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1999 Ram 3.9 troubles

Discussion in 'Ram, pickups, commercial trucks' started by Kevin1990, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Kevin1990

    Kevin1990 Member


    I just purchased a 99 Ram 1500, 3.9 with 2WD.

    Only 75k KM, but some annoying problems beside the lousy paint job.

    Sometimes it almost stalls out when trying to accelerate, including harsh misfiring (IAC problem??)

    And also, it takes almost 2 seconds to fully engage reverse...

    I just got the truck, didn't do anything to it yet...

    Thank you and greetings
  2. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

    Sounds like the first thing to do is new plugs & wires.

    As to the delayed reverse engagement, have you checked the transmission fluid level?
  3. Kevin1990

    Kevin1990 Member

    Well the missfiring only appears after a stop....not always..

    Transmission fluid seems a bit high, nice and red, but i have to service it anyway...
  4. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES" Level 2 Supporter

    I also recommend a full tuneup - plugs, wires, ignition rotor, dist cap, PCV valve, air and gas filters. Use a dist cap that has brass contacts and not aluminum - the aluminum oxidizes quickly to a white powder and causes misfires.
    Never hurts to check fault codes.
    These engines, as well as the 318, have two issues when past 100K miles:

    1) The bronze bushing that is between the dist shaft and cam wears, and the dist shaft wobbles, causing intermittent fuel injector signals from the dist pickup. In severe cases, the pickup shears off.
    2) The timing chain wears badly and stretches, causing improper valve and fuel injection timing. There is an improved timing set and guide that solves this.
    valiant67, Doug D and Kevin1990 like this.
  5. Kevin1990

    Kevin1990 Member

    Well i figured out the 2nd O2 sensor was bad, also the IAC valve...

    But still slow engage of Reverse...
  6. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

    An ATF fluid/filter change may help the sluggish reverse engagement. The clutch seals may be hardening and not sealing as well as they once did.
    1999 42RE(?) may require ATF+4, which is a premium fluid.
    I'm not a big believer in ATF additives, but some members here have had good luck with the Lucas transmission additive.
    Kevin1990 likes this.
  7. pt006

    pt006 Member

    kevin; I'm not familiar with the new trans numbers but I believe your tranny is based on the old 904 torqueflite. If so, it was common for them to drain down internally after sitting for a few days. This happened due to wearing seals. The simple way to deal with this was to start the car and shift into neutral. Let it run for 30 seconds, and it would shift normally after that.

    Your trans also has 2 band type clutches. They are adjustable, and should be adjusted every 50,000 miles or so. Follow the procedure in the service manual for your truck. One is inside the trans, the other is external.
    Kevin1990 and Bob Lincoln like this.
  8. Kevin1990

    Kevin1990 Member

    Thank you!

    Well i also let it idle for about 1 minute in neutral to let the TC fill up...but still the same.

    I'll service it this week to see if it makes any difference