1991 Dodge Dakota No spark
Posted October 31, 2007 at 07:50 pm
I have a 1991 Dodge Dakota. V6, 3.9 Automatic with overdrive. 4wd.
I went out to start the truck and it would turn over, but no spark. Trying to work by process of elimination, I replaced the Cap, Rotor, Plugs. Then the Coil, Then the Pickup coil, and Last night the computer. Still No spark. I was reading a bit in my chiltons book, and it said that you could test the coil by using a jumper and putting it on a volt meter, and if you got zero volts that you should check the fuel system. So after thinking about it, I realized that I was not getting fuel either, and that I can hear a click when I turn the key on, but I do not hear the Fuel Pump start up.
So, I guess my question is, if the sending unit and fuel pump will not send a positive message through the system, and gas, will it cause it to not spark as well. There are relays for an "Auto Shut Off" which all tested Ok for continuity, and I am assuming that the "auto Shut off" applies to the fuel system and probably my spark problem. Am I correct in my assumption?
Thanx in advance,
Posted October 31, 2007 at 08:01 pm
First, always check fault codes. They are not absolute indicators of where the trouble lies, but it's free and easy to do so, and can lead to places to check.
Next, I would suggest that one common point of failure in these trucks is the power splice wrapped inside the harness between the battery and the relay box. It was known to corrode and fall apart, due to poor assembly at the factory. It caused a no-crank for me two years ago with no warning. So when you say you've checked continuity, that's not good enough. I measured 16K ohms between battery and the coil of the starter relay. That means the relay got less than 1 mA, not enough to close it. But there was continuity!
Another thing to check on these is the crankcase position sensor. If the computer doesn't sense the magnetic pickup for flywheel rotation, the fuel pump will shut down and not pump until it sees rotation again. The ASD relay shuts down the spark, and depending on whether the relays are cascaded as they are in my car, the ASD can shut down the fuel pump relay.
The computer rarely, if ever fails, so if you can take it back (unlikely at most stores), at least get some money back.
Posted October 31, 2007 at 08:15 pm
Thanx for the quick response. I know I spent too MUCH. LOL. But I started with the usual, and Cheaper stuff. And now that I have found this forum, I wish I had found it a while ago. LOL>
Anyhow, there is a Little Black Box type thing that has a fuse in it between the battery, and where the wiring harness starts. it has two posts on it, One from the battery, and one going to the harness. THat fuse is good by the way, but I was wondering about the little box. It almost looks like the circuit breakers they use on boats. But I had 11.97 Volts on both posts of that as well. Or are you talking about an actual Fusable Link in the harness.
Also The Crank Case Position Sensor. I am assuming that is the crank sensor. Is that on the front of the motor down behind the Fly wheel. . I don't want to sound redundant or stupid. LOL. I am far from being a mechanic, but I do understand how most things work, and can understand relatively simple instruction. LOL.
Although the computer was expensive, and yes, the other stuff was too, at least it is all new now (I keep telling myself that, and my wife too. LOL So far it is keeping me out of the doghouse ) The truck has 255k on it, so it was probably due anyhow, and I litterally have nothing into the truck from purchase. I traded it for a ford van I had that the Tranny was going in.
I would have checked the computer codes, but my son was helping me, and left the key on, which of course drained the battery. So I figured the codes would be gone. Which is why I have been going with Process of elimination.
Posted October 31, 2007 at 08:19 pm
Another thing to check on these is the crankcase position sensor. If the computer doesn't sense the magnetic pickup for flywheel rotation, the fuel pump will shut down and not pump until it sees rotation again.
There is no crankshaft position sensor on 1991 Dakota engines. That did not appear until the 1992 model year with the advent of the revised Magnum V6 and V8 engines.
The pickup unit in the distributor pulses with rotation of the distributor, camshaft and crankshaft. This pulsing is the signal sent to the engine controller so that it knows the engine crankshaft is turning and allows the ASD (automatic shut down) relay to engage. The ASD relay must be engaged and closed to provide electrical power to the fuel pump, injectors and spark coil.
With all those parts replacements it appears you have a wiring problem somewhere in the system. Trace the black / gray tracer wire from the negative terminal of the coil back to the wiring connector at the engine controller. Make sure this wire is intact, not broken and not shorted against metal. The positive side of the coil has a gray / black tracer wire that originates from a splice near the ASD relay. This is probably the splice Bob L mentioned.
I agree that engine controllers are reliable and typically this type of problem is NOT with engine controller failure.
Posted October 31, 2007 at 08:24 pm
Posted November 1, 2007 at 12:07 am
Take a multi-meter or 12 volt test lamp. Touch one lead to the positive side of the coil and the other lead to a good ground on the engine. Engage the starter. If no illumination then no power from the ASD relay. If the lamp illuminates you know that the ASD is functioning properly and providing 12 volt power when the crankshaft is rotating.
Posted November 1, 2007 at 09:40 pm
Posted November 2, 2007 at 03:56 am
Can I ask a silly question?
Have you had someone crank it without the distributor cap off to see if the distributor is turning?
Posted November 2, 2007 at 04:28 am
Posted November 2, 2007 at 10:41 am
Posted November 2, 2007 at 05:44 pm
I have a buddy coming over tomorrow to help me run some of these tests. LOL. I did trace the wires back, and I found two red wires that go into the fuse box that were coroded off. I found where one went, but not the other. I will be looking for that tomorrow too.
I can not tell you how much I appreciate this information. Thank you all.
Posted November 2, 2007 at 05:52 pm
Yes, it could. No dist signal, the truck shuts off the fuel pump.
But if the Distributor was bad, it wouldn't account for no gas right?
Repairing those wires is the first step and may solve the problem.
Posted March 15, 2012 at 09:17 pm
Posted March 16, 2012 at 07:55 am
Posted March 16, 2012 at 04:44 pm
Posted March 16, 2012 at 05:49 pm
Next time it won't start, I'd pull a plug and see if there's spark. If there is, I'd see what happens with a little starter fluid sprayed down the throttle body. What happens with those tests would direct the next course of action.
Posted March 16, 2012 at 06:15 pm
coil, cap, rotor, pick-up coil, plugs, plug wires. no luck. (he was so mad he GAVE me the truck)
The ASD relay makes sense. I will try replacing.
One thing I did notice, the ambient temp was warm and the truck started. I turned the truck off. I used the "KEY-ON, KEY-OFF" method to extract any codes in memory. The only codes were "12" (replaced battery) and "55" end of code cycle.
The next morning was very cold and thought I'd try starting the truck. Cranked over fine..... Well, no spark, no fuel = no start. OK, I'll try checking codes again. I noticed the "check engine light" wasn't showing at all when I turn the key on. So I left it alone most of the day until the ambient temp was warm. About 2:30pm I tried extracting codes again. This time the "check engine" light did it's thing for me with no new codes. and yes, the darn thing started right up! I tried this 3 days in a row. Cold morning=no start=no check engine light(with key on position). Warm afternoon=start right up=check engine light functioning(with key on position)
Again, I will try replacing the relays and hope this solves the problem!
Posted March 16, 2012 at 06:43 pm
There is also a known bad problem with a factory splice in the harness near the windshield washer jug. In my case, it opened the circuit to the starter relay so that it would not crank. It could also fail in a way that the ASD relay does not get power.
Posted March 22, 2012 at 08:58 pm
I hooked up a small electric heater and pointed to various areas under the hood (about 20 min each point). I also left the ignition key in the "ON" position so when the system "woke up" i would hear the relays kicking in. ECU was next in line for the heat test. Shure enough, about 5 min the relays started kicking in and out. I turned off the ignition switch and waited another 15 min. with the heater pointed at the ECU. The truck fired right up after 20 min of heat pointed at the ECU. Now, all connections have been inspected. I always thought when a computer gives up then thats it but not in this case. I proceeded to disassemble the ECU for inspection and possibly resolder or replace some radioshack componants. When I opened the cover I was surprised to see the entire board sealed with some kind of ruberized jello. So I guess the ECU can not be repaired? Looks like I'll have to buy another ECU!