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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all, I am new to this forum and have joined in hope for some enlightenment on my minivan problem. I have searched and searched to no avail and am asking for help at this point.

I recently purchased a 1995 Plymouth voyager 3.0 motor. It had 165,000 miles on it. It runs like a top when it runs. I am currently getting around 22 miles to the gallon. I purchased it from original owner. It even came with all maintenance records.

I bought it Knowing that it had an issue with dying for no reason. When it does die while driving, you can start it back up again and drive away. Sometimes it's not so easy. On occasion it will start for 3-5 seconds and then die again. This can go on for many tries and all a sudden it will up and run and you are good to go. Sometimes while cruising at freeway speeds it will start cutting out. It seems as if the ignition is stopping for a second or two. Sometimes you can hold the throttle at the same spot and it will continue to cut out until you make an adjustment to the throttle position. Sometimes to this will work for a moment and other times it will just die. For the most part you can pull off the road, hit the key and it will fire and you're good to go for another 2, 5, 10 minutes and sometimes for an hour or so. I took it on about a 700 mile trip last weekend and it quit on us many times on the way up and the way back. However when we arrived at our location and drove it around for 2 days and a half tank of fuel it ran just fine. It's really frustrating and I am trying all I can think to fix it. Parts I've changed to correct the issue are as follows:

Fuel pressure regulator.
Throttle position sensor.
Map sensor.
Distributor which is also the crank position sensor, if I've read correctly.
Plug wires.
Fuel filter.

And lastly the coil. All parts were from the junkyard because I cannot afford or justify throwing all new parts at it until I know it's absolutely bad. Aside from the ignition coil.

Through all of the 2000 miles I have put on this van it has never thrown an engine code until today, after changing the coil. The cutting out was happening this morning on the way into town to pickup the new coil as well as the way home. Once I changed the coil and went for a ride the cutting out seems to have changed to a chug (which its done before for moments here and there, comes and goes) but now all a sudden I'm getting a check engine light. I did the key trick to read the codes and it came back with 35 engine code which appears to be related to the "cooling fan relay". I was hoping for a code more related to my symptoms :-(.

I'm open to any and all suggestions. This is a clean van that I picked up for a good price. When it runs properly it's really enjoyable to drive and run around in. I'm sorry for the small book but I wanted to list everything I could think to answer any additional questions up front.
Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Welcome to the site.
Sorry for not getting on and getting you a faster response, we were doing Vacation then labor day traveling and I wasn't always checking the gen 2 side of the site.

Have you tried tap testing the PCM? Try gently tapping on it with a screwdriver handle, you never know I have got many a problem to surface doing this on: modules, relays, PCM ....
Try running it around for a few days with the O2 sensor unplugged. A bad O2 can send a false signal and lean you out to the point where it will die.
You can also attach a fuel pressure gauge to the rail to see if it is dropping when it dies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your response 1994 Sport.

I have not tried tapping the PCM yet. I actually put a call into my local junk yard on Saturday to see if they had one and I am just going to swap it out.

The problem is that it wont leave me stranded to try the tapping method very often. By the time you get to the side of the road (when it does quit) and bump the starter, she's off and running again haha. It did quit on me once and I brought it back by tapping the Map sensor and the side of the distributor cap. I actually thought I had it fixed after I changed those 2 parts out, but apparently I didn't.

However the problem seems to have toned down quite a bit especially after I changed the coil but then again we haven't traveled much further than about a 30 mile radius (my wife is driving it daily). I drove it over the weekend and it did cut out a few times but nothing substantial. I will try unplugging the O2 sensor and see if that helps. At one point through all of this I was going to try the fuel pressure gauge on the rail but I couldn't find a shrader valve to hook into it?....
 

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On a 3.0L you will have to tee into the rubber supply line to read the fuel pressure. No Shrader valve :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
10-4 Thanks for heads up on that. I will look into it.
As a side note, I just received a call back from my local junk yard and they do not have a PCM available :(. Any suggestions on where to find one?
 

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Thank you for your response 1994 Sport.

I have not tried tapping the PCM yet. I actually put a call into my local junk yard on Saturday to see if they had one and I am just going to swap it out.

The problem is that it wont leave me stranded to try the tapping method very often. By the time you get to the side of the road (when it does quit) and bump the starter, she's off and running again haha. It did quit on me once and I brought it back by tapping the Map sensor and the side of the distributor cap. I actually thought I had it fixed after I changed those 2 parts out, but apparently I didn't.

However the problem seems to have toned down quite a bit especially after I changed the coil but then again we haven't traveled much further than about a 30 mile radius (my wife is driving it daily). I drove it over the weekend and it did cut out a few times but nothing substantial. I will try unplugging the O2 sensor and see if that helps. At one point through all of this I was going to try the fuel pressure gauge on the rail but I couldn't find a shrader valve to hook into it?....
Battery ground cable comes to mind, and also ground strap on the engine. These vans are ground dependable and one more place to look is the harness that runs behind the power steering reservoir. Good luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Battery ground cable comes to mind, and also ground strap on the engine. These vans are ground dependable and one more place to look is the harness that runs behind the power steering reservoir. Good luck to you.
OH, Great Idea, Thank you! I will try this asap! That would make perfect sense.
 

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Question: so will I be looking for a total of 3 grounds? I have found the one behind the power steering res. And obviously the negative battery terminal. Is there an additional engine ground strap? Any idea where it's located?
 

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Thank you for your response 1994 Sport.


The problem is that it wont leave me stranded to try the tapping method very often..
I'm talking about tapping on things to see if it WILL cause the engine to stall out, not revive it.
 

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Question: so will I be looking for a total of 3 grounds? I have found the one behind the power steering res. And obviously the negative battery terminal. Is there an additional engine ground strap? Any idea where it's located?
I don't know the total number of ground straps, but I probably should at this point, but I just found one by the passenger side motor mount. There was a slide on clip at each end. Mine must have worn as it broke without much resistance [ effort ] when I pulled the engine mount off in my water pump 'repair.'
 

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I'm talking about tapping on things to see if it WILL cause the engine to stall out, not revive it.
I tried this last night. It didn't cause any issues. Great idea though. Thx

I don't know the total number of ground straps, but I probably should at this point, but I just found one by the passenger side motor mount. There was a slide on clip at each end. Mine must have worn as it broke without much resistance [ effort ] when I pulled the engine mount off in my water pump 'repair.'
I found a total of 3 that were directly mounted to the motor (additional ones i found: Passenger fenderwell had one for the A/C, Neg. Battery has a lead going to driver fenderwell). I pulled and cleaned each and every one of them. Sanding the paint off the body panels and re-attaching them.
The one you mentioned above was actually disconnected:headbange. It apparently had fallen off. I've never been so excited to see something missplaced. I cleaned and re-attached it. My fingers are crossed at this point. Hoping maybe this is the culprit. We will continue to drive it and report back. Thanks for everyones Help!
 

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I don't know the total number of ground straps, but I probably should at this point, but I just found one by the passenger side motor mount. There was a slide on clip at each end. Mine must have worn as it broke without much resistance [ effort ] when I pulled the engine mount off in my water pump 'repair.'
There's a '95 Caravan in the local 'recycling yard' I'm getting stuff off and it's got an Infinity radio in it and while looking at the procedure for yanking that I found:
Ground straps are mounted from:
* Radio chassis to panel reinforcement bracket
* Engine to cowl
* Across engine mount on right hand side
* On vehicles with air conditioning there is a strap from evaporator valve to cowl
These ground straps should be securely tightened to assure good metal to metal contact. Ground straps conduct very small high frequency electrical signals
to ground and require clean large surface area con-tact.
 
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