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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5911
Experience:  I have 30 years of Dodge Technician experience. I know these cars in great detail.
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i replaced my timing chain in my 94 dakota magnum v8 (318--5.2L)..

Customer Question

i replaced my timing chain in my 94 dakota magnum v8 (318--5.2L).. it fires right up every time, but cyls. 1,3,4,and 6 are not firing.. the back 4 cyls. are firing though. i checked the plug wires on the front four and im getting spark but the cyls. are not firing... do i have to have the computer reset in it ??
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
Hi, I will do my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. I don't know if you are a pro or a novice so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answer will be based on what you have posted. Feel free to add any additional info you feel is needed.

The first thing that comes to mind is do you have the firing order off. The back cylinders are 5, 6, 7, 8. and the drivers side are the odd numbers, 1,3,5,7 the passenger side are the even numbered cylinders 2,4,6,8, starting at the front of the engine. The firing order is 18436572. Check this first. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.

I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok sorry i got it wrong... its the front 4 cyls. 1 and 3 on the drivers side and 2 and 4 on the passenger side. i had someone talking to me when i was wrighting the first Q. yes, the firing order is correct. im not a pro but ive been doing my own mechanics on mine and others vehicles for 35 years. thats why im so puzzled on this problem
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
Hi, I will do my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. I don't know if you are a pro or a novice so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answer will be based on what you have posted. Feel free to add any additional info you feel is needed.

That makes this a very strange problem. Could you have left a ground wire off in the wiring harness. You should also check all the fuses. It was a complete other make, but I had the same problem on an Impala SS and it was a bad fuse. I would go over any electrical connection that was disconnected, or possible any one you put any force on. I bet that the injectors are shut down on the front 4 cylinders. They sell small test lights you can plug into the injector plug. It may be a good idea to get an electrical schematic for the engine, and start looking at the wiring for the injectors to see if there is a problem with the connections or the power to the injectors. With the plugs sparking, and the firing order correct, it almost has to be the injection system. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.

I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
so does that mean i have to reset the computer? all 8 cylinders were firing before i replaced the timing chain now that ive replaced it ive lost the front 4 cyls. before i changed the timing chain it ran fine except at high rpm because the timing chain was loose now it still fires right up its just the front 4 cyls. wont fire.
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
No it should not require any reset, there has to be a problem that is keeping those front 4 from running.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

will a regular test light work to check the injectors and does the key have to be turned to the on position? or does it have to be a special test light if so what is it called and where can i buy it from?

Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
If you attach one lead of the test light to one injector terminal and the other test light lead to the other injector terminal the light should flash as you crank it. The flashes are injector pulses. What ever you do don't let the two injector wires touch each other. If you have an LED around it is a better choice.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

well i cant find any fuses for the injectors... i tested the injectors and i had a small pulse in the test light and i checked the ohms and it was 14.5-14.7..when i removed the chain cover at the beggining of all this, with no. 1 on TDC compression stroke,the timing marks on the gears was different than in my book.. the crank gear mark was up where it was suppose to be, but the cam gear was also up instead of down, facing the crank dot...but like i said before, the truck ran great except for the chain...from my knowledge of older dodges, the marks are always pointed towards eachother, dot to dot....so that tells me that its 180 degrees out,but it runs... do you know if they changed the timing gear marks on the newer magnums??

Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
The chains and gears are the same on these 318's from the sixtys to 2002. If the cam gear timing mark was up it should have been TDC on the exhaust stroke and not the compression stroke. If you turned the cam to line up the marks together you might have reindexed the engine where it is having these troubles. Remember you are dealing with cam and crank sensors, and it can get real weird real fast.Did you put it back together with the cam mark up or down.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
up just like i took it apart after i tried to realigne it several times but every time i tried it would fall right back into the same position when i cranked it over
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
You need to get into a service manual for this and make sure there isn't something you missed. I know there is an indexing procedures for the timing, but if that was off it would make the engine just be out of time, not drop 4 cylinders. I will list the indexing procedure below, I don't know it will help.

you need to reindex your distributor, and make sure you have the correct type factory spark plugs in the engine, because some expensive after marker plugs will make engines ping. If you need to index the distributor here is the procedure.

Start by pulling the distributor cap off enough to watch the rotor. Bump the engine around until the rotor nears the #1 point in the cap and then switch to hand tools. Put the cap back on. The harmonic balancer has large marks cut in it at 90 degree increments for TDC, but we won't be using them. The 5.9 engine requires that you use the V8 mark etched in the balancer just before #1 cylinder TDC and is a little bit hard to see. Another mark, V6, is also scratched in the balancer but it's far from the TDC mark. Rotate the engine clockwise until you line the V8 mark up with the timing cover TDC reference and stop. If you go past the stopping point, back it up 20 degrees and start over. Even though you've got a new timing chain, you want all camshaft drive slack on the trailing side of the gears, just like it would have when running. With the crank positioned, loosen the distributor and rotate it clockwise as far as the hold-down will allow. Set your digital voltmeter on the 20vDC scale, ground the black test lead and backprobe the camshaft position sensor's tan/ yellow wire. This is the pigtail that comes out of the distributor, the tan/ yellow wire being the cam sensor signal circuit. Turn the key on. You'll see either something very close to zero volts or five volts, which is how the cam sensor works. It produces a square wave, alternately shorting the 5v pullup voltage supplied by the PCM to ground (0v) or releasing the short (5v). The connector has to be put together for this test of course. Now rotate the distributor counterclockwise until you see the state on the meter change. I don't recall if it's a 0-5v or a 5-0v... doesn't matter. The switch point is the time when you need to stop and lock the distributor down. If you'd like to repeat the adjustment, rotate the distributor way back to the right and start over. This keeps the rotational relationship between the distributor shaft and the cam sensor the same as if it was running. Tighten the distributor down and it is ready.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
its getting to dark to work here and see them tiny marks. does it matter if i crank it by jumping the starter or do i have to turn the ignition? if this works tomorrow i will double what i was going to pay but i need to know how to do that. im in utah it is 9:48 right now will be back on at 8:00am will you be on?
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
Not until later in the day, good luck with it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok ill get a hold of you and let you know if it works how do i double my payment? you've been a great help
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
Leave the extra as a bonus, thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok talk to you tomorrow
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i tried re-indexing the distributer, but now its worse...should i try it again

 

Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
This is such a strange problem. I can't figure out how this could happen, and I have worked on some tough ones. So you have spark, and the injectors have a pulse to them. The spark has to be at the wrong time, but that is almost impossible. Possibly those 4 injectors are not injecting, but they have a pulse, so they would almost have to be without fuel. Are you sure the truck has enough gas in it. I say go back over it and look super good at any wires you were around. The proximity thing where the front cylinders aren't firing makes it look real suspect that you might have accidentally done something to the wiring up front, so look real good at the wiring.

I think you should try the indexing again, it is real sensitive so be as precise as you can when you do it. I called a few super good Chrysler techs I know and they have never heard of this. I am going to do some research and see if I can fine any one that has had this happen. It almost has to be in wiring. Both techs did ask me about the firing order and the injector wiring. We talked about the firing order, did you have the wires off of the injectors or the spark plugs at any point.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok. ive tried indexing it 3 times.the first time it made it worse.the second & third time it just went back to where i started...i checked the trouble codes with the ignition process for the check engine light...i got three codes 11, 12 & 27...11 says no crank reference signal at PCM....12 says none, direct battery input to PCM was disconnected within the last 50 key-on cycles...& 27 says injector control circuit #1,2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8....output driver does not respond properly to the control signal...
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 5 years ago.
Those trouble codes are a good find, lots of times they will not register for a while. I was wondering about the cam and crank sensors, but you were no where near them. If I saw these codes and I didn't know anything about what had been done to the engine. I would suspect the cam and crank sensors, especially the crank sensor, and wonder if the PCM was bad because it says 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8....output driver does not respond properly to the control signal. Now if the cam/crank sensors are not putting out a signal, the PCM cant do its job, or if the signal isn't getting through then the PCM can do this and still not have any problems. You need to check the cam and crank sensors output to see if they are good. A loose or broken wire can block the signal even if the sensor is good. You have gotten to the point where you are going to need a good repair manual with test procedures, or at least some good schematics, and a VOM (volt ohm meter) to get into this stuff and test it. I don't know if you are good with electrical/electronics, now with these codes we know that the problem is electrical. If you have a bare LED you can test the output of the cam and crank sensors, the led will pulse light when you crank the engine if it is attached to the sensors. The LED is polarity sensitive and will only pulse light if it the polarity is right.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
if i have the wrong timing chain and gears will that cause the 4 cyls. to drop?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
have you heard from anyone about what could be wrong with my truck i have replaced the computer with a used computer that is suppose to be good and i have replaced the crank sensor and cam sensor and i am still firing on 4 cyl. what could be the problem????

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