Question about 1987 Dodge Ram 50

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My roomie just bought an 87 dodge ram50 at an auction, they told him it ran, it doesn't (he shouldn't have trusted them, I know!). Anyway, I'm trying to diagnose why it won't start. While I know more than him about cars, I still don't actually know all that much. So far I have 1 checked for spark at the wires running to spark plugs (spark plugs look new), it has a good spark 2 put starter fluid as deep in the engine as I could get it, still wouldn't start 3 popped off the distributor cap and tried starting to make sure it spins - i was told this would mean the timing belt/chain was still intact. There was a spinning part in there, looked like about 1 revolution every 1.5 seconds. Oil is not cloudy or milky so I am assuming not head, everyone I have talked to says it is likely a lack of compression but I have no idea how to diagnose this... please help

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Pull all the spark plugs out, and pour a small amount of oil in every cylinder. If it cranks up, they're right: It's lack of compression. To formally test it, grab a Compression Tester, it threads into the spark plug. It should measure ~120-160 PSI.

Posted on Dec 28, 2010

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