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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1988 Ram 150, manual, .318. Engine dies when these things occur: braking, turning on headlights, heater or putting transmission in Reverse (it has something to do with the lights, as clutch doesn't affect it). Any one of these will cause engine to die. The ONLY way to restart engine is to turn the hazard lights on. Half of the time, the engine will surge as the hazards curcuit passes elec. current. The rest of the time it runs okay, but the hazard switch needs to stay on. Control module (computer) tests OK.

Also, when hazard switch is on (to start engine) the hazard lights don't actually flash the bulbs on the truck but the turn signals work fine at bulbs.

Lastly, I am showing evidence of a short to ground (dead battery after sitting a week w/ previously charged, good battery. Started checking circuits with a multitester again...found one loose plug from wiring harness and one ground from w/h melted. fixed all of these plus cleaned and tested all grounds on engine side from starting/charging syst. to w/h. no joy yet.

any help is much appreciated!
 

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Yea check your grounds. I highly doubt that your turn signal switch would cause that.
 

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Check the plug at the base of the steering column, and look for bad wires in the column. If you have a tilt wheel, there can be a bare wire thats grounding inside.

Ed
 

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Hmm.. With the hazards off, will it crank and not fire, or just do nothing? Looking at the wiring diagram, I can't figure out how the hazards can be the difference whether it starts or not. They are fed directly from the battery, through a single (not bussed) fuse, into the switch, and to the lights. Unless a turn signal is on at the same time, there doesn't appear to be any way for voltage to backfeed into any other circuits to cause a run/no run condition.. Having the hazards and a turn signal on can allow (flashing) voltage to feed into the RUN circuit, but because it's flashing, it wouldn't let the engine stay running if the RUN circuit is dead. As far as those items which cause it to stall, the brake and turn signals are on one circuit, heater is on another, and headlights are on a third. Do you notice any other oddities when you turn those items on? Like lights dimming as if there's a short, other things that go out, etc.? Does it die when the parking lights come on, or only when you click the headlights? Does it die the second you turn anything on, or is there any delay or "running down"? I don't see any common thread between them just looking at the individual diagram pieces, but I'll stitch them together and print them out tomorrow and see if I missed anything.. This is an odd one..

Matt {peace}

PS - Welcome to the board! ;D
 

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Sounds like a circuit is opening up when a load is applied. I'm guessing you have a voltmeter in dash instead of the old ampmeter. But, if you have an amp gage, check the connection - mine drove me nuts for a while. It has to be something between the ALT output and the battery, so check your alternator output wire.
 

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Have you tried pulling the bulkhead connector on the firewall to see if it needs cleaning? Corrosion in there would wreak havoc on virtually everything electrical.

I don't understand the must haze hazards on to start--it is a completely independent circuit! At least it should be....

-SM
 

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My first car a ford mustage di that to me for months
it would run well and for no reason just die for no reason I thought.
turned out to be a loose ground wire inside the distributer.
Check you ground wires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
TaZMaNiaK said:
Hmm.. With the hazards off, will it crank and not fire, or just do nothing? Looking at the wiring diagram, I can't figure out how the hazards can be the difference whether it starts or not. They are fed directly from the battery, through a single (not bussed) fuse, into the switch, and to the lights. Unless a turn signal is on at the same time, there doesn't appear to be any way for voltage to backfeed into any other circuits to cause a run/no run condition.. Having the hazards and a turn signal on can allow (flashing) voltage to feed into the RUN circuit, but because it's flashing, it wouldn't let the engine stay running if the RUN circuit is dead. As far as those items which cause it to stall, the brake and turn signals are on one circuit, heater is on another, and headlights are on a third. Do you notice any other oddities when you turn those items on? Like lights dimming as if there's a short, other things that go out, etc.? Does it die when the parking lights come on, or only when you click the headlights? Does it die the second you turn anything on, or is there any delay or "running down"? I don't see any common thread between them just looking at the individual diagram pieces, but I'll stitch them together and print them out tomorrow and see if I missed anything.. This is an odd one..

Matt {peace}

PS - Welcome to the board! ;D
 
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