Powerless Ram Pickup

Ask Bob: The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob,
I have a 1985 Dodge B250 Ram van with a stock 318. It started running really rough, and a friend who knows Mopar did a tune up and replaced the timing gears and chain for me. In park or neutral, the engine runs fine, with no hesitation as it's revved up. In drive, accelerating makes it cough, sputter and jerk at lower RPMs, and miss a little at higher RPMs (downshifted). (This is what it did before any work was done on it). At steady speeds, it runs fine.

The compression is fine in all pistons. We've tried replacing the coil, distributor cap, plug wires and electronic ignition module. The carb has been rebuilt, the intake manifold gaskets have been replaced, and (in park) the intake manifold vacuum registers okay. I think I have a vacuum leak somewhere, and took it to the dealer for professional help. $134.00 later, he told me I have a vacuum leak somewhere (duh). Can you give me any suggestions?

If I was going to offer the same advice, I'd say a vacuum leak to your ignition advance is not operating correctly. Now, it could be that the vacuum leak is in the distributor vacuum advance diaphragm. Also, check the main line to the brake booster, and the PCV system.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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