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Ask Dodgerench Your Own Question
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 3385
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/ Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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94 chrysler concord: we replaced cam and crank shaft sensorstarted

Customer Question

94 chrysler concord has a 35455 code and we replaced cam and crank shaft sensor
started and died will not start before replacing parts
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Hi, my name is Ed. Welcome to Just Answer!.

It looks like you had a cam sensor problem at some point, but I'm not sure if the codes you sent were set before or after you had already replaced cam and crank sensors. Code 54 indicates loss of cam signal, but the code will remain in memory long after a repair is made.

Try disconnecting the battery for about 30 seconds, reconnect and attempt engine start again. If unsuccessful, try cranking the engine at least twice, giving it a full 10 seconds at each attempt to allow the PCM (engine controller) to fully appreciate the situation and set appropriate trouble codes.

By the way, the first digit you got will actually be a "12", but it's easy to combine the three flashes into a 3 if you don't do this every day. It means the battery has been disconnected within the last couple months or PCM memory has been cleared. The last code (55) indicates end-of-test and will be displayed at the end of each flash code sequence.

Let me know what you come up with and we'll move on from there. Chances are good that we'll need a digital voltmeter at some point, so round one up if at all possible.

Talk later,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

those codes came up after replacing sensors crank and cam sensor. Tried disconnecting the battery and now getting 12 54 55. on the cam shaft sensor there was a piece of paper to set the gap. does the paper come off? What can we try next?

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Just as you figured, the paper on the sensing tip of the sensor is used to set proper operating distance between sensor and the tone ring. You just leave it on the sensor, press the sensor against the tone ring (as far in as it will go) and tighten the adjustment bolt. Once running, the paper comes off and dissolves, getting sent to the oil filter eventually.

If you feel that the cam sensor was installed properly (and paper "dot" in place), we need to check cam sensor circuit voltages next.

There will be three wire colors at the cam sensor: Orange (9v power feed), tan/ yellow (cam sensor signal) and black/ light blue (sensor ground).

With your meter set to the 20v DC scale, connect the black test lead to battery negative. Then disconnect the cam sensor connector and test for voltages on the three wires (key on).

The orange wire will test out at about 8.8 volts normally, but may be slightly different from this and still be OK.

The tan/ yellow wire should show a solid 5.0v although it may vary by a small amount as well, reading between 4.9v and 5.2 volts.

Sensor ground (black/ light blue) should have zero volts present, although a few stray HUNDREDTHS of a volt are OK. Switching your meter to the 200 ohm scale, test between battery negative and this sensor ground wire, which will typically show about 30 ohms of resistance. Less resistance is OK, but more resistance (higher ohm count) could be trouble.

If these three circuits check OK, reconnect the sensor and probe the tan/ yellow wire with your meter set to 20v DC.

The sense circuit works on a 0v-5v matrix, alternately showing one voltage state or the other, depending upon what position the engine sits at the moment. When the cam sensor switches OFF, it allows the 5v pull-up voltage present on the circuit to remain at five volts. Switching the cam sensor ON grounds the signal voltage and drops it to 0v if things work right.

Rotating the engine slowly while watching sensor output will tell you if it's working right OR possibly whether the timing chain has broken.

You should see occasional switches from 0v to 5v and back as the engine rotates the tone ring (cam gear) past the sensor. Switching from 1v to 4v isn't acceptable... it needs to be very near this full 5v-0v matrix for the PCM to recognize the signal state change.

If no change is seen, either remove the cam sensor or dig the old one out. Connect this sensor to the harness and pass a metal object past the sensing tip of the sensor. This should provoke a switch in state from 5v to 0v. If it works outside the engine-- but not when installed-- you may have a broken timing chain.

I'll stop there for now and let you get caught up. Talk in a bit,
Dodgerench and 4 other Chrysler Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Plug wires are getting no spark and if timing chain is broke will i hear a noise?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
You might... but it would be ugly. This is an interference-type engine, which means valves WILL hit the pistons. The engine will have a different sound to it as well, sounding almost "turbine-like" because it will be lacking compression. It sounds a lot like what you would expect from an engine that had all the spark plugs removed.

But timing chain failure is super-rare on the 3.3 engine so it's a bit early to worry about that. If it's happened, chances are good that the damage has already been done, so continue as you have been until we get a better idea what's happening.

This particular ignition system needs to see cam AND crank signals before it'll generate spark, so we need to get to the bottom of your code 54. In addition, the cam and crank sensor signals need to be in-sync with each other which means cam timing (chain) needs to be right on the money.

But first, let's see what you can find on cam sensor circuit values and we'll go on from there. If you don't have a digital voltmeter lying around... good news! They've gotten to be very affordable, starting at around $5 (Harbor Freight) and less than $30 at most big-box hardware stores and Sears.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
well now it starts but will not stay running
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Dang, that makes it a little harder to nail the problem down.

Do you have a different set of trouble codes?
Any luck on the voltmeter?

I've seen a number of problems with wiring getting tangled up with the steering rack at the back side of the engines on cars like yours. The harness should route below and rack, in a grooved plastic sheath (out of harm's way) but they don't always stay there.

The 3.3 engine leaves lots more room for inspection than the 3.5 does, so you may be able to see what I'm talking about without any trouble. Note that the tie rods move laterally across the compartment, which may create a short from contact with the loom. If you see any sort of contact between the engine harness and metal (especially metal that MOVES), clearance it for now to see if it makes a difference. You can repair it properly later.