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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 4th B-series van over 25 years and I've got a problem I've never encountered before -- while driving, the ammeter will suddenly fall to 0, the engine, especially at idle gets a little rough and loses a bit of power (hardly noticeable at freeway speeds), dash lights get brighter, the gas and engine oil temp gauges peg to maximum. Sometimes the vehicle will drive 40 minutes before this starts happening and sometimes it will start this way. (Tends to stall at idle) Once it starts, the ammeter will show occasional fluctuations back up to 14.5 volt or hover between around 8 volts. I've replaced the alternator (thinking that it might be the voltage regulator), the coil & crank position sensor. Van was a handicap vehicle w/lift but all the old electrical for that seems to be drawn off a single 30amp wire directly off the battery. Computer? Any thoughts are welcome
 

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Might have gotten a bad alternator, battery cables should be checked for internal corrosion,clean all ground mounting points.
 

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The voltage regulation function takes place inside the PCM not the alternator.

You can try wiring up an old school 70’s style regulator and bypass the PCM control.

Google it.


"Talk is cheap. Whiskey costs money."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The voltage regulation function takes place inside the PCM not the alternator.

You can try wiring up an old school 70’s style regulator and bypass the PCM control.
PCM was going to be my next replacement -- corrosion in Michigan would have been a strong possibility but per the other responder but I brought this van up from New Mexico last year and it has no rust yet anywhere... (Just the usual paint falling off). 115K miles. You have a recommended source for the PCM? (My doner vehicle's was transferred to another Van long ago!)
 

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Here is a long shot for you. Disconnect the battery terminals While neither one is connected to the battery connect them to each other for several hours. The reconnect the normal way positive first.
 

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GROUNDS---CHECK YOUR GROUNDS---did I say check your grounds!!!!! Mopar/Dodge/Chrysler is/are noted for having ground issues---this drives electronics nuts by back feeding thru other circuits to find ground including cooking instruments (paracidic grounds)---in addition they have issues of plug connections-terminal connections rotting/corroding internally as well as the wiring rotting/corroding internally---due to time M/D/C develop/have all types of wiring nightmares that you can't believe until you've gone thru it---check things out with your VOM
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GROUNDS---CHECK YOUR GROUNDS---did I say check your grounds!!!!! Mopar/Dodge/Chrysler is/are noted for having ground issues---this drives electronics nuts by back feeding thru other circuits to find ground including cooking instruments (paracidic grounds)---in addition they have issues of plug connections-terminal connections rotting/corroding internally as well as the wiring rotting/corroding internally---due to time M/D/C develop/have all types of wiring nightmares that you can't believe until you've gone thru it---check things out with your VOM
Ugh! I'm hoping it isn't a basic fault like this -- especially since there is an unknown amount of added wiring from the wheelchair lift that is hidden away and while installed professionally (this is a former municipal vehicle) it was removed by an amateur. 22 year old vehicle just baking in New Mexico could be hiding any amount of wire deterioration but I've not found any yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
PCM was going to be my next replacement -- corrosion in Michigan would have been a strong possibility but per the other responder but I brought this van up from New Mexico last year and it has no rust yet anywhere... (Just the usual paint falling off). 115K miles. You have a recommended source for the PCM? (My doner vehicle's was transferred to another Van long ago!)
So I ended up getting a new PCM from www.fs1inc.com for $220. They required my VIN number to ensure they were flashing it with the exact factory parameters and we did run into a shipping delay (personally, I suspect finding a module for a vehicle this old might have contributed) but after installing it, the van has now been running perfectly for a week. So, I haven't gone back and checked the coil that the repair place I took it to claimed was bad and replaced (along with the crank position sensor they claimed was fried) only to discover $350 later they hadn't really solved the problem at all but everything seems to be behaving for the moment -- I'll check various grounds just-in-case, but this may have taken care of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is a long shot for you. Disconnect the battery terminals While neither one is connected to the battery connect them to each other for several hours. The reconnect the normal way positive first.
I did try this while awaiting a new PCM and I had a hopeful drive to work where things seemed to be working, but then on the drive home the same behavior recurred. I appreciate the advice -- out of curiosity is this to drain some capacitor somewhere in the system that is maintaining a memory chip or ????
 
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