1999 Ram fuel pump, update

Thanks for all your replies.
Right now the truck is still in the shop. We had it towed to the shop because on the phone the mechanic said if it was the fuel pump, which he
was sure it was, it would be covered by our extended warranty. But now the mechanic says the fuel pump is fine. He says he can't start it, it turns over but won't start. Now says we need new spark plugs, wires, rotor and cap. I might have believed him if I it weren't for the fact that I changed the spark plugs about 8 months ago. He said he knew that but we didn't put in the correct ones?? Dodge factory plugs?
This conversation with the mechanic was between my wife and him by the way.
How could my truck run for the past 8 months if I had installed the wrong plugs...
A lot of people I talk to feel it is the fuel filter.
Origin of problem. The odometer was around 270 when my wife took the truck out for some kind of errand. I usually get 300 miles per fill up. She drove about 3 miles and starting losing power. She had to pull over. She knew it wasn't good so she turned around to go home. She only had enough power to get it up to 20 mph the whole way home, 3 miles. I have run out gas twice with this truck and I got the exact same symptoms, lose of power. BUT, the only difference in her episode was that she was able to go a much farther distance. In my two cases, I lost power, drove for another 500 yards and could go no further, couldn't start it again. Out of gas.
All this took place while I was out of town. Her father put about five gallons in it and it wouldn't start. It would turn over but wouldn't start. So we had it towed to the shop.
I don't really believe we need the new wires, plugs, rotor and cap. I think it's the fuel filter clogged partially with some junk that was in the tank. That's why some gas was getting through and allowing my wife to make it back home. Should I just tell the mechanic to change the fuel filter and go from there? See if that works? Don't you think he should have suggested that in the first place?
Any help would be great.
Thanks
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What exactly do you mean by "turn over". Does the engine actually try and start or is it just cranking. What you need to do is question the mechanic as to how he knows that the pump is ok. If he did a fuel pressure and flow test (about the only valid way), then tell him that you want to see the results. The fuel filter on your truck is not replaceable as it is part of the pump which is probably why he didn't suggest replacing it and the pump is an expensive part which is why he is trying to avoid replacing that until all other avenues have been traveled (and money made doing it). The wrong plugs (heat range) could cause these conditions but probably not as suddenly as you claim the conditions happened. If they were too hot a plug, they would slowly burn up and too cold and they would crud up and foul, both causing a loss of power but you should have felt it getting worse over time. Did you get a check engine light as bad plugs should start setting misfire codes as they began to fail and would probably have gotten them before you felt the power loss? My rotor and cap went over 100,000 and were still working fine when I replaced them and a few bad wires would not stop the engine from starting (unless one of them happens to be the coil wire), it would just run like crap. I would have him remove one of the plugs and show you exactly what failed on it or tell him that if he is sure that is the problem, to change the parts but if it doesn't fix the problem, then he eats the cost and justify it by saying that you can throw parts at the problem yourself and do it for a lot less money than he will charge you.
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Simple - it couldn't. Even if you put in the "wrong" plugs (ie. incorrect heat range), it would still start.

If it's a fuel problem, the engine will fire up with some starter fluid sprayed into the intake. That's a quick and simple test to isolate the problem.

Well, changing the fuel filter is a much bigger job than throwing some plugs and a cap at it - as it's in the tank, and really isn't meant to be a servicable item.
What he should do is hook a fuel pressure gauge to the fuel rail, and verify fuel pressure. I'd then use the fuel pressure gauge discharge feature, and make sure there's adequate fuel flow. If the pressure is down, or the pressure drops off when discharged, and the flow slows to a trickle, then I'd be reasonably sure it's a fuel pump-related problem, and go ahead and drop the tank.
If the pressure and flow look good, and the engine fires up with starter fluid, I'd look to an electrical problem preventing the fuel injectors from firing. If the engine will NOT fire with starter fluid, then I'd start looking at the ignition system - ie. coil, distributor cap, etc. First step here is to pull a plug and see if it's getting spark.
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Could be just the crankshaft position sensor.
But what do I know. Coasty
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If it were the crank position sensor, he would have got a check engine light and probably an error code of P1398.
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"Coasty" <uscg snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
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Could be but other codes should have showed up too with the starting issue, especially if it is plugs/wires you should get a miss fire code, or with a bad/ clogged fuel pump/system a lean run code. But, alas poor Steve k no codes. Coasty
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codes. Coasty
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Could be but other codes should have showed up too with the starting issue, especially if it is plugs/wires you should get a miss fire code, or with a bad/ clogged fuel pump/system a lean run code. But, alas poor Steve k no codes. Coasty

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