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Electrical 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Electrical Problems and Questions.


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  #1  
Old 09-27-2011, 06:41 PM
Thevman Thevman is offline
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Angry Airbag, ABS, Brake, No Speedo, No reverse lights, No HVAC output selction

What's up DOC!? (Dodge Owners Club)
It's unfortunate that I'm writing to express an issue that my dealership is asking almost 2 grand to begin tossing darts at a parts board. The following will describe my issue exactly as I presented it to the dealership.

"Hello,
I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 that recently began experiencing an electrical issue.
At times, during normal driving, the Brake, ABS and Airbag lights will sporadically light and then go off with an error chime heard.
Iíve since realized that when placing the truck into reverse all three lights illuminate and donít reset.
Additionally, the AC, Rear/mirror defrost, air flow selector, speedometer, and odometer cease to operate. Thereís also no reverse lights.

Once, it posed a check engine error. The code depicted a failed speed sensor. I purchased and replaced the speed sensor and no change.
Today, I was able to reset the error and regained all failed items listed above except for the reverse lights.
I disconnected the two rear lights and attempted to place the vehicle in reverse. No error.
Iím only assuming the lights need to be plugged in to complete the circuit and thatís the reason for no error.
Installing only one of the two tail lights resulted in the error and the illumination of all the dash lights again.

All fuses were tested for continuity and passed.
I doubt a fuse would cause sporadic electrical disturbances but I checked them anyway.
My opinion is that thereís either a dead short in the reverse circuitry or a failed component within the same circuitry.
Without a detailed schematic, I couldnít further troubleshoot the entire circuit.
Itís now time for a vehicle service professional to have a look and get this issue squared away."

After 2 hours of diagnostics, they [dealer] concluded that one of the computers needed replacing and a door cluster in the dash, with no gurantee this would repair the reverse issue.
Any others out there experiencing this issue have it successfully repaired??
Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Vman!
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2011, 11:38 PM
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RedRam10 RedRam10 is offline
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Hi and I sure wish I had an answer for you. Best I can do is this back to the top for you.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:46 AM
4cefed 4cefed is offline
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I now have almost exactly the same problem. Mine is a manual trans, but I have the ABS, Brake, Airbag lights and no speedo. The truck wants to stall when coming to a stop, but that's due to no speed sensor input to bump up the idle. I'll post details later... have to get back to work.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:59 AM
4cefed 4cefed is offline
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My truck sat for about two weeks while I wasn't using it. The driver's side door seal has failed and leakes water in when it rains. I'm willing to bet moisture has gotten into a wiring harness connector block and has corroded a few pins. I've checked all my fuses and they are all good, and I haven't gotten any codes.

I have the shop manual so I'm going to start at the speed sensor pin-out and work backwards to the ECU. If I see this use the same connector as any ABS or Air bag stuff, I'll start there. I might just resort to pulling apart connectors and checking all the one's I can find. Usually Airbag stuff has it's own circutry, so I'm guessing they share a plug somewhere with all this other stuff. I didn't check my A/C or back-up lamps.

I've had similar problems show up in a couple other cars. My race car started giving me random codes and a bunch of unrelated problems. I pulled a connector out of the ECU and found water had corroded 4 pins right next to each other. I hope this is it. Do come checking around before you let the stealership work on it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:26 AM
Thevman Thevman is offline
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I'm sure there's a stupid, yet difficult to diagnose, problem causing this issue.
With all the different wire harnesses and connectors, the shorted wire could be anywhere.
Anything sharing power in series could be the root cause.
I find it hard to believe that replacing the computer system, as the dealer would like to "try", is the answer.
I'll be getting back to troubleshooting the issue once time becomes available again.
GOOD LUCK to you my friend.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:59 PM
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I may have found the solution to this. First, while the truck is running and the lights are on for the ABS and such... test for voltage on both sides of fuses 32-38. I bet there won't be voltage. (I think it's 32-38 but there are like 6 of them in a row right there that all lose power.)

Unmount your fuse box and pull the connectors off the bottom. To get the connectors off you have to flip the red locks up toward the fuse box then work the handle thingie until the plug comes out. Unwrap the tape and pull off the plastic shield where the wires exit the connector.

On the white plug, (not gray) there is a black/pink wire (about a 12 ga.?) That feeds power to those fuses in the fuse box. Mine was corroded inside the plug and had separated. To extract the pin from the plug, using a tweeker screwdriver and maybe a needle nose pliers, pry out the red piece of plastic in the face of the plug that locks the pin keepers in. Get a slotted tweeker screwdriver that is small enough to pry the plastic pin keeper away from the metal terminal of the wire. (I wish I had pics to post.) Careful, if you damage the keeper, the pin won't stay in the plug when you plug the connector back into the fuse box.

I had to fabricate a new terminal out of a crimp-on slotted connector (about 1/4"?) I used a dremel to carve a notch out of the back side of the new conector that the pin keeper would lock into. Crimp the connector on to the wire and slide it back into the plug until the pin keeper locks into that hole. Re-insert the red plastic pin lock.

Check out all of the wires going into these plugs. Most of mine were fine, but two of them had corroded to the point of separation. I also had some corrosion going on inside the fuse box on the Integrated Circuit board. Be very careful if you decide to take that apart.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:37 AM
Thevman Thevman is offline
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4cefed,
Been a while since I logged on. Forgot my username and password.
Want to express my sincere gratitude to you for posting this information.
That's exactly what the issue was. The wire was indeed broken. Repaired the wire at the connector, FIXED!!!!!

Hopefully, this thread will help others who experience this inherent issue.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:11 PM
tjhayes1 tjhayes1 is offline
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Ok i have this problem and looked at my connectors. There was a wire detached from the connector, black pink like they said. I haven't reattached it yet, but when the car is running, theres no voltage on the detached wire. Shouldn't i see 12+ volts on that wire if its supplying power to the aforementioned fuses?
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:40 AM
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Usually BLACK is a ground. Rare to find a BLK wire to carry voltage.

Maybe you should make your own thread and post pictures and desicribe your issue in depth better.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:36 PM
tjhayes1 tjhayes1 is offline
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Update, problem is fixed. Like tjbiker said, it was a ground wire, and once i reconnected it the problem went away.

I would definitely recomend investigating this first, I replaced two speed sensors and cleaned all my grounds before i checked the wires going into the fuse box.

Its actually very easy to do, getting access to the bottom of the fuse box is easy, one bolt attached to the inside fender, the other a screw. that allows you to lift up the whole fuse box, theres a lot of slack in teh harness to allow this.
Then pull back the plastic cover on the WHITE connector (which btw is NOT underneath the fuses that have no power, i spent time on the BLUE connector because i thought it would provide power to the fuses right above it)

the wire fell right out of the white connector, it broke at the actual metal connector that slides into the back of the white plastic connector.

getting out the broken connector was a bit difficult, needed a screw driver to push the tab back and then push it out with another screwdriver. Soldered on a wire, then butt connected the two.
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