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Q: My engine cuts out repeatedly, particularly after idling for several minutes. on 2001 Dodge Ram Van 3500

I replaced the alternator last August, then in October the computer went out. That was replaced and then this cutting out problem started. Seems to run fine in the morning, and even traveling inbetween jobs, but whenever I leave it idling for more than a few minutes, the problem with the cutting out begins. It cuts out every 100 feet or so. It starts up again OK, but then cuts out again, and again, and again!
I have had a complete tune-up, replaced the coil, and it still happens. Please help?!?!?
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I have taken it to my long-time (30 years) friend and excellent mechanic about four different times over the past couple of months. Since it always starts up normally in the morning, he hasn't experienced the problem first-hand, but he hasn't seen anything come up on the equipment when he puts the analyzer on the engine. Despite that, he has replaced the crank sensor, spark plugs, plug wires, and coil. Also the distributor cap, stator, cleaned the carbon out of the EGR valve and cleaned the throttle body. My mechanic is as frustrated as I am. Still same problem. Any other ideas?
Stick an ASD relay in it, might as well give it a shot. Something is obviously being effected by heat. Tough to find intermittents!! Try wire harness wiggle test. Also possible PCM problem! Keep looking & good luck, let everyone know what is finally found.
Any message ever come up on dash (speedometer) that says "no bus"??
Yes, it came up "no bus" when the computer went out, but was OK afterwards, except that once it did come up "no bus" after the computer was fixed, around when the cutting out stuff first started. Since then, though, it just cuts out, and no more "no bus" showing. I will mention your suggestion about the relay to my mechanic, as I did talk to him two days ago (Friday), and I will be taking the vehicle back in either tomorrow or the next day. Also, another feloow (see below) suggests that it might be wires nar the back of the tranny shorting out after the vehicle heats up, so that is also a possibility we will be checking. I really appreciate everyone's input, as I have been a gear-head myself over the past 50 years, but now mostly have my work done by a good mechanic whose kids I coached years ago when they were in high school wrestling. He has all the equipment you need nowdays, and is up to date on training, running a ten-bay auto repair shop nearby. He has been as frustrated as I am, and he knows that I count on my vehicle every day for work. I will post when I have any more info on this. Thanks, again!!
Well, the latest on this is that we were finally able to replicate the cutting out with one of the mechanics in the car, after my wife drove the truck around for about 5 1/2 hours; once it started cutting out, she got the truck over to the mechanic, and he drove it and experienced first-hand what was happening. As usual, it started up just fine, but would lose all electrical power in a matter of 100 - 150 feet of driving. They figured out that it must be the wiring harness. They have been trying to locate another wiring harness to replace it, but with all of the snow and ice storms around here lately, the truck is STILL in the shop awaiting a replacement part. I'll let you know if it really does fix the problem when I get the vehicle back. Thanks for all of your input.
So it does seem to be the harness. Wonder if they tried my suggestion on the wiggle test?? Should!!!
I had that happen before , same thing , damn it i forgot
What it was , let me ponder on it....
Did u change alt???yourself i mean?? , maybe wires shorting around that area???
I use to work on a fleet of dodge vans with the 360
Crap , cant remember but i know..this is a shot in the dark but im thinking it
Was bare wires arcing on or around back of transmission , its a shot .lemme know ??yes that was it. Same problem ,i think they were chaff brown wires , i taped them up this was 11year ago .they were shorting out when it was idling , i was the weird but i found it..lemme no , im curious...
Thanks for the tip; I will talk to my mechanic about it tomorrow. Yes, the by way, I did replace the alternator myself, as I was up by the Georgian Bay in Canada when it went out. A good friend of mine and I ordered a rebuild one through Canadian Tire. The only one they could get was a for a 2002, but we checked with the supplier and they said it would fit, although we did have to make two adjustments: one was we took the pulley from my old alternator and put it on the rebuilt one, and then used the old belt with it; secondly, we had to take the old plastic spark guard off of the wiring and put the new one that came with the rebuilt alternator. Then everything worked great. Two months later, the computer went out and it took about ten days to order a replacement and get it programmed and installed. After that, the cutiing out started about a month or so later.
I will DEFINITELY keep you posted on if your suggestion helps. THank you so much for your time and expertise!!
Thanks for the input; I have wondered myself about the computer, so will run that as another idea! Thanks!
Please see my Feb 22nd reply above; it appears to be a wiring harness problem, but the truck has been in the shop for two FULL weeks now, awaiting repalcement of the wiring harness. I'll keep you posted on whether it actually fixes the problem when I get my truck back and see if it will run without developing the same problem!
Check engine light is NOT on. The cutting out usually begins happening only after the vehicle has been idling for a period of time, such as when stuck in traffic. It idles fine, but when traffic starts moving again, it will cut out completely. It will start up again, but will cut out again after 100 feet or so. This has happened over and over again until the end of the day. The next morning, it works fine, and will run great ntil I end up idling for a while. It may run fine all day, but when I have to idle for any length of time, it starts all over again and will keep happening until it sits over night. If I can go all day without idling, I get the false hope that everything is OK, but get caught in "rush hour" and I'm back in cut out mode!
Any other ideas?
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