark is ligned up. If not, make your own mark and pull the distributor back out and set it to #1 now.