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2006 dodge caravan 3.3l v6 with 126k kilometers here. I’ve put a new battery, alternator, starter, spark plugs and wires, so none of those can be the problem. I can start the van up and it idles ok for a few minutes, and even drives, but not for long. Firstly, even when just idling after just starting it up, there is a gas smell outside the van. Then, after a few minutes, it starts smoking white smoke under the hood, probably from the exhaust manifold which gets extremely hot even after less than a minute, probably because of how badly rusted it is. Not sure if it is overheating because I haven’t been able to keep it running for long enough to see if the temp gauge goes up. Also, when I put it into any gear other than park, it starts shaking significantly and seems to almost stall out, and sometimes does. The engine sounds weak, and I also have significantly decreased power as sometimes I can’t even drive it up ramps even if I’m flooring it, it just revs and drives halfway up the ramps but won’t make it up (I can drive it up if I try immediately after starting it, it only loses power after a few minutes). The previous owner also said it had poor gas mileage when it was still drivable. It’s worth mentioning that the van had been sitting for 2 years before I started working on it. I feel like it is fuel system related, such as the fuel injectors, fuel pump, egr valve, etc. but I’m not sure and don’t want to just start guessing what to replace since all these are expensive, so I’m trying to exact cause of this.
 

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Try removing the upstream O2 sensor and see if it runs better when some of the exhaust has another way to exit.
 
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Plugged exhaust/cat?
 

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Plugged exhaust/cat?
thats what someone else who looked at it mentioned. But would that cause it to not even make it 50 feet down the road before stalling out and then not being able to start it (just cranks) until it sits for at least 30 minutes after that?
 

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Are you running it on 2 year old Gasahol?
Do you guys put corn in your gas up there?

By removing the upper o2 sensor and test running it with that open o2 sensor hole in the exhaust before the catalyst as CVGuy said, this will prove / disprove the possibility of plugged cat converter.
 

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Are you running it on 2 year old Gasahol?
Do you guys put corn in your gas up there?

By removing the upper o2 sensor and test running it with that open o2 sensor hole in the exhaust before the catalyst as CVGuy said, this will prove / disprove the possibility of plugged cat converter.
it does still have the 2 year old gas in there, I’m going to drop the tank and drain it out to replace it to see if that makes any difference, and as for the o2 sensor, I’ve been trying even with an o2 socket, but it’s so badly rusted on there I’m probably gonna have a hard time getting it off. When I do I’ll try that though.
 

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… I’ve been trying even with an o2 socket, but it’s so badly rusted on there I’m probably gonna have a hard time getting it off. When I do I’ll try that though.
Try running the van for 30 seconds or so (on a cold start), and then shut it off and try to remove the O2 sensor. If no go, then continue trying after running another 30 seconds. The idea is to try to catch the manifold expanded a bit differently than the sensor body, which might make it easier to break the thread bond.
 
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Try running the van for 30 seconds or so (on a cold start), and then shut it off and try to remove the O2 sensor. If no go, then continue trying after running another 30 seconds. The idea is to try to catch the manifold expanded a bit differently than the sensor body, which might make it easier to break the thread bond.
could I also try just removing the cat and pipe entirely and see if it runs better after that as a way to see if the cats clogged?
 

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could I also try just removing the cat and pipe entirely and see if it runs better after that as a way to see if the cats clogged?
Certainly, I suggest waiting until midnight and tooling around the neighborhood, at high speeds if possible\.
 

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Turns out the problem was 3 of the 6 spark plug wires were hooked up to the wrong ignition coils. When I changed the wires and plugs I just hooked them up the same way the old ones were, so the previous owner had them in wrong. Anyway, it was causing it to misfire and idle extremely rough, and not accelerate. I also realized the coolant in the radiator was very low, just the reservoir had enough, so that was causing it to smoke a bit under the hood, but I fixed that too and now the van runs perfectly. Can’t believe it took 3 months of replacing parts to realize such silly things were causing all these problems. 🙄
 

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I wonder which three they were...
It is certainly easy to presume the coil is set up easy and straight forward.... 1:1 but I keep this on my desktop so it is easy for me to find-cut-paste.

Great that you have it running and ready to put her back in service!

Thank you for stopping back and 'closing out your service ticket'

Hip hip Horray!
 

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I can only imagine how sweet it was when you finally turned that key!
 
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