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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1997 Ram 3500 and have been experiencing an extended crank issue when starting it for several years. Pressing on the accelerator while starting the truck causes it to start immediately. Once running, it idles and pulls great. I've done my best to look around on the forums and Google search before bothering to post here; any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • 65k miles, no modifications at all (completely stock)
  • Manual transmission, chassis cab (doubt this matters for powertrain details)
  • Installed TorkTek overflow valve (did seem to improve fuel pressure)
  • Replaced fuel filter
  • Manually priming the lifter pump before attempting to start the truck does not appear to have an effect on the behavior (not sure if I expected it to); I can hear the excess pressure being released when I press in the primer so I believe the system is primed.
  • Hot/Cold engine does not seem to matter
  • The time between shutting the truck off and trying to restart it does not seem to matter
Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give me,
Joe
 

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If by 'pressing on the accelerator', you mean you just need a light touch for it to start? Or you have to push it down quite a bit? If it's the former, I'm with GAmes, almost certainly it's an idle speed adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will check tonight, but I believe that I just need to press it lightly. This issue has slowly gotten worse over several years so it definitely could be that. Thanks!
 

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Update: Very lightly pressing on the throttle allows the truck to start immediately. Currently the idle seems to be around 750-800 (right around the first white line below 1K). Is it normal for the pedal to be "sticky" when the engine is not running, but smooth once it is running? Should I try to increase the idle speed a bit? I do not have air conditioning. I don't want to hide a problem just by increasing the idle speed. Thanks again for the help.

-Joe
 

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I set my idle at 850-900. If it starts easily with a light application of pedal you don't have a problem. Don't be concerned about the pedal feel when the engine isn't running. If you are going to hang around please develop a signature so you don't have to include your truck details in every thread and we won't have to go looking for them.
 

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750-800 is stock spec, but the dash tach is not to be trusted necessarily that precisely. (A cheap bluetooth obdii dongle will tell you exactly what the pcm thinks, if you have a 96-97). The "idle speed screw" could just as easily be called the "minimum accelerator pedal setting screw" - Turning it up is mechanically the same thing as touching the pedal a bit with your foot, just changes an end stop. And if you are not regularly idling for long periods of time, there's no harm in a bit of a higher idle on a manual transmission truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate the help and I will up the idle speed a bit tonight!
 

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we are on our 4th and 5th 2nd generation 12v's....some of them start without pedal and some need just a tad. I've always made sure fuel system is up to date and idle is correct.
the last one will crank 2-3 revolutions (like Fords do) without pedal and fire..give it a pedal nudge and you almost can't let go of the key quick enough....
 

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Thanks for the guidance everyone. Using an OBD2 reader, the idle was only hovering around 720 so I turned it up to 850 and it starts like it should. This is my old man's truck so I told him I would do some repairs for him since it basically hadn't been serviced (other than oil) for 17 years. It will now seem like a new truck to him. Again, thank you all very much.
 

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Thanks for the guidance everyone. Using an OBD2 reader, the idle was only hovering around 720 so I turned it up to 850 and it starts like it should. This is my old man's truck so I told him I would do some repairs for him since it basically hadn't been serviced (other than oil) for 17 years. It will now seem like a new truck to him. Again, thank you all very much.
A happy ending!!!! thanks for following up..
 
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