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  • weird drivability problem on Chrysler,HELP?!??!!

    Ok guys ,here is a real brain teaser for you all! Guy has a Chrysler Town and Country 3.8 mini van.I forgot the year. His wife unit was driving Friday afternoon,came up to a stop light,and it stalled.Turn key in park or neutral,nothing.Dead as a door nail..Push the mini van to the curb,it starts. Put it in gear,move forward 2 feet,it stalls.Will not crank,just like starter current is dead again,meanwhile usual idiot lights are lit up on dash.Push it backwards a few feet,it starts!Turn steering wheel right,while in park,it dies.Turn key one time or one hundred times,nothing.Push it backward a couple more feet,it starts.Idles about 800-900 rpm each time in park,but stalls out again after going forward a couple of feet.
    So after flat towing it home with a rope,it would start and idle,but again stall if moved forward a couple of feet.Wiggle all connections possible,swap out starter realy,check for tight batt.terminals too. While the no crank issue is present,throw jumper cables on mini van and turn key,NOTHING!!Push it back a few feet,it starts. Each time it restarts after being moved backward a few feet,there is NO DRAMA when it starts,no hesitation ,idle surge,nothing!
    So we read the vehicle owners manual on the factory alarm system,follow the "disable"procedures,and have no better results,just more of the same. So we get it restarted,I went forward and it stalled.Pushed backward it started,so I went in reverse quite a few feet,,no problem!So forward I go riding the brake keeping the idle about 12-1500 rpm in gear and get it to move forward quite a few feel.Feels like it might stall one time,but feathering the throttle against the brake kept it running.Put it in reverse and went back 4 or 5 yards,ran fine.Went back forward ,it stalled.Pushed it backward,it started! So this time I stepped on it harder,riding the brake,no problem.Reverse again,no problem.Put it in drive and stand on it! Launched forward about 6 or 7 yards,and fell on its face like it ran out of fuel.(The gas tank gauge reads just over 1/2 tank BTW) Turned key and it restarted roughly,so I worked the gas pedal revving it to clean it out and the converter stunk briefly like it was real lean.Thing ran fine after that with a couple of runs around the block,and no more stalling.Idle speed still about 850 rpm.
    The owner is not real trusting about it @ this point,but his wife thought I was having a good time going back and forth in the street.WTF gives here,any clue??? Checked relays,electrical connections,motor mounts for excessive movement pinching wires,no vacuum line issues/leaks,no excessive vacuum loss when power brakes are applied.Transmission was installed about 6 mos ago.Shifts as fine as any other POS Chrysler mini van does. We will accept any good guesses!!!!!

  • #2
    is it possible that the trans has failed to downshift and is stuck in high gear forward? that would explain the stall going forward but fine in reverse and the stall at the stoplight. It sure sounds like there are internal trans problems from me, but what would i know, i'm a Ford Service guy, not much experience with Dodge Mini-Vans.

    Evan Davis
    Prairie Bulletin
    Saskatchewan Chapter
    Prince Albert, Sk
    http://www.saskstudebaker.ca/Studebaker.html
    Evan Davis
    Prince Albert, Sk

    Comment


    • #3
      VERY COMMON ISSUE with the late 90s/early 00s Chrysler vans! Strongly suspect your ECM or BCM (engine or body control module). Failure of one of those produces almost exactly the symptoms you describe- mainly trouble patterns that make no sense.

      I've run into that literally several times on these. I've bough them acting bizarrely like that and had a new ECM or BCM installed and miraculously cured all issues in one fell swoop. Sometimes the'll do things like run good but have inexplicable individual accessory failures, then those start working and others quit for awhile. I've heard it described like the car's "possessed", which is a pretty accurate description!

      The answer is to bite the bullet and take it to a Chrysler dealer. They can diagnose it, and if needed install a new ECM or BCM, which usually need to be "flashed" (programmed) by a Chrysler shop anyway; and cheaper than you can do it yourself.

      These are good cars, but your confidence can really take a hit when they do this. But I have had excellent success with them once they get what they need!

      Do keep us posted.

      Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
      Parish, central NY 13131

      "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

      "It was the last chance for Studebaker to turn things around. The company was down to its last bullet, and this new small car was it. They called it the Lark"



      Comment


      • #4
        Sell it~ have him buy a STUDEBAKER wagon instead...

        Less tech = more fun!!!


        StudeDave '57 [8D]
        StudeDave '57
        US Navy (retired)

        3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
        SDC Member since 1985

        past President
        Whatcom County Chapter SDC
        San Diego Chapter SDC

        past Vice President
        San Diego Chapter SDC
        North Florida Chapter SDC

        Comment


        • #5
          At first I thought it was a problem with the lock-up torque convertor not disengaging, like is fairly common on some GMs. Now I agree with Bob A/BAMS50 assessment. The runs okay now part is confusing. The net is, I too say to take it into a reputable Chrysler dealer.

          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

          Comment


          • #6
            I once had a '96 T&C. Sometimes would start easily, sometimes took maaaany tries with clicking the key. I was in Harrisburg PA when this began to happen (Live in San Antonio) finally had to have it towed to the Chrysler dealer. New ECM and $600 later it was fixed and never did it again. Be prepared.

            John

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            • #7
              It's the switch in the steering column. My sons Dakota done the same thing. It's caused by using the tilt to aggressively.


              7G-Q1 49 2R12 10G-F5 56B-D4 56B-F2
              As soon as you find a product you like they will stop making it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the ideas,they have been printed and forwarded to the owner.I begged for an update when the problem is found.In response to the steering column idea,I had guessed that,and tried the tilt in all possible positions with no change in results.And in reply to the tranny question of down shifting,it indeed downshifts.On that note,anyone else notice that buzzing noise every Chrysler FWD transaxle makes when down shifting?Annoying!Thanks again y'all!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had a '90 Voyager that suffered this problem, along with the accessory gremlins Bams described. Every once in a while the wipers would come on for a couple cycles... or the systems alert chime would sound for no reason... Once, driving along, all my gauges died. Came back on restart, never to happen again. It was the BCM, replaced under warranty (along with 3 transmissions, 2 A/C condensers and numerous leaky body seals).

                  After that van, I swore I'd never own another Mopar. So far, so good.


                  [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

                  Clark in San Diego
                  '63 F2/Lark Standard
                  http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
                  www.studebakersandiego.com

                  Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My old '94 Grand Caravan with the 3.8 did much the same thing; in my van's case, it was the fuel pump. Can't gripe too much, the thing had 200K on it when that happened.

                    The transmission buzzing is annoying, but harmless. Just the action of the solenoids/relays operating. I'd rather have hydraulics, but when a four-speed Chrysler A604/41TE/etc. works correctly, it's about as smooth as an electronificated automatic can get.

                    Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                    KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
                    Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                    KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

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