Chrysler Repair/1997 voyager 3.3L electrical
QUESTION: Hi Roland, I hope you can help me. I have a 1997 voyager 3.3 that stopped running a few weeks ago. Until then, it ran perfectly. It's not worth much, and I have another vehicle, so I can't justify spending much money to fix it. I tested the coil pack at harness while cranking and got a pulse for 1 second. Also tested all 3 zones on coil for resistance and current. So I have spark. Tested fuel pump and got 45-50 lbs. while cranking. Tested injectors and they are OK. Tested cam sensor and crank sensor for current while cranking and could not find a hot lead. Ran dash fault codes and got 12 54 11 55. Decided to replace crank sensor anyway as I heard it is more likely to go bad. No luck. It cranks and almost starts but no go. Ran faults codes again and they changed to just 12 55. I'm thinking bad ground somewhere as this vehicle is pretty rusty. Is there a way to test out the pcm before I replace it? Or should I look at the BCM first? I have a multimeter and can borrow an OBDII scanner, but I could really use some advice. I read quite a few of your previous answers and was wondering if you thought it would be worthwhile to buy the Alldata book? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
ANSWER: Hi John,
Because of the prior 11 and 54 codes I would suggest that you actually pull the cap off of a spark plug and with the aid of a helper to turn the ignition key test using an insulated handle screwdriver inserted into the spark plug cap and then the shaft held 1/4" away from the cylinder head whether or not you get a good spark during a several second cranking. If so, then presumably your cam and crank sensors are ok although the 54 code earlier may mean that sensor is on its last legs for future checkout. It may fail when the engine runs and warms it up. So keep looking for fault codes.
If you have spark and fuel pressure then take a look at mixture, specifically whether your egr valve may be hanging up slightly ajar. Notice the valve stem in between the valve body proper and the round vacuum-operated round piece on the top. The stem is partially hidden behind a flange, but you will see it has a circumferential slot into which the tip of a screwdriver can be inserted so you can move the stem back and forth against internal spring-action which attempts to close the valve. It should do that and bring the valve to a dead full stop in the closed position. If it is sluggish in doing that then spray some WD-40 on the stem where it enters the valve body and work it some more. Then see if you can get the engine to start.
You may also want to charge up the battery at this point. I would not throw parts at the problem as that is costly and frustrating.
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QUESTION: Hi Roland, John with the 3.3L again. I had already tested the spark at the wires on all three forward plugs and they seemed fine. I don't how to tell if the spark is STRONG enough but I got zapped anyway. I took your advice and checked out the EGR. I've owned other Dodge vans and have replaced and revived EGRs before. On this vehicle, the check engine light had come on a couple of times in the weeks prior, but went off on its own. I removed the EGR and the plunger seemed fine. The main vacuum line however was badly clogged -no air flow, so I guess you'd say the EGR was stuck closed. I cleared it out with carb cleaner and compressed air, so when I get this SOB started I'll at least get better mileage. Thanks for the tip. But it still won't start. Strong battery and it almost kicks. This vehicle has always started easily, by the way. I did the flash test again and got 12 55. Is it even possible for both cam and crank sensors to fail at the same time? Before I talked to you, I put it on an OBDII scanner I borrowed from the shop next door and only got something like "#5 misfire" which wasn't much help. I'm in detroit and I know a guy who works at chrysler HQ as some type of test tech. He says he could probably get me a blank BCM or PCM that might be laying around and he has the OEM software on his laptop. Sounds great, but he lives and works 20 miles away and I don't want to bother him with a goose chase. I really wanted to know if you thought I should try the BCM next or if I should look for bad grounds or broken contacts? And if so, should I concentrate on the PCM or the BCM? Also, the spark would cut out after 2 seconds before I replaced the crank sensor and it still cuts out after 2 seconds now. Thanks again for your insight.
Because of the recent 54 code as well as the loss of spark after only 2 seconds I would strongly encourage you also to look into that sensor for replacement. If it (or the crank sensor) is flaky then you will loose the spark in that manner. Chances are that the ASD relay in the front of the power distribution box is 'opening' after a couple of seconds because the PCM is not getting a strong enough signal from one or the other of those rotational sensors. You could try temporarily jumping the ASD points by removing the relay and put a jumper wire between the 30 and 87 pin sockets of the relay socket (those are the two pins closer to the middle of the box, but this approach is just to test my theory). If those sensors prove out, them the pcm is the next focus.
Both sensors need a solid 8v supply on their orange wires that come from pin 44 of the pcm. The common sensor ground wire is black/blue at pin 43, while the cam sensor signal wire is tan/yellow at pin 33 and the crank is gray/black at pin 32 (or you can test at the sensor proper). You probably have to check these by piercing through the insulation with a fine straight pin. The signal (measured vs the sensor ground wire) should oscillate between 5 and 0.3v as you rotate the engine by hand via the crank pulley bolt with the key in the 'run' position.
So give those ideas a try, or just go for a cam position sensor replacememt.
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