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I thought it would be a good idea to share this info. My 96' 1500 never idled right, floated up and down, and I was allways puting oil in it after road trips. There was never any leaks or large amounts of smoke from the exhaust. At any rate, techs were telling me to get ready to buy a new engine but were never able to find the problem. I happened to stumble upon the link below right after I dropped off my truck at the garage. I had them perform the poceedure from the link and it was right on the money.
It was the manifold plenum gasket. My truck has run awesome ever since. Hope this helps someone.

http://dodgeram.org/tech/gas/Trouble/oil_consumption.htm
 

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thats ecaxtly is wrong with mine, it will be in the shop in a week or two. oil consuption and knocking sound is also present in mine, i took the air box off and looked down the baffles, there is oil all over the inside of the intake.
 

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I forgot to mention pinging. I had it wicked bad. No doubt that is your problem. Still not a cheap fix (around $300-350), but still alot better than a new engine. Good luck. Glad I could help.

Topper
 

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Since there is a TSB on this will Dodge do the fix if your truck is showing signs of the problem? Or will they only fix it if you are still under warranty?

Thankfully I do not have this problem with mine.
 

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TSBs are only fixed when under warranty, and even then, they don't have to if they don't want to.

I took my truck in for the rattling shift linkage, and they refused me, even though there was a TSB for it, because of my suspension lift.

With the plenum gasket fix, I'd actually go a different route than just getting it fixed.

If you live in a state that doesn't require your aftermarket parts to be CARB "approved", swap the stock manifold for the M1 2bbl manifold (part #P5007398, I think?)

http://www.mopar.com/m_perf_parts_product_part.jsp?categoryID=10014&itemID=382

http://www.krcperformance.com/java/krc_performance_2bbl.htm

Get rid of the plenum pan for good, and get a NICE boost in the pants. Those that have switched really like it.
 
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