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ricardo hohl
ricardo hohl, Instructor
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 4067
Experience:  ase master/factory certified/and automotive instructor
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Grand Voyager: My 1990 plymouth..alternator checks out...trouble code

Customer Question

My 1990 Plymouth Grand Voyager (3.3 L FI) is not charging. The alternator checks out. The trouble code 41 appears when I do the key dance. I charged the battery: it reads 12.9 v. WIthout the battery, I have continuity between the positive cable clamp and the two small connectors (J2 and R3, I believe) and with the larger connector. I hve continuity between the negative battery clamp and the connector to the alternator itself.
When I start the car, the charge meter shows a discharge, the battery loses power and the car stutters and staggers with no power.

Any ideas?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.
hi, if you have continuity on all the wires going to the alternator and out , and if you have replace the alternator and pcm then the problem is the battery is shorted internally and shorting out the alternator output , you need to do a load test on this battery because it should not read 12.9 volts , it should be reading 12.5 volts exactly after a full charge , the plates inside the battery have collapse with each other and is not holding the charge for long, you can try connecting a battery charger to the battery or jumper pack just to take the place of a good battery and see if it charges ok if it does then you know the battery is the problem.
ricardo hohl, Instructor
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 4067
Experience: ase master/factory certified/and automotive instructor
ricardo hohl and other Chrysler Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Replaced the battery with one less than six months old.starts but quits as soon as the key returns to the 'Run" position. Key dance results now (in this order, which I find strange,)
12-24-41-14-55. Before I changed the battery, it would idle on its own, but without enough consistant power to be driveable. Now I can start it, and keep it running but only with a frighteningly heavy foot. HUGE amounts of rich, exhaust. Can't drive it that way. I tried, just to see if something had gotten "too settled in its ways," so to speak, while the car was down.
Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.

ok is the smoke black like to rich?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not really black, but not white like it's burning oil or throwing out water vapor. There's some water dripping from the pipe, but the exhaust is definitely not black.

I notice that many of the signals seem to relate to voltage. This thing has an internal voltage regulator, and I dont know of any way to test it Any thoughts on this?
Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.

yes the regulator is build inside the ecm computer and to test it you need a voltmeter just connect it to the battery and see what the voltage is, it should have at least 13.0 volts the lowest, another way to check if the computer is the problem is with a scanner you need to see if the computer is switching voltage to battery and then to ignition.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK. I was under the impression that the voltage regulator was contained in the alternator and that changing the alternator might make a difference.

 

Which is the ECM computer? The one behind the battery or the one on the firewall? I changed out the one on the fender, so unless the brand new one went bad, I don't see that as being an issue.

Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.
hi, have you check the charging system?, do you haver 13 volts ? yes the regulator is built in to the pcm and yes that is the pcm at the fender and not untill you check the charging system we wont know what the problem is.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It wont idle so testing the charging system in situ won't work. I pulled the alternator and had it bench tested, and I was told that it worked fine. However, I've had items (alternators, in fact) that bench tested as OK but wouldn't work when they were in reak-time use. I'm thinking about getting a junkyard alternator to see what difference it makes. It won't cost much. Unless you have another idea.

 

How do I boost up the amount of money this is worth to you? You've certainly put a lot of effort into it, and I certainly appreciate it.

Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.

does it starts and stalls ? can you hold the gas pedal and try to keep the rpm at about 1200 rpms to prevent stall? and do the charging test then. i really dont think that the reason for stall is because the alternator is not charging , have you tryconecting a booster pack or jumper cables from another car to prevent it from stalling?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry to be so long with the reply; I've been out of town.

Starting from the beginning of this particular breakdown: The vehicle began to bog down and not particularly respond to the throttle pedal, losing power as I tried to accelerate, et cetera. I got it onto my driveway and did the key dance. The initial signals showed AIS motor circuits, alternator field circuits, throttle position sensor circuits. I removed the alternator and had it bench tested. It tested OK on the bench. I put it back and the car would start and idle, although not well. I traced down a short in the AIS motor circuits. I repaired that. I replaced the throttle position sensor (I couldn't find any shorts in those circuits) and that signal disappeared. the vehicle still started and stayed running but would not accelerate. The last time I started it, it was idling and I watched the charge gauge on the dashboard suddenly nose-dived. Then it would not start again. I swapped out some batteries. it would start with a new battery (less than six months old), but not continue to run. I replaced the ECM. Our correspondance begins here.

At the moment, a new battery will make it fire while the starter is engaged, but once the key returns to RUN, the car dies immediately. Connecting the booster pack has no effect on the situation.

Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.
ok, you need to check the ignition power output the ignition switch has two functions one it provides power while cranking and then in return of the key it provides power through another circuit r for running and that t circuit you may be missing do to a bad switch or main fuse, check the main circuit beakers at power distribution center (relay box), outside the engine compartment check the alternator main fuse ., there are also some fusible links wires located along the drivers side shock tower is a harness of wires and fusible links going towards the driver compartment, sometimes they burn up and cause an open circuit to the ignition switch,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have no more questions on this matter. I realized that we were feeling our way through the dark, so I took it to an electrical shop and spent about $750 for analysis and repair.
The problems were beyond the scope of an email exchange, but I appreciate your input. Going back through the exchange, I think that one of us should have come to this conclusion this much earlier. (isn't hind-sight great?)

Thanks a lot for your time. If you didn't get paid for this information, you should have, if only for your effort
Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 3 years ago.
HI, sorry you had to spend that much, i am glad the problem is solved, if i can be of some help to you in the future just come in and ask for me RICARDO HOHL, i owe you one and will not charge you the next time , thank you very much.

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