89 Dodge Ram Idles Rough

I have an 89 Dodge Ram. I put in a new engine, computer, injectors, the works. I disconnected the EGR valve and plugged the vacuum line going to it,
upon installing the new engine. Ran fine for a year. Now it idles fine sometimes, but has occasional surges. Have replaced distibuter cap, sparkplugs and didn't help? I have duel exhaust, and it sounds like the drivers side is coughing sometimes. Also, there is no engine light on? Any help would be great.
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How many miles on it?
Which engine?
Why did you plug the EGR? This actually could be whole the problem if the EGR is leaking exhaust into the intake at idle rpm.
Budd

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It's a professionally rebuilt 318, with 3,000 miles at most. The truck has like 89,000 on it. I plugged the EGR valve because I questioned if it was working, and it ran fine plugged. A mechanic friend of mine said it would be fine, and it is not needed. But, I'm sure he could have been mistaken. Still unsure.
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i have a 74, 81, 86, 86, and had a 90 ram
if your mechanic didn't plug the egr, he might not have plugged other parts -- or removed them for installation -- may have removed the engine light or simply unplugged it (check behind the dash facing) -- so that you would not get any indications of problems definitely i would suspect the egr first, to egr amplifier, to egr solenoid, ccegr if equipped also goes from egr then to amplifier which goes to carb (so does solenoid) so look for hookups
if not, i suspect you have done a lot of these things already -- not to insult your intelligence but sometimes we forget the obvious, and you probably know how to test (meters and guages not idiot light) but some readers may want to know:
if you do not have a plastic tank, see if it runs smoother with more gas in the tank -- could be sludge -- if this fixes the problem you are lucky -- clean out the carb and keep enough gas in it until spring then clean out your tank and check sending unit check the plugs for oil buildup, other diagnostic problems such as mechanical damage -- which could indicate motor not done right pcv valve old also be the carb -- you have probably adjusted the curb and fast idling but check choke /carb springs work properly and none are missing -- holes or places for spings that are not attached to springs, (take off top half, check gasket, and clean -- holley 6280? -- check air temp sensor plugged in and grounded), choke, temp guage, o2 sensor, fuel filter, fuel pump (presuure problem?), gas filter, air filter or other components on the intake portion of air filter pan, coil -- there are so many things
thermostat? put in boiling water -- it should open
check for vacuum leaks-- look for old hose, and make sure all hoses connected properly, then if good, wd40 sections of hose at a time (which temporarily seals a leak), and listen to the idling -- if it improves you have found a leak, if nothing seems faulty here, get a tester/guage and check anyway -- very common cause of idling rough
do you smell gas when it runs rough or does it seem to be choking from lack of oxygen -- , fuel pump or could even be gas line?
if it idles rough, could also be timing -- check with timing light -- mark with white pencil and look for slippage could be distributor too -- you know to check firing order first before removal of old one, then start with replacing the cap and rotor -- and do the wires at the same time for good measure -- you will know to check at night first and look for any sparks -- if yes, those wires are bad. keep the ones in good shape in case you need one in a pinch, and if you decide to remove the distributor scribe or use a white pencil to mark the alignment between the number one on cap and base so you can easily find top-dead-centre later
best of luck
rachel

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Rachel, impressive mechanical knowledge. Are you a female?
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i hope so (LOL)
i've just had a LOT of similar problems and no money and always tried to learn what i can (actually music degree, but i joke around that i have honourary degrees in beer and sex!) -- lots of time though
i don't know a lot but am not too bad with stuff i can get at and picked up a few things: divorced my 1st husband (mechanic, chronic alcoholic) and yeah we get along well with 2500 miles between us and a 10 yr old son then i lived common-law with my next hubby (used auto parts manager for 18 yrs) converted me to dodge -- then died of heart attack at 46 -- family got the mint 1970 440 chrysler300 -- i dug my heels in over the impact tools, etc
i have consolidated down to 7 dodges, a 1.6L 76 vw vanagon, and a long box 350 gmc 2500 body shot -- soon to become a trailer complete with 2 axles, electric brakes, and the 350 motor so i can still drive the trailer around my acre but take it out to fetch the odd thing -- quebec safeties are 200 point check but i will only have to fit new brakes and make it look good for a trailer licence i am taking an oxy-acetylene course so i know how to safely use our torches before i start cutting &/or welding on 8 vehicles come spring
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wow, you're the coolest lady I've ever ran across. Will you marry me? :-) So you're making a neat utility vehicle out of your GMC? Beats paying $9000 for one made by Kawasaki or Polaris that only has 25hp. Are you removing the cab? While leaving the engine/tranny, driveshaft? I guess a jumpseat with a crude roll cage would suffice. It would be sort of like the old Amry mules, but a lot bigger.
http://www.olive-drab.com/images/id_m274_full.jpg
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i love the mule but don't need it legal -- quebec is too tough for licenced vehicles but not bad on licencing trailers -- just have to weld up a proper front end and prove you own it (still have ontario ownership and owned it in alberta since 1999, old trusty rusty)
i know what i want to do -- the rest will be just fun to figure out -- why not?
keep it looking like a gm van might be whimically funny for towing my dodges (LOL)
i will leave what i don't need to remove because it won't be on the road much, weight is not an issue too much unless it is wasted weight, but i will keep minimal sides on it i had toyed with the idea of either adding custom reinforced loading rams that extend and fold up to accomodate the length of a ram, or, hydraulic bed -- my totally francophone neighbour with a heart of gold made his own hydraulic log splitter equivalent to $3000 models and has already repaired it one -- could get the knowhow from him -- i am welding up a trailer from my 91 dakota parts truck bed -- and see if that is feasible later on this summer after the functionality and bed are made and the trailer is passed ;-)
it would be cool to have something for construction as well and not have to modify the cab area too much -- hoist up materials for the house which still needs siding; haul out logs from the forest -- which you can do for free here with a 4x4 and winch, because i live in the styx -- where else can you buy 1 acre with 2bdrm bungalow, well, septic and mountain views for under 40k cdn?
p.s. if you married me you might die too -- these things they say come in threes! (LOL)
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"Rachel Easson" wrote in message

i meant onCe

i meant i am making up one FOR him (he has fed my shepherd for a month now while i am stuck in town and doesn't weld)
sorry
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That's a great price. My father has 5 acres that were only like 7K USA but his land is in the desert -- Southwest USA, Arizona. But it's beautiful land and has views of distant mountain ranges. He has a cabin and an Airstream trailer and a shop and a shed. He has a water tank mounted on a trailer that he takes to town to fill up. Gravity forces the water down into his structures (has a small water tower). Then he has a cell phone for a phone and uses solar panels for power, with a bank of batteries to hold the spare juice for nighttime use. He's a mechanic and loves old mopars (old ones without computers and fuel injection). He has 2 slant 6 powered vehicles -- an '80's Dodge 1/2 ton truck, and a Dodge Dart wagon. He also has an old Toyota diesel truck.
So the vehicle you're making into a utility trailer is a van? I guess you could weld in some tubular steel for support if you cut the sheetmetal down the side (if it needs it). Sounds interesting. You should make up a Geocities homepage with a few pics of it when you're done. I'd like to see your mechanical creation.
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Definition: The EGR valve is the main emissions control component in the exhaust gas recirculation system. The valve is located on the intake manifold, and opens a small passageway between the exhaust and intake manifold to allow a metered amount of exhaust to flow back into the engine. This reduces combustion temperatures and helps control the formation of oxides of nitrogen. The EGR valve is opened by the application of vacuum to its control diaphragm. Some also require a certain amount of exhaust back pressure before they'll open. On newer vehicles, the valve is electronic and uses one or more solenoids or a small stepper motor. The valve should remain closed while the engine is cold and at idle. It should only open once the engine has warmed up and is running at part-throttle. If the valve sticks shut (or is disconnected), NOX emissions will soar and detonation will often result (See Detonation and Spark Knock). If it sticks in the open position or fails to close all the way, it acts like a vacuum leak resulting in a rough idle, hesitation and possible stalling.
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