The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know good & cheap in same sentence sounds stupid.

I am just the carpenter that was never a mechanic, I just never saw a lot of use for a OBD1 scanner. they never really said much in the first place.

Now I am at a point to purchase one. I look on Ebay and all I see are scanners for Fords or GM's & adapter cables to test Toyota's.
So now I am in search of a scanner And confused which one to buy for a 1993 caravan.

Maybe someone can give me some pointers on common issues?
The van simply has no spark.
I recently replaced fuel pump, new struts, shocks, alignment, oil change and we been driving it everywhere.

It has been giving a strange Bucking issue the last year but no idea where it is coming from. Let off the gas and then use the gas & it disappears.
So I have a issue that has been going on for awhile. Wife said the last few miles it was bucking like a Bronco, she pulled over and it died.
And now after getting it towed home it has no spark to the plugs.

I really am the guy that is not afraid of the shotgun approach to fixing issues ... just asking if any have ideas what to look at on a 1993 3.3
Or a good scanner that will work for these old cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thought maybe would explain myself on the shotgun approach reasoning.
When a heater hose started leaking, I did not just fix the hose. I replaced all the hoses on the car including serp belt & vacuum hoses. I then replaced the T-stat and the water pump, Added a flushing T and flushed the cooling system, fresh coolant and am now very confident in the cooling system.

I did same thing on my chevy truck with the cooling system. And when I got a strange high speed miss, I replaced the HEI distributor, cap rotor wires plugs. And it turned out to be the distributor that was bad. Problem solved and very confident in the ignition system.

Using this approach I have been called a shotgun parts installer. I am not trying to get it running and get by for a year or two, plan to keep it for the rest of our life.
So I think that if it is 27 years old, has 180k miles on it. One ignition part fails ... how long before the next ignition part fails?
With my AAA membership getting it towed home was reasonable. If I diagnose it and find the coils are bad and replace them ... then next week the ECM goes bad, another ride of shame on a flatbed ... then the following month the cam position sensor goes bad ... IMHO, all these parts are just standing in line waiting to fail from age/use ... just normal maintenance.

So this is my thinking behind the shotgun approach. Being a old dummy retired carpenter ... kinda lost on cars with no distributors. WEEEL GOLLEEE! what will they think of next?
I hear rumors they thinking about putting TV's in cars ... these people are nuts don't believe them!

So tomorrow I will get the car turned around in the driveway, pushed up to the shop. I will test the coils are getting power, then go to the ASD relay.
I'm almost convinced I want to order the ECM now before even starting diagnostics.
Is this wrong thinking, something old fashioned and not done today? I just feel that if I replace one item, another will fail soon. So am looking for all the suggestions of which parts fail and to change now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I always forget there is the obd1 onboard ... just move the key to get your response.

I also went in and found I have a working coil & ASD relay ... I do not care, I replaced both with Decent quality parts ... NGK.
I now know my crank shaft sensor seems to not be producing a signal. Thats fine ... using the onboard diagnostics the cam sensor also not responding.
I am replacing both ... Crank shaft sensor came last week ... cam shaft sensor seems to be lost and on its way. A work in progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
With the '93, I believe you can pull any codes with the key dance - rotate the key from off to run (not start) 3 times in 5 seconds and leave in run. The check engine lamp will flash 2-digit codes, e.g. 1 flash pause 2 flashes (code 12) longer pause 5 flashes pause 5 flashes (code 55). Actually this sequence is typical, 12 (battery disconnect) is usually the start of codes and 55 is the end of codes. The stuff in between is the important stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Good guide right there ... I always forget these cars have the OBD1 retrieval method.
Not great but at least a clue .... I just doubt a used $400 snap on reader will really give better info. OBD1 has limitations.

I am still not up and running yet. I changed the coil pack and asd relay. Then did my diagnostics test. Seems the crank shaft sensor is bad, or the computer is bad.
Coil gets power when key is turned on, then shuts off ... ASD is working. While cranking the coil gets no power.
This is telling me the crank sensor is bad, or the computer.

I know shotgun approach. Again I feel very comfortable with my decision. My old coil pack while working, it had 180k miles on it ... ready to go at any time.
Same thing with the rest. Coil pack, ASD relay, crankshaft sensor, camshaft sensor. I want them all replaced.
Still may be the computer if crankshaft sensor not fixed it.

The computer I will replace as needed. I was surprised at how they rebuilt & sold these computers ... I thought they had new boards then re-programmed the ROM stuffed it all in your old case and sent it out.
Actually they just test and search for issues, replace the bad capacitors or resistors then send them back out. I may as well keep what I have if it works.

Honestly I have just been to busy lately to work on Lady Belle. I have a garden with several raised beds, peppers and tomatilas been exploding. I need to get my fall salad crop planted. I have been doing a lot of canning to put the peppers away. Normal yard maintenance, my truck needed a oil change.
I took the wife to the DR last week, been having stomach issues ... ultrasound and DR tells her she full of crap. :D Yesterday took her to get her toe nails clipped, rest today (I am also disabled) Tomorrow I take the wife back to her follow up and I assume the DR going to give her some exlax.
We call this the dance of life. I will get Lady Belle back on the road soon, just been busy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Finally got a chance to work on Lady Belle yesterday, No doubt about it the crank sensor was bad. Replaced it and fired right up.
Really gave me a scare though. Seemed to have a knock like a rod or a really loud lifter.
My first thought was the crank sensor set to close and hitting. I marked it and then moved it out just a hair. Did not change anything. I was feeling a lil bummed :(
Decided I just need to take it for a drive and see if it blows up. :D After starting it several times it quieted down.
Now I think the computer was/still re-learning and struggling because I still have not changed the cam sensor and think it may be bad. I did finally get the new one here though.

Anyways been lucky so far, Lady Belle is alive again w00t!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well Gollee shucks jeez willickars, guess who gets to buy a new/used cherry picker? :D
Lady Belle blew up today. Not sure why, still sitting on the side of the road. Too bummed to call AAA and deal with it ... tomorrow is another day.

Trying to blame it on my ignorance ... I never have owned or worked on a car this new :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
When first started it after changing the crank sensor it sounded terrible like it might blow up.
Then after 6 or 10 starts it sounded normal again. I drove it around town a few times and sounded great. Wife been driving it more then me she was happy with it.
This was the first trip to the next town where her DR is, 30 miles and 75 mph speed limit. It ran fine both ways ... then 2 miles from home it went kaboom.
You can see the trail of oil coming off the road then a puddle under it where it stopped. I suspect something went through the block. She said it was running and sounded fine right up til the bang.
Any thoughts about this?

Anyways now am looking for a used engine. Wonder if there are any "GOTCHA" I need to look for? Any advice or tips would be helpful.
I see a lot of cars and caravan engines being offered on carpart.com from $275 to $650 ... see one for $145 30 day warranty ... see them from 88k miles t0 290k miles on them ... of course the 290k mile is more expensive then the 105k mile motor :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No doubt about it, Lady Belle showing off her insides ... lil floozy! :rolleyes:
Not sure exactly what caused it. Engine did have a random misfire at slow speeds around town, guessing now it was cam sensor which I have but not changed.
Yet it never misfired above idle when driving. This time it misfired 2 or 3 times at 75 mph and this is the results.
I dunno maybe misfire had nothing to do with it though. :unsure:
View attachment 63729

What year engines can I replace it with? Seems they made the 3.3L for many years.
Hoping for something used that will be a direct replacement, seems the newer the engine the better chance of finding a good one.
When I punch in the info to carpart.com, only getting engines from 1991-1994 I would like to widen my search options. Just ignorant on what years I can use.
Even curious what is involved in swapping to a 3.8? Though am fine with the performance of the stock 3.3.



View attachment 63729
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well after doing my research, just going to stay with a 3.3 in my year range. I found a 1991 engine that is only 65 miles from me. Abilene auto wrecking.
They wanted $350 for it. I asked how many miles on it ... Guy laughed and said that motor been sitting in the shed for 8-10 years ... I know nothing about it. Other then it would be good or we would not have saved it.

So I offered $250 for it since been sitting 8-10 years. He accepted. Going to pick it up tomorrow. Will be a project. First thing is soak the cylinders in ATF/Acetone for a week then try to turn it.
Will go from there.
Just a pig in a poke, no idea if it is a high or low mileage engine, I assume the motor is not stuck, but will still soak the rings before turning it over.
Life is a adventure, we travel down different paths and sometimes is good. Sometimes is bad .... Who knows I may be pulling the engine back out in 3 months for rebuild. Or it may work well for several years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Good luck. I have buddies who have done motor swaps on these front wheel drives and they say it's not bad job and you remove it from under the car. I have a 94 T&C and was going to tell you about the cam and crank sensor's but I saw you figured it out. I have done many rear wheel drive motors. I just finished doing new exhaust but looks like power steering pump is next and from what I read it will not be a fun job.Sorry I didn't see your post earlier or I might have been able to let you know about those sensors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Still at it. As the wife says, "Is my winter project" Being retired on disability, I need to be careful how I spend my money. I do not want to break into savings for this project.
So I bought the engine one month, next month I bought the engine crane, This month been buying parts, oils, sealers etc ....

I did take it out the top ... was not easy. I had to remove all the front dress, and take the transmission with it.
I lowered the trans as far as I could on a floor jack. Then I had to lift the engine as vertical as I could get it.
Then in my carport I ran out of ceiling height and I connected a come along to the trans and crane hook to level it out and get the trans over the radiator support.
They will come out the top ... is not pretty.

Automotive parking light Tire Automotive tail & brake light Car Wheel


I bet dropping it out the bottom would be best if you had a lift.

My first thoughts would be to install the engine without the trans, then the trans separate.
This way I would have room to put the front dress on while on the engine stand and install a complete motor. Then install the trans from underneath.

Being a glutton for punishment, decided am going to install it just like I pulled it. I would rather install the front dress in the car then lay on back install the transmission.
 

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
3,517 Posts
Much easier to install the trans outside the van. I'm about to be joining you in that. Turns out my engine cracked a sleeve instead of blowing a head gasket while going up against that Mustang. That was one expensive victory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry to hear that sienile ... I remember talking about possibly the head bolts being the weak link and blowing gaskets .... Now we know the factory head bolts are pretty stout.

To be honest I am concerned about my physical ability to install the trans after motor install. I think it would be easier for me to do it this way .... although it may take longer.

I have a good feeling about the motor for several reasons. It had a brand new 02 sensor on it, spark plugs were new looks like they just came out of box.. New oem Mopar plug wires on it. And it had a Deutch oil filter. All the indications it just had its 80k mile check up ... I figure they waited and it has 100K on the motor?
The motor is really clean inside, no sludge anywhere.


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive air manifold Automotive lighting Automotive exterior
 

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
3,517 Posts
That's remarkably clean. Must have been a fresh rebuild or had just had the heads done. Looks like you scored a helI of a deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The motor also has some bad sides to it. I Really see no indication it has been opened up before.
I do need to swap the plenum & exhaust manifold to match emissions & also a wiring harness. Just different between 1991 & 1993.

So I was surprised when I found the intake had a broken bolt. I can only assume it was broken at the plant when the engine was assembled.
Was a easy fix, but why I have the intake off of it.

When removing it from the vehicle, they used a forklift and they hit the drain plug with the forks and put a hole in the oil pan.
So I needed to plug it up with some sort of JB weld made to patch oil pans or fuel tanks.
I felt the thin metal would not mig weld, maybe tig. But I do not have the $500 tig torch to fit my welder. So I goobered it up. I hope it holds up.

The wrecking yard owner pointed the damage out to me. I already talked him down to $250 over the phone because it been sitting for ten years.
He dropped the price to $200 because of the pan. He really just wanted to get rid of it!

So yeah I really think it will be a good engine, hoping I did my repairs correctly so they last .... But hey a $200 engine.
 

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
3,517 Posts
Did you old pan not survive the big boom? If it did I'd clean it out and use it instead of trying to patch one. Oil pan patches rarely last long. If you must make do with the forked up one :p hopefully it's along a flat spot on the pan. Get some sheet metal to cover the hole and put bolts around it, then clean the pan and metal piece really good and put them together with a layer of Ultra Grey RTV. Install the bolts snuggly by hand and let it sit over night, then hold the bolts steady and tighten the nuts. As long as you have good pressure around the hole it should hold. If it's around a bend it's a crap shoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah it is not pretty.
They hit right on the drain plug which the pan is reinforced around it.
I took a wide swath around it and cleaned the oil off the pan with gasoline.
Then I cleaned it with acetone.
Then I used a die grinder with a wire wheel Then I used acetone again.
Then I used a sander with 36 grit paper and cleaned it again with acetone.

Just a tiny hole to the right of the drain plug ...I went a lil overboard with the filler but oh well.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top