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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to this board but will probably be a regular rather quickly... Went shopping for a winter vehicle to destroy on our Western PA snow covered roads and found the toy I had been looking for but never found...

I picked up an 88 Ramcharger for a good price, and instead of being a winter vehicle this thing is quickly becoming my obsession.

This Ram has a 318, and as I understand this is the first year for fuel injection (let me state right here that I HATE computer controlled ANYTHING on a vehicle, call me old school but that's just how it is).

The main problem with the truck is that under load it wants to cut out, spits and sputters almost like water in the gas... had the MAP sensor replaced about a month ago, and a recent tune up (plugs wires, cap etc...). Every now and then the "check engine" light comes on, sometimes after several miles, other times right after start up (and often not at all). Most cars this indicates a bad oxygen sensor but I don't like to assume anything. Wondering if the cutting out is possibly the throttle positioning sensor (not sure if this model had those)

Also WOT provides no increased thrill, now I'm a Buick guy by nature and used to my old 455, but since Buick can't seem to produce 4X4's, and since I also love Mopars the Ramcharger was a perfect fit... anyway WOT provides no more power than partial throttle, and will not kick down the transmission.

Oh yeah I'm getting about 10 miles to the gallon without using 4WD... Yeah if I wanted fuel economy I'd drive a Kia but I would expect at least 15 MPG.

I'm familiar with the 318, had one in my 72 charger and in my moms 74 Satellite (yeah I know but she picked it out, I was 6 what could I do?)

Computer spit out the following codes after about a 30-minute drive at 60 mph (not sure if that makes a difference)
13
32
52

Any thoughts from the Guru's out there? Really tempted to rip out the 318, drop in a normally aspirated 360 but hate to do that unless I have no other choice, vehicle inspections can be a pain up here and if they start checking for OE smog equipment that might screw me at inspection time.

Thanks for taking the time to read this LONG post, and for any help you can offer..

V8
 

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I found this for ya. Welcome to the site. There is a plethora of knowledge here. Hope you enjoy it here!!

Code 13 - MAP sensor or vacuum line may not be working
32 - EGR gases not working (1988) - check vacuum, valve
52 - Oxygen sensor stuck at rich position (SEE NOTE #5!)
NOTE #5.Wade Goldman wrote: In my case, the breather tube leading into the catalytic converter had rusted and become detached. This some how would cause the sensor to read an over rich condition and run crummy. I did not trust the reliability of the weld over a corroded surface and opted for the more expensive route of replacing the converter, breather tube and all.

 

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Forget the code 37 as it's for a lockup torque convertor and you don't have one. This error comes up on all older RC's and can be ignored on yours. Have you tried disconnecting the negative battery cable for about 5 minutes..this will clear the error codes and you can see what comes back just to reaffirm the errors. Work on the MAP sensor problem first as it will affect the Oxygen sensor readings.



 

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since the MPG question hasnt been answered......

10 mpg with all the crap that appears to be wrong isnt that bad. but once u fix it do not expect 15, even on its best day. i have an 89 with a 318 and a 90 with a 318, and both get about 12 mpg. some people do get around 14-15, but it is very rare. and on a side note, if u wheel at all, ull learn to love all this computer controlled crap. i was like u, believed that computers belonged on desks and not in cars, but now u couldnt get me to go to a carb for anything.

Duane
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello fellow Dodge nuts!

Well the saga continues. ??? Under the advice of MudFlap I disconnected my battery to reset the computer, hooked it back up, drove to work and pulled the error codes again…

Got code 12 telling me that the battery had been disconnected…. Ummm yeah got that.

Code 13 went away

Code 37 is still there (according to mini Mopar code 37 along with 13 is different from, code 37 by itself. By having 37 by without 13 I understand that even though I don’t have a lock up torque converter, if I did have one it would have a problem LOL)

Code 52 also went away.

And the obligatory code 55 was ever present, although came too soon, with no other errors to go by I’m stuck…

Ok so much for my local Dodge man, the bum didn’t even reset the computer after swapping out the MAP sensor, and I’m beginning to think that maybe that wasn’t bad either…

This thing seems to forget that I’m giving it gas, cuts out, bucks, and I think backfires, although I seem to have my timing down with my foot to let off of the gas just before it does, so I don’t get the full effect (I’m sure my vacuum lines are thanking me for that). It starts and idles just find, but when you give it gas it starts to go then bogs down, was thinking that maybe it was spraying too much fuel into the intake, but I would think that the computer would pick that up…

Fuel pump maybe?

Any ideas?

And just a thought, when I was looking on Auto Zone’s site last night it gave me the option of 318 with TBI (which I have) and 360 with 4 barrel… does this mean that the 360 cam standard with the carb and if I wanted to I could trash the 318, run a carb, ditch some of the emissions crap and still appear to be somewhat stock to the state inspection boys?

(Just read CLRacer’s post as I was getting ready to past this into the dialog box… more mileage would be nice but again not a requirement. Never had a computer in a wheeling vehicle, am sort of new to the sport. Most of my other toys were supposed to go fast on dry pavement… now that I want to wheel I just might appreciate the computer more… since I don’t have the $$ for a build up and swap right now I’ll have a chance to see…)
 

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check ur coolant temp sensor. mine went bad on the 90 and caused similar problems to what u describe. also check ur fuel pressure, fuel filter, and fuel pump.

Duane
 

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gimmieav8: Yeah RC's do tend to become an obsession that is for sure. The gang in here will help you fix your problem most likely. The only thing coming close to a computer on my RC is the orange box and I share your opinion about them.

Mac
 

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I would start leaning toward the fuel pump. Go to Oreilly's and get a Carter pump. It should come with a sock filter and a piece of hose, which will go from the pump to the top of the sending unit. Be sure to replace that hose. Be careful when you drop that tank, cause that sending unit is plastic, and if ya let too much weight down on it, you'll break those tits that the hoses fit onto. Then you will find yourself buying a sending unit from a salvage yard for around $50. Voice of experience speakin. Good Luck
 

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The problem you describe sounds a little like the problem I had about 2 years back: someone kinked my fuel line when I needed a new pump installed and the fuel pressure was at 42 lbs not 14.5. Did some rough driving, though the idle was not too bad, just a little rough. I'd say check your fuel pressure/pump

I don't know what you need to pass in PA, in Cali, I can't go back to carb (and have no real desire to do so anyway). Once EFI always EFI, no matter if the 360 had a carb back in 88. I could put in a 360 block from 88, but I would need the TBI setup of an 89 or later to go with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Inspections here are a safety thing but they are leaning towards some emissions stuff now too... the stuff doesn't have to work but starting soon it will have to be there. (makes sense huh?!? LOL)

Well the Beast is going to the garage tomorrow... have a guy down the street that does some work for me (usually things that I don't want to do, don't have the tools, or when it's too cold outside. Will pass along all of the tips y'all sent me and will update the board if he finds the problem. After driving home tonight I'm leaning toward the fuel system myself... will have him check the whole system, but I know Murphy would say that it was the fuel pump (who the Hell sent that guy to law school anyway?!?!?)

 

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I would also change the coolant temp sensor(cheap) and look at the fuel pressure. Mopar had alot of fuel pump/flow problems from 88-93. Check out this Service Bulletin.
http://dodgeram.info/tsb/1989/14-02-89.htm
If it still has the original pump..it's time for a new one...if the pump was changed and it was replaced with an El Cheapo brand-they suck or don't suck! :eek: If you need a pump go with Mudflaps suggestion on a Carter or an AC Delco. I believe that NAPA's pumps are made by Carter for this application.
 

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check the timing/
 

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gimmeav8 said:
Hello fellow Dodge nuts!

Well the saga continues. ??? Under the advice of MudFlap I disconnected my battery to reset the computer, hooked it back up, drove to work and pulled the error codes again…

Got code 12 telling me that the battery had been disconnected…. Ummm yeah got that.

Code 13 went away

Code 37 is still there (according to mini Mopar code 37 along with 13 is different from, code 37 by itself. By having 37 by without 13 I understand that even though I don't have a lock up torque converter, if I did have one it would have a problem LOL)

Code 52 also went away.

And the obligatory code 55 was ever present, although came too soon, with no other errors to go by I'm stuck…

Ok so much for my local Dodge man, the bum didn't even reset the computer after swapping out the MAP sensor, and I'm beginning to think that maybe that wasn't bad either…

This thing seems to forget that I'm giving it gas, cuts out, bucks, and I think backfires, although I seem to have my timing down with my foot to let off of the gas just before it does, so I don't get the full effect (I'm sure my vacuum lines are thanking me for that). It starts and idles just find, but when you give it gas it starts to go then bogs down, was thinking that maybe it was spraying too much fuel into the intake, but I would think that the computer would pick that up…

Fuel pump maybe?

Any ideas?

And just a thought, when I was looking on Auto Zone's site last night it gave me the option of 318 with TBI (which I have) and 360 with 4 barrel… does this mean that the 360 cam standard with the carb and if I wanted to I could trash the 318, run a carb, ditch some of the emissions crap and still appear to be somewhat stock to the state inspection boys?

(Just read CLRacer's post as I was getting ready to past this into the dialog box… more mileage would be nice but again not a requirement. Never had a computer in a wheeling vehicle, am sort of new to the sport. Most of my other toys were supposed to go fast on dry pavement… now that I want to wheel I just might appreciate the computer more… since I don't have the $$ for a build up and swap right now I'll have a chance to see…)
A couple of years ago I had similar problems, running really bad, cutting out, especially when I tried to accelerate over 35 MPH. I tried new plugs, distributer, checked the firing order a million times, cleaned the carb, checked timing, etc. It turned out the cam had a flat lobe. Two cylinders were bored out larger than the other six, which may have caused this(?) anyway, I couldn't tell you how to tell if it's the cam (I took it to a local garage); there's lots of things that could be wrong but I thought I'd give my story.
 

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I had the same problem and replaced the fuel pump this weekend. It seems to suddenly be a recurring problem around here! I put in a carter from orielly's, but i told them to call autozone for the price check casue I knew it was cheaper. Anyway, I saved like $25 bucks and got the lifetime warranty.
good luck
james
 

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Chump said:
I would also change the coolant temp sensor(cheap) and look at the fuel pressure. Mopar had alot of fuel pump/flow problems from 88-93. Check out this Service Bulletin.
http://dodgeram.info/tsb/1989/14-02-89.htm
If it still has the original pump..it's time for a new one...if the pump was changed and it was replaced with an El Cheapo brand-they suck or don't suck! :eek: If you need a pump go with Mudflaps suggestion on a Carter or an AC Delco. I believe that NAPA's pumps are made by Carter for this application.
For the record, my Carter replacement barely lasted 6 1/2 months.....Went to Mo-Dodge, spent 130.00, no problems to date.... Sometimes it just pays to stick to factory OEM parts. In a side by side comparason, the Dodge pump was superior in quality and workmanship. I know not everybody can afford the big money for Dodge parts, but given the aggravation factor of dropping the tank, etc.... The first carter pump I had was almost 90.00 and I got to do the job twice! For a $220.00! Might as well do it right the first time. Just my .02..

Dave
 

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crap! I wish i had know that before putting in the carter. It was a carter i pulled out of the tank. it has a lifetime warranty, but i don't want a lifetime of dropping the fuel tank! I'll take the bad one back and get it replaced, tell them it was the one they sold me. But dropping the tanks sucks. next time, i might just go inline.
 

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Don't forget that in tank fuel pumps also use the fuel for cooling. Like most of us, we probably don't keep a 36 gallon tank full all the time especially at the recent prices. You can find the Mopar pumps online for up to 30% off. Never replace an in tank pump unless you replace the in tank filter and the inline filter also.You want the new pump to suck and blow with ease! :)
 

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LOL thanks Chump. I think i would like that. On the same note, when replacing the pump, i noticed it did not sit all the way down at the bottom, it is about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up the plastic core it sits in. So, If it's going to be kept cool properly, it would seem that you would need to keep the tank at least half full (or half empty for you pessimists). Anywbody else have any experience with the carter pump or how long they last?
 
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