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Discussion Starter #1
For the second time in the two months I've owned it, my 84 LeBaron turbo won't start.

By that I mean I get nothing at all except dash lights and fuel pump noise when I turn the key. Last time this happened, I did lots of trial and error and what worked was replacing the ASD relay. I have ordered one and will do that again.

While it was working, I was getting lots of codes, so I printed out the drivability checklist from this site and did it while charging the battery. I also ran through the 19 step drivability checklist in the DSM, but confess I didn't do a few of them since I didn't understand them (I cannot, for example, locate the canister).

It's a case of not having left well enough alone, I guess, but I stand by my decision in this case, because I was getting a variety of codes and that can't be right.

I assume it's some kind of short, but cannot figure out where or how, since I've taken apart all connectors (except, crucially, perhaps, the idle speed thing in the throttle body), regreased them, and so on.

Of interesting note, perhaps: Code 25 flashes, EVEN though I only turned the key on once. I tried it three times and that's what happened.

Still, I don't think code 25 would cause no start whatsoever.

Any ideas? I'm hoping the new ASD does the trick, but even if it does, having burned out two in a bit over a month without hardly ever driving the car is not a good sign

Of possible relevance:

1) Car still has an alarm attached, but I've done nothing to it at all (I posted a question about whether I might safely remove it and got no replies) and don't even have the key for it.

2) Hazard light doesn't work, and, despite all the help from this forum, I've got nowhere in making it work. Next step is to buy the whole blinker/hazard switch, which I've avoided because it's expensive.

3) The only part I replaced between it running and doing my checks was the coolant temperature sensor, as that code showed up a couple of times.
 

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As it seems like you already know, code 25 is for the AIS. It's possible that you damaged it or the wiring it attaches to when you replaced it, but I don't think that would cause a no start. You would have trouble idling, but the car should still start.
1) The alarm could be causing this. Unfortunately, alarms differ, and the procedure for disabling one may not work to disable another. Depending on where the alarm comes into the circuit, it could immobilize the car by preventing the car from actually starting (it will crank but not start) or could prevent cranking altogether. I think that alarms usually do the former, but there are so many systems out there that we really can't be sure.
2) I don't think anything for starting the car goes through the MFS.
3) Coolant temp sensor will allow the car to start. It will throw a code on startup, but the car will start.
A couple of things you might want to check:
How is your battery voltage when you try to crank the car over? A bad connection or a weak battery can provide enough current to the pump and computer to run them, but when the starter tries to draw current, there isn't enough to crank the car over
Have you checked voltages on the starter motor? The contacts for the starter motor are in the starter solenoid itself. Because the contacts are so heavy (they have to switch a few hundred amps, potentially), the starter solenoid itself closes them when it is energized. Start current does not go through the ASD, the ASD energizes the solenoid, closing the starter contacts and spinning the motor. If you're getting 12V to the solenoid when the car is turned to START, this may well be your problem. Whacking the starter with a broom handle may jar it enough to get it working again temporarily. If you have 0V at the solenoid, your problem is "upstream" and we need to do some more diagnostics. Don't throw parts at it, though. A car is a complex mechanical and electrical system, with many failure points that can all produce similar symptoms, and throwing parts at it to fix it is almost certainly a waste of money.
 

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From reading your post, it sounds like it is not even cranking over, right? You need to troubleshoot the starter circuit if that is the case. That includes a neutral/safety switch (or clutch switch if applicable), the ignition switch, starter relay, and starter. There might even be a fusible link in the circuit and more than likely, the anti-theft circuit on a 1984 vehicle might interrupt the starter circuit. Anyone of those items is a possibility for a no crank.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the starter suggestion. I have done nothign with the starter at all.

As for the battery, I'll check the voltage as you suggest at the various points. It was fully charged and has never been the problem (meaning that the same battery, which is only a few months old, started the car without any concern every time the car started).

But, again, I'm not getting any crank at all. No noise of any kind except the fuel pump. So it's not like a hesitant start or the other dragging sound I associate with a weak battery or bad connection. It's nothing at all.
 

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Automatic or manual? There is no clutch safety switch until 1988. If automatic, the neutral safety switch could be bad or the linkage out of adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions.

I replaced the starter relay last time, and almost replaced the neutral safety switch. I took it back for a refund once the car started last time, though. I will try the ignition switch.

I looked at the fusible links (using a handy guide someone on Allpar sent me) and none of them seems bad. I don't know about the immobilizer, as it's aftermarket and just sits there. In other words, I've done nothing to it, so I'm not sure why it would intermittently decide to intervene. I've tried to trace where its wires go-- one goes to battery, one goes to starter relay, and one disappears into the harness that runs behind the fuel rail-- but I don't know where it ends up.
 

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That immobilizer setup does sound suspicious. That final wire that you mention may go to the starter solenoid and apply 12 volts when the system is disarmed and the key is held in the start position.

Unfortunately the starter on a 2.2 turbo can be tough to get at. I think it has to be worked on from below.

If you could safely touch a temporary jumper from the big terminal on the starter (i.e. battery cable) to the small solenoid terminal, just for a moment, the starter should spin. Just don't ground the jumper (or let it touch the starter case, firewall, car body, etc.) or sparks will fly or you could even get a burn. Some people use a starter switch with mostly insulated allegator clips to to this very thing. It is a standard test to check the starter on most vehicles where the starter terminals are accessible.

If the starter spins with that test, I'd be getting rid of, or finding a way to bypass the immobilizer.
 

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Yeah, unfortunately the starters on these motors are packaged in there quite tightly, and on the TBI cars it's a bear to get at them. Once you put a turbo in there, it's going to get really tight. One point: if you do have to replace the starter or remove it for any reason, the heat shield needs to be put back in as well. The turbo reaches high temperatures in operation and can kill the starter if the starter doesn't have something to protect it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for this. Yes, my assumption had been that the final wire from the immobilizer goes to the coil because there is an unexplained second wire of the same color on the coil's negative post that disappears into a harness, but I could never tell where it went from there, so it is very possible that the end coming out of the firewall goes to the solenoid since I've never looked at it.

And, yes, the starter is tough to get to. I have avoided doing all the jumper tests, mainly since I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to that and kind of get lost when things like that come up in the DSM, but I will try that. I do have jackstands and can probably get at it somehow. I have all the meters and use them for home electrical stuff, but I'm still not clear most of the time what exactly I'm looking for each time I use them on cars, given that circuits and parts seem-- to me, anyway-- to be a LOT more complicated in automotive electronics than in houses.

Speaking of DSM, I looked up how to change the (steering wheel column rectangular) ignition switch last night or at least how to get at it to check it. Talk about terrible instructions-- the picture was bad and the very few steps outlined did not explain much at all. I don't have what it said handy, but it seemed to assume a degree of knowledge of the part that was quite advanced. Moving X 90 degrees and so on, when X isn't in the picture. Anyway, maybe it will make sense when I do it.

Two other things I've discovered that may or may not matter: 1) The PCM has no vacuum transducer on it. Just a round plastic cover where it would be. Again, this car has worked fine (I drove it 200 miles home after buying it), so maybe it doesn't ahve one for a reason missing in the DSM; 2) The car has no oil pressure light wire, just the female end coming out of the harness near the oil pressure switch with no male connecting wire anywhere around. The car does have a working (or seemingly working) oil pressure gauge. So, I read up on this in the DSM to see if it matters, and there was a lot on the oil pressure light but no section I could find on an oil pressure gauge at all, so no mention of its relationship to an oil pressure light. Weird, though.
 

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The MAP sensor is on the logic module, which is behind the passenger kickpad; not on the PCM, which is underhood by the battery.

The oil pressure sending unit is a canister on the front of the block, and the wire for the oil pressure sending unit has a cylindrical boot around the terminal. The wire for the gauge, if I remember right, has an uninsulated faston that slips over a nail-head type of terminal that's also on the sending unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right.

My MAP sensor is loose in that space in the passenger side above the logic module. There is an old one bolted on the fenderwall, but a new one is in there with the vacuum hose and electrical connector, but it's floating around. I haven't changed it and have never got a MAP code.

I did change the oil pressure switch since I had a code on it and the old one looked awful. But the oil LIGHT switch is as you mention and completely missing the male end of that connection. In the diagrams it shows it as a separate connection, but let me see if there's a way to hook it up to the oil pressure switch or its housing. I didn't think of that. Maybe having an oil light doesn't matter if you have a working oil pressure gauge.

Thanks for your tips. I don't get home until after dark so haven't worked on the car this week. I'm hoping to this weekend.
 

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When it stops raining here tomorrow, I'll take a look at mine. Perhaps someone ripped the 'nail head' off on yours. I'll see if it's part of the canister.

The light is helpful, it doesn't give early warning, but it gives you warning when you're not looking.
 

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Out of curiosity, how far have you gotten on the no-start?
 

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The oil pressure monitoring system on these consists of a cylinder projecting from the face of the block below cylinders 3-4, and has two threaded openings. The warning light has a screw-in sensor that is a small disk about the size of 3-4 stacked quarters, and that has the nail-head terminal, to which a wire with female faston slides over. The gauge has a canister about the size of your fist, that screws in and is tilted toward the left fenderwell. It has a threaded male terminal similar to the one on the temperature sending unit next to the distributor.
 

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Replacement of the rectangular ignition switch box may not be as bad as it seems, providing you don't have neck or back issues. Best I remember, there are 2 or 3 hex machine screws that hold the box to the column and a wiring connector that has to be carefully unlatched (i.e. plastic retaining clip to keep the plug locked into the connector). After the plug is out and screws are removed, you need to hold the steel rod mostly steady and rotate the box so that the box comes away from the rod (i.e. rod comes out of a hole in the box). The most important thing is to keep the rod from falling out of the key cylinder bacause it may be hard to get it back in and a lot more disassembly would be required if it won't go back in. Tape the rod in position to help keep it from falling out.

The new ignition switch box goes in the same way the old one was removed, but may require some positioning or adjusting via the slotted retaining holes that the screws pass through.

Keep in mind that these switches are pretty durable and a failure is rather rare. It should be near the end of your list of replacement parts and good electrical troubleshooting can verify its condition, especially relating to the starter circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for all this. I've been off-line for a while, but did do some of the above (and failed at some of it).

Here's an update:

Car starts, so hooray for that. BUT, I really don't have any clear idea why it does, AND there is still something draining the battery very seriously (like in three days). (This car is a weekend project for me, so there's usually three or four days between starts at least.) I recharged the battery and began to get suspicious that I had a bad battery. Took it to Autozone and they said, nope, good battery, 100%. So something's draining it, and I don't know what.

Chronology since I last wrote (keep in mind that I'm a bit OCD and I take my lists from y'all and from my readings of the DSM and try to do them all):

1) Went through connections one more time. No start.
2) Took a look at replacing ignition switch and gave up. John, thanks for your comments; they are exactly right. My problem was that I didn't see how to get at one of the hex screws on the switch mounting bracket. The book says to loosen them and then do a couple of other steps that reference things that are not identified in the illustrations (very frustrating). THEN to drop the steering wheel column. In looking at it, it seemed that dropping the steering wheel column would make the rest SO much easier. But I figured that there had to be a reason I was missing for the steps to require that particular step to follow the others. So I decided to postpone that exchange.
3) Decided to replace Hall Effect, but the "new" one I received from Rockauto had insulation pinched and bare wire showing, so I decided returning it was better than taping it, since I didn't know Hall Effect was bad.
4) Replaced starter relay and ASD (again). Car didn't start.
5) Although I had removed, cleaned, and regreased PCM 10-way, I basically fiddled with it a bit.
6) Car started. It is perhaps worth mentioning, that I waited for all the beeps and lights and everything to stop before I started it-- mainly because I was sitting there weary and depressed. MAYBE for some unknown reason it would have started had I done that before. (It was kind of like waiting for the diesel coil light to go out before starting a diesel.) I can't think of any reason why that would make a difference, though.
7) Even more eerily, for the first time in the dozens of times I've driven the car, my annoying "door ajar" light and voice alert did not occur (I could never figure out why it did, since the door was not ajar and I took the switches apart and they seemed fine), AND I got my very first "all monitored systems operating properly" (or whatever it is). Very weird.

SO, all I can think of is: 1) PCM connection is somehow bad (Lord knows that a lot of the wiring is quite random, but I'm just not expert enough to try to go through and repair/replace it all); 2) Something with starter. I say the latter because I remember old cars I had where if a starter was wearing out you had ot catch it in the right place to start the car (but I thought of that as related to teeth, somehow). And since the car hadn't moved, I'm not sure why a starter connection would suddenly come to life from one minute to the next. PCM connection is more likely because of hood slamming, etc. I would be happy to replace the PCM, but the (very silly) problem I have is that I cannot get the 12-pin out. I can't. I have no idea how to get that thing out and am not going to tug on the wires themselves. Gentle prying isn't moving it, there's not enough finger purchase to get the edge and pull it out. No idea what to do short of buying a new PCM and destroying the female part of the old PCM connectino to get the male part out and put into the new PCM.

So, that's where I am. I'm happy it's starting, and even happier that the new wheels and tires I put on it (well, except one rear one I cannot get one lug nut off) have completely transformed the ride. I had replaced the front struts, which made the bad tires feel even worse. But, $489 from Discount Tire (including balancing and delivery) later, I have very nice looking new wheels and tires and a lovely ride.

Obviously, I'm not satisfied with where I am, and do want to get to the bottom of this, but I'm not even going to think about touching the Hall Effect or the ignition switch right now. I've got so many other things I want to do with the car, starting with brakes.

Any reaction to the above is welcome, because y'all have been very supportive and helpful.
 

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If the car started, the Hall Effect shouldn't be at fault. No signal from the Hall gives the engine no reference as to ignition or injector timing. The "hitting the starter in a certain spot" you were referring to could possibly result from teeth being ripped off the flywheel or flexplate. If you had damage to these teeth, the starter would still spin, but the engine wouldn't crank.
Unfortunately, I still think (and this is just my opinion) that there's something wrong with your starter. As far as I know. the starter energizing current does not go through the ECU. Hopefully I'm wrong, but if the car starts not cranking again, that would be what I would check. I it starts not cranking and you have good charge on your battery, listen for a click or thunk when you turn the key. This is the starter solenoid closing, and if you hear it, you have voltage at the starter, which pretty much fingers the starter or solenoid as the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks. You may be right about the starter. I don't hear the click I used to hear on bad solenoids in 70s cars I owned, but I may also just not be hearing it and it's there. I just hear the fuel pump go. It is also true that the starter is new. The car had sat for about ten years before the guy I bought it from got it. He spent a lot of money on it, gave up, and sold it. One of the things he did do, though, was put in a starter less than a year (or in this case also less than a thousand miles ago). But starter is my next thing if this keeps up. I also need to figure out the short I'm guessing it might be the mysterious immobilizer that doesn't appear to do anything at all but may somehow be draining the battery becasue it does have a direct lead to the positive cable.
 

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Disconnect the immobilizer and monitor the battery voltage for a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
News flash!

It is definitely the immobilizer. So, I'm very relieved in that I've isolated the problem. My new problem is how to properly disconnect it.

It stopped starting again, but I had my son listen for clicks in the engine area. The starter relay was clicking. When I fiddled with the line from the immobilizer to the starter relay, it started right up. So that's the line to get rid of. But...since it seems to be integral to the starting system I'm not sure how to do that. There are three lines-- one goes to the starter relay, one goes to the battery positive THROUGH the starter relay (connected to the same blade as the line from the battery positive to the starter relay), and the other one disappears I don't know where-- but not to the starter. I think the third line is a ground, but maybe not. The line from the battery to the starter relay has a 20 amp fuse in a little box halfway through the line. I guess I could just disconnect all three and see what happens. I just worry that one of the immobilizer lines has taken the place of an original line, and I wouldn't know which one that is and where it should go. In my books, it looks like the blade on the starter relay currently occupied by the line directly from the immobilizer is normally left empty, so that's a good sign.

Anyway, the big picture is good news.

Oh, and to follow up on Bob's post about the nail head for the oil pressure light, it's gone. In fact, it doesn't look like there ever was one. I replaced the oil pressure sensor and it was a straight bolt in. There is another little bolted area to the left of that, but it is plugged with a rubber thing that looks like two faucet washers on top of each other.
 
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