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gtvdad

Newbie - Needs help with Startup Issues

7 posts in this topic

Mike thank you for all you do. You have helped me by phone twice and am now joining your forum - and yes I need some help!!! 1999 Dodge RAM 3500 4x4 Diesel Dually. Can't get it started in the morning - even jumping it (especially in this colder 20 degree weather) takes a while. On first startup (at night it shows well) the headlights will dim greatly for a few seconds and brighten (and repeat). I assume this is the alternator kicking on and off. After awhile this affect goes away. Running for awhileit will charge up well and restart as needed. If we take short stops and starts will notice it progressively harder to start up again. Assumed the batteries (3 year old Walmart- MAXX 9 year batteries) and they tested out very well (huh?????) Do I have a voltage draw down some where? What of the ASD (Cummins forum has few answers here). I don't have access to codes computer. If it sits out all night (especially cold nights, I have to jump it) Was going to try disconnecting battery overnight and reconnecting to see if it will start up. have heard about plugging it in for the glow plugs/oil pan heater.. I don't know that I have this option? Does the alternator jneed replacing? I am at wits end with a newbie experience. Thanks in advance for all of your input... GTVDAD

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Welcome to the forum! First you need to fill out your signature and tell us about your truck such as mods etc. This will help in diagnosing your problems. Go to ForumActions, Edit profile, edit signature. At first start up, that is your grid heaters kicking on and off ( no glow plugs ), this is normal. I would clean your terminals and make sure they are tight, check for codes at a parts house(free). When it is hard to start, do you crank it for a long time and then it starts, or is the starter slow to crank? From what you wrote earlier it sounds like it is slow to crank. We need to check all the bases here, sorry if some of the questions sound weird to your problem. What is your fuel pressure. Reply back and everyone will start chiming in! Again welcome!

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Hi I will try and help while you wait on the experts. First the dimming you see that goes away is more than likely the grid heater going on and off, this is normal until engine warms up some.Do you have a volt meter on your instrument panel? What do you show for voltage?Second, if you do not have an engine heater I would be surprised. It is located on the passenger side bumper height just to the left of the radiator if it is still in the stock position. Raise the hood and check it out. You are waiting for the "wait to start light" to go out. Are your battery connections clean and tight?Hope this helpsDavid

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Mike thank you for all you do. You have helped me by phone twice and am now joining your forum - and yes I need some help!!! 1999 Dodge RAM 3500 4x4 Diesel Dually. Can't get it started in the morning - even jumping it (especially in this colder 20 degree weather) takes a while. On first startup (at night it shows well) the headlights will dim greatly for a few seconds and brighten (and repeat). I assume this is the alternator kicking on and off. After awhile this affect goes away. Running for awhileit will charge up well and restart as needed. If we take short stops and starts will notice it progressively harder to start up again. Assumed the batteries (3 year old Walmart- MAXX 9 year batteries) and they tested out very well (huh?????) Do I have a voltage draw down some where? What of the ASD (Cummins forum has few answers here). I don't have access to codes computer. If it sits out all night (especially cold nights, I have to jump it) Was going to try disconnecting battery overnight and reconnecting to see if it will start up. have heard about plugging it in for the glow plugs/oil pan heater.. I don't know that I have this option? Does the alternator jneed replacing? I am at wits end with a newbie experience. Thanks in advance for all of your input... GTVDAD

I also have a 99 ram with cummins diesel. it is normal for the lights to dim repeatedly. as everyone has said, that is the grid heaters(remember that our motors do not use glow plugs). yes, they hit the battery hard for juice. another member(ISX) recently showed that the grids get over 500F. for cold starts i typically turn the key twice, and wait for the dumy light to go out(WAIT TO START light). that makes the grid heaters run twice and really heats up the air. if possible plug the "block heater" in. it only requires an extension cord and you want to try to do it a couple hours prior to cranking. the plug is behind the passenger head light(maybe next to the condenser and radiator). your pump may not be running up to snuff. check your fuel pressure soon. if it is below 10 psi, you could be doing damage to a VERY expensive component.

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Sorry for the delay in replying... Thank you all - Alternator appears to heva been the problem - knew it was getting close to a change out... It went out 10 days ago. Replaced it and all is fine now.. including warmer weather... yeay!! BUT.... Grid heaters????? No Glow Plugs??? Alll my knowledge of diesels just went out the window... ARGH. Please help me out on this one. Thank you in advance...

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