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97 Plymouth Voyager Intermittent Stalling

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My fathers '97 Grand Voyager 3.3 has been experiencing a fairly intermittent stalling issue, while driving. Happens most frequently when slowing down to stop, and sitting at traffic lights, or sometimes just driving around town. Will not stall on highway, at consistent speed. No ignition codes. Has a radiator cooling fan code, can't imagine that has anything to do with stalling. (It has new IAC, wiring around plug and harness looks great. Van will idle when it's happy.) I should also mention that this van does have a BCM short somewhere, doors will lock themselves, and tail light/side marker light circuit also has an issue. Before I continue, I need to mention that this van is a work/beater van. It is not pretty and does not warrant, "professional", fixes, or premium parts. It just needs to run and drive.

Now, back to the stalling problem. It tends to stall within the first 5-10 minutes of driving for first time of day. If I let it sit for 10 minutes on side of road, it'll fire right back up, and run great for rest of day. Occasionally, it'll quit twice on the same day, then fire up and run great after 10 minutes.

I can't figure if this could be an ignition issue, as if the coil is getting hot, like on a lawn tractor, or of it is a BCM/computer/sensor issue. I thought to myself if maybe the security system immobilizer could be killing ignition, based on the door lock short. Just a thought there.

Again, there are no ignition codes, or any engine related codes either. Engine is not missing or stumbling, during normal driving. One time, when engine fired up after stalling and waiting the 10 minutes, revved engine to limiter, and engine was backfiring, sounding like out of throttle body. Leading me to think ignition issue. Just another thought there as well.

What are you guys thinking?

Thanks!
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1993 Dodge caravan, 1949 Dodge truck, 1991 swb chevrolet truck
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I apologize for being a bit abrupt yesterday with suggesting to just replace it all.

IMHO, I fought the exact same issues for a few years while I was dragging my feet not wanting to learn modern mechanics.
My 1993 caravan would die sometimes when coming to a stop sign .... not always, never while driving .... just when coming to a stop and again not always but more often if the AC was running & engine under a load.
I was trying to troubleshoot many things like the IAC, or I removed the throttle body & cleaned it I was a dog chasing my tail

I eventually found it was a bad cam sensor causing the problem. The engine will run, but will cause some issues like you describe ..... Then next the crank sensor went bad.
When the crank sensor fails, the engine will die & you need to call a tow truck. ..... Last week it was 108 degrees out, I do not want to be sitting for a hour waiting on a tow truck.

Years ago we would do a tuneup on our cars, points, plugs, wires, cap, rotor .... we just replaced it all.

Today we have a crank sensor, cam sensor, coil, wires, plugs. ..... I figure if these parts have enough hours on them that one fails, the rest are not far behind.

It would be nice to determine the exact issue, and if it was a cam sensor like I suspect ... I would check codes to confirm it.
I simply would not change the cam sensor. I would do the shotgun approach & change the whole ignition system at the same time. Avoid future breakdowns on the side of the road.
 

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1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
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A 'no start' can also be caused by the cluster being dead. This may be the whole problem.
Remove the cluster & touch up the fractured solder joints on the circuit board.

 
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My fathers '97 Grand Voyager 3.3 has been experiencing a fairly intermittent stalling issue, while driving. Happens most frequently when slowing down to stop, and sitting at traffic lights, or sometimes just driving around town. Will not stall on highway, at consistent speed.
We are not talking a no start issue .... it is the engine stalls/dies when the van comes to a stop.
This is exactly how my van with the bad cam sensor acted. I would drive it out of town all the time ... sometimes coming to a stop sign it would die .... always started right back up.

It was annoying, but never life threatening .... just a head scratcher.

I honestly think that a 1997 caravan with unknown maintenance .... dies at a stop sign but starts back up ..... a tuneup is not out of the question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I apologize for being a bit abrupt yesterday with suggesting to just replace it all.

IMHO, I fought the exact same issues for a few years while I was dragging my feet not wanting to learn modern mechanics.
My 1993 caravan would die sometimes when coming to a stop sign .... not always, never while driving .... just when coming to a stop and again not always but more often if the AC was running & engine under a load.
I was trying to troubleshoot many things like the IAC, or I removed the throttle body & cleaned it I was a dog chasing my tail

I eventually found it was a bad cam sensor causing the problem. The engine will run, but will cause some issues like you describe ..... Then next the crank sensor went bad.
When the crank sensor fails, the engine will die & you need to call a tow truck. ..... Last week it was 108 degrees out, I do not want to be sitting for a hour waiting on a tow truck.

Years ago we would do a tuneup on our cars, points, plugs, wires, cap, rotor .... we just replaced it all.

Today we have a crank sensor, cam sensor, coil, wires, plugs. ..... I figure if these parts have enough hours on them that one fails, the rest are not far behind.

It would be nice to determine the exact issue, and if it was a cam sensor like I suspect ... I would check codes to confirm it.
I simply would not change the cam sensor. I would do the shotgun approach & change the whole ignition system at the same time. Avoid future breakdowns on the side of the road.
I honestly think that a 1997 caravan with unknown maintenance .... dies at a stop sign but starts back up ..... a tuneup is not out of the question.

I will be replacing cam and crank sensor with NTK. Van also very likely needs spark plugs, not sure if they have ever been replaced. It needs a lot. The point I am trying to make, is that this van I am working on, is a sh*tbox beater. It also does not belong to me, my father uses it to pick up equipment and such, he is an avid tag saler. He does not care much for it, and does not have much desire to have his van functioning perfectly.

If it develops a miss, I'll have someone do the plugs. It is very difficult to get to the rear of engine to replace them myself. If major issues start stacking up more frequently, we will take it out of commission. He has a 2005 Grand Caravan with low miles on standby. I will take as many parts from it that are viable, for my '97 Grand Voyager, and bring it to scrap. It's a shame to let another old Voyager go to sh*t, my father has never been one to keep his daily cars tip top. Aside from his classics of course.

But just as a testament to the durability of these vans, it is impressive how much they can take, with such little care. I believe it is because they are so simple, even with modern computers. These were the last of real Chryslers, of real quality built cars.
 

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Do you have a vacuum gauge? If so, why don't you use it and see what it tells you? I have one, but haven't had to use it in many years because I try to stay on top of my vehicle maintenance. In the past, it has helped me out. It's an old one. Used to be my Dads and I know it's over 50 years old.
 
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