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01 Ram 1500 5.9L Start Problem

03-31-2011, 04:12 PM
Often, but not always, the truck will not turn over the first time the key is turned. Just a click. Sometimes 2 or 3 cycles of the key from start to off are required to start the truck. It then runs fine.

First thought was battery connections, recently installed those nice color coded felt pads and sprayed terminals with that red sticky oil. The felt pad on the ground terminal did not allow the terminal clamp to tighten as it raised the clamp up to a skinnier point on the terminal. Gotcha! Removed felt pad and inserted some copper wire between the clamp and terminal for a good tight fit. Still have problem.

Second, traced ground to make sure connections tight and then removed starter and had tested. Also checked starter connections. The starter passed all tests so I reinstalled.

Gut tells me this is an electrical problem and could be the ignition switch but how do I test? Read one post that suggested jumping the starter relay. Would this bypass the ignition switch and let me know that the problem is upstream? Is it safe to do without possibly damaging myself or the truck? How would I remove the ignition switch?

Also read where it may be the fuel pump but shouldn't the engine still turn over?

Any helpful hints would be appreciated.



03-31-2011, 05:41 PM
Pull starter relay and look on the pin side of the relay. The pins should be numbered. Power from the ignition switch is supplied to pin 86 of the starter relay. If you have a manual trans it has to go through the clutch switch. 85 is the ground from the neutral safety switch. 30 should have power all the time. 87 goes to the starter solenoid.

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