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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Update: GDE says it's most likely the intake throttle, and the old accelerator pedal probably is good. Looking for a throttle body takeoff, since a new one is $500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
So...replaced the intake EGR throttle assembly, under $200 these days for a Bosch unit, due to the popularity of later model Sprinters with the OM642 engine. Seems like that was the main problem. Now, the limp-mode problem comes and goes. When the ETC is off, it's back to normal, with insane power, plenty of fuel, turbo spools like it should, but it will go in and out of limp mode, sometimes on its own, but usually just by shutting down and restarting, or shutting down, recalibrating the APPS, and restarting. It will give an occasional electrical fault warning (red battery tellight), which has been intermittent for some time, along with the intermittent parasitic power drain that has basically left me keeping it on a smart charger when at home. I'm setting out to try to find and fix that, and hope that solves my problems. If not, I'm taking it to an auto electrical specialist next Tuesday so they can figure it out while I'm In Germany for a week.
 

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How old is the battery? The battery should read 12.4-12.6 volts without the engine running. With the engine running you should see around 14 volts (13.8-14.2). The battery lamp lighting indicates a charging voltage under 13.8 volts. Could be as simple as a corroded connection or a combination of a weak battery and failing alternator. In my experience, mopars do not tolerate low voltages the result of which are random codes and general weirdness (highly technical and subjective term)
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
How old is the battery? The battery should read 12.4-12.6 volts without the engine running. With the engine running you should see around 14 volts (13.8-14.2). The battery lamp lighting indicates a charging voltage under 13.8 volts. Could be as simple as a corroded connection or a combination of a weak battery and failing alternator. In my experience, mopars do not tolerate low voltages the result of which are random codes and general weirdness (highly technical and subjective term)
The battery is fairly new, replaced Feb of 2017, and the alternator is just a little older and at this point not suspect, but I'm picking up an Innova 5610 today that may give me some info. I suspect a corroded connection. I learned a long time ago to beware of hidden wiring that was corroded straight through, the wire from my alternator to the battery on my first vehicle, the 92 Dakota, killed my battery, and I didn't know enough to find it then. The Jeep really had been running fine despite the occasional battery light and intermittent parasitic loss until 2 hours into a 2.5 hour drive home when I hit a sudden squall. Whether they were connected, IDK. As to the expensive OBD2 tester, I figure between all the family vehicles (all MOPAR) and this Jeep especially, having a powerful tester that can actually DO things may save me money down the road.

Speaking of mopars not tolerating low voltages, this thing acts like my 06 Liberty CRD. If you hit a bump, it would go into limp mode due to electrical power conditions (HI/LO Voltage). Fixing that was easy. I would just drop into N, perform a "MicroSoft Repair" (shut down and restart the engine) and drop it back into D. Almost always worked, though it was scary at first until I learned the trick. Can't do that with the JGC, as my NAG1 won't shift back into D over a certain speed. Don't know if that's normal or just my machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Alternator is pushing 14.8 V if I recall correctly from running the test on the scan tool, but something is sucking the battery down. Can't say the codes have been random. Pretty consistent, actually - generally related to the electronic throttle control, aside from the battery/electrical power system.
 

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That may be true on a gas throttle body, and perhaps you're right, but the MB throttle body plate doesn't perform the same function that a gas TB performs, FWIW. It moves freely and returns to open when pressure is removed. Doing so caused some degree of improvement in my engine's performance, or so it seems.
Is it operated by a stepper motor or a cable? If stepper motor, moving the plate by hand WILL damage the gears that drive it, ruining the throttle body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Is it operated by a stepper motor or a cable? If stepper motor, moving the plate by hand WILL damage the gears that drive it, ruining the throttle body.
It's an electric motor of some sort, but it moves freely, and always returns to open, like it's spring loaded. It doesn't take much effort to move the flap. You can hear the gears rotate naturally and freely when you move the plate/flap. Regardless, it was apparently bad, because with the new one, I do get full performance when the electrical gremlins don't pop up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
How old is the battery? The battery should read 12.4-12.6 volts without the engine running. With the engine running you should see around 14 volts (13.8-14.2). The battery lamp lighting indicates a charging voltage under 13.8 volts. Could be as simple as a corroded connection or a combination of a weak battery and failing alternator. In my experience, mopars do not tolerate low voltages the result of which are random codes and general weirdness (highly technical and subjective term)
So...apparently I DID have a bad battery, the NAPA battery from 2017 had bulged out the ends, and would no longer take a charge. Immediately after replacing with new, the engine ran fine no limp mode across a large parking lot...right up to the point when I made a hard right turn. I discussed all of my issue history with a local DC electrical guy and he is concerned that I could spend thousands before finding the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
How old is the battery? The battery should read 12.4-12.6 volts without the engine running. With the engine running you should see around 14 volts (13.8-14.2). The battery lamp lighting indicates a charging voltage under 13.8 volts. Could be as simple as a corroded connection or a combination of a weak battery and failing alternator. In my experience, mopars do not tolerate low voltages the result of which are random codes and general weirdness (highly technical and subjective term)
So, back to the battery. I am not 100% certain that the throttle wasn't defective, but the battery did need replaced, and once I did that I no longer had any problems after about a week. Turns out the battery had been going bad and when I came back from Europe in February, it would no longer hold a charge. The battery was bulged. I was already seeing intermittent success with the new throttle, but when I put on the new battery, after a few run cycles to reprogram the computer, ever since, no problems whatsoever.
 
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Because of the externally regulated thru the PCM alternator system in Chryslers, they can do weird things if the battery can't take the load anymore. Starting with the WK when the Germans started to make Chrysler use their usual battery choice of Group 94R/H7 battery size, that didn't help either...
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Found another issue that I'm dealing with that may be causing similar problems. Awaiting parts. If there is any leakage in the air induction train, from the air filter box to the intake manifold, it messes with the parameters for fuel delivery and goes into limp mode. Probably warrants a new thread, but I'm leaving this here. Check the CCV valve seal at the turbo inlet for leakage, look for cracks on the plastic body of the intake elbow on the front of the engine, and also all the o ring seals from the turbo through the intercooler to the throttle body. Here's a good video of the same problem on a Mercedes E320 (I think) that would apply generally the same to a WK or a Dodge/FL/MB Sprinter with the OM642.
 

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Any vehicle with a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor to measure inlet air volume needs everything downstream from it to be air-tight for best results.
We used to replace the air intake silencer 'teapot' often on the older Sprinter diesels because of air leaks:

 
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Any vehicle with a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor to measure inlet air volume needs everything downstream from it to be air-tight for best results.
We used to replace the air intake silencer 'teapot' often on the older Sprinter diesels because of air leaks:
I have all the seals, a new intake elbow and a new cold air intake with the presumed offending CCV inlet seal due Monday, a biz day late I presume due to weather. I think the major culprit is the CCV inlet, as the elbow crack was evident when I replaced the battery months ago.
 
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Ain’t the internet great for fixing advice, looked up the fix and just did my car. Here’s a quick fix video I did for the throttle warning 3.0 CRD to help others. Seems a common issue
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Ain’t the internet great for fixing advice, looked up the fix and just did my car. Here’s a quick fix video I did for the throttle warning 3.0 CRD to help others. Seems a common issue
Did that long ago. Then got a GDE tune which shuts that off all together. What I have noticed that pretty much leads me to believe it's wiring or electrical related is a tendency to get worse in warmer weather, or more accurately, not be as doggy when it gets below freezing, plus the fact that it totally went away when I installed a new battery last Spring, only to return in early Fall. I have a low level current draw somewhere that I've never been able to find that draws down my battery if I don't keep it on a maintainer or drive it daily. This may or may not be related, but I suspect a connection. Nevertheless, it drives and can be driven at highway speeds, but it is a bit doggy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
I'M CALLING THIS PROBLEM SOLVED - HOPEFULLY FOR GOOD

Latest update. Vehicles need to be driven, newer ones because of touchy, voltage sensitive electronics.

Since February, the Jeep has been back to normal. In fact, I'd forgotten how off-the-hook the 3.0L TD is when it's "on it." I think it's because it just wasn't being driven regularly. I started to see signs of a cure back when we were having extreme cold, and my first impression was it had something to do with wires being frozen stiff, but after a couple of weeks, the engine did not waver, and now it's in the high 50s some days. Hasn't had so much as a hiccup in at least 3 weeks.

Since the 3d week of January, I have put it on the road about 3x per week, 1 1/2 - 2 hours per day, and the problems subsided over a couple of weeks. Seems the NOCO just will not keep it fully charged, just close (12.2 V). Still have an off-draw issue, but regular driving seems to mostly cure the marginal voltage problems that go with it. I have to keep the NOCO on it if it sits more than a couple of days.

It didn't get much action during late Summer and harvest last year, and that's when it started to act up again, after fixing itself last April when I put a new battery in it.

Also did a full drivetrain service back late Fall, stem to stern. I think the trans was on the low side, as the P/N-D lag is gone. Put some Transgo bushing kits, etc. in it, and it shifts a bit smoother, as well. It's over 160k miles, runs like a scalded feline.

ASIDE: Also, my car (Challenger) had been sitting for weeks, and although it doesn't have a problematic off-draw current draw issue, it needed to be driven as well. MIL lamp was still on this morning, but wasn't when I drove back from Columbus, IN, about a 50 minute drive. I've driven it the last 2 days hard and it's back to normal this afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Or not. Whatever it is, it seems to be related to body twisting and flexing, causing an intermittent voltage drop/jump and the resultant ETC lamp comes on and it goes back into a limp mode of indeterminate length. I need to pull codes, but it can't make up its mind if it's really going to limp when the ETC lightning bolt comes on, even.
 

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Something I ran across on my WK with the 5.7 Hemi when I did the alternator replacement back in the summer was that the PCM connector to the alternator I noticed was frayed a bit and I ended up splicing an new connector harness on from an wrecked WK. If I wiggled the bad connector, it threw the alternator light on after the install. And yes, I had the old alternator checked, it failed with flying colors lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Something I ran across on my WK with the 5.7 Hemi when I did the alternator replacement back in the summer was that the PCM connector to the alternator I noticed was frayed a bit and I ended up splicing an new connector harness on from an wrecked WK. If I wiggled the bad connector, it threw the alternator light on after the install. And yes, I had the old alternator checked, it failed with flying colors lol.
Wouldn't surprise me. Had the charging cable on my 92 Dakota, which was hidden, corrode apart, and I wasn't knowledgeable enough to find it, 25 years ago. Alternators on the OM642 MB in the WK package are so poorly located, just getting to them to replace is half the cost for a mechanic. Yesterday, when I shut it down, it was running fine again with no ETC alarm. I'm babying it until I can take the time to get it worked on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The continuing saga: I drove 2 days from Indy area to Concord, NH, and except for brief periods on startup, once it got going, it stayed out of limp mode the whole trip. Now that I'm in NH, it is in and out of limp mode. Sunday, I took a trip to the coast, and it was pretty much clean the whole afternoon. Once it got out of limp mode, it stayed out. Typically, if I go somewhere close like for lunch, it will go into limp mode going there cold, but after a restart, it stays good the rest of the trip unless I do something that applies torque stress to the body, like a hard, lock-to-lock turn.
 
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