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2002 Grand Caravan Sport 299,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About October 2020ish, I stepped out late at night for a beer run & it had gotten chilly (around 48°f) when I cranked the van it started but sputtered like crazy as if it was running on 2 cylinders and it ran that way for about a minute then smoothed out to normal. The next day it was around 70° and there was no problem at all, it started and ran fine. A week later, the temperature drops again and there was the sputtering when I started it. I noticed that it took longer to smooth out and run normally. I suspected spark plugs, I changed them, the coil pack, the throttle position sensor, the IAC valve, ECT sensor, & the injectors. Nothing changed. It got worse to the point it would take an hour to start/run. I started to notice black smoke & soot from the exhaust pipe & the van wouldn’t stay running. I couldn’t check fuel pressure because the schrader valve is stripped. I figured that the pressure regulator was the issue so I took out the fuel pump and swapped it with a used one. No difference. Both of my fuel pumps were purchased together from a self service scrap yard 2 years ago, I just kept a spare. I ordered a brand new pump I’m waiting for it to come. I do notice that spraying starting fluid makes no difference either. There are no DTCs.
I have no idea what I’m missing. Any idea what my problem could be?
 

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2002 Grand Caravan Sport 299,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
injector wiring harness?
Would that throw a code? Also once I can get it to stay running and then running smoothly, I can drive it all day and night & it even restarts perfectly after its been driven around. I’d think a bad harness would cause misfires here and there as it disconnects/shorts to ground. I will take a look at it in a few & let you know. It didn’t look bad when I changed the injectors, I’ll take a closer look.
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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You need to un-wrap the insulation around the injector wires to determine fitness. The harness WILL look OK on the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok
You need to un-wrap the insulation around the injector wires to determine fitness. The harness WILL look OK on the outside.
Ok, I will do that. Is there something specific that I should be looking for in the wiring that won’t be obvious? I mean I wouldn’t expect there to be damaged wires under that insulation as it doesn’t appear to have evidence that it’s rubbed through.
 

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3rd gen > all others
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They don't rub. The high heat in that area breaks down the wire insulation until it melts, and the copper wires short together. When that happens, injectors will be spraying fuel when they shouldn't, causing misfires and rich running/black exhaust smoke. If you can drive it while misfiring and go fast enough to open the throttle wide open (max fuel needed) it should smooth out because it will use all the fuel it's getting. Did that with a friend's 2001, then opened the wire loom and untaped the harness to find wires all melted together. If let go long enough, it can fry the injector drivers inside the ECU and you'll need a new one. My friend got lucky. His mechanic was stumped and wanted to tear the engine apart. I replaced his harness with a used $5 one from the junkyard. Told him to take the old harness to his mechanic and tell him what happened so he could learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They don't rub. The high heat in that area breaks down the wire insulation until it melts, and the copper wires short together. When that happens, injectors will be spraying fuel when they shouldn't, causing misfires and rich running/black exhaust smoke. If you can drive it while misfiring and go fast enough to open the throttle wide open (max fuel needed) it should smooth out because it will use all the fuel it's getting. Did that with a friend's 2001, then opened the wire loom and untaped the harness to find wires all melted together. If let go long enough, it can fry the injector drivers inside the ECU and you'll need a new one. My friend got lucky. His mechanic was stumped and wanted to tear the engine apart. I replaced his harness with a used $5 one from the junkyard. Told him to take the old harness to his mechanic and tell him what happened so he could learn.
Did you have to “pigtail” the harness or is there a connector on each side that I can unplug and replace? A trip to pick n pull is something I definitely don’t mind. Something else I noticed today while playing with it was that when I swapped out the filter assembly with my stock one, it got no fuel at the rail at all but it gets fuel with the filter assembly that I got when I got those two fuel pumps. It’s mystifying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They don't rub. The high heat in that area breaks down the wire insulation until it melts, and the copper wires short together. When that happens, injectors will be spraying fuel when they shouldn't, causing misfires and rich running/black exhaust smoke. If you can drive it while misfiring and go fast enough to open the throttle wide open (max fuel needed) it should smooth out because it will use all the fuel it's getting. Did that with a friend's 2001, then opened the wire loom and untaped the harness to find wires all melted together. If let go long enough, it can fry the injector drivers inside the ECU and you'll need a new one. My friend got lucky. His mechanic was stumped and wanted to tear the engine apart. I replaced his harness with a used $5 one from the junkyard. Told him to take the old harness to his mechanic and tell him what happened so he could learn.
Ahh I looked it up. There’s a connector that branches off to 6 individuals for the injectors. Ok, easy enough.
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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Is there something specific that I should be looking for in the wiring


Here's the REALLY LONG topic on the injector wiring issue. Includes pics of repaired harnesses and workarounds.

EDIT: I don't understand why the above topic isn't a STICKY!!! o_O
 
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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Th


Here's the REALLY LONG topic on the injector wiring issue. Includes pics of repaired harnesses and workarounds.

EDIT: I don't understand why the above topic isn't a STICKY!!! o_O
This is exactly what I discovered just now when I unwrapped it. Thank you all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
60341

And there she is. I don’t feel bad about throwing parts at it. It’s almost at 300,000 miles. I’ll get that taped up so I can get back to solving issues with my client’s vehicles. Thanks again to you and everyone else who chimed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It’s 46° out today and I still have the same issue. I taped up the harness really well yesterday (it was about 65°) and I drove it about 10 miles no problems besides a CEL that will not clear & giving me a P0601. Today it won’t start & if it does, it’s sputtering & stalling. What’s going on here? Could the harness have fried the PCM? Are there more harnesses to check? Can I pull a PCM from a van like mine at a salvage yard & plug & play? I’m having a really hard time, I use this van for work so I’m losing all the way across tho board. Here’s a photo of the soot spot it left under the tail pipe today.
1606842898099.jpeg
 

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It’s 46° out today and I still have the same issue. I taped up the harness really well yesterday (it was about 65°) and I drove it about 10 miles no problems besides a CEL that will not clear & giving me a P0601. Today it won’t start & if it does, it’s sputtering & stalling. What’s going on here? Could the harness have fried the PCM? Are there more harnesses to check? Can I pull a PCM from a van like mine at a salvage yard & plug & play? I’m having a really hard time, I use this van for work so I’m losing all the way across tho board. Here’s a photo of the soot spot it left under the tail pipe today. View attachment 60351
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is it possible you have bad gas? Too much water in the tank? Just saying.
The PCM was fried. (The shorted harness must have caused that) I put in a Junkyard PCM from a T&C and haven’t had a problem since. (Yes, it was plug & play no flashing or programming necessary) I changed the oil today, it was passed 7,500mi and it probably had gas in it. Just took it for a beer run & all is well so far. It’s been 48hrs without a problem.
 

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Only possible problem you might have is vehicle emissions inspection. The computer will read a different VIN than your vehicle has, and will throw a red flag. No inspections, no worries! (y)
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
UPDATE: for about a week all was well. 2 days ago I had to make an evasive move while driving and all of a sudden there was a misfire. I checked for spark and that’s fine. I let it run and grabbed the fuel injector harness and it shocked me pretty good. I think I’ll tape it up again and order a new one. I can’t think of anything else that would cause it to misfire. The junkyard PCM isn’t picking up any new codes and it’s not clearing the code that is stored in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE: for about a week all was well. 2 days ago I had to make an evasive move while driving and all of a sudden there was a misfire. I checked for spark and that’s fine. I let it run and grabbed the fuel injector harness and it shocked me pretty good. I think I’ll tape it up again and order a new one. I can’t think of anything else that would cause it to misfire. The junkyard PCM isn’t picking up any new codes and it’s not clearing the code that is stored in it.
I got a new harness. The old one shorted out my injectors. It was dumping fuel which caused #4 spark plug electrode to bend. I guess the unburned gas didn’t compress and smashed the plug. I replaced all of the injectors with the old original ones that I had in before I discovered the bad harness. & I replaced the #4 plug. It runs better than ever. This injector harness can really cause a bunch of other issues. Only thing left to figure out is why P1495 won’t clear. It was never there with the original PCM & it’s existed in the junkyard PCM since I plugged it in. Other than that, it’s now running great with 300,619 miles on the odo.
 
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