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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1997 dodge van is having some electrical issues. When cold my distributor is not getting any spark from the coil. there doesnt seem to be any power going into the coil. The other day I installed a new CD player in the van and the problem amplified to keep vehicle from starting at all. after i unplugged the radio the van started. I then wired the radio to the battery via a fuse. now if I turn on the radio the engine belts squeal loudly or the van dies all together. I had the battery and alternator tested and appear to be good. The belts seem tight. the belts will also squeal if the battery has been run down at all (I.E. the van refusing to start and the cranking of the motor to try and start it) So far I have replaced the distributor, plugs, wires, coil pack. I unplugged all of the connectors I could get to from the top of the motor and cleaned them with electrical cleaner and gave um a shot of dielectric grease. after all of that last night the van died on the freeway following a lot of sputtering and backfiring. I am losing my MIND!! This started about 4 months ago right after doing the tune up. I have tried retracing my steps to see if anything was faulty with no success
 

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With no power to the coil, the first thing you'll want to check or replace is the ASD relay, then the ignition switch.

Your belt is squealing because it's either worn, contaminated with something like oil, or the tensioner isn't keeping it tight enough. If the squealing is allowed to continue, the belt will burn and break.
 

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yes, check the belt tensioner. I once had a 1996 Caravan that the tensioner went bad. The alternator tested fine and so did the battery.

Hey, just a quick question, when you did the tune up, was the cap-n-rotor made with aluminum contacts? If so, that's a dreadful NO-NO. Get a set with copper/brass to prevent the internal corrosion, flaking and shorting by arching with the aluminum cheap-o set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Asd Relay

I swapped around the relays to see if that was the problem with no luck. whatever it is it has a lot to do with the outside temp. all night last night i worked on it and it would not start. now today with the temp over 70 it now starts. did i mention i live in Phoenix??
 

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Other people that have had these symptom ended up replacing their PCM to solve the problem. You can test it the next time it's cold and won't start by warming up the PCM with a hairdryer. If the engine starts, the PCM is no good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thats a good idea

I am going to do that 2 night. One recent development is that the ASD relay is getting warm. when I changed it the replacement started heating up...does that flow with the PCM concept
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
right on the money

I heated up the computer with a hair drier and after about 5 - 10 minutes of warming the van started right up. Left the hood up as i let it idle and after a little bit the van started running rough as the computer started feeling colder. finally...the smoking gun I was looking for. I rechecked the relay maybe what I consider too warm might be ok...Does the computer going bad explain why when I put a heavier draw on the elec system the van shuts down?? or is that due to the tensioner pully needing replaced?
 

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Well I had about the same trouble you are now having on my 1997 B1500 3.9.
If your Belt tensioner does not move when you move it with a 1/2 inch breaker bar (with engine off) Then you MUST replace it ASAP.

I also would replace the Drive belt as well. I only use the Goodyear "Gaterback" Belts. Your part number would be Goodyear part # 4071005. (confirm with your parts dealer first, such as Auto Zone or something like that because you have a B2500 3.9, and I have a B1500 3.9).

(As for your rough idle.) After your engine runs for about 10 - 15 min. The engine goes from a open loop to a closed loop system. It is something in the closed loop circuit that has a problem. On my 3.9. the hose leading to the vapor canister under the van was somewhat loose/worn. I installed a small hose camp to that hose at the vabor canister end. This made the engine run much better.

I still have a small problem with my engine. Every now and then after the engine goes into closed loop. (after warm up) If I turn off the engine and turn it back on the engine starts but dies if I don't hold my foot on the gas pedel. I fixed this problem with new O2 sensors on the cat 2 years ago. Now it's happening again. I'll change them out soon and let you all know of the result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Problem solved

Replaced the computer 2day and so far so good. I noticed about 6 months ago when i bought the van the trans seemed to be sticking. replacing the com seemed to correct it. when I pulled out the computer to replace it i noticed that the casing had split on the seam and moisture got in causing it to rust from the inside out. I am thinking this computer problem hit the previous owner too. A good deal of the wire covers had been cut back. The moron cut the wire to my dome lights in the process. Found by accident while trying to diagnose engine problem. The tensioner does move but it seems to be weak in the spring. I have spent a lot of money trying to get it to run...Its gonna be a few weeks b4 i can invest in a tensioner. I found if I spray some sea foam spray on the spring and work the tensioner a bit it stops squealing.
 

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It sounds like the grease in the bearing on the tensioner wheel is shot. You can't oil or grease them, they are sealed. Do must replace the whole unit. The wheel with the bearing comes with the tensioner. It comes as a whole unit.

As for water getting into the PCM. Even if water gets into the unit, all of the inside compoents are covered in a very thick water proof gel. (unless the water gets in where the 3 plugs go into, maybe hmmmmmm

I just fixed my 3.9 stalling problem yesterday. I had a IAC not closing all the way when engine went into closed loop.

Whenever our Magum engine's stall it's most likly the IAC is out of adjustment.

This is how I reset my IAC control.

STEP
1. (While van is parked) If engine stalls, DON'T TURN OFF THE KEY. leave it in the on position. DON'T TRY TO START IT AT THIS POINT IN TIME.
2. Open hood and disconnect the battery for 5 to 15 min. (while the key is still in the on position.)
3. NOW TURN THE KEY TO THE OFF POSITION
4. Reinstall the battery cable
5. DO NOT START THE ENGINE, just turn the key to the on position for 5 seconds, then start the engine.
6. Engine should be fine now. The IAC control now is reset.


This procedure only works if the engines stalls. Otherwise you have to manually stall the engine yourself.

To stall engine Manually with cold engine

step
1. ENGINE MUST BE COLD (Engine still in open loop condition)
2. Remove air hat filter to gain access to TB
3. Start engine and very quicky choke the air going in the TB with your hands or a rag. When engine stalls, DO NOT TURN OFF THE KEY
4. Follow the 6 steps above to reset the IAC control


To Stall engine manually with hot/warm engine

step
1. If engine is hot or in closed loop condition; in addition to the above steps you must also close off the Vapor canister hose that leads to the front of the TB as well. You can do this at the soleloid end locatated at the rear top left side of the engine.if you don't do this the engine will still run when you choke the TB. BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU RUN ENGINE WITH VAPOR HOSES DISCONNECTED. BOTH HOSES LEADING TO THE SOLELOID MUST BE PLUGGED. OTHERWISE A FIRE COULD START. I know this because.................

I think 9 out of 10 times all engine misfires, stalls, bad mpg, etc. is due to a not adjusted IAC control.

JUST MY 2 CENTS. GOOD LUCK
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
appreciate all of the feedback

I am always up to learning anything I can get to make life better. As for the tensioner what is happening is after I work out the tensioner assembly by moving it back and forth several times and spray some sea foam spray on the spring located in the rear of the tensioner assembly my belts keep good tension for at least 3000 miles. after that time the belts will slowly start squealing little by little until the belt is loose again. I plan on buying a new assembly when I get back to work (it has been 4 months since I worked) so I am only doing that now to try and prolong the belt a little while. The pulley itself seems fine (with the belt off moves freely and makes no sounds when I hold my ear close and spin it by hand) but as it goes when I get the assembly it comes with a new pulley(BONUS!!)

as I have said B4 I appreciate all of you for your input. I welcome anything bout my van that anyone feels like sharing

This is the first dodge I have dared to own since high school (1 85 dodge aires, 1 82 dodge charger, and a 86 LeBaron which ended up being a wiring and vacuum nightmare. I have to say I am more then impressed with this V6's power in the mountains...beats my dads 4.3ltr astrovan every day of the week:cheerl:
 

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