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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a problem with the 318 in my 75 RC I have had no trouble with it for the 4 years I have owned it. Just to give you some history it was "overhauled" when I got it. I then put on an edelbrock intake, mopar headers, mopar plug wires and mopar valve covers. I used as a daily driver until a few months ago when I got a small pickup for fuel mileage. Right before I stopped driving it daily it started acting up on me when I would get to work which is 20 miles I would shut it off and then it would not start while warm. after it cooled down it would start. then it got to the point that it just started dying on me. If I was at a stop sign it would just quit running like a wire had been pulled or something. no sputtering or anything just quit. When it does this there is no getting it started. It sounds like the engine is really working hard against itself as it turns over and the battery runs out of juice really quick. When it does finally start it has a loud clacking in the motor but there is plenty of oil in it. (actually it has a little over full in it) what the heck could cause this and are the clacking and electrical problem related? I am not an expert mechanic so once again I need everyones help as I am stumped with this one. Thanks, Rob ( sometimes when just sitting in the driveway idling it will die and not restart. all the ignition components are origianal what would be the best upgrades to the iginition?)
 

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I can't think of how the two problems might be related, but the problem with it not starting when warm sounds like a bad ECU. Take it to Autozone and have it tested.
Then, check and clean all connections to your ignition system and buy a new ballast resistor.
 

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Plymouth Rock

What carb do you have on your rig? If it hasn't been worked on, it might be time to overhaul the carb or buy a new one.

This probably won't fix all the problems you mentioned, but it might correct the hard starting problem.

Also, check the routing of your fuel line to make sure you are not vapor locking at the fuel line.

Mac
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
macario said:
Plymouth Rock

What carb do you have on your rig? If it hasn't been worked on, it might be time to overhaul the carb or buy a new one.

This probably won't fix all the problems you mentioned, but it might correct the hard starting problem.

Also, check the routing of your fuel line to make sure you are not vapor locking at the fuel line.

Mac
Its a Q-Jet that probably benefit from a rebuild. but when it does start it does not blow the black smoke like you see when they get loaded up.
 

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sounds like what happened to my 77 pw a few months ago..... turned out to be that my entire ignition system went south and just wouldn't work right.... i took it into 2 shops and they BOTH said there was nothing wrong. 5 min after leaving the shop it died and i couldn't restart it.. finally just replaced everything myself and have had no problems since!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
moparPW200guy said:
sounds like what happened to my 77 pw a few months ago..... turned out to be that my entire ignition system went south and just wouldn't work right.... i took it into 2 shops and they BOTH said there was nothing wrong. 5 min after leaving the shop it died and i couldn't restart it.. finally just replaced everything myself and have had no problems since!
I was wonering the same thing since all the components are original I believe. your problem does sound just like mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I got home tonight and changed the ecu. no luck, at this point it will not start at all. Not getting enough juice to the starter or something as the starter will barely turn the engine over even with jumper cables hooked to a running vehicle so I am starting to think my starter is shot.(probably too much heat from my headers) Going to change it tomorrow but any input would be appreciated
 

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What I would do man is sawp the starter or at least have it bench tested at the Zone and make sure it is dead other wise u got some elctrical sisues ...... also check the ballast resistor toooooooo
 

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I had starter problems and my truck did similar stuff, when hot the starter was drawing so many amps that was`nt enuff to kick a good spark. My truck would crank ok for about 20sec,no start (normally starts instantly) and then the batt would start crapping out/ engine would crank slow. I put in a new starter and cables and that fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hopefully that is part of my problem because that is exactly what mine does. I dont know if that would effect the dying part though. right now it wont even start. barely cranks.
 

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Try some headder wrap insulation, and build some kind of heat deflector. It will make your starters last way better.
 

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My thoughts: 1 new ballast resistor ~$5, pop the cap off of the distributor, remove the rotor, grab the shaft and check for sideways movement (worn bushing in distributor) while inside the distributor, check the gap on the pickup and rotor, should be about .008"
Verify good grounding of the electronic box to the firewall/fender where it is bolted. Also had a ignition switch go south that had symptoms like yours. The ignition switch is down near the brake pedal on the steering column. Pull the connector and check for burning of the contacts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
440Ramcharger said:
My thoughts: 1 new ballast resistor ~$5, pop the cap off of the distributor, remove the rotor, grab the shaft and check for sideways movement (worn bushing in distributor) while inside the distributor, check the gap on the pickup and rotor, should be about .008"
Verify good grounding of the electronic box to the firewall/fender where it is bolted. Also had a ignition switch go south that had symptoms like yours. The ignition switch is down near the brake pedal on the steering column. Pull the connector and check for burning of the contacts.
Going to try the balast resistor tonight. ignition switch is brand new. put in last month. will also check the dist. tonight.
 

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Well, the slow startign is probably the starter. When you get a new one, have them pull both the standard and heavyd duty ones. get the shorter of the two. I can't remember which is shorter, but it will give you a wee bit more clearance with the headers. The stalling problem could be electrical, but it could also be vapor locking. I had a car do that once, anbd dad replaced all the electrical ignition stuff, and I finally fixced it whenI moved the fuel pump to the rear of the car. Does it have a mech fuel pump or electr ?? and if electr, where is it mounted ??
 

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Personally I think vapor lock is a white rabbit.
Look at the electrical side.
start by making sure the spark plugs are getting juice when you crank it (after the thing shuts off I mean)
and go from there. I'd venture to say it's a bad ground somewhere near distributer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I changed the starter and she fired right up on the first try, now I'll drive it and see about the dying/no start problem when warm. I'll keep you all updated. Here is one thing I learned. Headers can be installed with the starter on (thats how I did it) but a starter CANNOT be removed with the header on. LOL!
 

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White rabbit or not...vapor lock is a problem & it is real.......especially if you have an electrical fuel pump mounted in the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
TheRamChargerMan said:
White rabbit or not...vapor lock is a problem & it is real.......especially if you have an electrical fuel pump mounted in the engine compartment.
The fuel pump is mechanical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK I got the slow cranking fixed with a new starter. drove it around and everything seems fine, get it home and it still hasn't died like it does. I have it running in the driveway while I check the tranny fluid put it in neutral to check fluid sitting there idling doing fine and I put the trans back in park and it dies. just cuts off just like that! try restarting and no juice at all. won't even crank! after about a minute it fires right up again! I have not changed the ballast resistor yet. will do that next. could that be it?
 

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ok...mech fuel pump normally don't vapor lock.

it may be the neutral safety switch.....since you say when you shift the trans it kills the engine.

I had one once that was similar and it was because the 1/4 round cam in the valve body that switcvhed the gears broek. There is a plastic cover over it, and it has holes in the park & neutral postions, so the neutral safety switch can ground and let the engine start. Mine had broken and it would die when put in gear because the strater circuit was grounded out.
 
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