Ram B1500, B2500, B3500, 1999-2003

8.0L Engine


General Information

The 8.0L engine uses a distributorless ignition system. The main components of this ignition system are:

Powertrain Control Module (PCM)
Ignition coil packs
Spark plugs
Crankshaft and camshaft position sensors

The PCM automatically regulates the spark advance to fire the spark plugs according to input from various engine sensors. The input signals are then used to compute the optimum ignition timing for the lowest exhaust emissions and best driveability. During the crank-start period, ignition timing advance is set to ensure quick and efficient starting.

The amount of electronic spark advance provided is determined by four input factors: coolant temperature, engine rpm, throttle position and available manifold vacuum. On some systems, intake manifold temperature is also used. Gear selection may also be a factor.

Two separate coil packs, containing a total of five (5) independent ignition coils, are located on a common mounting bracket above the right side engine valve cover.

Each coil fires two cylinders simultaneously. When this occurs, one of the cylinders will be on the power stroke; the other will be on the exhaust stroke, the resulting spark being a waste spark. It is important to note that isolating one lead of the pair will eliminate the spark at both plugs.

Cylinders are paired as follows: 5/10, 9/8 for the rearmost four plug coil pack; 1/6, 7/4, 3/2 for the front six plug coil pack.

Battery voltage is supplied to each coil's positive terminal by the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay. If the PCM does not see a signal from the crankshaft and camshaft sensors (indicating the ignition key is ON , but the engine is not running), it will shut down the ASD circuit.

By controlling the coil ground circuit, the PCM is able to set the base timing and adjust the ignition timing advance. This is done to meet changing engine conditions.

Base ignition timing is set by the PCM and is not adjustable.

Do NOT run the engine with a spark plug lead disconnected. Do NOT attempt to ground a lead to the engine to check for spark. Sensitive components could be ruined or the extremely high voltage could cause serious injury or death.

Ignition Coil Pack

Removal & Installation
  1. Disconnect the battery negative cable.
  3. Tag each plug wire for location and disconnect the plug cables from the coil packs.
  5. Disconnect the primary wire harness connectors.
  7. Remove the four mounting bolts for each coil pack and remove the coil pack(s) from the engine.

To install:

  1. Note that primary wire connectors face downward.
  3. Mounting bolt torque is 90 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  5. When connecting primary wires, the four-wire connector goes to the front coil pack and the three-wire connector goes to the rear pack.
  7. Reconnect plug cable to the proper terminals as marked.


Coil packs are mounted above the right engine valve cover.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  3. Mark and disconnect the spark plug leads at the coil packs. Disconnect the primary wiring at the connectors.
  5. Check resistance across each pair of spark plug (high tension) terminals: 3/2, 7/4, 1/6, 9/8, 5/10. Resistance should be 11-15 kilo-ohms.
  7. Check resistance across the (low tension) primary windings by connecting the ohmmeter between the B+ terminal and each of the coil terminals in turn. In each case, resistance should be 0.53-0.65 ohms.
  9. If resistance is not within specification, the coil pack will have to be replaced.

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Fig. Ignition coil packs-V-10

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Fig. Checking high tension (secondary) circuit resistance-6-pack shown

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Fig. Checking primary winding (low tension) circuit resistance: one probe to "B+" and the other to "Left", "Right" and "Center" terminals in turn-6-pack shown

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Fig. Checking primary winding (low tension) circuit resistance: one probe to "B+" and the other to "Left" and "Right" terminals in turn-4-pack shown