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92 Plymouth Voyager Speedometer


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10 replies to this topic

#1 alloro

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Posted January 7, 2005 at 06:51 pm

I've got a 92 Plymouth Grand Voyager with an intermittant speedometer problem (getting code 15). I've replaced the distance sensor (2-wire no pinion gear type)and inspected the wiring which was fine. This problem is more noticable when the weather is cold outside. I'll start driving and there will be no speedometer and the trip indicator doesn't move, all other gauges work including the tach. Usually in 1 to 2 miles it will bounce around and then start working except in real cold weather (less than freezing). In the case of the cold weather I've driven 120 miles and it never started working. Also, when the speedometer isn't working the engine still runs smooth, no stalling.

Am I looking at the engine computer here or one of the wiring connectors?

Thanks!

#2 John Wood

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Posted January 7, 2005 at 07:24 pm

Since you replaced the speed/distance sensor, did you clear out the code 15 by disconnecting the battery? If you have cruise control, check it when the speedometer is not working. If it works, your sensor is OK.

It actually sounds like it might be in the cluster (sticking needle or bad connection). Try hitting the top of the dash with your fist to see if the needle pops up the next time.

Edited by John Wood, January 7, 2005 at 07:25 pm.


#3 alloro

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Posted January 8, 2005 at 09:09 am

Thanks for the reply. Yes I cleared the code and no, the cruise control does not work when the speedometer isn't working. When the speedometer starts working so does the cruise control. I've tried the "bang the dash" proceedure without luck. I've also tried hitting potholes to shake things up when it's not working and that doesn't do anything either. On the flipside, I've tried banging the dash and hitting potholes when it is working to see if I can get it to stop, but it keeps working.

I feel I've ruled out a bad distance sensor by replacing it and getting the same symptoms. I've also ruled out loose wiring with all of the bouncing and banging around. I wanted to try running a pair of wires tapped off of the engine computer's 60 pin connector to a meter and see if I'm getting signal from the sensor when this happens. My concern is that it would cause damage to the computer, assuming it's okay in the first place. I'm getting frustrated! :unsure:

p.s. If it were a sticking needle would I still get a code 15?

#4 John Wood

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Posted January 8, 2005 at 02:39 pm

Ok, you performed all the diagnosis that I was thinking about. You are obviously not receiving a signal from the sensor.

A couple of things I can still think of is a defective plug going to the sensor and gear mesh problem (rare). There was a known problem with the plugs on several models in the late 80s/early 90s. In fact, there may have been a TSB on this issue with the recommendation that a new improved plug be installed on the wiring harness. The problem was that the contact sockets were too wide causing intermittant or no connection. The repair kit came with a new pigtail attached to a new connector and some heat shrink tubing. You cut off the old connector, slip the tubing up the harness wires and solder on a new connector, finishing the job by shrinking the tubing over each connection. Personally, I would inspect the old socket and see if there is a way to squeeze the metal sockets a bit tighter so that better contact is made with the pins on the sensor.

The 2nd possibility (which I don't think is the problem) is that removal and installation of the passenger side axle without removing the speed sensor can occasionally damage the nylon pinion gear, causing it to slip until the oil warms up enough and expands the nylon and gets the gear turning. i.e., in this case the teeth are just barely engaging between the axle and the pinion gear on the sensor.

#5 alloro

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Posted January 8, 2005 at 03:49 pm

The problem was that the contact sockets were too wide causing intermittant or no connection. Personally, I would inspect the old socket and see if there is a way to squeeze the metal sockets a bit tighter so that better contact is made with the pins on the sensor.

The 2nd possibility (which I don't think is the problem) is that removal and installation of the passenger side axle without removing the speed sensor can occasionally damage the nylon pinion gear, causing it to slip until the oil warms up enough and expands the nylon and gets the gear turning. i.e.,  in this case the teeth are just barely engaging between the axle and the pinion gear on the sensor.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'll give this first one a try as a last resort before replacing the computer. For your second suggestion, mine is on the driver side axle (1992) and doesn't use a pinion gear. Just the magnetic wheel on the axle with the magnetic switch in the screw-in type sensor. So not much to go wrong there. Thanks again.

#6 John Wood

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Posted January 8, 2005 at 06:19 pm

I didn't know you had a 4 speed tranny.

This may be a mute point, but did you check the passenger side axle for an sensor anyhow? I could swear another poster (Fred?) told me that his 92 mini van had both sensors and that the standard pinion sensor drove the speedometer and cruise. I think 92's were the last year for this, but it might be a case of only early 92 models.

#7 alloro

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Posted January 9, 2005 at 08:46 am

I didn't know you had a 4 speed tranny.

This may be a mute point, but did you check the passenger side axle for an sensor anyhow?  I could swear another poster (Fred?) told me that his 92 mini van had both sensors and that the standard pinion sensor drove the speedometer and cruise.  I think 92's were the last year for this, but it might be a case of only early 92 models.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Nope, no passenger side sensor. I'm sure it's like you said, they changed the design in the middle of the production year. I wish there was one because that would likely solve my problem. :)

#8 John Wood

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Posted January 9, 2005 at 09:49 am

I don't have a schematic for your year vehicle but for a later vehicle, the circuit runs from the output speed sensor light green with white tracer wire up to the TCM #14 terminal on the connector. From the TCM, the signal comes out on terminal #58 and goes to your PCM on a white wire with orange tracer. This is for the + lead of the circuit.

For the ground lead, the input and output sensor signals are combined (dark blue with black tracer wires) and go to terminal #13 on the TCM.

Again, these may not match your model year, but check it out. It might just be a dirty connection.

Does yout tranny go into limp mode when the speedometer is not working? If not, then I would think that the TCM is getting the proper signal, but that the PCM is not. I believe the PCM provides the logic to operate the cruise control, but I am not positive.

#9 alloro

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Posted January 11, 2005 at 05:29 pm

I didn't know you had a 4 speed tranny.

This may be a mute point, but did you check the passenger side axle for an sensor anyhow?  I could swear another poster (Fred?) told me that his 92 mini van had both sensors and that the standard pinion sensor drove the speedometer and cruise.  I think 92's were the last year for this, but it might be a case of only early 92 models.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



(SIGH) :blink: You were right John, there was a second sensor. It was behind the engine, on top of the transaxle, hidden by the rack & pinion steering. I got tipped off when I dug deeper into the wiring schematic. The TCM (transmission controller) was showing a speed sensor on numbers 13 & 14 and the PCM (engine controller) was showing a speed sensor on numbers 47 & 4. I replaced this second sensor and the speedometer is now working.

However, I did do a test on the old sensor and it seemed to be working fine out of the vehicle. Since the speedometer was working sometimes, I'm left with either the old one was also just working sometimes or the connecter was just making an intermittant connection. Thanks for your help.

#10 John Wood

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Posted January 11, 2005 at 06:02 pm

(SIGH) :blink: You were right John, there was a second sensor. It was behind the engine, on top of the transaxle, hidden by the rack & pinion steering. I got tipped off when I dug deeper into the wiring schematic. The TCM (transmission controller) was showing a speed sensor on numbers 13 & 14 and the PCM (engine controller) was showing a speed sensor on numbers 47 & 4. I replaced this second sensor and the speedometer is now working.

However, I did do a test on the old sensor and it seemed to be working fine out of the vehicle. Since the speedometer was working sometimes, I'm left with either the old one was also just working sometimes or the connecter was just making an intermittant connection. Thanks for your help.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Glad to hear you got to the bottom of it. It's hard to say about the old sensor. There have been reported problems with the connector, but these old sensors are a mechanical device too and the reed switches could become intermittant or sticky. The newer sensors that they started using in 1993 (3 wire sensors) are actually Hall-Effect pickup units, so there are no switches to wear out. These newer types that are located on the transaxle are only used on engines equipped with 3 speed trannies in 1993 and later years. It is possible to convert an older vehicle to a three wire setup. I tried this on the 91 Sundance and it works fine.

#11 alloro

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Posted January 11, 2005 at 11:34 pm

I thought about the 3-wire sensor conversion, but then I thought about how I've had this van 8 years and this is the first time I had to replace it. At that rate the van will be dead before that sensor fails again, knock wood. (nothing personal in them last 2 words there John.) :D


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