You are here:

Dodge Repair/1990 Dodge Ramcharger wont start


QUESTION: This is a car my son in law recently purchased. Its a 1990 Dodge Ram charger 150 with a 318, 5.2 ltr engine. Its a 4x4. My daughter changed the spark plugs (which actually looked fine). The parts place sold him a champion plug that was smaller and metric. She changed one plug at a time being careful to hook the wire back snugly. When she started the truck it ran for about three seconds then died. It did not seem like it had spark. We put the old plugs back in checking the gaps and it would only turn over. No hint of starting. We checked for spark and smelled for fuel. Slightly above the carb we sprayed a light mist of ether with no effect. Then I discovered they had a Prolock anti theft device that had given them some issues. We reinstalled the rotor, cap, wires, plugs and tried the second key and nothing. Then we read your blogs. This is a two part question, The device has two wires going to the yellow ignition wire. And there is a light blue wire from the wire bundle hooked to another splice. I assume that I re-attach the yellow wires and then I assume I take the two blue and reattach? Then clip everything else? And second question, would the ASD create the same symptom?

ANSWER: Hi Robert,
The "run for 3 seconds then die" could be the Prolock device, but I am not familiar with it to be sure. That is how the conventional Chrysler anti-theft systems behave. Whether the Prolock only does that once and then refuses further starts, I don't know. If it prevented the engine from starting via the ASD relay not being activated then that is of course why it won't start.
If you temporarily jump across the socket for the ASD relay (usually from front to rear pin) that would then provide power to the spark coil, fuel pump (likely would hear that stat to run), and to the fuel injectors. Then try and start it.
Try for fault codes using the ignition key: "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 3 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the check engine light, which remains "0n", to see it begin to flash, pause, flash, etc. Count the number of flashes before each pause. Then repeat the process to be sure of an accurate set of flash counts. Then tell me the counts in order of appearance.
I would not remove the Prolock yet as that may just make things worse. See if you can get info about it first.
I don't have wiring diagrams for the vehicle so can't give you advice about modifying/checking specific circuits.
Was there a reason for the original servicing of the spark plugs, which apparently precipitated the problem.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My son in law thought it lacked power pulling a hill. He felt if he floored it it should shift down and accelerate. He thought overdrive meant "faster". I have explained it to him now. I will go check for engine codes. and email you back.
The Prolock is an anti theft device, aftermarket. I believe they are out of business.

ANSWER: Thanks for the additional info. I will await further news.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I had to do a couple of things before checking trouble codes. 1990 Dodge Ram charger 318 5.2 litre engine. 4x4. The lights were slow in coming but this is what I got:
3pause, 3pause, 2pause,3pause,2pause
third time got a 3pause, then ten rapid.

Hi Robert,
Try is again. There has to be an even number of counts as they are grouped into pairs to form the 2-digit code numbers. The last 10 were actually 5 pause 5, i.e. the number 55, which means "end of code readout".
But I am uncertain about the 3, 3, 2, 3, 2 as that is an odd number of counts. There is a pause hidden... maybe the first 3 is a 1 and 2?  Do it again, and repeat to be sure. We don't want to get a wrong code.
Let me know.

Dodge Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question or briefly unavailable so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top expert" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles.

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

©2017 All rights reserved.