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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One night, the car was fine. The next morning, it wouldn't start. The starter works. The battery's brand new. The AAA road assistance guy confirmed the battery's good, and he thought fuel pump. Car's a 1996 Grand Voyager SE, 3.3L.

Apparently, if the cause is not the fuel pump, then it's electrical or in the PCM, things I would enjoy learning about, hopefully at leisure. :angry: It's not the fuel pump.

One week before the no start problem, the gas gauge seemed to hit empty even more prematurely than before. As it turns out, at the moment when the car wouldn't start, and the needle was totally on empty, there was four gallons in the tank, that's 20 percent full.

On these cars, when you turn the ignition to ON, not RUN, this activates the fuel pump relay for several seconds (some say 2 seconds, others seem to be saying 10 seconds). The ASD relay does not come into play until the key is turned to RUN.

I mounted a fuel pressure gauge and cycled between ON and OFF. Needle didn't budge: more evidence it could be the fuel pump.

I just installed a new pump, aftermarket (Carter). Gauge needle still doesn't budge. I don't hear the new pump whirring, but could that be because it whirrs too softly to hear from the driver's seat?

I've put over 2,000 miles on in two months, and up to now there were no electrical type problems like driving over a bump failures, intermittent failures. With the key in ON position, the dashboard lights up.

The fuses for the fuel pump relay and ASD relay are both 20 amp. I checked all the 20 amp fuses that are in the PDC (power distribution center, next to the battery). I bought electrical parts to fashion jumper wires, but I haven't fashioned any and I haven't tested the relays yet.

They say check for spark. First, I put in new plugs and wires, the front plugs a month before this trouble, the rear plugs seven days before it (oh, and when I put the plenum back on, I was meticulous about reattaching the wire harness that screws into its back side). Second, I'm game to perform the starting fluid test, but where do you spray the stuff? On cars since the 90's the plenum covers up intake manifold. Do you take off the resonator and spray into the throttle body? Third, how do you test the ignition system when you can't get the engine to start? Will ohmmeter testing of the coil tower be enough?

Spec fuel pressure is 49 psi. Two months ago, I replaced the fuel filter (without taking off the fuel tank, I just lowered it a little). I forget how many ignition cycles it took to get the needle moving, but seven is surely enough.

What should I try next?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Addendum to thread starter

Forgot to mention: code reader showed zilch, for what that's worth.
 

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It isn't clear in your post regarding your fuel pump installation. Are you saying that you already have 2000 miles on your new fuel pump or you just installed a new one after the vehicle would not start? If you could clarify when the pump was installed that would help. Hopefully this is not a PCM problem. Are you aware of the Instrument cluster solder joint connection problem? Your vehicle is a 1996 Grand Voyager. The CCD bus may be open or shorted. You may check your HVAC module connector to see if it is loose or burned. The instrument Cluster problem can create ignition problems. Search a thread on the forum here under "Instrument Cluster repair." Some folks like to bang on the dash above the cluster to see if the vehicle will start. The bang will sometimes close an intermittent allowing the vehicle to start. Anyone who owns one of the older 3rd gen vans should probably resolder the instrument cluster connections as a matter of maintenance. The HVAC connector is also a known fault where the pin #21 ground heats up and corrodes or melts and can cause any number of symptoms from rear wiper/wash intermittents to disabling the CCD data bus. Lately we've seen a number of burned and shorted wiring harnesses. They'll be left unsecured or come loose and melt on the exhaust manifold causing the wiring to short out.
I would think this is some sort of electrical fault given that the vehicle was running the night before.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
It isn't clear in your post regarding your fuel pump installation. Are you saying that you already have 2000 miles on your new fuel pump or you just installed a new one after the vehicle would not start? If you could clarify when the pump was installed that would help. Hopefully this is not a PCM problem. Are you aware of the Instrument cluster solder joint connection problem? Your vehicle is a 1996 Grand Voyager. The CCD bus may be open or shorted. You may check your HVAC module connector to see if it is loose or burned. The instrument Cluster problem can create ignition problems. Search a thread on the forum here under "Instrument Cluster repair." Some folks like to bang on the dash above the cluster to see if the vehicle will start. The bang will sometimes close an intermittent allowing the vehicle to start. Anyone who owns one of the older 3rd gen vans should probably resolder the instrument cluster connections as a matter of maintenance. The HVAC connector is also a known fault where the pin #21 ground heats up and corrodes or melts and can cause any number of symptoms from rear wiper/wash intermittents to disabling the CCD data bus. Lately we've seen a number of burned and shorted wiring harnesses. They'll be left unsecured or come loose and melt on the exhaust manifold causing the wiring to short out.
I would think this is some sort of electrical fault given that the vehicle was running the night before.
I thought having the sentence, "gauge needle still doesn't budge" following immediately made the sequence of events clear, but now I tend to agree it doesn't. I installed the pump yesterday today I borrowed a fuel pressure test kit from a store.

A video by EricTheCarGuy says (1) check that the pump is whirring; (2) check fuse; (3) check relay; (4) if fuse and relay are good, check fuel pressure; (5) if pressure bad, check supply voltage at the pump. If (2), (3), and (5) are good, you can conclude the pump is bad. This reasoning sounds like it could be consistent with your post -- that is, since the pump is brand new, and the fuse is good, the problem is probably (3) or (4), and more likely (4), since relays rarely fail (uh, right?). But right now I am overwhelmed by all the information I've seen on YouTube, old threads here, etc., and I am not yet making sense of it all.

In a different video, Eric advises, "don't make assumptions. They get expensive". All along, I didn't like spending $140 on a fuel pump without a thorough diagnosis. I just didn't want to spend weeks learning how to do the thorough diagnosis.
 

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I would recommed unplugging the fuel pump and use a testlight across the supply and ground terminals (normally the two largest wires in the connector) to see if it lights up when you key it up/crank it over.
 
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One way I like to confirm the lack of fuel delivery is to spray some starter fluid into the intake snout or throttle bottle while cranking. If it is a fuel issue, that will get a "rise" out of the engine(it will momentarily try to run). Its a simple but effective test. Just be careful as starter fluid is highly flammable.

As far as the fuel pump and relay go, remember that you can check the resistance of the pump motor without having to crawl under the vehicle. You can access it right at the fuse box. Just pull the relay and use an ohmmeter from ground to the contact feeding the pump. I believe you can even swap the horn relay for the pump relay to confirm the relay operation.
 

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I guess Gruenwald would need some help getting someone to crank the ignition while he sprays starter fluid in the throttle body. If there is continuity on the fuel pump circuit what manner of resistance should Gruenwald read on his meter?
 

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I have sprayed starter fluid into the intake and then quickly ran to the drivers seat to crank but it is easier with a helper. I do not know the precise resistance but it is a small motor so I would guess the armature resistance would be somewhere in the low range (< 50 ohms).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Various points.

Pump motor resistance. A guy at Jeepforum.com (thread from around Memorial Day 2011) measured three units, including his old unit, and they ranged from 2 ohm to 17 ohm. Carter Fuel Delivery company claims never mind resistance, measure voltage drops.

I have a long learning curve ahead. At O'Reilly, they sell test lights that measure from positive and test lights that measure from negative. Whaaa? I thought a test light works with either polarity! OK, I'll manage to choose a test light.

Without an assistant, when it comes to measuring voltage while energizing the circuit, with the DVOM at the driver's seat or the relay, maybe I can run wire to the pump wiring connector. 10 feet of 16 gauge wire (rated for 15 A) has a resistance of 0.040
ohm.
(Since the vehicle circuit design shuts down the fuel pump relay after as little as 2 seconds at ignition on engine off, I might want to put a jumper across the relay's load side terminals.) Hmm, prop the meter on the blacktop outside the car and use binoculars to view it from the driver's seat or the relay. :lol: I saw the trick of putting T-pins (from office supply store, I just bought a pack) against terminals in a connector or relay box, and clipping the meter leads to the T-pins.

I am reading up on the CCD bus and other circuit knowledge for this vehicle. Since the instrument cluster, radio, headlights, and starter work, I hope the possibilities for a bad connection are few. Heh heh, I forgot to try turning on the blower. I haven't confirmed spark, but I'm supposing that shouldn't matter since the fuel circuit can be energized and fuel pressure built up with the engine off.

Carter has a whole PDF guide to troubleshooting low fuel pressure and replacing the pump. They think that bad wiring is a likely cause of low fuel pressure. Now I find this tutorial. The bright sides to replacing a working 16 year old unit are: the new pump has improved technology, the sender seemed to be bad anyway, and the process of replacing it built my character, maybe. BTW, the new unit's (Model P74706M) strainer is internal -- I verified this by phoning tech support.

A new PCM costs under $200. That would be a bummer, but not like replacing the trans. I don't yet feel hardcore enough to be desoldering bad transistors on the PCM and replacing them.

I'll report my progress.
_________________________________________________________

1996 Grand Voyager SE, 3.3L, 188k miles (2k of them mine)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Two more things that can be ruled out.

Check 1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager Recalls. Although there are at least three recalls involving the fuel system, none of them involve the pump operation or the electrical connections.

This aftermarket model is a straight plug in, no wire splicing involved. So no screwup there.
 

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A way out there possibility is a lack of valve timing. Luckily it's a clearance engine, but this happened to mine: A roll pin or some such broke, the one holding the cam gear on the cam, allowing the cam gear to lose its position on the cam. I never really got a precise description of that exactly broke though. Anyway it never happens. Maybe mine was the only one ever. Maybe though, you're the second.
 

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Various points.

Pump motor resistance. A guy at Jeepforum.com (thread from around Memorial Day 2011) measured three units, including his old unit, and they ranged from 2 ohm to 17 ohm. Carter Fuel Delivery company claims never mind resistance, measure voltage drops.

I have a long learning curve ahead. At O'Reilly, they sell test lights that measure from positive and test lights that measure from negative. Whaaa? I thought a test light works with either polarity! OK, I'll manage to choose a test light.

Without an assistant, when it comes to measuring voltage while energizing the circuit, with the DVOM at the driver's seat or the relay, maybe I can run wire to the pump wiring connector. 10 feet of 16 gauge wire (rated for 15 A) has a resistance of 0.040
ohm.
(Since the vehicle circuit design shuts down the fuel pump relay after as little as 2 seconds at ignition on engine off, I might want to put a jumper across the relay's load side terminals.) Hmm, prop the meter on the blacktop outside the car and use binoculars to view it from the driver's seat or the relay. :lol: I saw the trick of putting T-pins (from office supply store, I just bought a pack) against terminals in a connector or relay box, and clipping the meter leads to the T-pins.

I am reading up on the CCD bus and other circuit knowledge for this vehicle. Since the instrument cluster, radio, headlights, and starter work, I hope the possibilities for a bad connection are few. Heh heh, I forgot to try turning on the blower. I haven't confirmed spark, but I'm supposing that shouldn't matter since the fuel circuit can be energized and fuel pressure built up with the engine off.

Carter has a whole PDF guide to troubleshooting low fuel pressure and replacing the pump. They think that bad wiring is a likely cause of low fuel pressure. Now I find this tutorial. The bright sides to replacing a working 16 year old unit are: the new pump has improved technology, the sender seemed to be bad anyway, and the process of replacing it built my character, maybe. BTW, the new unit's (Model P74706M) strainer is internal -- I verified this by phoning tech support.

A new PCM costs under $200. That would be a bummer, but not like replacing the trans. I don't yet feel hardcore enough to be desoldering bad transistors on the PCM and replacing them.

I'll report my progress.
_________________________________________________________

1996 Grand Voyager SE, 3.3L, 188k miles (2k of them mine)
Take a headlight bulb or a horn off of your van and wire it up to the fuel pump connector. you will be able to see or hear them when you crank it.
also in response to the last thread here: All of the V6 Chrysler mini van engines a valve interference engine sorry to say but not sure why someone would think valve timing would take out fuel pressure :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Five days later, my testing is in progress. To recap the original symptoms: no fuel pressure, I get cranking but no starting. Car was running smoothly for one week after tuneup, suddenly there's no fuel pressure. There were no trouble codes. Then, replacing fuel pump didn't solve the problem.

The news is I removed the fuel pump relay and measured some voltages. I'm new at this, although I took a course in basic circuit theory ages ago. Please weigh in with your conclusions which may differ from mine. Battery (which is 2 months old) is at 11.88 V, likewise the relay supply. (I played the radio some since the car broke down, I quit doing that). Next, I put a jumper across the relay's switch terminal sockets (i.e., the load side sockets). Backprobing the power supply terminal of the pump wiring connector yielded 11.71 V. This proves to me the power supply wire from the engine compartment to the fuel pump has continuity and good resistance (low resistance), or good enough resistance. I did not get around to measuring the pump resistance. I also don't know where to find the rear ground block.

Following up the question about pump resistances. I reported before that one person measured resistances of 2, 4, 17 ohms in three pumps. 12 V at battery, divided by 2 ohm = 6 A. My old pump measures 96 ohm. That makes for at best 1/8 A. The fuel pump needed to be replaced in any case, am I right?

Again with relay load side shorted, backprobing yielded pump ground wire voltage of 0.0 V. A little confusing.

Fuel pressure gauge stayed at zero V.

The fuel supply electrical circuit is pretty simple. Battery, fuse, relay, 10 feet of wire to pump, pump itself, return wire to rear ground block. The fuel pump relay coil is ground side switched by the PCM based on crankshaft position sensor giving a signal and ignition being ON.

There's a discussion at JustAnswer.com. Owner had same problem: no fuel pressure, even after replacing the fuel pump. He even replaced his pump relay. If the fuse, pump, and supply wires are good, that leaves the relay and the PCM. If you jumper the relay load side and get fuel pressure, then the relay is bad. If you have the relay in and short the coil to ground (i.e., bypass the PCM) and get fuel pressure, then the PCM is bad.

I expected battery voltage at the fuel pump supply terminal, not 11.71 V. The fact that there's a significant voltage drop, 0.17 V, seems to indicate there actually is current flowing. That plus 0.0 V coming out of the pump seems to indicate nearly all the voltage drop is across the load (the pump), as things should be. But still no fuel pressure. Then the brand new pump would be bad.

Just for kicks, I put the relay back in. No fuel pressure.

The relay's coil resistance is 77 ohm, close enough to specified 80. I opened the relay. Contacts don't look fried. Although it's conceivable the contacts are a bit degraded, so that resistance is excessive, this would not account for total lack of fuel pressure. The relay seems to be good.

It's still possible the PCM is failing to switch the coil on, but that would be a separate problem from the fact that when I negate the coil by shorting the current feed path through the relay, still no dice. It seems either the brand new pump is bad and/or the grounding is bad. Any different suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My booboo in today's earlier post. Where it says, "fuel pressure gauge stayed at zero V", of course that's zero psi.
 

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One more and yur otta here...lol
 

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The suspense on this diagnostic is killin' me!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Banging the gas tank fixed things for a day, now they've relapsed.

Before the success, I did the starting fluid test, and it worked. But when I retried that test, I lost cranking. I suppose the battery lost too much voltage. I took the starter to PepBoys and it tested good.

I called for a tow. The tow truck driver gave it starting fluid and had me hold the gas pedal down a tad while he banged on the gas tank from underneath "to get the fuel pump started". This worked. :eekkkk: (I installed a new pump days ago, and up until this moment, it had not been delivering fuel.) I've heard of banging the starter and banging the dashboard, now this. I ran errands through the day. Although, on one occasion the engine cut out right after starting.

But today, every time the engine starts, it stalls out within seconds, even with the help of starting fluid. I even tried banging the tank, although there was no helper to simultaneously give it gas. Once I tried priming it, what they call "cycling the ignition" (with the key at ON).

Air in the fuel line -- after driving 20 miles? I heard a rumor that these systems "self bleed" air out. It would be easy enough for me to bleed the fuel line again, if anyone thinks that's the problem.

I looked for leaks, if there are any I didn't notice them. No smell of gasoline at the engine.

Also, the fuel gauge is still stuck on empty, despite 4 gallons in the tank. That problem started a couple of days before I lost fuel pressure.

A new symptom today involves the chime ringing pattern. Usually, when the key is turned to ON and not further to RUN and START, a chime immediately rings five times at about one second intervals, skips one second, then rings one more time. Starting today, it rings just once, after several seconds delay.

Before the trouble returned, I noticed the increase in fuel delivery from the new pump. Also, standing at the engine with the hood up, the engine was louder than before, but I didn't hear that difference from inside the car.

Everything else electrical works, including the blower motor. Battery's down to 12.8 V, before it was 13.9.

Failing temperature sensor? I've owned the car two months, and all along it's had a tendency toward delayed starting first thing in the morning, when the temperature's in the low 40s. Worn fuel pump wiring connector? (How does a fuel pump wiring connector get worn? I inspected it anyway while replacing the pump.) Negative battery cable fastened loosely to the frame? I mean, if it's not a defective pump (brand new Carter), I'm just guessing. I'm ready to ask the store for a new pump unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
One more day since the return of the crank, no start condition, I jumpered the load side of the fuel pump relay (again, this bypasses computer control of the relay). Then I got the engine to start on starting fluid. Pressing the gas pedal had no effect, the engine stalled out almost immediately.

The good news is that I can rule out the charging system and starting system (right?) On the day I was able to drive around, the battery voltage was 13.9. It's 12.1 now, after four attempts to start and no driving for a day and a half. Again, the battery's just two months old.
 

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Then charge the battery! All of your cranking is draining it, and it doesn't run long enough to recharge on the alternator.

Is it possible that the pump gets too hot with only 4 gallons of gas in the tank? How are you sure that there's 4 gallons in there? Just add a couple more gallons and see what happens. Reason I say this is we had a Grand Prix with a 17 gallon tank, and it would run out of gas with 3 gallons left. Apparently the tank was designed to hold 3 gallons of gas that the fuel pump couldn't reach. When the "low fuel" light would come on, you had to get gas - - now.

Otherwise, I'm thinking you got a defective pump. It happens, it's just not something I would expect from Carter. Since no one else mentioned it, there is a fuel pressure regulator valve built into the pump. When line pressure is optimal, the regulator bypasses fuel back into the tank. One member did have that part defective on a brand-new pump, and had to replace it. If it's staying open, it could be bypassing the gas back into the tank even though the pump is running.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Then charge the battery! All of your cranking is draining it, and it doesn't run long enough to recharge on the alternator.

Is it possible that the pump gets too hot with only 4 gallons of gas in the tank? How are you sure that there's 4 gallons in there? Just add a couple more gallons and see what happens. Reason I say this is we had a Grand Prix with a 17 gallon tank, and it would run out of gas with 3 gallons left. Apparently the tank was designed to hold 3 gallons of gas that the fuel pump couldn't reach. When the "low fuel" light would come on, you had to get gas - - now.

Otherwise, I'm thinking you got a defective pump. It happens, it's just not something I would expect from Carter. Since no one else mentioned it, there is a fuel pressure regulator valve built into the pump. When line pressure is optimal, the regulator bypasses fuel back into the tank. One member did have that part defective on a brand-new pump, and had to replace it. If it's staying open, it could be bypassing the gas back into the tank even though the pump is running.
I've suspected all along that the new pump was a dud. Thanks for explaining why it might be. (BTW, the fact that the gauge is now on empty, I blame that on the sending unit, not the gauge. It would be consistent that both the regulator and the sending unit are defective.) In fact, as soon as I can, I'll remove the pump and ask the store to give me another unit. If I could afford it, I'd give up on Carter and pay more for a Delphi or whatever the OE is. Now I have to wonder whether the store, or Carter, is going to screw me with the warranty terms. The warranty is supposedly invalid unless you change the fuel filter together with the pump. Well, my filter was only two months old, so I wasn't going to replace it. Also, if I remember correctly, this restriction was not advised in the packaging, I found it on Carter's Web site after the new pump was installed.

There's no doubt as to how much gas is in the tank because I've done all the work myself. I poured about 4.75 gallons in from a 5 gallon can and drove 18 miles -- after dropping and draining the tank and installing the new Carter. (Point of interest, the Carter design uses an internal strainer -- Carter's tech support confirmed this over the phone. There's no "sock" at the end of the pump.) The chronology is that one morning the engine wouldn't start, and the car hasn't driven again for almost four weeks, except for one day this week. As to what you said about your vehicle, two months ago, when my gas gauge, which, if it wasn't really correct then, it was at least a lot closer to correct than now, I ran on empty for about 8 miles (not by choice), and although I couldn't get past 40 mph for the last 2 miles, I made it to a gas station.

Before I installed this unit, I saw in a forum that one guy's new unit had one connection done upside down. I guess it was the float. Anyway, that made me check and check again that the new unit was assembled like the old.

The only other thing left to try, I think, is the grounding of the negative battery cable. I found a thread about a no start condition. New fuel filter and fuel pump didn't work. The guy finally tightened the screw fastening the negative battery cable to the frame, and that did it. That's wild! Now, I would only have to locate the other end of that cable. Of course, isn't this possibility inconsistent with the fact that the tow truck driver got the car to drive for a day in the space of a minute without touching the engine compartment?

I have a 5 gallon can and a 1 gallon. More than once I've thought of your suggestion of adding gas beyond 5 gallons. I haven't because: (1) I couldn't believe the tank is actually designed so that 4 gallons -- 20% full -- is not enough; (2) since I've been anticipating having to remove the pump again, I don't want to fill both cans, and I sure don't want to deal with a second 5 gallon.

You could be right about the battery, but I wonder because: (1) aren't 11.8 V, and certainly 12.2 V, usually enough?; (2) they were enough for this engine when I used starting fluid. Cranking didn't fail until I got down to 10.x (probably under 10.5); (3) I don't think I crank it as much as you expect. Since the second breakdown, this week, I cranked it just 3 times, just 5 seconds each. After I gave up, it had 12.1 V. I only cold crank for more than 5 seconds when instructed to do so by roadside assistance guys.

I haven't undone the pump install for over 2 weeks because I just hate, hate dropping the fuel tank, even now that I accomplished it. I don't have a private space to work in. The evap system hose that runs from the tank to the evap canister, I pushed and pulled it off a hose barb on the tank, which was a bear. I saw on a video some guy disconnected it at the engine compartment and pulled it through the chassis. I still wouldn't dare to try that. He said you can't pull it off the tank because it's heat shrunk onto that barb. That's believable, but OMG, I got it off the barb. I also hated that the siphon wouldn't work when I inserted it down the filler tube while the tank was mounted. I couldn't siphon until the tank was down, off the the filler tube hose. I'll try a pump next time, but if anybody has trouble with the pump, it'll be me.
 
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