99 Ram van runs bad now

I have a 99 Ran van 2500 w/318. Engine light was on and the code said number 5 sparkplug was bad. It ran OK but it lacked full power. I parked it and used my jeep for a few weeks and went to use it
yesterday but it would not start. I changed the plugs, wires, cap, and rotor, and got it started. It ran, but it was popping like a wire was wrong. I reset the wires, one was wrong, but I went by a drawing I made first before I checked the firing order. I didn't think my drawing was wrong but the firing order said it was. Now it only will idle and will bog and stall when it is revved up. I reset the computer by removing a terminal for five minutes, but it still does not run. I checked to see if I was given the wrong plugs bu Autozone but they were correct. Any thoughts? My wife said to take it to a "real mechanic" but I'm stubborn and always fixed my cars myself. C'mon now don't let me admit defeat.
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Jeepers363 wrote:

Did you get Bosch Platnum spark plugs? I've seen engines run very poorly with them.
--
Ken



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Autolite Platinum.....it idles fine, when you give it gas it bogs, almost as if if the timing is off...maybe it's not advancing. How is that checked?
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With a timing light?
--
Ken



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Or a scan-tool (not just a code reader, but a more advanced OBD-II scan tool)
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Fuel pressure is 4lbs at the RAIL...I think I found the reason. Why would it crap out just by sitting? Maybe it's got water in it and froze up (wishful thinking). Anyone had the fuel pump install pages from the service manual that they can scan and send to me? Looks easy enough, but need to know if there is any surprises. Thanks
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On Sun, 6 Jan 2008 11:05:48 -0800 (PST), Jeepers363

Probably the biggest surprise will be the price... <g> Are you saying it actually ran with 4 PSI rail pressure? That's amazing!
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it and I do have 49 lbs. I had a suspicion about the first gauge. Now all I have to do is figure out why it does not run. I have spark, but is the coil putting out enough juice?
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How exactly are you hooking your gauge to the fuel rail. Does your vehicle have a test port? If so, did you test the pressure with the vehicle running? There are two things that have to be taken into account, pressure and flow. While you may have enough static pressure, your pump may be plugged up and unable to give you enough fuel flow at higher RPM's. I would flow test the pump and look for any contaminants in the fuel while you are at it. IIRC, you say that it idles ok and if so, I doubt that your injectors are plugged so you should be ok there but it is not a bad idea and not expensive to remove them and have them professionally cleaned and flow tested.
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If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving


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It doesn't idle anymore, but seems like it wants to start. Fuel pressure is fine, rechecked at the test port at rail. Any spray in the throttle body does not make it run either. Coil was changed, still doesn't start. I still have good spark. Could it be the crank position sensor? Is there any way to check that?
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wrote:

How much fuel are you spraying into the throttle body? It take more fuel than you might think to get it to fire off that way. How do you know that you have good spark? Do you have a timing light? If so, make sure that you are firing off that spark at the correct time. There are a few tests that you can perform to see where the problem is. As said before, use a timing light to make sure that the spark is being triggered and at the correct time. This will help to confirm that the crank and cam position sensors are working. The next easy thing to do would be a compression check on a few cylinders. Low compression across the board could indicate a jumped timing chain. Since you are lucky enough to have a fuel test port, there are a few things that you could do there as well. Hook up your gauge and turn on the ignition to build up pressure then turn off the ignition and see if and how fast the pressure leaks down. If it leaks down quickly that would indicate either a leaking injector or a failing check valve in the fuel pump but that in itself probably wouldn't stop your vehicle from running. If it holds pressure, then remove the fuel pump relay and turn have someone turn the key to the start position and watch the fuel pressure. It should fall off fairly quickly and if not, you are not injecting any fuel.
To diagnose that, you would need either an analog multi-meter or a digital volt meter and a continuity light. Disconnect the electrical connector from one of the injectors and with the ignition on, check for 12V between one of the pins in the injectors electrical connector and ground. You may need to crank it for a few seconds while performing this check for the computer to sense the engine cranking and power up the injectors. If you get no voltage on either pin, then the injectors are not being powered up which could be caused by a wiring problem, bad computer, or IIRC, a failing crank position sensor. If you get power on one pin and you are using an analog multi-meter (needle type), then set it to continuity and connect one lead to the other pin and the other to ground and have someone crank the engine. You should see the meter pulse as the engine cranks. The computer fires the injector by pulsing its ground connection. Digital multi-meters don't work well here as the pulse is to short for many of them to respond properly. If you are using a continuity light, it should flash briefly as the engine cranks. If no ground pulse is detected, then again, you could have a wiring problem (ground issue), a bad computer, or the cam position sensor is failing.
Since you are getting spark, it seems unlikely that either sensor is the problem and in most cases, either one of them would set a code and light the check engine light if they were not working. It seems to me with the conditions that you described up to this point like you got some bad fuel that either has excessive water or has plugged the injectors and that's where I would look.
--
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Clogged cat converter. Runs like a top now.
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