OT: Any M GO Mechanics out there?

Submitted by Helloheisman on July 20th, 2012 at 6:53 PM

I purchased a tailgating truck a month ago 98 Dodge Ram 4x4 with about 120,000 miles. Nothing special just something to tailgate with, ran pretty well when I first bought it. Replaced the brakes and rotors. Then after the test drive after I finished the brake project. I went to back the truck into the garage. I then stopped and turned the truck off so I could clean out the garage. I then came back to the truck about 10 minutes later and the truck wouldn't fire up. I went into the house tended to some business and came back out about 15 minutes later and she fired up. I backed the truck into the garage and has not started for a while. I have replaced the battery and no luck. It just wouldn't fire up. So today I went and checked spark. I have a spark. Checked for fuel pressure got nothing. So I had the wife pump the gas about 8 times. I then came back out about 15 mins later and she fired right up. Any ideas as to why its an inconsistent start? I do want to note that after it started I went back shut it off and re-checked the fuel pressure and it's about 4.5. any ideas would be appreciated!

Anyone who can help me with a diagnoses is welcome to my tailgate anytime. Thanks in advance!



July 20th, 2012 at 7:03 PM ^

Does it crank and just not start or is it not cranking at all.

Just based loosely on what I can gather from your post, I'd concur that it's likely a fuel pump.  But before replacing that, I'd swamped fuel filters first just to make sure.  Do a whole tuneup:  air filter, fuel filter, plugs, and throttle body cleaning.

Eat Your Wheatlies

July 20th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

Anyone want to attempt to replace my head gasket, radiator and water pump for under $3200? Im sure getting boned hard by my mechanic right now...one trade that I really wish I had learned a little bit about...


July 20th, 2012 at 8:23 PM ^

I'd recommend Mike's Complete Auto. They've been my mechanic for years. I had an engine block replaced for less than what you're paying, so it seems excessive. Wouldn't mind throwing them some business while my new car is under warranty. 313-388-6967. Dennis is in charge. If they don't answer right away, just means they're elbow deep under a hood. Try again later.

Edit: I can't guarantee it'll be cheaper, but if they quote the same price you know you're not getting fucked. Parts are parts though.


July 20th, 2012 at 7:41 PM ^

No mechanic but yea, not to overstate it, it's most likely a fuel pump/fuel line issue.  I had an issue at one time with a fuel line/pump and it sounds similar (helped dad take the whole system apart and go at it ourselves; fun issue to deal with I must say).


July 20th, 2012 at 7:32 PM ^

Seconded; it sounds like something in your fuel system is clogged (such as the fuel filter) and after it sits whatever is blocking it falls off the screen allowing the engine to start again.  As far as not starting after its say awhile...I dunno but the whole tune up sounds like a good place to start.

Hemlock Philosopher

July 20th, 2012 at 8:14 PM ^

Fuel pump. Should be about an $800 job for all the parts. I'd do it for beer and parts, but I live in Florida, so that wouldn't help. 

Anyone who owns a vehicle that they plan on keeping for a long time: Never run it below 1/8 tank of gas. The fuel pump relies on the liquid gas in the tank to remain cool. Overheating is on of the main reasons for failure. 


July 20th, 2012 at 10:07 PM ^

Good to know regarding the fuel pump cooling and how that works.  I don't know if that's common knowledge in any way but I don't think I've heard that before  I'm somewhat notorious for running my gas "low-ish" (not terrible by any means but when it gets to 1/6 - 1/8 I let her ride a few more miles instead of getting right to a gas station). 


July 20th, 2012 at 8:15 PM ^

Awww, come on guys, it's so simple maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings nowadays. Now you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads, and I'm gonna need 'bout ten quarts of anti-freeze, preferably Prestone. No, no make that Quaker State.


July 20th, 2012 at 8:20 PM ^

It might be getting a vapor lock in the fuel system, check by the fuel rail or whatever system you have and see if you have some kinda bleeder or pressure release valve and open it while cranking.


July 20th, 2012 at 10:45 PM ^

moost likely fuel pump/line like everyone says. The line could have been pinched a little somewhere when you did the brakes..so follow it from the tank up..after that and your filter..it ould hav to be the pump. 1 thing to do is turn the key to on and wait a few seconds before cranking..if that makes it start more often then your pump is going bad


July 20th, 2012 at 10:36 PM ^

or automotive mechanics. You may not get filthy rich, but you'll never lack for work. Eventually, everybody needs help with their water, electricity, cars, or dead people.

Beats the hell out of pounding a keyboard all day.

Greg McMurtry

July 20th, 2012 at 10:47 PM ^

Replace fuel filter first, but it's probably the fuel pump. When you turn the key you should hear the pump humming. If not it's dead. Try rockauto.com for a fuel pump if that is it. You want to run the tank empty if you replace the pump. Remove fuel tank straps, and you can use a hydraulic jack to lower the tank. I'm no mechanic, but I replaced my own fuel pump. It sucks, but it's doable.


July 20th, 2012 at 11:56 PM ^

But as it seems the OP's problem seems to be identified, dare I give a description of my problem and ask for a suggestion/idea for a fix??  I think I will.  Simply put:  While driving (98; Honda Civic) on interstate, loud, loud noise starts.  I pull over, it's obvious as to what the problem is.  The exhaust pipe/extension pipe coming out of the catalytic converter (which is right under center console between driver and passenger seats) that leads to the muffler in the rear, has detached itself from the catalytic converter; looks to be rusted away.  Is this a simple fix of welding the pipe back to the Cat or getting a small connector pipe to bind the two back together?!  I can obviously take it to get looked at and will but it just happened so I thought I'd ask our MGoMechanics another question in the apropos thread.

I got the car home okay and didn't die from CO posioning incase anyone was worried!

Frito Bandito

July 21st, 2012 at 1:05 AM ^

Is it broke from the manifold to the cats or cat back? Also are there 2 o2 sensors? 1 before the cat and 1 after? If there is they might end up getting you pretty good. Hell... Your cat may be taoast along with both o2s. That could be pretty expensive. And don't give them the junk Converter when they've finished. It's for money and full of platinum. Find a place that does free inspections and call around after you've been explained whats wrong.


July 21st, 2012 at 3:37 AM ^

pretty sure the 02 sensor is attatched to the top of the converter on those civics..i doubt its bad he would have chk engine lights coming on..50/50 on whether the cat is bad...95% chance they will tell you it is anyway...find a mechanic you trust on that one...and yea a bad cat is worth about 150 bucks..offer it to them for a price slightly under that AFTER you get the bill..

Frito Bandito

July 21st, 2012 at 11:59 PM ^

I've worked at an Exhaust Shop for 5 years and my parents have owned 3 for 30 some years. If your light comes on, the scanner will usually say bank x code 420. The only way to tell is give the cat a knock. Listen to hear if it's hollow. If you don't know, cut it and find out (before and after cat, DERP) Not with a torch like an idiot but with a sawsall. On most rams like I said it will be obd2 one 02 before and after the cat. They started doing this in 95. The o2 sensors control the amount of gas being dumped.

As for your used cat prices... I've got a bridge to sell ya. Most foreign car and GM cats are worth money. Chryslers and Ford's aren't worth jack.. He wont get much. It depends just how much of the honeycomb is melted / broken blown through the back of the system. But $30 is $30.

/Platinum Life

/My bad I thought this was about the Ram all is true except it should have 1 o2 in the cat like homeboy said. Could also be a flex pipe pre cat though (around $80). I see that around 5 times a day. The money of the used cat won't be near $180 though. That I can promise.


July 21st, 2012 at 3:52 AM ^

Frito, it is from the Cat back.  Pretty much right at the junction the pipe would come out of the cat, maybe up to 3/4 inch past the cat.

I will check on the O2 sensor(s) placement, but no engine lights on yet.  Thanks for the warning on the Cat. I knew they're worth money regardless if they're functioning or not but I will watch out for not getting gipped on it if it is in fact bad.

Am I neccessarily damaging the cat driving it around not connected to a posterior pipe? (or just creating havoc for the EPA).

Frito Bandito

July 22nd, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

If its after the cat and o2 and the light isnt on you should be alright. Just bring it in to a shop and have them hack the broken pipe back a little ways so they can get a light in there to see if the cat is plugged or gutted. Then have them weld a slip pipe over it.. Probably $5-$10 just for a little piece of pipe to get rid of that leak.. Unless it's so rotten and can't lay a bead to it.


July 21st, 2012 at 9:08 AM ^

I read here religiously, although I never post...

I am not a mechanic, but I do work for a basic fuel pump manufacturer.  If you have done all your diagnostics and find it is the fuel pump, check out the videos on this site for installation tips :


Obviously I'm biased, but fuel pumps are a mess DIY project and often a headache for professionals so make sure you are buying a good quality pump.  They are also one of the highest warranty items in the auto parts industry.  Stay away from the cheap direct import pumps like Spectra.  

Hope this helps