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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
"Problem solved" 2000 3.3L Engine RPM at 3500 or Higher blows fuse marked Engine

I have an 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan and this problem just started 4 weeks ago out of the blue. When I was driving engine died. I replaced the fuse and I was fine for a few days I started checking and it looked like the ground strap at the back of the motor was stretched and coming in contact with the "hot" terminal of the alternator, so I put a piece of vacuum hose over the bare tip. This fixed the problem, I thought but now a new problem has started.

When I accelerate to 3500 RPM or more the engine fuse blows. I have isolated the problem and can create the problem at will. What I determined I can rev the engine to 3500 rpm and blow the fuse.

Does anyone have a clue to what would cause this and why only that rpm? If I keep it below that RPM I can drive all day, but that is not an answer. If I need to accelerate to avoid some hazard or just get through a light, I'm dead.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Do you have access to a DVM so you can measure system voltage at the battery? Would be good to know. Does your van have a Voltmeter in the dash? Just my $0.02.

FredB
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Howdy FredB,

Yes I have a DMV. Where should I connect it? Just to the batty or on the circuit? My van is fancy but not fancy enough to have a built in voltage meter.
 

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Which fuse is it that blows? You have a lot of fuses out there in the PDC so, a pic of the location or fuse number would be a great help. Also, have you checked the harness that runs in front of the starter? IIRC, that one has been the subject of numerous abrasions due to its proximity to the front engine mount. Take a look and see if the casing has rubbed through at a point around that mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Problem Solved

Hello everyone,

I have been meaning to update this post to "My Problem Solved" I can't believe this was 2.5 years ago. The problem turned out to be the Alternator's voltage regulator diode was damaged when it shorted against the ground. The alternator would work fine, it charged the battery and passed the alternator test. I did some additonal testing using a digital volt meter and saw the alternator spike at the rpm range. I went to my auto parts store bought a new alternator and problem solved. This one really puzzled me and sorry folks for taking so long to get this in.
 

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Take so long? We're happy to get a fix anytime. Thank you.

BTW - probably splitting hairs but the voltage regulator is in the PCM.
 

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Hello everyone,

I have been meaning to update this post to "My Problem Solved" I can't believe this was 2.5 years ago. The problem turned out to be the Alternator's voltage regulator diode was damaged when it shorted against the ground. The alternator would work fine, it charged the battery and passed the alternator test. I did some additonal testing using a digital volt meter and saw the alternator spike at the rpm range. I went to my auto parts store bought a new alternator and problem solved. This one really puzzled me and sorry folks for taking so long to get this in.
Thanks for the update. I edited your first post so the title reads "Problem solved".
 

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Hello everyone,

I have been meaning to update this post to "My Problem Solved" I can't believe this was 2.5 years ago. The problem turned out to be the Alternator's voltage regulator diode was damaged when it shorted against the ground. The alternator would work fine, it charged the battery and passed the alternator test. I did some additonal testing using a digital volt meter and saw the alternator spike at the rpm range. I went to my auto parts store bought a new alternator and problem solved. This one really puzzled me and sorry folks for taking so long to get this in.

I had a shop do work for me when I did not have time. (1998 Chrysler T&C, 3.8) I needed them to replace the valve cover gaskets and the rear heater lines, so they had to disassemble the top of the engine, including removing the alternator.

Fast forward 18 months and my wife tells me the ABS light came on out of the blue. The brakes work fine (ABS doesn't work obviously) and the codes are telling me that all four wheel sensors are shot and the ABS pump circuit is bad. Knowing that everything doesn't go bad at once, I cleared the codes to see what it would do. It reset the codes within 1/2 mile of the parts store. I ignored the problem for a while because there was no obvious solution.

My wife calls me 2 weeks later to tell me the van overheated in the parking lot of Lowes. I told her to leave it until I get home and I'll check it out. Turns out the A/C compressor appears to be smoked and causing the belt to drag and smoke. I can smell the compressor clutch and see the smoke coming from that.

A week later, I'm working on it trying to find whatever issues are going on, so I am going to O'Reilly's after it got dark to clear the codes again. Since I drive moire aggressively than my wife, I floor it until it shifts. I noticed that every time the engine exceeds 3100 RPM, the headlights get REALLY bright, and all the interior lights (LED's, dash lights) also get really bright. So, I repeat this a few times. I check the codes and it shows an over voltage condition. I clear the codes and go to order an alternator. Turns out, I need to identify the one I have first so I can get the correct one. Since the numbers are on the back, I had to remove the bad one first.

When I start removing the alternator, I discover not one, but ALL ground cables and wires that attach the top side of the engine to the firewall, the frame, and everything else for grounding are NOT attached!!!!! The morons that did the work for me have now cost me over $1000 in parts and even more in labor, because now, I have to replace the alternator, A/C compressor/clutch, the ABS pump, one window motor, and two headlights. I will do the work myself this round as I can get to it, but it REALLY chaps me when I pay someone to do the work and they screw it up MORE than if I'd let the problem go to begin with.

I WILL advise the shop of the issue they caused, but it's been 18+ months since they did the work, and they will deny it all day long.

The moral of the story: CHECK ALL YOUR GROUND CABLES!!! THEY ARE THERE FOR A REASON!
 
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