Camshaft and Crankshaft Sensors?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by powrwrap, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    I'll try to give the short story version. 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8

    Was getting a code 54, the code for camshaft position sensor. Autozone
    tested and confirmed this. Bought and installed new camshaft position
    sensor. On first test drive, within a block or so, got a bucking and
    jerking with backfiring. I figured it was the paper spacer on the end
    of the sensor wearing off. Got the car home, let it idle to warm up and
    another test drive. Everything working great. Drove the car for 50 some
    miles last night, ran great, in fact seemed to have more pep than

    This morning the wife drove the car to kid's school (a little over a
    mile) and got jerking and hesitating. Service Engine Light came on. On
    the way back got jerking for about two blocks then smoothed out and ran
    normal. Now I get a code 11. Most curious.

    Code 11: 11 No ignition reference signal detected during cranking (bad
    Hall effect) OR timing belt skipped one or more teeth; OR loss of
    either camshaft or crankshaft position sensor. Can cause the engine to
    stop working entirely with no limp-home mode.

    I'm figuring it's not the cam sensor, doubtful it's the timing
    belt skipped since it ran smooth last night. That leaves no ignition
    reference signal or crankshaft sensor.

    Any ideas? Is there a way to test for these problems before I start
    buying more parts?
    powrwrap, Dec 15, 2006
  2. powrwrap

    MT-2500 Guest

    You need to check for OBD11 codes.
    Could be a bad bad new sensor or you replaced the wrong one.
    The crankshaft sensor is the one that uses the spacer dot.
    MT-2500, Dec 15, 2006
  3. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    Here's what I've found for 96-97 Caravans

    Code 11-Intermittent loss of either camshaft or crankshaft position

    Code 11-Crankshaft position sensor target windows have too much

    Code 11-No crank reference signal detected during engine cranking.

    So this is all wrong? (fig. 3) This is exactly what the part I bought
    looked like and identically matched the part I removed:
    powrwrap, Dec 15, 2006
  4. powrwrap

    maxpower Guest

    Did you not read what I told you on the last post???

    maxpower, Dec 15, 2006
  5. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    Yes, but I must be in denial. :)

    Looks like I'll be replacing the crankshaft sensor too.
    powrwrap, Dec 15, 2006
  6. powrwrap

    maxpower Guest

    Ok but even that doesn't guarantee a fix until a scan tool is used to
    monitor the problem. It could be a PCM or even wire harness problems. The
    other sensor is cheap and easy to install. Go for it!!!

    maxpower, Dec 15, 2006
  7. powrwrap

    philthy Guest

    find a shop that has a bore scope and have them inspect the flywheel/flex
    plate without removing trans and see if the flex plate is cracked and
    a bore scope can see up there and you won't have to pay the price of
    r&r'ing trans to be sure that is not the issue
    philthy, Dec 16, 2006
  8. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    Yep, you're right. I went ahead and replaced the crank position sensor.
    No joy. The still car bucks and jerks and now I have a code 43.

    43 Peak primary coil current not achieved with max dwell time
    43 Cylinder misfire
    43 Problem in power module to logic module interface

    I also noticed something strange--the Service Engine Now light and the
    Cruise Control light were blinking while the car was misfiring.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    powrwrap, Dec 16, 2006
  9. powrwrap

    maxpower Guest

    when was the last time this vehicle had a tune up with a good set of plug
    wires? And how many miles are on it?

    maxpower, Dec 16, 2006
  10. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    62,000 miles. We got it with 19,000 miles on it. Have never replaced
    plugs or plug wires.

    More info: I drove it around the block again and it ran smoothly,
    normally. I disconnected the battery for five minutes to clear the
    codes and once again drove it around the block and this time got
    jerking and bucking again, though not as bad as the first drive after
    crank sensor install. Service Engine light has not come on (yet).
    powrwrap, Dec 16, 2006
  11. powrwrap

    MT-2500 Guest

    CODE 11 does not say which one.
    You need the OBD11 codes to find the right one.
    And like said knowing auto zone could even be a bad new sensor.:rofl:
    MT-2500, Dec 16, 2006
  12. powrwrap

    maxpower Guest

    I would be willing to bet all you need is a tune up to eliminate this
    problem. replacing the plugs and wires. But once again, a good scan tool
    would confirm that!!!

    maxpower, Dec 17, 2006
  13. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    I'm going to have it scoped out on Monday, even if my next repair
    attempt is successful.

    I'm going to pull the crank sensor out and see if the paper spacer is
    missing. I'm thinking that maybe I didn't get the sensor seated in
    there far enough and it's giving unreliable signals to the PCM. My
    reasoning is the Cruise light coming on and off when the engine
    sputters. The Cruise Control uses the crank position sensor to sense
    engine speed, correct? The paper spacer seemed to be about .010" thick.
    I've got lots of card stock laying around so if it's missing I'll make
    a spacer and glue it on and try to install the crank sensor again.
    powrwrap, Dec 17, 2006
  14. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    The paper spacer was still on the end of the crank sensor, just
    slightly pushed off-center and overhanging the edge. I used my thumb to
    push it back in the center of the end of the sensor and reinstalled it
    pressing the sensor into the flywheel housing while tightening the
    bolt. (I had done this previously but this time was more ambitious, but
    it's hard to get leverage in such an awkward position.)

    Test drive started out promising then began sputtering and backfiring
    again. This time the Service Engine Light came on. I've now got a code
    11 again. I'll pull the sensor again tomorrow and check for the
    presence of the paper spacer. Maybe this time I'll pull the battery out
    so I can get more leverage when reinstalling.
    powrwrap, Dec 17, 2006
  15. powrwrap

    maxpower Guest

    You can not go by cycling the key to retrieve fault codes on this year
    vehicle. It is not accurate!! use a scan tool to retrieve the correct code

    maxpower, Dec 17, 2006
  16. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    Yes, I intend to have it scanned on Monday.....assuming I can get it to
    the shop!
    powrwrap, Dec 17, 2006
  17. powrwrap

    aarcuda69062 Guest

    Indicating that the sensor was installed to the correct depth.
    I'm not sure whether you're trying to fix your van or simply chew
    up the crank sensor.
    Your problem lies elsewhere...

    Get the trouble codes read as Glen suggested.
    aarcuda69062, Dec 17, 2006
  18. powrwrap

    philthy Guest

    like you said a good scantool is needed here before parts are thrown at it
    philthy, Dec 17, 2006
  19. powrwrap

    powrwrap Guest

    Here's an update:

    Finally got it into a shop for hookup to a good scan tool. This was a
    shop recommended by a good mechanic friend of mine that I trust.
    Indeed, there was wall filled with ASE certificates and they advertise
    themselves as "engine drivability specialists" and "advanced engine
    performance" specialists.

    Here's what they found:

    When initially started from cold condition, the car runs for about 10
    minutes then stumbles and dies. Starts right up, runs for a minute or
    so and stumbles and dies. There are no stored trouble codes, no new
    codes are being generated. He agreed that the two main culprits had
    been identified--cam and crank sensors. It's not the plugs or the plug
    wires. If it was a cracked flex plate you'd likely hear something,
    didn't rule it out, but considered it a long shot. The guy basically
    said he was stumped, suggesting that perhaps a reflashing of the PCM
    might do it, but that he didn't have the equipment to do it. He
    suggested I take it to a dealer.

    powrwrap, Dec 21, 2006
  20. powrwrap

    maxpower Guest

    Nope, not a reflash problem. If this person had a good scan tool he would be
    able to monitor the inputs and outputs of all sensors while the problem was
    happening, if they didn't see anything on the scan tool the next thing would
    be to do a fuel pressure test.
    Sounds to me like they didn't want to get involved in the problem and want
    to blow it off to the dealer.
    My opinion
    maxpower, Dec 21, 2006
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