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I have a 1989 Dodge ram charger with throttlebody ignition.

Hi, I have a 1989...
Hi, I have a 1989 Dodge ram charger with throttlebody ignition. It’s been giving me a hot start issues and recently started running poorly in general. I was thinking it was the old ECU and got a new one from Cardone and now it won’t start at all - no matter how artfully I feather the gas pedal. What are your thoughts? Thank you very much.
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Answered in 1 hour by:
4/28/2019
Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago
Dodgerench
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3,462
Experience: 30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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Hi, this is Ed; welcome to JustAnswer!.

Whenever I replace a part and wind up with a new (or worse) condition, my first thought is that the new problem is imported - it came in with the new part. These engine controllers didn't need any sort of programming to work and I don't believe they supported a factory anti-theft system in this year, so the PCM should have been plug-and-play if it was operational.

By all means substitute your original controller if you haven't surrendered it as a core exchange to see if it changes anything. The Cardone store might still have it one site and if you let them hold your new controller, I can't imagine why they wouldn't let you borrow the old one for diagnostic purposes. Otherwise, I'd have to go with the theory that the new PCM/ ECU is defective and let them warranty it.

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
I’m definitely going to try that first. Even with the old ECU, it was having a poor idle condition which I’m having a hard time figuring out as the iac seems fine.Thanks
Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago

It could always be something else - there's no guarantee that everything works fine forever - but the escalation that began the moment you swapped controllers makes me want to take a closer look at the controller situation.

If you continue to have problems, by all means write back and we'll figure something out.

As I recall with the 5.2 liter TBI engine of that time period, it was pretty common for one of the two injectors to fail to fire, causing the engine to run on 4 cylinders. You can watch injector spray down the throttle body opening with the engine running since they're mounted above the throttle blades. The affected injector may have no spray at idle (when pulse is short and weak) but regain operation if you load the engine with a snap opening of the throttle or brake-torque it in gear, when injector pulse is stronger (a helper will be needed and be wary of backfire through the throttle body). If, when you get your original PCM back and see something of this sort, you'll be needing that injector at least. I've never seen a PCM in this model year fail in a manner that an injector driver was lost.

Good luck!

Ed

Dodgerench
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3,462
Experience: 30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago
Phone call session started
Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago

Good talk, James!

There are things I continue to be conflicted about, but with your voltage and resistance readings on the 3-wire distributor (crank) sensor, I'm discouraged to imagine the new PCM is OK. Shorting the 5v signal to sensor ground at the distributor connector inspired the PCM to adjust throttle position and fire the ASD relay. You found power to be reaching the coil an fuel pump, two of the three recipients of ASD power, needed to power up the coil, injectors and fuel pump.

Jumpering between the 5v signal and sensor ground (the two opposite terminals of the distributor sensor) is received and reacted to by changing the throttle angle and powering up the ASD relay. The coil - despite receiving ASD power - never produces spark. No injector pulse was seen as well, pretty much condemning the PCM at this point. Any crank signal/ distributor output should result in a coil pulse and both injectors firing. The change in IAC (throttle kicker) position confirms that the PCM at some level understands the signal veracity but does not act on it.

This reman PCM is poopy. Get another.

James! Call if you have any questions or problems and we'll work 'em out. You're really really close to going for a ride.

This link will remain open as well.

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Thanks!!
Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago

Aw you bet. I'll be at work tomorrow through Thursday and they're long hours so I might not see posts until late. Feel free to text me and I'll get back as soon as I can.

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Thanks again! Will do
Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago

Print that line above for when you go to warranty the turd PCM. It brought in new problems and just won't sustain engine running-type stuff.

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Will do ��
Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago

Dang I forgot to ask. How did you come to request me? Just curious...

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Saw you as a Dodge expert on just answer through a google search
Dodge Mechanic: Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician replied 3 years ago

Aw that's so sweet.

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