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  • 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

    Hi all. I recently purchased a 1993 Dodge Ram Van dedicated cng. I do not know much about cng vehicles and was looking for some input. The van will often have a hard time starting. At best I usually have to crank it a few times to get it to start. Other times it just refuses to start no matter how much I crank it. When this happens, sometimes the engine sounds like it is about to start but doesn't quite make it. Often when this happens and I let the vehicle sit for a few hours and try again it starts right up. After I finally get it started it will start consistently for a while before it refuses to start again.

    The other issue I'm having is that the van stalls occasionally. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to when it happens. Sometimes I'll be on the highway and it basically loses power. I press the accelerator, nothing happens and the car shuts off. Other times I will be driving in the city and come to a stop sign and it will do the same thing. Usually when this happens it will start right back up.

    Any ideas, input, suggestions?? I changed the air filter (which was completely clogged) and that seemed to help at first.

    Also, I am located in Philadelphia if anyone knows a cng mechanic or someone with cng experience that is local. Thanks for your input!

  • #2
    Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

    Mods, I think this was moved to the wrong section. I think it should have been moved to the "Other Natural Gas Vehicles " section as it is a dedicated cng. Thanks

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    • #3
      Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

      Have the fuel pressure regulator checked. They tend to go bad from age and contaminated fuel, rather than miles on the vehicle.

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      • #4
        Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

        I had the same problems and changed air filter just as you did and it was fine for a period of time. Then the next problem simular to yours was when I pulled into a shop and would not start 2 minutes later. I towed to garage and they found plug wire was shorting to engine. I'm not a mechanic but I think it was the wire to the coil ( if that is what it's called). The mechanic put electrical tape around the bad spot and it started right up. I went to NAPA picked up a new set. It's been fine ever since. It was also cutting out when it would rain. That problem was also fixed with the new plug wires. Good Luck.

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        • #5
          Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

          Thanks for your replies everyone. I'm still working on finding a cng mechanic near me to have the pressure regulator checked. I do have a few questions/observations.

          I'm going to try the cheapest things first! I have new spark plug wires coming tomorrow. Are these the same thing as the ignition coils?? Forgive my ignorance. Also, if I were to relpace the spark plugs, is there any kind in particular that is recommended for a cng vehicle?

          As for observations, it still seems to stall at random, but I've noticed that the starting issue always happens when I hit 1/4 tank. It's like clockwork (which sucks b/c I have to drive 17 mile to get a fill up before I hit a quarter tank!)

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          • #6
            Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

            How old are your CNG tanks in that van? If built in 1993, they expired two years ago and should be replaced now for safety. There are threads on this. I have to do it too.

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            • #7
              Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

              hope you did not pay much for the van, replacing the tanks alone would probably cost several times the value of the van itself. CNG can present problems with cold starts

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              • #8
                Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                I have a 1993 Dodge Ram Van 250, high millage. It stalls when it's at a stop light and it stalls worse since I had new parts put in the cooling system. I recently had a new altenator put in. It wasn't stalling as much before it rained. I've had a lot of ignition problems and after I got tired of replacing the ignition coil and ignition switch a few times, since 2007, my friend put a push button in. It starts right up. I need some ideas about what it might be, so I can have my mechanics check. It might be a short in the plug wires that go to the engine. I guess it could be the spark plug. I know it's important to find a good mechanic and I don't pay them unless they fix whatever is wrong. If you can save money by not having a diagnostics, sometimes that is good. I know I have wire problems. Somtimes they hit on things in there and they smoke. I had to have them tied back away from things.
                Originally posted by VeggieVan View Post
                Hi all. I recently purchased a 1993 Dodge Ram Van dedicated cng. I do not know much about cng vehicles and was looking for some input. The van will often have a hard time starting. At best I usually have to crank it a few times to get it to start. Other times it just refuses to start no matter how much I crank it. When this happens, sometimes the engine sounds like it is about to start but doesn't quite make it. Often when this happens and I let the vehicle sit for a few hours and try again it starts right up. After I finally get it started it will start consistently for a while before it refuses to start again.

                The other issue I'm having is that the van stalls occasionally. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to when it happens. Sometimes I'll be on the highway and it basically loses power. I press the accelerator, nothing happens and the car shuts off. Other times I will be driving in the city and come to a stop sign and it will do the same thing. Usually when this happens it will start right back up.

                Any ideas, input, suggestions?? I changed the air filter (which was completely clogged) and that seemed to help at first.

                Also, I am located in Philadelphia if anyone knows a cng mechanic or someone with cng experience that is local. Thanks for your input!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                  If it's a dedicated cng Dodge van, only real reason it shouldn't run is FUEL or SPARK. I'd put my money on FUEL . . . if you think you've got good spark. Poor man's way to check spark and plug wire problems is get the thing running at night (total darkness) and look under the hood . . . plug wires "leaking" out spark and unknown light jumping around is all your spark being lost. Cheap insurance is complete set of plug wires.

                  Have you checked with cng technician to replace the high-pressure and low-pressure cng fuel filters that might be contaminated with oil or water?? With your stall problems ONLY occurring at certain times when fuel is getting low, it sounds like contaminated fuel to me. I presume that this is fumigation system, so is there any indication on spark plugs that fuel is coming in oily??

                  Worst case scenario for contaminated fuel is to have certified cng technician to bleed off NG pressure in tank and flush out entire fuel system.

                  Let us know what ends up fixing it. Good luck !!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                    Good advice.
                    In addition, shoot some diesel starting fluid in the air intake or down the throttle body. If it starts right away, you may have a fuel problem. Also, was the filter at the inlet of the GFI regulator changed? The fuel pressure in the injector manifold should be around 110 psi runnig and should vary over about 10%. A 200 psi gauge, high pressure air conditioning hose with a 1/4 " schrader valve can be used to this job. Also adaptive fuel trim should be a little on the plus side -- they tend to run a little on the lean side.

                    Hope this helps

                    Larrycng

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                    • #11
                      Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                      do not forget the rotor and cap I have had dodge give me a fit start no start problem and found it to be the cap just crudy and some with water in them when it get hot it turns to condensate in the cap than when it cools it drains down to the bottom and will be fine till you shut it off hot again

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                      • #12
                        Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                        what does this mean and how does a DIY nubie do that?
                        Originally posted by larrycng View Post
                        .....Also adaptive fuel trim should be a little on the plus side -- they tend to run a little on the lean side.



                        Larrycng
                        p.S. i have '95 RAM VAN 2500 looking into why my tanks never fully fill. i only get 2/3 of what the book says i should.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                          What this means as a bottom line is that one would need to study on OBD II (on board diagnostics) and the various PID's (parameter identification) that can be viewed through a scan tool. These will help whom ever is try to diagnosis and engine problem tell what the various components (computer sensors and actuators) and if they are working as designed.

                          Specifically adaptive fuel trim is a PID, reading, that tells if engine needs more or less fuel (based on some engineer's theoretical fuel injector on time) as determined by oxygen sensor readings. If the engine is running lean (oxygen sensor voltage is low) then the computer will hold the fuel injector open (on) a tad longer to add more fuel to bring the exhaust gas composition (what the oxygen sensor reads) in line with exhaust emission standards and the needs of the catalytic converte. The adaptive fuel trim will show a plus reading indicating how much longer the injector is being held open to add the necessary fuel.

                          If there is a vacuum leak the adaptive fuel trim will go to the plus side (not enought fuel and too much air). If the engine is picking up extra hydrocarbons (fuel) say from excessive oil consumption then the fuel injector open time will be reduced (reducing the amount of fuel for the air) causing the adaptive fuel trim to show negative. Some engines have a natural tendency to run one way or the other; engines are machines and are not all exactly all the same. That is the purpose of the engine computer; to compensate for variation in engine operation and driver's habits.

                          If you really want to get into it check into it, check the Yuba College automotive department if you have some time to learn about basic automotive computer system; they are all pretty much the same from a basics. One of the former automotive instructors was also the mayor of Yuba City.

                          As far as filling of the tanks is concerned, if you come up with 80 to 85% on a fast fill, you're doing good. Super shuttle found this out when they were running CNG Dodge vans. Also, the fuel pressure transducer (sending unit) that operates the fuel gauge may be off if; you're using the fuel gauge to determine your fill. The Super shuttl drivers would fill their vehicle in the Palm Springs area with a full gauge reading. After sitting for a half hour the gauge would read between 3/4 and 7/8 full. As the fuel cools, after the compression heating during the fill, the pressure will drop being reflected in the fuel gauge reading.

                          Hope this helps

                          Larrycng

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                          • #14
                            Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                            Hey LarryCNG . . . aren't these old 93 and 95 Dodge vans too old for OBD II as I thought Dodge and other manufacturers were forced for 1st time in 1996 to add the OBD plugs so that normal guys could get scan codes??

                            Or do the high-end scanners (ie like dealers' service dept's would have) get scan codes with direct ECU connection somehow on these older models?

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                            • #15
                              Re: 1993 Dodge Ram Van - Starting/Stalling Issues

                              OOPS, that was a big one! Sorry

                              The rest of was correct, I did my work on a '95 Dakota through a old OTC Monitor and through an early Gensis using the 6 pin Chrysler connector (non-OBD II). Some Manufacturers (Ford, GM, Toyota that I remember) had OBD II on some "94 and '95 units, but you are right everyone had to have OBD II in '96.

                              He will have to find someone that has a scan tool that will read OBD I and has 6 pin plug (rectangular with a notch in one corner if I remember correctly) . There are still some of the old units around. Some of the parts houses can still get dedicated units (Ford, Chrysler, GM,) for around a $100 last time I checked (some time ago)
                              If someone wants to play with these vehicles they should get a scan tool and learn about vehicle computer system.

                              Again my bust

                              Larrycng

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