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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got done replacing all of the rocker arms and lifters on my 2015 and it won't start. I followed a few online guides, torqued everything to spec, etc. and got everything back together late last night, and it won't start. I hear the fuel pump turn on when I put the key in the ignition, and when I turn they key I hear the starter engage and it spins the motor, but it's like there's no compression or something. The motor just spins but doesn't even "chug" like it's trying to fire. There are no codes being thrown when attempting to start or anything.

I've done a visual inspection of what I can see of harnesses and everything seems to be plugged in. I've checked the 4 cam phasers, 2 camshaft position sensors, ignition coils (that I can see), and injectors (that I can see), map, maf, throttle body, oil pressure, oil temperature and all of those appear to be plugged in and fully seated.

Any other things anybody suggests I check before I start taking off the upper intake manifold (again) for a better look?
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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Any chance you moved the timing chain on the sprockets? Did you remove the OCVs or just lean the cams? Oil soak the lifters before install? Are you sure all rockers were properly seated on both the lifters and valves?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I followed Motor City Mechanic's directions, which included rotating the cams to a specific position aligned with timing marks, using blocks to lock the sprockets in place, and then wedges to release the chain tensioners. I removed the cams from the cam phasers and only worked on one cam at a time. I soaked the lifters and rocker arms for about 5 minutes (and stirred w/ a screwdriver until I didn't see any more bubbles) before installing.

I used a paint marker on the cam phasers, top chain link, and then the first cam cap for alignment. I double checked before putting the valve covers back on that all the rockers were properly seated on both the lifters and valves. I can turn the motor by hand on the crank, and it spins the motor when I turn the key. If any of these were off, would it have the symptoms I'm describing?
 

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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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Are the coilpaks fully seated and plugged in?
Are the fuel injector connectors plugged in? Sounds like you already checked these.

Is there fuel flow?
Do you smell fuel while doing this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is the 3.6 an interference engine?
The google machine tells me yes. I would think if I screwed up the timing chain or cam sprokets my hand cranking would seize, and/or the starter spinning the motor would have grenaded or something. There have been no "bad" sounding noises like something hitting something it shouldn't, but I'm not ASE certified, I'm YouTube certified, and barely that.

Are the coilpaks fully seated and plugged in?
Are the fuel injector connectors plugged in? Sounds like you already checked these.
The coilpacks should be fully seated, and unfortunately with the 3.6 they're under the upper intake manifold so I can't check them all without tearing back in. I plan to take the upper intake manifold back off in the next couple of days to triple check the connectors I can't really fiddle with. I plan to unplug all of them and check to be sure no pins look bent, too. They all went in and clicked so I doubt it's that, but I want to eliminate possibilities. I removed the battery for the repair, but I still plan to check fuses.

Is there fuel flow?
Do you smell fuel while doing this?
I'm not sure if there's fuel flow. Unfortunately the fuel rail doesn't have a pressure port (like a schrader or anything) so I guess to test that, I'll take the supply line back off of the rail and see if there's plenty of fuel there leaking out like when I started the repair. I feel like I smell fuel after attempting to start, but there's also brake clean, and other smells in the garage right now so I might just be smelling that. I'll open the garage up and air it out before trying again to see if I smell fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think it’d be really smart to do a compression test. Your description of how it sounds when cranking makes it sound like it has no compression.
I don't have a compression tester... I'm tempted to just pull the valve cover again if I'm tearing back in, but I'm concerned with re-using the seal based on the 2 spots of RTV where the timing cover and heads meet. Pulling that either means chancing an oil leak there, or another ~$50 on a gasket, but an OTC compression tester is ~$100. Hmm....

Any codes? Check engine light? Could you have left a rag in the intake?
No codes or CEL. I used blue shop towels in the head passages. I know I pulled them all before putting the lower intake back on because I looked through at the valves I could see on each cylinder.

Something I didn't do, but maybe should have in retrospect, was hand-crank the motor with the valve cover off to see if everything looked OK... i.e. cams turning, rockers moving, valves opening/closing.

I'm really hoping for somebody that really knows this motor to say something like "oh, if a CPS is bad, it won't even try to ignite" or something.

Couple of questions:
Can you safely spray brake clean on CPS (not in the connector, but around the top, where I had some "grime") and the spray port of the injectors. I got brake clean on those things when cleaning them before inserting the new gaskets and buttoning things up. I don't think there should be any issues, but you never know.

I also added new oil pressure sensor and oil temp sensor on the oil cooler when I was in there, could brand new MOPAR ones be bad, causing this type of issue?
 

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Should have CEL and if you forgot to plug back say a cam sensor it should indicate.

I think the 2 sensors on the intake and exhaust the Youtube Mechanics say not to mix them, maybe you did that.

If the engine does not know where the motor is for example firing order it wont know where to send spark or fuel so it wont start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The fact that you are not getting any (zero) sputter when cranking makes me guess that there's no fuel or no spark or both. Just my guess.
I agree. I'm trying to think if the starting sequence would have a flow like:
1. Engage starter
2. Wait for reference crank position signal/cam position signal.
3. Start sending signals for fuel/spark

In other words, maybe some wiring is my problem, and it's not getting past step 2, and not necessarily the valvetrain.

Another tidbit with this motor. I replaced the valve body in the transmission at the beginning of the year due to the 2-4 solenoid being bad. Afterwards I was getting an intermittent code for the MAP that indicated a problem including a potential vacuum leak and it would go into some form of a limp mode. It wouldn't downshift, and couldn't use cruise, but I could still go full speed. I replaced the manifolds, vacuum lines, MAP sensor, and the MAP connector. That still didn't fix it, so I took it to the dealership who found a bad wire deep in a harness. I'm really hoping that when I moved the harnesses out of the way for this work another brittle wire didn't break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think the 2 sensors on the intake and exhaust the Youtube Mechanics say not to mix them, maybe you did that.
If you mean the cam actuators, I labeled them with a paint pen using dots and put them back where they came from. However, if you mean the cam position sensors on either bank, those are the one thing I didn't label and could have maybe mixed up, but I'm pretty sure I didn't based on the grime on one vs. the other which I cleaned right before putting back. My left bank has slight oil seepage, but the right didn't.
 

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Have you done the basics for troubleshooting a no start? Spray a little fuel down the throat and try it? Pull a plug wire[coil] install a plug and hold against the block to look for spark?
You have either.....no compression, no spark or no fuel.
 

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I don't have a compression tester... I'm tempted to just pull the valve cover again if I'm tearing back in, but I'm concerned with re-using the seal based on the 2 spots of RTV where the timing cover and heads meet. Pulling that either means chancing an oil leak there, or another ~$50 on a gasket, but an OTC compression tester is ~$100. Hmm....
...
Compression testers are loaner tools at AutoZone and O'Reilly. Sure beats going all the way back in. You should expect readings no lower than 120 if everything is on right.

Should have CEL and if you forgot to plug back say a cam sensor it should indicate.

I think the 2 sensors on the intake and exhaust the Youtube Mechanics say not to mix them, maybe you did that.
...
Yes, unplugged sensor will throw a light. Cam sensors and actuators are interchangeable.

... That still didn't fix it, so I took it to the dealership who found a bad wire deep in a harness. I'm really hoping that when I moved the harnesses out of the way for this work another brittle wire didn't break.
Again, I'd expect a code if that were the case.
 

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Fuel pump (TIPM) control may have picked the magical wrong time to go.

Again, having no cough or sputter when cranking...... and you can't tell the diff from brake cleaner (Fuel smells entirely different).
 

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sorry i cant be of any help, i was thinking about attempting the rocker fix myself as i posted on this forum about some opinions. The scenario you are in is like my nightmare. I wish you best of luck and hope you resolve it without driving yourself insane
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sorry i cant be of any help, i was thinking about attempting the rocker fix myself as i posted on this forum about some opinions. The scenario you are in is like my nightmare. I wish you best of luck and hope you resolve it without driving yourself insane
Thank you! I fought with that decision too. I've done some work on this motor before, but never to the valvetrain. Good luck with your decision. I was kinda rushed into this. I took the van in for an oil change and they cracked the oil cooler and denied any fault. It was literally spewing oil all over so I had to either get it fixed, or fix it myself. The dealer wanted over $1k for the oil cooler job so I was tearing in to do that myself (that's a relatively easy job) and figured since I was tearing in already, might as well get rid of that tick and do that work myself too. I ordered up all the parts and dove in. I found one of the exhaust rockers on the right bank that was completely shot so I'm confident that was the tick I had, but with re-assembly, I'm just hoping I didn't screw something up that I can't easily fix myself. I replaced all 24 rockers/lifters and took my time over a couple days. I'm an engineer, but not a mechanic. I wrote out torque specs/order, and any time I second guessed anything, I'd stop and investigate. The two hardest part of the job for me (aside from the current non-working state of things) was getting tension released properly on the right bank. The tool I bought didn't seem to want to give me much play on that chain and the intake cam was a little difficult to get in and out. I took my time, and things seemed good when I put it back together, but something is definitely wrong. I am leaning toward some sort of compression problem based on the advice here, symptoms themselves, and watching a couple other videos for similar sounds to the way it's cranking. It sounds so "loose" I thought the starter solenoid wasn't actually engaging the motor, but I can see the serpentine belt (and pulleys) move when it cranks, it just sounds so "free" like the motor isn't even doing anything so maybe some valves are stuck open, but it's an interference motor, so I don't know what exactly could be going on.

I'll report back what I find out, but I already ordered another valve cover gasket set and will tear back in this weekend to see if I can figure anything out. The local shop wanted $2900 to do this job, so I'm fine spending another $50 on the mahle gasket set and tearing back in for now. I was about $600 in, for quality replacement parts (mopar oil cooler (and new sensors), mahle gaskets, melling rockers/lifters, $20 chinese cam/timing blocks from amazon) and now an additional $42 on another gasket set, and for the heck of it I bought a OTC compression tester that will be here tomorrow to add to my toolbox. Another reason I'm willing to keep fighting this is I bought a second vehicle with this motor recently, so I'm considering any learnings I get as an investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had the wife crank the engine while looking at the serp belt today, which spun, and I didn't have her crank it very long, but I didn't smell any fuel. How long would I need to attempt cranking to hear that? I looked at some information on the TIPM and fuel problem, seems somewhat common and there's a couple easy ways to test that the relay/pump are at least getting/sending power when they should, which I'll do this weekend, too. The good news is if that's the problem, (which I doubt, since it doesn't "chug" when cranking, just sounds like it's free-spinning) it can be fixed for way less than the $1200 a TIPM costs.
 

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I watched about 10 videos, 1 very detailed one and to me it seems like it would be doable but there are just some certain parts (like tension on the chain etc etc) that the videos make look somewhat easy but i know from doing house remodel work it just never works out that way. I have been getting more quotes like some of the forum peeps have suggested and everyong is around 3k for my area. Some places will let me buy the parts which will save me almost 1k but they wont warranty it and i just dont feel like if there is a problem the finger pointing would start. Still debating what to do.. but i love my van 200k+ owes me nothing.
 
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