1999 Dodge Ram Van 1500 3.9L won't start

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Hi, I have a 1999 Dodge Ram Van 1500 3.9L that won't start. The engine turns but nothing happens. I have had the starter and alternator checked and they are ok. I have
replaced the plugs, rotor and distributor cap but still didn't help. I checked the fuses and all are good. I sprayed ether into the carb and it did not help either. I have spark going to the plugs so that isn't it. Does anyone have any ideas that I might try?
Thanks!
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You have spark, but it didn't fire when ether was sprayed down the throttle body? Hmmmmm.... sumpin' sounds fishy! Did it even "try" to fire with the ether?
Mike
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No it didn't even try to fire. Checked the timing chain and things are good there too.
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Something still doesn't make sense. I have read down the list of responses and you indicate that everything tests good. Please elaborate on how you are testing and the test results.... something is missing here....
Mike

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Hi Mike,
I took the starter and the alternator to Autozone and they checked them there and were ok. I put a brand new distributor cap, rotor button and plugs on. I hooked one of the plugs to the plug wire and had sparks to the plug. I used a volt and ohms meter to check the crank position switch and it was ok. My neighbor came over and pulled the codes off his computer and there were no codes. Took the front part of the engine off to check the timing chain and it is in good shape. My fuses looked in good shape. I checked the coil with the ohms meter and it showed good. I checked with a pressure gauge for fuel pressure at fuel rails and it is getting fuel.
Thanks for helping. I am stumped over this one after being a mechanic for over 30 years.
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Dale:
As you obviously well know, three things are required for an engine to run, fuel, air and spark and you seemingly have all three... then why no go? That's the puzzle. I am curious as to why you would bother to have the starter and alternator tested if the engine cranked over though. Firstly, I would check the engine with an old fashioned timing light to see if the engine is firing when it should. Secondly, a volt-ohmeter test is not always valid for a coil or crank position sensor but "if" you are getting fire, then these are seemingly good. A scan tool can show no fault codes and there still can be a latent problem. The only thing you haven't checked is compression which should be done next.
Mike

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Mike Simmons wrote:

Does this van have the anti-theft (code LSA) unit installed?
They have been known to fail and prevent the engine from starting. It will still show spark but the ECM won't let it run. There is an info sheet on it.
--
Steve W.

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Even so, if it has spark, it should still fire with a jolt of ether...
Mike
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Mike Simmons wrote:

Not if the spark isn't in time. Which is one of the ways the ECM prevents theft.
--
Steve W.

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Steve:
IIRC, the anti-theft system disables the vehicle thru the ASD solenoid, not spark.
Mike
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I am sorry for not getting back sooner but have not been online due to working long hours.
No , there is no anti-theft unit on this van.
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I am sorry for not getting back sooner but I have not been online due to working long hours.
I check the compression on one cylinder and it had 120 pounds so I figured the rest would be the same or about the same. I had the alternator and starter checked just to see if good and to rule out.
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Dale wrote:

Crank position sensor
--
Steve W.

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I thought that at first too but that is ok too.
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Dale wrote:

White spark or yellow spark?
JAM
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Whitish yellow but more white than yellow.
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If you really have a good strong spark, then the 4th dimension for an engine to function is combustion, which is touched off with the spark at the right moment in a gasoline engine... Did you ever have it running or everything before you messed with the wires & dist cap? it is so easy to be "1" off on the cap for the wires, I would triple check that, and if you crimped your own... especially if you had any running before you worked on it. I cant believe it didn't at least try to fire with ether, but the ether sold in stores now days (because of the "huffers" and those that blow heads off of cars, and flash fires up the carbs) is like 2% milk, mostly anything but ether, just like the milk...
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I had just driven to the Meijers just a few blocks from home and when I went to leave is when it would not start. The van ran good until then and showed no signs of quitting. I had to have it towed home. Thanks for your thoughts. I still have not figured out what is wrong and I need it for work.
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On 2/26/2011 1:39 PM, Dale wrote:

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Yes it is getting fuel and the crank sensor is ok. I will check it in the morning . Thanks.
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