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Old 03-12-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Missouri
734 posts, read 233,586 times
Reputation: 1022
Default 1997 Dodge ram problems

Hi, My 1997 dodge ram with 140000 miles has been having some trouble lately, like when I try to accelerate up a hill it shakes and skimmies really bad but only when I'm in overdrive, if I take it out of overdrive it runs fine all the time. Also it's an automatic with a 318, I don't know what's wrong with it. It could be the spark plugs or maybe a converter soleniod. What do you think? and what are your thoughts?
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:37 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle, originally from SF Bay Area
13,653 posts, read 15,649,832 times
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that could be a lot of things. With that many miles I'd see if the catalytic converter is bad, if never changed. If you thump it and hear rattling inside it's probably toast. You'd need a new one and at the sale time, best to replace the O2 sensors. Have you checked for codes? An OBDII code reader can be bought on E-bay for about $30.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:56 PM
Status: "Spiders DO have feelings and a sense of humanity." (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Meth capital of the world.
7,882 posts, read 5,164,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.A.P View Post
Hi, My 1997 dodge ram with 140000 miles has been having some trouble lately, like when I try to accelerate up a hill it shakes and skimmies really bad but only when I'm in overdrive, if I take it out of overdrive it runs fine all the time. Also it's an automatic with a 318, I don't know what's wrong with it. It could be the spark plugs or maybe a converter soleniod. What do you think? and what are your thoughts?
What does your manual say about minimum speed for engaging overdrive??? I asume you have been up this hill without any problem.....in overdrive????

Overdrive sends the least amount of torque possible to the wheels, this may be a problem going up a hill.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Missouri
734 posts, read 233,586 times
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The CAT is good because it just passed emissions, and my manual says nothing about min. overdrive speed. Although it only seems to happen around 50 to 55 mph, but any speed slower or faster it runs fine. I replaced the spark plugs and it seems to be doing better but I don't know if it will hold out.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:47 PM
 
80 posts, read 140,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.A.P View Post
Hi, My 1997 dodge ram with 140000 miles has been having some trouble lately, like when I try to accelerate up a hill it shakes and skimmies really bad but only when I'm in overdrive, if I take it out of overdrive it runs fine all the time. Also it's an automatic with a 318, I don't know what's wrong with it. It could be the spark plugs or maybe a converter soleniod. What do you think? and what are your thoughts?
i would check plug wires the way i do it is wait till its dark and spray them lightly with a spray bottle while its running and if you see a spark outside of the wire then they need to be changed haha
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:12 PM
 
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I would check the throttle position sensor... those are known for being problematic with shift around 50-55mph
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Spring, Texas - Northwest of Houston
2 posts, read 6,687 times
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Distributor cap and rotor.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Missouri
734 posts, read 233,586 times
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I thought the distributor cap too but I replaced the spark plugs and wires and it seems to be better. Now when I accelerate up a hill the ac switches to the defroster which makes me think there is a vacuum hose leak.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:54 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,790 posts, read 17,551,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.A.P View Post
I thought the distributor cap too but I replaced the spark plugs and wires and it seems to be better. Now when I accelerate up a hill the ac switches to the defroster which makes me think there is a vacuum hose leak.
Do check that cap under the dark of night. My first guess would have been the wires. BTDT.

I finally got sick of dinking with the many issues of gas engines and went diesel. 97 is the perfect yr to nab the last of the 12v Cummins with the best injection pump. Just stay away from blocks with '53' ID castings.
Cummins #53 Block Info
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Missouri
734 posts, read 233,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Do check that cap under the dark of night. My first guess would have been the wires. BTDT.

I finally got sick of dinking with the many issues of gas engines and went diesel. 97 is the perfect yr to nab the last of the 12v Cummins with the best injection pump. Just stay away from blocks with '53' ID castings.
Cummins #53 Block Info

You everyone for the info, and keep it comming, and I'll check the cap.
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