Bought a '99 Club Cab 1500, 2WD, 5-spd, 5.2L... any issues to keep eye out for?

01-17-2008, 09:57 AM
Just bought the above this week, 111k miles. New to ram forums but not AF forums. Question to the mechanics or anyone who has really been keeping up with rams, what issues with the ram do I need to keep an eye on? Not 'anecdotal' instances that happened to just your truck.

Example... with the chevy 3.1L engine, late 90s/early 00s... basically all prone to intake gasket manifold leak since the gasket was a crappy plastic design. Need to watch them like a hawk so that you don't wind up with a ruined engine.

So with the ram... any 'defects' that has a high failure rate?

The only think I can spot now are...

of all the dodge rams this old I have looked at, just don't seem that rustproof, not that I see alot of rust, but there's a light rust on just about everything... vs my car the same age, not a spec anywhere: pretty much every part has a finish to prevent rust.

rear diff cover was a bit wet, will yank the cover, clean, replace axle fluid.

everywhere else was dry as a bone.

when accelerating in 1st gear, shift lever rocks forward and backwards, is this normal or possibly a tranny mount worn out? shift lever is rock steady in all other gears

look like the guy before me had some sensor issues, saw there was a new cat, I think engine probably ran rich or misfire and melted the catalyst or maybe coolant or something else got in there and clogged it (mental note to check for new gaskets that have been installed)

When accelerating in 1st from a stop, there is a sound like... maybe a fluid squirting internally? The first thing that came to mind was if there was some internal pump in the manual tranny... or maybe it's coolant going thru the heater core... quite possibly it's a squeak from plastic rubbing around the passenger side of the cab. ???

Any heads up would be appreciated.

01-22-2008, 12:11 PM
maintain it regularly and it should last you a long time. and be glad you have a 5 speed manual trans.

01-26-2008, 03:24 PM
The intake manifold plenum gasket is prone to failure, causing pinging, bad mileage, and oil consumsion. If it has these issues the gasket is probably bad. There are expensive kits to replace the plenum pan but I am getting just the gasket replaced right now and will see how it holds up. Mine is out for the first time at 177K, I know of guys who had them done at less than 20K under warranty. Lots of folks think Mopar should have recalled these to make this right. Google "dodge ram plenum pan gasket failure".

It's good you got the stick because there are issues with the OD autos.

I just got mine and was anticipating some repairs when I got it. All in all I am happy with it and glad I bought it.

01-26-2008, 05:16 PM
ug... WTB vehicle with failproof intake gasket.

coolant is very clean, ill keep an eye on it sludging up (oil getting in coolant) and routinely check oil for coolant

thanks for the input

that squishing sound im really thinking its air in the coolant, coolant may have gone down b/c when i got it, the coolant block drain plug was leaky (pass side of the block, up front near the bottom) tightened it up but will probably replace it... going to do a coolant pressure test to make sure i dont have a head gasket leak (sound is pretty much only at startup when engine is cold and i suppose coolant flowing thru heater core only since thermostat is closed)

01-26-2008, 11:18 PM
It is the gasket on the plenum pan on the bottom of the intake. It fails and lets the intake draw gasses from the crankcase. You'll get the symptoms I described. If it doesn't ping on regular gas, and use oil, it's probably all right.
I agree that your coolant sound is from the heater core. They say to make sure the system is COMPLETELY full with a good cap and that the reservoir is showing full HOT when warmed up good and drawing down some when cold. If you are not losing coolant mysteriously or showng other signs of a blown HG I wouldn't worry about it.

02-04-2008, 10:49 PM
btw: popped the radiator cap off, revved the engine a bit, poured antifreeze in the radiator, purging out the air... no more squishy sound from the passenger side in the cab :)

first time ive heard a heater core make that much sound

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