2005 Ram 3500 Dilema - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
3rd Gen. Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission Ect...NO ADVERTISING

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy 2005 Ram 3500 Dilema

I apologize for this being so long, but I figured the more information given, the better the chances of someone knowing what is wrong and how to fix it. I am getting pretty desperate for a fix, as this all started five weeks ago and I had to have my wife drive 150 miles to get me back home for the holiday.

My 2005 Ram 3500 with 5.9 Cummins, which I have owned for three years, has been a great truck... until recently. While towing a new camper trailer in the rain, I actually at first thought the rear wheels were losing traction when I accelerated. After stopping and checking things over, we resumed our trip, but after a while it began acting strange again; bumping, thuds, and feeling as if it was slipping (tires or transmission?), and felt as though the engine was trying to run backward a time or two with very hard lunges. After a few more stops, we were able to get to our destination. I felt like it may have been a towing issue [I have used it to tow many times before, but this was maiden voyage for the camper]. Anyway, we attempted to take the truck (without trailer) to nearby town but barely made it. I had to throw it in neutral at a stoplight because it did not want to stop without killing the engine. Smoke billowed out exhaust, it bucked hard against braking, and it made loud rattling noises directly underneath us.


It was Saturday and repair shops were closed so we left it at the local Dodge dealership. Monday morning I was there at opening and gave them my best description of what it had been doing — It really is difficult to explain just what ALL was going on with it. The dealer technicians said the only active code it had was for cam sensor, which they replaced. But, $290 later, it was still just as “sick” as when it limped in. They said that there were scan code alerts that indicated some sort of electrical anomalies and that it needed fuel system (pressure, etc) checks, but they couldn’t perform the tests because my truck has an aftermarket fuel system whose lines are too large a diameter for their equipment to connect to. They suggested I take it to someone else.


My brother took me to get the truck and we started on our way to a mechanic he has used for years. We drove about six or seven miles (at 55 mph and under) with absolutely NO signs or symptoms of any problems. I decided to take it back to my property where the camper was left, since his mechanic was booked up for a while anyway. We didn’t drive another five miles before the same issues began again. Only slightly at first, but when we got up to 65 mph on the highway, the problems were back full swing. When I slowed to go down the forest lane to the camper, it died (abruptly) five times before I got it the 1/4 mile. It remains this way to date.

The truck will crank easily, run at idle for several minutes without any (noticeable) sign of problems, then suddenly die. When attempting to drive it, it will sometimes do absolutely nothing when you push the "gas" pedal. It will die abruptly while driving, but has always started right back up by throwing it into neutral and turning the key. It will crank/start right back up immediately 95% of the time.

I bought an OBD scan tool and it stil shows cam sensor error/alerts. It also shows five codes pertaining to other sensor problems; all of which indicate shorts, voltage issues, etc. I have no idea how to checkout the code errors or how to begin finding what is REALLY causing the problems. I will be extremely grateful for any help or suggestions, as this is my main means of transportation and though I enjoy camping, I don’t like being trapped in the woods having to wait for someone to take me for everything I need.


I would like to note something that may or may not be related. After having changed tires about a year ago, I began to notice a slight vibration (which I assumed was in the front end and possibly due to unbalanced tires) when traveling at speeds between 65 and 70 mph. The vibration got a bit worse at times, though sometimes was barely noticeable. I attributed the differences to different road conditions. But now, due to the way the truck vibrated when this problem went full bore, it makes me wonder if the two could somehow be connected?

Also notable: I have an ordinary "key"-- no "fob"; the key will slide out of the ignition switch with no problem in ANY position; there are notable electrical issues, such as, radio volume has a mind of it's own, so do the windshield wipers.

OBD CODES

P0237 ($10) — Turbocharger / Supercharger Boost Sensor A Circuit Low.

P0652 ($10) — Sensor Reference Voltage B Circuit Low

P2127 ($10) — Throttle/ Pedal Position Sensor/Switch E Circuit Low

P2121 ($10) — Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor / Switch D Circuit Range/Performance

P0193 ($10) — Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor A Circuit High

P0341 ($10) — Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Range/Performance Bank 1 or Single Sensor.

P0335 ($10) — Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit


In live Data mode, FRP is running at 6500 to 6900 at idle. Around 9000 to 9400 at 1,500 rpm. Over 13,000 at 1,800 rpm.


ABS returned “4230”

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I have: Cleaned the K&N air filter; changed transmission filter (LOTS of "glitter" there!); replaced the fuel filter and water separator (AirDog WS100); drank several beers -- non of this has seemed to help the problem with the Dodge.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 06:21 PM
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These Trucks are very Electrical Voltage sensitive. Strong Batteries with clean and tight connections are needed. Many Threads with Codes caused by bad Batteries/Cables.
LP psi would be good info to know.
I'm guessing you have more issues than one.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I too feel sure there are multiple issues. I went through some of the process of weeding out loose, dirty, corroded connections just before heading back home for the holiday. Will continue that when I return to the truck ("in the woods". LOL) I just got a reply from another source that said he had similar problems and found out that his local convenience store had somehow filled their fuel tanks with Diesel #1 (instead of #2); and that after draining all the fuel and putting in "good" fuel, the problem went away. Hmmm? I'm thinking mine is going to be something a bit more.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Going to really show my ignorance here, but what is "LP" (psi) and how do I obtain those readings? My OBD Scanner did not show this -- I don't think.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 07:19 PM
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Sorry, but your torque converter has a problem and needs to be replaced. Classic signs that you are experiencing. The other codes are probably coming because of weak or bad batteries. Don't stress too much just remember to have good Thanksgiving.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 09:04 PM
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Rumour has it the wires running to the A/C compressor have a tendency to rub and short the 5V that alot of the sensors use. I'd look at the wiring around the oil filter and going to the fan clutch.

I've experienced a TC sprag failure. Only noticeable to me when stopped. Engine would power through and stay running but almost had to hold both feet on brakes to keep it from moving. Aside from crisp shifts, it was completley unnoticeable while driving.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 09:21 PM
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LP psi

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Originally Posted by DDErg View Post
Going to really show my ignorance here, but what is "LP" (psi) and how do I obtain those readings? My OBD Scanner did not show this -- I don't think.
I think this post is referring to lift pump pounds per square inch (fuel pressure.) Your truck has two fuel pumps. The first one is a high volume /low pressure pump (lift pump) inside the fuel tank. They are a common failure part. One way to test it is to install a fuel pressure gauge in the fuel line. If the lift pump is failing it will not deliver adequate pressure/volume. This will starve the high pressure CP3 injection pump under the hood and cause all sorts of fueling problems.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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So... got back to the truck; cleaned and secured every electrical connection I could get my hands on; Rerouted the positive battery cable from the passenger side away from -- AND OFF OF -- the alternator. (It had rubbed a shiny spot on the alternator housing!; added some "Diesel Clean" (from local Walmart) to the approximately 1/8 tank of fuel; cranked ol' Dolly-the-Dually up; went up to local truck stop and put in 13 gallons of "known GOOD fuel" (added more Diesel Clean) . . . and drove her back home -- 175 miles. Only a few "hick-ups" along the way. By the time I got her back home, she was purring like a kitten. In fact, was running so good, it was tempting to "race" the Charger that kept gunning the engine just a few miles from home. LOL

I believe there was a combination of problems:
1) Think I got some "bad" fuel just before the real problems started. This was exacerbated by a totally overwhelmed fuel filter and water separator, i.e., REALLY needed changing.
2) There has been electrical "issues" since I purchased the truck about three years ago. Cleaning and securing all the battery connections, etc. didn't clear up any of the "regular" electrical issues, but it certainly helped with the extremely scary conditions which have terrorized me over the last five weeks. The results were immediate and quite noticable. Like I said, there were a few "minor blurbs" over the 175+ mile drive back home, but I attribute those to getting the "bad fuel" through/out of the system ... and, to possible minor glitches somewhere in the TPS (throttle position sensor) circuit /system.

The transmission is shifting and operating just fine, so I think I can rule out any problems with it or the torque converter (this time). There was certainly a whole lot of metal ("glitter") in the fluid when I changed the filter, and feel sure I will be looking at some service/repair/replace sometime in the not too distant future. WHAT IS THE CONSENSUS ON "POWER(?) FLUSHING AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS? I have heard good and bad things about them. They aren't exactly cheap, and I am wondering if that should be my next action to stave off a complete transmission rebuild? There are 257,000 miles on the truck/tranny, and not a lot of those were easy.

Last edited by DDErg; 11-26-2017 at 11:21 AM. Reason: Edited for spelling and additional info
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 01:30 PM
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Running one of these 3rd Gens below 1/4 tank is asking for major problems. Causes dirt/water pickup from bottom of tank, gets picked up in sloshing low fuel. Pumps and injectors run hot due to air mixed in fuel and low fuel in tank, the whole fuel system is cooled by returned diesel from the fuel tank. Hot lift pump and hot CP3 =s locked up pumps, higher wear rates. Air forced through filters can take dirt right on through into the CP3 and injectors =s plugged injectors.

Brass/bronze gold color glitters in the ATF is NOT good, should only be black/gray dust fines on pan magnet and filter. Flush won't fix worn out broken. Plan on rebuild.

Plan on spending a weekend with stainless steel power drill wire brush removing all ground cable connectors to frame, batteries and body. Spotlessly clean, add stainless steel star washers, new SS bolts/screws and dielectric grease.

See posts on forum concerning damaged wire insulation, shorting 5v regulated. Causes lots of run failures and false codes

Unless you like walking in the dark at 2AM in the rain/snow/howling storm.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 02:42 PM
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I personally would not concern myself with the "Dodge Dust", as it is sometimes referred to, in the transmission pan. Unless it is really heavy of course. At the first opportunity I would do a complete fluid and filter change and adjust the bands and move on.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: The problems returned within a week of my last post. Took it to a local repair shop and they found an electrical wire that had rubbed the insulation off, on the under side of the engine. They taped it up, for almost $300 (hey, I understand that diagnostics it time consuming ), and all was well...

Until... went back to the same wooded property a little more than a month ago and at first stop along the way, noticed that the truck hesitated just a bit when starting. Second stop, it took a few extra revs to crank. By the third time I went to start it, it took several (10 or 15) seconds to crank. Began the 175 mile trip home, stopped about half way for lunch, and truck would not start at all. It would turn over and over at a good crank speed, but not fire at all. Now, let me back up just a bit. On that third "slow" start, I noticed that I did not hear the fuel pump, which normally can be heard all the time (if you listen for it. I purchased the truck not knowing that it had an aftermarket fuel pump/filter system. It's an AirDog 100 system). Had to have the truck towed 90+ miles home. Things have been super busy since then, and I just got time to work on the truck yesterday. I found the fuse to the relay for this fuel system was blown. Replaced the fuse, turned the key to the "On" position and heard a clicking noise -- loud, "slow" (about the speed of a turn signal), and steady. I looked and noticed that all the exterior lights on the truck were blinking with the clicking. I could hear the clicking/blinking sound in three distinct places: near the passenger side battery, in the fuse box ("fuel relay"), and under the truck where the AirDog pump is. I turned the key off, checked connections and tried it again. I noticed that there were three lights in the dash that were also blinking with the clicking sound. One is evidently the red security indicator light. There is, to my knowledge, no security system on this truck. I turned the key off, then simply out of curiosity, turned it back on and the same thing happened; only, this time when I turned the key off the dash lights continued blinking! Headlight, running lights, and all ON! ?!?!? I never even tried to actually "crank" the engine over, what with all that going on. I don't have my battery charger here, but I wonder if the batteries simply discharged while sitting? These are older batteries and may be just "done".

My question is, do Dodges have some sort of reason to make dash lights blink (and other lights power on) when a discharge state is present? Why... and HOW do any lights power on when the switches and key are off?

I'm totally baffled.
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