Need some help! The Red Sled is dying and I dont know why!!!



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Thread: Need some help! The Red Sled is dying and I dont know why!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    8


    Need some help! The Red Sled is dying and I dont know why!!!

    So I hate to start a new thread as my first post but... I have been digging through the forums and can not find what I am looking for.

    So Here is the skinny. About three weeks ago I was driving to work in the old sled. Normal day just a cruising along and suddenly she shudders for a second or two and loses power. I pull off the road, initially thinking I had hit something, and got out to check. Walked around the car checked the tires peeked under the car looking for leaks and saw none and got back in. Went to drive off and then realized that she had died. Dash and instrument panel still lit...No CEL. After several attempts I barely got her started and decided to limp back home as I was maybe four miles out. She ran terrible, like only a few cylinders were burning, had NO power and almost had to floor it to get her to go 25mph. I hit a hill and she quit. Had to get a tow the last mile or so.

    So fast forward to today. Still no CEL or codes, except for the ones I can force. I can get her to start but I have to floor it and crank for 10 second or so and when it does start it is just barely. Sputters, shudders smoked and rattles. The engine shakes the whole van and if you don't feather the throttle just right it stalls.
    So far I have tried the following with no results: Clear the ECM, new coil pack, Crankshaft and camshaft position sensor, Fuel pressure test (the pump primes and pressurizes to about 60psi and runs at that so I don't think its the pump), Charged the battery, cleaned the throttle body, cleaned the MAP sensor, cleaned the Idle air controller, and pulled the exhaust after the Cats to check for restriction.
    I am at a loss Not sure what else it could be. The next thing I am going to do though is get a new Idle air control valve because it fell apart when I was cleaning it.
    So again, No CEL, no leaks, no backfires, was running fine the day before. Has plugs and wires that are only about six months old. Recent oil and filter change, Does not over heat and did not smoke. The only problem it had was a squeaky belt and some body rust.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    New thread? No worries. We prefer them compared to opening a book of a thread.

    You gave us everything but the model year and engine size that we need so dearly.

    Any signs of a blown head gasket or cracked head meaning oil in coolant, vapor out exhaust etc.? Might try checking compression. Signs of exhaust in coolant like overheating or bubbles in coolant? A combustion tester will tell you. Fuel pressure should be 49 PSI +/- 5. 60 is a bit high but I would put that on the back burner for now.
    ******** We took the time to answer your post. Please give us some time and post the fix. You'll help hundreds. ********

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    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 214K miles
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    West Virginia
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    Oops, forgot about the model and year. It is a 1998 Dodge GC Sport 3.3L.

    I have not looked at the coolant other than to see if it still had some. Otherwise there is no exhaust vapor, just some smoke, and does not overheat. I have a compression tester in route, once that is in hand I will have a better idea maybe of what is going on inside. and I will take a peek at the coolant later today.

    Thanks!

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  6. #4
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    I would replace the MAP sensor. Then check your fuel filter - even if you have pressure you may not have flow...

    Check all your vacuum hoses for leaks, or maybe one came off. Easiest way is with a smoke machine, but the pinch test will work too.

    If that doesn't work, then I'd take the valve covers off and look for a broken valve spring or rocker failure. IIRC, the plugs are 6 months old? What brand?

    While you have the plenum off, check each injector to make sure it works and fires. Check the injector harness for opens / shorts.

    If all that is good, then I'd lean towards the ECM. Since the ECM takes the crank and cam sensor inputs and then decides when to fire the correct cylinder, it's possible an output on the ECM went bad....

  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    West Virginia
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    I thought it may be the ECM too due to the lack of codes and no CEL. But I just went out and checked the Coolant and it seemed fine clear and green no oil, no bubbles when it "runs". That led me to look at the oil, and that may be where the problem is. The oil is sweet and stinky, I think there is gas in it. That leads me to think there is a combustion/compression issue or some combination of the two. Going to check the Alternator to see what its doing. I suspect if the Alt is chowdered that may explain some things. If not then off to the valve covers for a look around...

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Hmmmmm, sounds almost like what my 2000 Caravan 3.3L was doing as the Camshaft sensor was dying.... very strange behavior and then nothing. No CEL and No codes until it was cleared and then it threw a Camshaft sensor code. We changed it and running perfecting now. Do you have spark on all cylinders? We only had spark on some cylinders and with so much unburnt gas it got into our oil too. Washed the cylinder walls.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Katz123 For This Useful Post:

    Caraman99(05-15-2017)

  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    West Virginia
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    Have not checked for spark on all cylinders yet as I need to pull the wiper cowl anyways to pull the valve covers to look for issues in there. But I did test the Alternator earlier today as I said I would before, and it is pushing 14.3V (Ish), so that seems ok even with it running like a blender full of gravel. I have already replaced the Camshaft sensor, no change there. Fuel in the oil is the only crumb on the trail I have now... Except maybe one thing. When I am cranking on it to get it started the cruise light comes on intermittently, then off again. Vacuum issue perhaps, or just a side effect of it running like a turd?

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Lincoln, Ne
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    My 99 GV had all the same symptoms as yours. The fuel pump was dying. At normal idle it would not provide enough pressure to stay running. Floored it would stay running, but as soon as it went back to idle it died.
    If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy! Red Green

  12. #9
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    West Virginia
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    I'm not sure its the Fuel pump though. I have tested it and it has pressure when it does run between 50-60psi. I did a compression test today on the front three cylinders and it was not promising. One was at 125psi one was at 15psi and one was too low to read. Going to drain the oil this weekend and change it out with something cheap to see how it behaves. Not sure where to go next.

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    45


    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that kind of sounds like the Timing chain jumped a tooth or several... or one of the sprockets cracked or lost a tooth. this does not sound good at all. My condolences.
    Last edited by Katz123; 05-19-2017 at 12:20 AM.

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