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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago (with your help actually) I finished a head gasket install on my 94' dodge spirit 3l v6. A few weeks after I had trouble finding the location for the ground wires and thought that I had everything up and going electrically. Well, for the last few weeks whenever I make a left hand turn (Only when I'm under 3/4 tank of gas) the car acts like it's going to die, so I let up on the pedal because it stops responding, and then it returns to normal within a second of leveling out. I quickly assumed it would be my fuel pump, because I'm also having trouble cold starting (I have to crank the engine forever to get it to start), but I also no longer had cruise control after the rebuild. I let my mechanic drive it and he think it's not the fuel pump, but something electrical, perhaps a bad ground wire. Is there a place I can find all the ground wire locations for my car? I have battery -> engine block and the ground going over the rubber on the engine mount. I also believe I have a ground wire back going from alternator to firewall. Most of the grounds are clips and I put them where I beleived they went, but I didn't have a reference (prolly should've written it down).

Anyhow here's a summary.

Under 1/2 to 3/4 a tank of gas, any left turn makes my car feel like it's fuel starved.
If I don't drive it for 20+ minutes it takes a ton of cranking, but finally starts up (and chokes a little while starting)
I no longer have cruise control.

Any thoughts? Do you think it's electrical, and is there a place I can find the definitive location of these pesky ground wires to cross check my spots?


Thanks :D
 

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A start up and test drive with a fuel pressure gauge connected should help diagnose the starting and cornering issues if they are fuel pump related. You can get or make an adapter tee to install it in the fuel line and tuck it under a wiper blade where you can see it (as long as it doesn't rain). 101306a.jpg
To get the original locations of the grounds, you would need to look at a similar car or find a Wiring Diagrams manual similar to this: 7069.jpeg
Ground locations can be finicky if a ground loop or poor engine/body/ battery connection is present. Battery must go to the engine and body and the body and engine must be tied together also. The braided strap 'clip' grounds are usually more for RFI and static suppression than an actual secure current-carrying ground.
My first thought from your description would be a failing fuel pump also.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought it would be a failing fuel pump as well. The only things that make me wonder are,

1) Why would it only be on left hand turns? My right hand turns under even 1/8th a tank of gas I have 0 problems. Since the pump is in the middle of the tank, slosh wouldn't make sense to me.

2) Still doesn't explain my cruise control. I'm going pull some parts tuesday night so that I can take a look at the wiring, but I'm pretty confident everything is plugged back in..

Very confusing. It's not killing my car to crank it (i hope), but it's a major annoyance, especially and right hand turns followed by a hill. Anyone following me expects me to accelerate and instead I'm dead for a second.

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll see if I can't find the manual. Also, a friend of mine owns a 1993 plymouth acclaim. Would I be able to pop that hood and reference his wires against mine? (i think it might be the 4cyl version)

Thanks
 

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Techie55 said:
1) Why would it only be on left hand turns? My right hand turns under even 1/8th a tank of gas I have 0 problems. Since the pump is in the middle of the tank, slosh wouldn't make sense to me.

Under 1/2 to 3/4 a tank of gas, any left turn makes my car feel like it's fuel starved.
If I don't drive it for 20+ minutes it takes a ton of cranking, but finally starts up (and chokes a little while starting)
Around 1991 time frame Chrysler had a redesign of its electric, in tank fuel pumps. Prior to 1991 there was a trough / cup in the bottom of the tank that kept fuel around the pump inlet fuel sock even despite low fuel levels. Starting in 1991 that was removed and a plastic housing was incorporated around the fuel pump such that during turning maneuvers with low fuel level, if the inlet filter sock became uncovered with liquid, there was fuel in the housing around the pump to insure a continuous flow of fuel to the pump.

For some reason that plastic housing on your pump is not holding fuel around the pump inlet. When you make a left turn and since the pump is mounted towards the left side of the tank, fuel moves away from the exterior of the pump housing and towards the right side of the tank, the housing is draining and the electric pump is losing its prime and fuel starvation occurs and the engine wants to stall. The long cranking time after the vehicle sits for 20+ minutes is another indication that the pump is losing its prime.

You need to remove the pump and check that housing. Some pumps have a check valve in the housing to help maintain fuel in the housing. There very well could be a problem with the check valve (if present).

2) Still doesn't explain my cruise control. I'm going pull some parts tuesday night so that I can take a look at the wiring, but I'm pretty confident everything is plugged back in..
The fuel pump is in no way associated with failure of the cruise control. That is just a coincidence.

There is a ground wire from the engine to the body / firewall area. Was that removed during engine head replacement and was NOT reattached?

Which transmission do you have attached to the 3.0 liter V6 engine? Is it the 4 speed, computer controlled A604 transaxle? Or is it the 3 speed hydraulically controlled transmission? You need a distance sensor signal from the transmission for the cruise control to operate properly.

If the 3 speed automatic do the key dance sequence with the ignition and check for code 15. If code 15 is present then there is a problem with the distance sensor signal and it must be present for the cruise control to function properly. If no code 15 present then you will have to check switch connections. Since that vehicle has a driver side airbag in the steering wheel, it is possible that the cruise control wiring in the clock spring wire has failed. You will need a wiring diagram to check for continuity. It is also possible that the cruise servo has failed.

If the car has the 4 speed automatic, I believe the output speed sensor on the transmission was used as the source of a pulsing signal for the cruise control. Others on this forum can confirm. The Acclaim / Spirit twins used an electrically driven speedometer since 1989 so I would think that the 4 speed output speed sensor would be the driver if equipped with that transmission. If your speedometer works correctly and the transmission shifts up and down appropriately, then the proper signal is present for the cruise control.
 

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Any chance you didn't get a motor mount tight and the engine is shifting and pinching a fuel line? I've seen it happen, but only on carburetor cars. Never seen it on a tbi or fuel injection, but I suppose anything is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
AllanC said:
Around 1991 time frame Chrysler had a redesign of its electric, in tank fuel pumps. Prior to 1991 there was a trough / cup in the bottom of the tank that kept fuel around the pump inlet fuel sock even despite low fuel levels. Starting in 1991 that was removed and a plastic housing was incorporated around the fuel pump such that during turning maneuvers with low fuel level, if the inlet filter sock became uncovered with liquid, there was fuel in the housing around the pump to insure a continuous flow of fuel to the pump.

For some reason that plastic housing on your pump is not holding fuel around the pump inlet. When you make a left turn and since the pump is mounted towards the left side of the tank, fuel moves away from the exterior of the pump housing and towards the right side of the tank, the housing is draining and the electric pump is losing its prime and fuel starvation occurs and the engine wants to stall. The long cranking time after the vehicle sits for 20+ minutes is another indication that the pump is losing its prime.

You need to remove the pump and check that housing. Some pumps have a check valve in the housing to help maintain fuel in the housing. There very well could be a problem with the check valve (if present).
The fuel pump has been replaced before because it was dying and would cut off. It got so bad that I had to cruise down the highway at around 35-40 with my blinkers on because it was struggling to pump to the engine. Once the fuel pump was replaced it never happened again.. but here's where the funny part I didn't mention comes in.

The mechanic who installed my new fuel pump (an autozone special) installed it and when I was picking it up he said "Oh by the way (some part I can't remember) had broken off, but don't worry we expoxied it back on, and it should hold fine".. I don't know what stopped me from saying "Why not just call, and have me have me run the 5 minutes down the street so I can replace it.. rather than installing a broken part". About two months after replacing the fuel pump (about 3 weeks after the head gasket swap) is when I started having these problems. I always wondered wether or not this would end up being an issue, and I can't help but think it's the cause.
 

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Many epoxies don't hold up under gasoline exposure - certainly not immersion. Sounds like perhaps the 'sock'/pickup screen broke off and he glued it back on. This is very likely the issue.
 

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The mechanic who installed my new fuel pump (an autozone special) installed it and when I was picking it up he said "Oh by the way (some part I can't remember) had broken off, but don't worry we expoxied it back on, and it should hold fine".. I don't know what stopped me from saying "Why not just call, and have me have me run the 5 minutes down the street so I can replace it.. rather than installing a broken part". About two months after replacing the fuel pump (about 3 weeks after the head gasket swap) is when I started having these problems. I always wondered wether or not this would end up being an issue, and I can't help but think it's the cause.
This sounds very suspicious and if I were a betting man, I'd bet that your fuel pump is the cause for the cutting out/dying on left turns.
 

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"Autozone specialist"? That in itself would have me very suspicious of the epoxied part. That is definitely where you should be looking for the cause of your issue.
 

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Techie55 said:
I thought it would be a failing fuel pump as well. The only things that make me wonder are,

1) Why would it only be on left hand turns? My right hand turns under even 1/8th a tank of gas I have 0 problems. Since the pump is in the middle of the tank, slosh wouldn't make sense to me.

Might be debris, gunk, or a plugged intake on one side of the fuel pump. Ask me how I know (thank you Daimler for making it necessary to pull the bed off a pickup to work on the fuel pump. :p )


2) Still doesn't explain my cruise control. I'm going pull some parts tuesday night so that I can take a look at the wiring, but I'm pretty confident everything is plugged back in.

This could be an electrical problem but it might also be a sensor issue. My Dad's 1991 Acclaim had a tiny vacuum leak after it went over 150K miles that caused the cruise to intermittently just fail in flight.
Tiny, tiny tiny leak; old/dirty sensor combined to create a synergistic inoperative condition. It wasn't a turn-specific thing, though, so I don't know if it's relevant for your situation.

Very confusing. It's not killing my car to crank it (i hope), but it's a major annoyance, especially and right hand turns followed by a hill. Anyone following me expects me to accelerate and instead I'm dead for a second.
It's not doing your starter, solenoid, or battery any good to have to work that hard to get the engine to turn over. What's your inline under the hood fuel filter look like? Could you have some carbon built up in the throttle body,
or is it possible you're not getting good fuel-to-cylinder dispensing in all cylinders? Again, maybe a vacuum issue?


Thanks for your suggestions. I'll see if I can't find the manual. Also, a friend of mine owns a 1993 plymouth acclaim. Would I be able to pop that hood and reference his wires against mine? (i think it might be the 4cyl version)
If he's got the 4, you should be good there.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE:

I pulled the tank today and it turned out the housing had cracked at the top, and that was the part that he epoxied back together (which absolutely didn't hold up), and it was where the fuel went through. It was not fully broken off, and was hanging off on the right side.

I.E Whenever I turned left, the crack would open up and the line wouldn't be complete. Whenever I turned right the line would push back together and wouldn't have a problem.

I'm fortunate that I dropped the tank when I did because after pulling it out and moving it, it completely broke off which would've left me stranded and having to be towed. The autozone special was still under warranty with a month left so I took in the old pump and they replaced it. Took it for a test drive after I switched the pumps and I'm golden.

Thanks a lot :D, drives beautifully now, and handles left turns < 1/4 tank like it used to. Also the starting issues with having to crank the engine continuously also was resolved with the swap, so that's taken care of as well. I very much believe that my problem was very particular, as many mechanics wouldn't install a broken part without the customer authorizing it, so please make sure to check your grounds before removing your pump if you're having the same problem.
 

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Glad you fixed it. I hope you yelled at them for creating an explosion/fire hazard in your car. This is why I never buy parts at Autozone anymore. They sold me a junkyard oilpan as new - it had been repainted poorly and the drain plug partially stripped. They sold me 3 bad rebuilt alternators in a row. Then they lost my lifetime warranty so that I had to buy the next alternator. That was enough.
 

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You may have missed my wheel bearing tirade in the EEK forum, but I'm with Bob on the AutoZone issue. I would also be wary of any mechanic that would cobble something together like this. Epoxy is very finnicky. Some, like JB Weld, will hold up to fuel, but they usually need to be cured for a while, and even then, won't stick to an improperly prepared surface. The reservoir on the pump that I changed (unnecessarily, I should add) in my '95 Spirit was very "shiny" plastic, something any epoxy would have great difficulty sticking to unless the plastic was first sanded. Not to mention that if the epoxy dissolved in the gas, it's now going through the pump, pump motor, filter, injectors, engine, and, depending on what happens to the molecules in the engine, catalytic converter. It may be all fine and good when the epoxy is in solution, but you could potentially run into problems if the gas evaporates and the epoxy comes out of solution.
 
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