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1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager 3.3
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fathers '97 Grand Voyager 3.3 has been experiencing a fairly intermittent stalling issue, while driving. Happens most frequently when slowing down to stop, and sitting at traffic lights, or sometimes just driving around town. Will not stall on highway, at consistent speed. No ignition codes. Has a radiator cooling fan code, can't imagine that has anything to do with stalling. (It has new IAC, wiring around plug and harness looks great. Van will idle when it's happy.) I should also mention that this van does have a BCM short somewhere, doors will lock themselves, and tail light/side marker light circuit also has an issue. Before I continue, I need to mention that this van is a work/beater van. It is not pretty and does not warrant, "professional", fixes, or premium parts. It just needs to run and drive.

Now, back to the stalling problem. It tends to stall within the first 5-10 minutes of driving for first time of day. If I let it sit for 10 minutes on side of road, it'll fire right back up, and run great for rest of day. Occasionally, it'll quit twice on the same day, then fire up and run great after 10 minutes.

I can't figure if this could be an ignition issue, as if the coil is getting hot, like on a lawn tractor, or of it is a BCM/computer/sensor issue. I thought to myself if maybe the security system immobilizer could be killing ignition, based on the door lock short, then starting when immobilizer times out. Just a thought there.

Again, there are no ignition codes, or any engine related codes either. Engine is not missing or stumbling, during normal driving. One time, when engine fired up after stalling and waiting the 10 minutes, revved engine to limiter, and engine was backfiring, sounding like out of throttle body. Leading me to think ignition issue. Just another thought there as well.

What are you guys thinking?

Thanks!

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Won't be a crank sensor or anything else with a coil, as those fail when warm and only work after they've cooled off.

When it stalls and you attempt to restart, is there fuel or spark? ASD relay spontaneously tripping? That again could go back to the immobilizer system/BCM malfunction.

Then again, with the sputtering and backfiring while running just after firing back up, maybe the EGR valve is getting stuck (open)?
 
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1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager 3.3
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Won't be a crank sensor or anything else with a coil, as those fail when warm and only work after they've cooled off.

When it stalls and you attempt to restart, is there fuel or spark? ASD relay spontaneously tripping? That again could go back to the immobilizer system/BCM malfunction.

Then again, with the sputtering and backfiring while running just after firing back up, maybe the EGR valve is getting stuck (open)?
Well, that's what it seems like is happening, right? Coil or crank sensor is getting hot, cools off some during that 10 minute wait, then it'll fire.



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Check for a vacuum leak in the power brake booster.

I say this because you mention mostly coming to a stop or idling in traffic.

You might also see if you can remove the two nuts from the master cylinder, then pull it forward and see if your phone can photograph the inside of the booster to check for a pool of oil inside it. If you find oil I bet the booster seal has failed.

My 361,000 mile 1999 Gran Voyager 3.3 VIN G engine has enough blowby to lose oil but not visibly smoke or cause emission issues. I've been driving it for over 10 years typically more than 20,000 miles per year.

I keep having power brake booster failures - enough that I've started writing the date on each booster I install. Each time the booster has failed I have found oil - not brake fluid - pooled in the bottom of the booster. My theory is that over time the engine blowby pumps enough oil vapor into the booster to pool and somehow degrade the booster seals.

When the booster fails - usually after 9 months to 12 months - it will idle roughly and occasionally die. I'll have to "two foot it" when stopped - giving it a little gas while the other foot is on the brake pedal to keep idle speed from getting too low.

I go the to a local self service salvage yard, pull another booster, inspect that booster to verify no oil is pooled in the bottom of it, then install it. I've become very proficient at changing them out. And it is time for another now.

And yes, I have found more than one salvage yard booster besides mine with oil - not brake fluid - pooled in it. So it is a thing with these 3rd Gens.

Also - if visiting a salvage yard for a booster the 4 cylinder 3rd Gens booster is much easier to remove from the vehicle than V6 models. No V6 upper plenum to remove. Even the hose on the 4 cylinder boosters seems to be the same length.

BTW - after the booster change the engine idles normally when warmed up and my foot on the brake.

Hope this helps.
 

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With that much oil blowby, wouldn't it be much easier to install a catch can on the PCV hose? Could even rig one up on the vacuum host to the booster to protect that.

Stalling within the first 5-10 minutes of the day, the crank sensor should still be cold. That's why I dismissed it as the cause. It should stall while idling in one place, when the engine bay is at it's hottest. When it restarts it shouldn't stumble and sputter. This is why I think it's a fuel mixture or vacuum problem.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Been driving van around for a week, van hasn't stalled once.

I put a cheap SKP brand crank sensor in, van would not fire. Put original sensor back in, van started immediately.. I've read that these engines don't like cheap parts..

Got a cam sensor code the other day. I'll replace both crank and cam sensor with NTK parts, as per advice on Allpar.

Now, I also want to share that this van is a turd. It is my fathers beater, and he doesn't want to spend a lot of effort and money getting it running perfectly. There are a lot of things on this van that need attention. We're just trying to get as many miles out of it before problems start stacking more frequently. He has an '05 Grand Caravan with low miles on standby. I will take as many parts from his '97, for my '97, and bring it to scrap when we decide it's time.

It really is amazing how much it can take, with such poor maintenace. A testament to the reliability of these vans, they were the last of real Chryslers, of real quality built cars for that matter.


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Hope the sensors fix the problem.
Back in 2019 my 99 3.8l did the same. The more short trips I did during the day with interior lights on when door opens, the next day it would stall shortly after starting, usually at a stop light or when the radiator fans kicked in. A new battery fixed the problem (along with turning off the interior lights) for 2 years and then in late 2021 the random stalling became more frequent including on the highway. Got to the point in 2022 that I could stall the van shortly after startup by turning on the AC, lights and blower.
With the later stalls, it reset the engine computer in that it would show on the scanner that no emissions checks had been performed along with no check engine lights. In my case a used $100 ECU fixed the problem. Most likely cause was a failing internal voltage regulator inside of ECU but that is pure speculation on my part. I suspect as well that the automatic turning on and off of the radiator fans became too much work for the original regulator to handle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Alright, new sensors are in. Next problem I'm noticing, is that van refuses to rev past 2500rpm or so, while in park. Starts to reek of fuel while revving it. Feels like something is clogged, or stuck. Like there's restriction on something. It'll backfire out TB some too while revving in park. Also seems to be some power missing while driving up hills and such..

Stuck or clogged EGR?


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