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Ok so here I go, I have a 99 ram 2500 4x4 auto trans 24v 280k miles. I am having a gremlin and here are the symptoms and the story. It started with my transmission not shifting out of 1st no matter how few or many rpms you threw at it unless you let off the petal and kicked it down that way, so I replaced Gov pressure solenoid, transducer, and for good measure the o/d and lockup solenoids as well also tightened the bands to spec and put new fluid in. Did not fix the issue, then the next day driving to work my speedometer says I'm not working Monday and drops to 0, so i replace both the speed sensor in the transmission tail housing and the one in the rear axle. Fixes the speedo issue but not the shifting issue. Then i get a check engine code for my apps, i put the multimeter on it and it checked out fine but i replaced it anyway with the one sold on the store here code went away, UNTILL the truck is driven. Once I get up to about 1600-1800 rpm (rpm is the only factor I have found in when it goes off) the check engine light comes on, but here is the kicker when you shut the truck down it clears the check engine code from existence. 

 

****an update on this as well, yesterday while driving home doing about 55mph the truck acted like it shifted from o/d into 2nd it was enough to pull me forward in my seat some from the force of the downshift. I also have a symptom of wait to start light not coming on right away it comes on about 45 seconds after you put the key in the on position and the truck will not fire unless you wait for it to go out, I do hear my lift pump kick on when the wait to start light comes on but not before.

 

This all kinda leads me to believe it's not a multitude of problems like I have been looking at it but some form of electrical or grounding gremlin (i know I know those are so rare) or even a bad ecm.

 

This is my daily driver so I need to get it back to a reliable state and help is greatly appreciated.

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The delayed WTS light is an ECM issue and most likely needs a rebuild. 

 

The trans stuff i am not up on. But your alternator could be putting out to much AC noise causing some this. There is an article about this that I cant seem to put fingers on. I am sure some more knowlegable will be along shortly to help.

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Posted (edited)

How do you rebuild an ecm or is this just a replace scenario?

Edited by jamesecox

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Most of your problem we can shed some like on with these articles. Now since you didn't list the error codes you might want to check the articles for the error codes you are having there is diagnostic test listed in there too.

 

 

 

 

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How is beyond my expertise. 

Here is a list of rebuilders members have had good results with. A lot of folks claim they can do it but it seems they cannot. I had my bad experience years ago and it was pleasent nor cheap. New ones are hard to find but in the $2500 range from what I have read.

 

The stray AC voltage I mentioned can make an auto trans do funny things. It ususally manifests itself in gear hunting. Usually bouncing in and out of OD but I have read of other issues. The AC test is very simple. You need a volt meter that can read mili volts. Mine does it automatically and some have a switch to choose mili volts. With the right meter place the neg on your battery ground and the pos on the alternator charge stud and see what it says. .05 or above is bad. The lower the better. I tried again to find the article and was not succesful. And I see while typing the master article has come to the rescue

 

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Posted (edited)

@Mopar1973Man I didnt list trouble codes because every time I shut the truck off they clear so no one has been able to pull them and the key trick doesn't work on my year.  Thank you for all of the advice on that I will go through it and give it a shot anything's better than the alternatives of spending a ton of money

Edited by jamesecox

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Im taking a shot in the dark here but would this be something similar to a radio with 2 power wires? 1 switched and 1 constant hot? I havent checked wiring diagram yet. If thats the case and theres an issue with the hot wire it would make sense that codes would clear after shut down just like radios clear setting when you lose your hot wire but still operate fine because the switched wire.

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Sorry folks I was out of service this weekend but my truck did another reliable dodge thing and the wait to start light started coming on right away again. I have tomorrow off so I'm going to go through the list of fixes suggested and see if anything works this issue fixing itself afyer bouncing around in the mountains leads me to believe it's a ground or wiring issue of some kind. I will let everyone know if I figure it out. Thank you all for the help.

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Hope you get it..... and let us know what the fix was so we can all be aware of it. Thank you ever much and welcome to the forum.:truck:

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, jamesecox said:

afyer bouncing around in the mountains leads me to believe it's a ground or wiring issue of some kind.

 

Master ground... Black/Tan wire.

DSCF4416.JPG

 

This wire runs along with the alternator charge lead across the front of the engine and to the passenger battery post. There is NO OTHER GROUNDS to worry about. I see people tearing apart entire engine bay chasing grounds. Just make sure the passenger battery terminal is clean and tight.

 

Or... Do the W-T ground wire mod...

 

Now all the ECM, PCM and VP44 are grounded to the case and long ways from the alternator noise of the charge line. DSCF4429.JPG

Edited by Mopar1973Man

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While on the topic of grounds, is it a good or bad idea to run a ground from the exact same point the mod uses and up to the battery?

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So step 1 today was checking the diode on the alternator. I'm going to assume it's bad as tr he lowest reading I got was 0.074 and at times it jumped to as high as 1.46 so I will be buying a diode and replacing it. I will also be doing the alternate grounding method from the previous post. Maybe this will fix the "surging" alternator symptoms it seems to have had since I got it and I just always assumed it was the heater grid drawing power.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, jamesecox said:

I just always assumed it was the heater grid drawing power

 

That is true. When you start the engine the grid heater will cycle on and off for set time or till the vehicle reaches 20-25 MPH then the ECM disables the grid heater this is a reason I do not suggest just starting and leaving the engine to idle on a cold start. Now the batteries are depleted from the morning cold start and powering the grid heaters. Now you going to leave the truck idling with the grid heater still banging away on the alternator at idle speed of 800 RPM where the diodes take a huge beating because there is no airflow from the alternator fan, not enough RPM's for purpose charging and the diodes eventually overheat and fail.  

 

9 minutes ago, jamesecox said:

Maybe this will fix the "surging" alternator symptoms it seems to have had since I got it

 

Yeah, it will fix the problem. The surge is caused by excessive AC noise and it fouls the tach signal to the ECM and PCM

 

9 minutes ago, jamesecox said:

I'm going to assume it's bad as tr he lowest reading I got was 0.074 and at times it jumped to as high as 1.46 so I will be buying a diode and replacing it.

 

Yeah, sad to say it a fail for sure.

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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Sad or not at this point even a new alternator is cheaper than a new transmission and a new ecm/pcm which was the route I had started leaning towards. 

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Like my band-aid solution is the alternator problem is having a Quadzilla Adrenaline tuner or my High Idle Kit. With a Quadzilla set the high idle for 15-seconds delay. This way the engine has enough time ot get oil pumping then the Quadzilla kicks the idle up to 1,200 RPM's giving the alternator enough speed to cool itself as well as charge the batteries. My high idle kit does the same thing but longer delay about 60-120 seconds delay and then amps up to 1,200 RPM. Just I provide a 3 cylinder mode for fast warm up. Either way the alternator is not trying to charge with true 800 RPM idle speeds and it's more like slow road speed.  

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Unfortunately I just double checked and I have the Bosch alternator so no cheap way out here. I think I will opt for the cheaper of the nationsalternator ones and give it a try. I will update when it comes in and I get it installed. Thank you all for the help I'm a lifer on this forum now.

Ok so I was finally able to pull codes and here they are

20181008_120711.jpg

So with that and the bbn other mirai bbn of problems I'm leaning 110% towards starting with the alternator as the apps is brand new so I think I could have saved myself some time and money starting with the alternator.

 

Yaaaa progress 

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It was the Timbo APPS sold on here from TMB mechanical off of e bay I wasnt aware they were sold on here or I would have gone here first. Voltage on the sensor as far as what the instructions say to do is good so i dont think the sensor is my problem but i will go through the checks and make sure.

Reading thru that apps article I do not see an ecm kr anything similar behind my fuel filter on the drivers side, the only ecm I see is on the passenger side firewall. Anyone have a picture of what I'm looking for because I see nothing there with any wires going to it the only thing back there is my lift pump.

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You might be able to see it better from underneath. You can also follow the harness from the VP down toward the engine and back along the block and find it that way. Its a real pain to get a good look at it from above. Try unbolting the fuel filter housing from the intake manifold also. Dont worry about fuel lines theyll flex a little bit to get it out of the way as long as you dont have metal lines

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2 hours ago, jamesecox said:

Anyone have a picture of what I'm looking for because I see nothing there with any wires going to it the only thing back there is my lift pump

 

Behind the fuel filter housing. There should be a large box mounted to the driver side of the block. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

You should also load test your ground cables starting from the block and going to the batteries. I've had three dodges with failing ground cables on drop test also burn up alternators. 

 

Most of them were just the driver's side that were failing. One had both. Mine was also just the driver's side that was borderline when my truck started eating alternators every 3 months.

Edited by pepsi71ocean
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Ok so update, I replaced and tested the alternator and did the regrounding project and I am still having the trans shift issue from 1st to 2nd i know it's not the transmission as i had that bench tested as well at a local shop. Plus I'm still getting the apps check engine code, I'm leaning towards a new computer at this point I'm kind of at a loss and tired of throwing money at this thing. Anyone have any ideas!!!

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