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Chrysler Repair/No spark - code 54 - '87 LeBaron 2.2L turbo


QUESTION: Chrysler Le Baron 1988 2,2 TBI cabrio
I already bought it broken (thought it was gonna be easy to fix it and enjoy the car) and I have no more ideas what could that be

Hint: my car might have been produced in 1987 and only registered in 1988, because power and tbi logic module are as in 86-87 models (2 separate parts)

The engine won't start, there is no spark. I receive the error code 54 (and 12, 23, 55 but those are easy) and have no more ideas for it.
The starter is ok, it' s cranking, but the engine will not engage.
The fuel pump relay seems to be working, as I can feel it "click" on when the key is turned to start the car. I also hear it working when I stand close to the tank. Fuel filter looks like it must have been replaced recently.

It happened few times that the engine started while cranking, then it worked for a while and turned off suddenly. I even got it once working for like an hour and then I had to tug it back home. So sometimes something happens and the spark shows up, but it happened only like 5 times.

Already tried:
Replaced pickup sensor under the distributor cap for a new one.
Replaced the ignition coil for a new one.
Checked fusible links: they are ok.
Checked all wires: they are ok.
Checked on the two small wires on the back of the alternator during engine cranking: one of them has full battery voltage.
Checked the map sensor: it is ok.
Remove the distributor cap and watch if the rotor turns during cranking: it does turn
Checked ASD relay: yes

The computer might have been already replaced once because there is written: " 87 dodge b4 600"

I think it could be the logic module, but before replacing it I want to be 100% sure that I checked every other possibility, because it is an expensive adventure.

I will appreciate every useful hint, hoping for finally getting it repaired.

ANSWER: Hi Paulina,
The model year is shown by the 10th digit of the VIN number, and an '87 would be "H".
The 7th place is the body style, so tell me what that is and please describe the type of body.  And the 5th place is the line of the car (there a 3 different LeBarons so tell me what that letter is). The 8th digit would be the engine and the 2.2L tbi fuel injected should be D.
So tell me what is the VIN number. If is possible that this is an 87 that was sold in 88 in Europe originally.
The first thing I notice is that the 54 code is not used with the throttle body injected engine as it doesn't have multiple injectors, like the multi-point 2.2L turbo has. Which makes me wonder if the module is the correct one for the engine that you have. The 54 code is about the signal from a second sensor in the distributor which is used in the turbo engine but not in the throttle body injected engine. So that might explain the "no spark" problem.
As to the label on the module, I am not sure what the 'b4 means, but the 600 is a line of the Dodge brand. The 4 is for 4 cylinder but I am not sure what the b means. So it apparently is not the computer that came with the LeBaron.
Is there any way you can talk to the previous owner to get any history? It may be that there is a mismatch of engine parts going on here.
In the meantime have you checked the continuity of the distributor rotor and looked over the distributor cap for cracks?
Let me know what you find.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

under the hood
under the hood  
body type
body type  
QUESTION: Thank you for the quick response Roland!

VIN:  1C3BJ55E6HG195679
Which means it is indeed 87 year. It is a 2 door cabriolet.

The previous owner said it just stopped working while he was driving it and then he had to tug it back home. I thought it will be an easy-to-fix issue, like replacing the ignition coil (which I've done after tugging it home) but it seems to be something really complicated. Maybe the previous owner didn't tell me the truth,. maybe he tried to fix it and that is why there is the power module from dodge.

The distributor looks undamaged. I have replaced the Hall Effect sensor and the rotor does spin while cranking the engine. I also checked the voltage on the grey plug - there was the voltage around 8V on both: cavity No 1 and No 2.

Yesterday I checked the voltage on the positive of ignition coil: after turning the power switch it has 0,7V less than the battery (11,5V) for one second. BUT it is gone while cranking the engine: then it's 0,2V.

Can we generalize from this?

Thanks in advance!

ANSWER: Hi Paulina,
I see now from the photo that you have the 2.2L turbo, which is NOT throttle body injected (as is the non-turbo engine) but rather is multi-point injected.
The code 54 is pointing toward the signals not coming from the Hall effect sensor in the distributor as the problem. Have you tried checking out the 6 wires for that sensor which you did replace? I assume that the code readout was "fresh", e.g. taken after first disconnecting the battery to cancel the old codes and then try to start it again. I can tell you what those connections are supposed to be if you don't have the wiring diagrams.
PS: Thanks for the rating and nomination. Feel free to do that again if this response proves to be helpful to you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Roland,
thanks for info.

The readout is fresh.

I even checked the voltage on the grey plug of Hall effect sensor, as I told you in previous question.

Or you mean something else?
I couldn't find any wiring diagrams in the internet so unfortunately I don't have any. That would be great if you could explain which wires you mean.


Hi Paulina,
I suspect that either you or the previous owner tried replacing the sensors under the distributor cap but bought the wrong "package". The turbo distributor has 2 separate discs:  one with a grey plug and one with a black plug. You called it a "TBI engine" which only has 1 disc and 1 gray plug. So you are missing the "synch sensor" now and when that is the case it would cause the code 54. The wires on the sockets for the 2 plugs go to the same place (rear of the battery) so you should be able to find the black socket nearby just hanging there, unused.
So check with the parts seller to see if you can get distributor "package" that is for the "multi-point fuel injected engine" which is indeed what you are working with there.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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