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Discussion Starter #1
I was recently under the hood of my 86 Lebaron changing the air filter and when I popped the air inlet hose off the airbox, a very strong gas odor hit appeared. Looking down into the throttle body, the throttle plate looked a little bit wet and the smell seemed strongest there. Strange because the car had been sitting for a day. I also noticed that the vacuum line going to the purge solenoid was wet at the T connection. After pulling it apart, I found gas in that line to the T connection, but none on the canister end. Thought that maybe I overfilled the tank on the last refill, so I took the canister out and checked for gas/odor, inverted it and didn't see or smell anything and nothing came out. A few months ago, I replaced the fuel injector and its orings with a NOS Mopar/Bosch one. Just did the paper towel test and did see a small drop shortly after I turned the key on, but then it stopped. I'm wondering how that gas is getting into the vacuum lines. Bad fuel pressure regulator maybe? At the time I replaced the injector, I did check the pressure with a gauge with the key on and it was at spec, but I didn't check to see if it leaked down over time. I should note that when I was trying to get the lower oring seated properly when replacing the injector, I had forgotten to depressurize the fuel system, and when I pulled the injector out, it was as if there was no pressure build up at all - no fuel spray or anything. Any ideas on where to start?


PS - Couple things I've been noticing for a while is that when I let the car sit overnight, the fuel gauge always seems to drop about an 1/8th by the next day. No leaks under the car or at any of the supply/return lines. Also, when cold, the engine probably cranks a dozen times before it starts, and then runs smooth. When it's hot, it'll crank 2-3 times before it starts, but when it does, it chuggs as if it's choked. If I blip the throttle, then it seems to smooth out, but not as smooth as when it's cold.
 

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My 2 cents is 1: clean out all vacuum lines of any moisture/fuel using compressed air.2: Remove map sensor and check for moisture by shaking and see if any shakes out, if so you must dry out and re-install. We had a few map sensors that would build up moisture sometimes when air temp changed drastically.3: Check the CTS, Coolant Temperature Sensor, for calibration. Fuel in the vacuum line is more common on the K series, especially early models. Chrysler had down a lot of re-designs on the charcoal canister through the years. The big thing we were told tell customers was not to overfill the tank as this would go into the vapor canister and vacuum lines. When the fuel shut off on the fuel nozzle clicked off stop the fueling. And remember that this EFI fuel system is low pressure unlike the turbo cars where you have high pressure in the system to bleed off before opening. And back in '86-89, we replaced a lot of defective injectors, same on the Mitsu 3.0 V6.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tips. I was able to check a few things this afternoon. Pulled the map sensor and found no moisture or gas inside the line or in the sensor itself. Also checked the sensor itself at 0, 5 and 20 in of vac and the voltages shown seemed to be at spec.

Also checked the fuel pressure and it's reading a little high when running at 16psi. It starts out at 14, but after 2-3 minutes, it slowly rises to 16. Pinching the return line does cause the pressure to rise and stall the car, so the pump appears to be keeping up and the regulator seems to be ok. When the engine is shut off, the pressure drops to about 13psi, but holds steady. If I disconnect the primary wires on the ignition coil and the return line hose at the firewall and run the hose to a catch can, the pressure reads exactly 14psi. Thinking that maybe the return line to the tank is partially clogged? Any harm in trying to blow compressed air through the return line and into the tank? I know some cars have a check valve inside the tank on the return line...don't want to damage that. Not sure that this is even related to the problem I'm having though.

Tomorrow, I will have to see how the cts responds and blow out the vacuum lines. Thanks again for any insight.
 

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I would investigate the "new" fuel injector. You should not have fuel dribbling out of it -especially after sitting a day. I doubt any other component is cause this while sitting. In my book, new only means it's shiny. It should still be under warranty. Might try exchanging it. Won't cost anything except some cold hands. You might have another issue with the evap.system as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I will pull the injector out and have a look at it today. It was a new old stock Mopar injector (Bosch brand) and had a date of 1988 on the bag. Was probably sitting on the shelf forever. Doesn't have a warranty unfortunately. Only reasons I went with this one were that the price was cheap and the part number was the same as the old injector in the car (though I'm not sure it's correct, as the part number doesn't match what the 86 Chrysler Parts manual says it should have). Was there a difference between all the different Chrysler/Bosch part numbers listed for this particular application or did they just keep changing the part numbers as they made revisions?

In the event that I need to replace the injector again, which one would you guys recommend? I know Advance, AutoZone and RockAuto carry a few different types like Standard and BWD.

About the evap system...is there a way to test whether it's working correctly?

Thanks again.
 

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1: I wouldn't blow any air in the fuel return line. 2: If the Evap cannister is dry ( no fuel inside it) and not damaged, and all hoses ok, nothing else I know what to do with it as far as checking. Mainly a charcoal filter set up. 3: Remember I said that back when those EFI throttle body systems came out they had a lot of injector problems so Chrysler was changing P/Ns and brands as new versions were developed. And yes, there should be no dripping when the engine has been shut off as this load the engine like over rich(choke). Remember that the CTS actually acts as Choke for EFI engines, as it enrichens the injectors when cold start. Has to be in specs, period. 4: Never used any after market injectors on any vehicle so can't comment on their quality. I 've always used whatever the factory requested.
 

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Make sure the injector o-rings are seating properly. A dab of petroluem jelly or a drop of engine oil will make sure they slide in to place properly.
BTW, Chrysler stayed with Bosch through the end of TBI production. My injector is clearly marked Bosch, and I have one of the last K-derived cars built.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Ok vacuum lines to and from the canister have been all cleared out and I haven't noticed any fuel smell either over the past week so that's a good sign. CTS resistance seems to be right where it should be when hot and cold, so I think the sensor is ok.

I was out in the car today running some errands and when I went to start the car up, after being in the store for fifteen minutes or so, it fired right up, but immediately died and the power loss light came on. I tried starting it again and then it fired right up. Checked for codes while in the parking lot and there weren't any. This same problem has happened multiple times before and sets the power loss light on everytime, but that problem is intermittent. Most of the time, it restarts when hot on the first try, though the idle usually stumbles around a bit. I did check the map sensor and it responds appropriately to varying amounts of vacuum. It's also getting a good vacuum signal through it's hose as well. Timing mark jumps around a good bit (CTS connector removed/engine hot) at idle so I'll have to make sure that the belt is ok and the cam timing is good. Belt seems awfully tight to me, though it tracks well.

I want to check that EGR tube that goes between the intake and EGR valve. It looks solid, but I wasn't able to check that large nut under the manifold when I replaced the EGR valve (need to find a 1" crow foot). Looks like it has some black carbon crud between the pipe and nut. Might have a leak there. Also, is the injector supposed to "snap" into the TBI housing? Thought I had read that on here somewhere, but I cannot get mine to snap in. It'll slide into the bore (with force) and then will stop. If it's supposed to snap, maybe that's where my problem lies. Had a bear of a time getting that injector to sit down far enough for the cap go on all the way. Regardless, the car exhibits the same issues as it did before I pulled the old injector out and swapped in the new one.

One more thing - the online parts stores (like Rock Auto and Advance) show two physically different looking injector tips. One looks like it has more of a taper to it than the Bosch one I have, which has more of a blunt tip. According to them, they are interchangeable in application. Any reason for the different style tips?

Thanks again for your tips.
 

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No, the injector is a friction fit. The O-rings hold it in, and it's actually decently easy to put the injector in too "shallow" and get leaks.

How many degrees is the timing floating around by? And when the engine cuts out, what is it like? Is it like someone turned the key off or does the car sputter and die? The car can actually run for a few seconds on just the residual pressure, and lean/rich conditions typically cause poor running. Sputtering would indicate more of a fuel related issue, while an instantaneous cutout is typically electrical (in fact, every gasoline engine I've ever encountered shuts off the ignition to kill the engine, so, to the engine, a fault in the ignition system causing no spark and an intentional shutdown are identical. The engine will behave very similarly in both situations).

I'm starting to think, especially in light of the erratic timing, that you could have a failing Hall Effect pickup. A timing-belted engine cannot have the belt so loose that the timing jumps around like that-- the camshaft is considerably difficult to turn. The HEP is the only thing that tells these engines where they are in the rotation cycle. No signal from the HEP means the ECU has no idea the engine is rotating, so fuel injection and spark will not be triggered. An erratic signal causes erratic spark and fuel timing. Other potential culprits are the ignition rotor and wires-- these engines use a very traditional system that is extremely hard on ignition components. Rotors should be replaced between 5-10k and the wire terminal ends rotated 180 degrees to give a fresh contact surface. I would start with those before I looked at the Hall, in fact. I'm not saying that it's definitely not fuel related, but (and this does somewhat hinge on how the car dies) there are several parts in the ignition system that can cause symptoms like you describe. Check the rotor, cap and wires and tell us what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your response, much appreciated. Here's what I found.

The timing mark jumps around somewhere between 2-4 degrees at idle. As far as problem with the engine cutting out when warm, it acts as if someone turned the key off. It'll start and then immediately die, turn the power loss light on, and then on the second try, it'll start and run. Doesn't happen all the time though, but when it does, the course of events has been the same.

The rotor, cap, wires and coil were all replaced about 2700 miles or 3-4 months ago. I just looked at them today and the cap looks fine, rotor looks ok, and the wire terminals (which were nice and shiney) now have a rough feeling rust streak through them all. The HEP looks original as does it's harness (which is showing it's age, but doesn't look terrible). With the distributor out of the car (and rotor off) the shaft appears to have some side to side wobble to it and the gear to body clearance measures about 0.020 thousandths...which seems a little much to me. Looks like a new and complete distributor can be had on the cheap, so I may do that. I should also note that this whole time, the car seems to be down on power, especially in the low RPMs. It does wake up some once you're over 45 mph, but it almost seems like the ignition isn't advancing as much and as smoothly as it should.

Cam timing appears to be correct, as the two triangles on the pulley are oriented correctly with the head. Belt does have some wear to it, but no missing parts and it is tight and doesn't appear to have slipped.
 

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Belts last about 95k.

That "rusty streak" is actually discoloration from the arcs that occur inside the distributor. If you look at the clearance between the rotor tip and the wire, you can see that the gap is HUGE. Big gaps equal bigger sparks which leads to accelerated erosion.

I'm not sure that the distributor is at fault here. The HEP is a known failure point for these cars, and they do tend to "flake out" and work fine half the time and not work properly the other half.

My '92 FSM states that, for both the 2.2, 2.5 and Turbo I versions of both engines, the maximum acceptable end play is zero to .030", and the side-to-side play must not exceed .004". So your end play seems OK at 20 thou.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got a new HEP and that definitely helped with the hot restart problem, but the timing mark is still jumping around and the idle is high (850-900 and fluctuates). Any chance your FSM says anything about distributor drive gear to driven gear play? I can turn the shutter blade a few degrees either way with the distributor locked down to the motor. Maybe that wear on the gears is causing the timing jitter? Those plastic welds on the shutter blade are fine.

Another thing I've noticed is that there's a noticeable hissing sound coming from the throttle body area. Driver's side is quiet, but I can definitely hear it on the passenger side. Checked all the hoses with my vacuum pump (already replaced most of them) and they all hold vacuum. Only thing I can think of is maybe that replacement TPS should have been installed with an oring behind it. Original one didn't have an oring, but had a locating ring that held it in the correct position on the throttle body and may have helped a little with sealing out leaks. The replacement doesn't have that ring...just uses the mounting screws to hold it in place.

I believe the car is on it's 2nd/possibly 3rd timing belt. I only have a record showing it being replaced around 45k. With the timing covers off, the belt tracks fine and appears tight, but does show a little wear on the edges of the teeth, as you can see a small gap between the belt and the sprocket teeth...small enough to stick a paper clip between them. When revved, the belt does vibrate/deflect, and when it does, the engine seems to misfire. When it doesn't deflect, it seems to be smooth. First car I've had with a timing belt, so I am not too keen on what to look for other than the obvious. Think that might be causing the problem?

I've heard of some folks with cars having similar issues and they ended up fixing it with a new computer (power module). Is there a way that the computer can be tested?
 

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Replace the tensioner with the timing belt. If the tensioner is wearing out, it might cause the timing to flutter.
 

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Should be no deflection in the belt at all while running. The test for tension is to grab it and try to twist it. It should just be able to twist 90 degrees-- no more, no less. Here's a guide, I used this to replace my belt two years ago and I've had no problems whatsoever. http://www.allpar.com/fix/timing-belt-22.html

Did you remove the TB to service it? Try re-torquing the bolts; sometimes engine vibration can cause the bolts to back off and start a leak. My TPS has an O-ring, IIRC, but they're more for dust sealing rather than vacuum sealing.

The FSM doesn't say much about the distributor, unfortunately. There shouldn't be much play at all in it. A few degrees can make a lot of difference in a critical application like this. I would set the belt tension properly and check the TB bolts first (because free fixes are, well, free!) and if the problem persists, go after the distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the link. Probably wouldn't hurt to change the belt/tensioner at this point, especially if it was changed last at 45k and is recommended to be changed every 60k, which is pretty much where the mileage is at right now. There is some loud scraping/grinding noise coming from the passenger side of the car when it's revved up and I'm thinking if it's not the balance shaft chain (had a bad one of those on a Mitsubishi 2.6), then it's probably the tensioner.

I haven't had the TB off yet to service it, but now that I have a rebuild kit, I plan on rebuilding it as soon as I get a chance. I had checked the TB mounting bolts a few days ago and the two at the rear were tight, but the longer pair at the front were pretty loose. Was hoping that was where the hiss was coming from, but after I torqued them down, the symptoms remained unchanged.

While I'm waiting for the rest of the parts, I thought I'd try advancing the timing a little to see how the car responds and that really helped a lot. Didn't go too much to cause any pinging, but the power is up, and the hesitations are gone, though it still runs the same at idle.

I checked for play in the drive gear on the oil pump and didn't feel any and there isn't any play in the distributor shaft to gear connection either. If that shutter blade in the distributor shouldn't turn, I have a feeling that this play I can feel and hear between the drive and driven gear might be the cause of the fluttering if none of the above things mentioned fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rebuilt the throttle body last night and it went well. So much easier than the usual carburetors I work with. Once disassembled, it turned out to be pretty clean and the only thing I noticed was that the AIS motor screws were a little loose. The base gasket was toast though. Lots of cracks; it won't be reusable.

Even though the rebuild kit came with a 1/4 inch thick base gasket, I ended up going with the thicker FelPro 60743 3/8 base gasket that's available separately from Auto Zone because that one was the same thickness as the original. All the o-rings I needed were in the kit and matched up perfectly in size to the originals (TPS, AIS, and the 3 for the injector).

I had posted a question earlier about the physical difference in the injectors and found the reason last night. Turns out there were different sized openings in the bottom of the fuel injector housing in the throttle body. Mine has the large opening and thus takes the injector with the larger tip. The other type of injector with the narrower tip goes with the throttle body with the smaller opening, which I think might be the newer style.

Haven't tried to run it yet, but will have a chance to do so tonight and will report the results.
 

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Good, the AZ part is the correct one. The ones that come with the rebuild kits are always too thin. That may solve the hissing problem. I think that the missing is due to the timing belt "tow roping", but the reconditioned TB may help some.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, that didn't fix it. Still having the warm idle miss. That hissing noise is still there as well, but maybe that's just the noise of the injector I'm hearing or an exhaust leak.

I decided to watch it closely last night from a cold start until it warmed up and the engine will run smooth for the first ten minutes. Then after ten minutes, the purge solenoid kicks on (I tee'd into the vapor canister signal line to monitor this) and it starts to run slightly rougher, but not that bad. At twelve minutes, the missing starts and shortly after this, the cooling fan comes on for the first time. If the engine is shut off and allowed to cool down completely, it'll follow the same course of events and start missing when it warms up.

I believe I read somewhere on Allpar that the logic module starts looking at the o2 output around twelve minutes. If that's the case, this has got to be something with the o2 sensor circuit or maybe even an exhaust leak upstream of the sensor. I know my resonator (after the cat) has some holes in it, but I would think that would be too far downstream to affect anything with the sensor, right? Sensor was already replaced with a Denso unit several months back and the symptom didn't change, so I think the next thing I'll check is the wiring from the o2 sensor back to the computer.

Can anyone confirm the placement of the colored orifices in the vacuum lines going to the vapor canister? Is the blue (larger orifice) supposed to connect to the check valve at the throttle body and the red (smaller orifice) to the PCV vacuum harness? The lines are connected correctly according to the underhood emissions sticker, but I just want to make sure that the orifices are in the right lines.
 

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Hissing from the throttle body while the engine is running, if there is no vacuum leak, is normal. It's the sound of the air being sucked past the throttle plate, which is nearly closed. So don't worry about that.

The oxygen sensor kicks in long before 12 minutes. It's more like 2-3 minutes, once it has attained about 600F temperature. So something showing up at 12 minutes is unlikely to be the O2 sensor.

An exhaust hole in the resonator is not only probably the cause of the miss, but it can be deadly to you and your passengers. It MUST be fixed immediately. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless and deadly. Do not take it for granted.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok thanks. That makes sense on the hissing.

Here's that bit of info I read about the o2 sensor which I found on this page: http://www.allpar.com/eek/o2.html

"During a cold engine startup, the logic module will run the engine rich until the coolant sensor indicates a temperature greater than 89.6°F for 1984 models, 80.6°F for Turbo II models, and 95.0°F for all other 2.2 and 2.5 liter models. Then, the logic module will wait for 7.39 seconds before entering closed-loop mode.
After another delay of 59 seconds for 1984 models or 718 seconds (11 minutes, 58 seconds) for other 2.2/2.5 models, the logic module will begin monitoring the oxygen sensor output's neutral region."

So Bob, are you saying that the computer starts monitoring the o2 output once it gets up to about 600 degrees, regardless of the amount of lapsed time? When I read that excerpt above, I thought that whether the computer was watching the o2 output or not was based on a fixed amount of time after the coolant temp reached a certain level. Just want to make sure I understand how this is supposed to work :)

If it were the leaky resonator, wouldn't the miss show up shortly after the engine was started and not wait so long to appear?
 
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