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1st Gen Dakota '96 & Older Dakota's

89 2.5L 5sp COIL/IGNITION problems?

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2010, 05:33 PM
j_parnin55 j_parnin55 is offline
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Default 89 2.5L 5sp COIL/IGNITION problems?

i am experiencing some sort of coil or ignition problem. sometimes the coil sends spark to the distributor, some times it doesnt. i have already replaced the coil, it is brand new. somtimes it just wont start, other times it runs fine and cuts out going down the road.

all help is appreciated,
justin.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2010, 07:08 PM
swapdip swapdip is offline
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Justin I experienced similar problems with my 92. You should check that your auto shutdown relay is functioning well, just swap it out with one of your other relays and see if the problem disappears. If that is not the culprit, you may need to change out your SMEC. I don't want to say immediately jump to blaming the computer, but after hopelessly replacing about a million other things on my truck, I found out that the computer was at fault.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:24 PM
j_parnin55 j_parnin55 is offline
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im not sure where to find the ASD. i dont have a relay box behind the battery, only the washer fluid tank i think. i used these thread for help:

http://dodgeforum.com/forum/1st-gen-...ml#post1678925

but i dont even see a splice similar to that. i do have four square connectors (relays maybe?) bolted to the inner fender and all those look clean.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:25 PM
swapdip swapdip is offline
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Well, first you should definitely track down a repair manual. I am not sure where your relay box is, mine is a little plastic box in the inside corner of the firewall and fender on the drivers side, next to the washer fluid tank. You open the lid and it is indicated which is the ASD relay. My relays all appeared to be free from corrosion as well, but since they have moving parts inside I assumed that something went screwy internally.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:08 PM
j_parnin55 j_parnin55 is offline
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apparently my edit didnt go through. i did find it and switched it out with a relay out of my 2000 cougar. i didnt see any corrosion nor did i hear it rattle or anything. i also checked connections leading up to the relay and they also appeared to be good.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:16 PM
swapdip swapdip is offline
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OK so what happened after you switched out the relay? Any difference n the way it ran?
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:24 PM
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how is your coil mounted? Is it laying flat on its side or is it mounted up & down? Sometimes when a coil is mounted sideways, the oil inside the coil that keeps it cool will shift around while cornering and cause the vehicle to stall. I know I found that out on an old '88 Dodge Aries K-Car with a 2.2.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:59 PM
j_parnin55 j_parnin55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swapdip View Post
OK so what happened after you switched out the relay? Any difference n the way it ran?
after i switched out the relay it still wouldnt start. i got a friend at the local dodge dealer that is gonna get me a relay he had laying around tomorrow to see if that works. i'll let you know.

and yes, the coil does lay sideways. i've also been told that if the coil heats up it will shut off. i will try repositioning the coil to see if that works.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2010, 07:02 PM
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Yea, I believe they introduced the "Power Distribution Center" (PDC, or "that black power box") in 1992, maybe 1993.
Before that, they just have relays across the left inner-fender and firewall.

It could be an AutoShutdown Relay problem.
Unfortunately, I don't have a wiring digram available for 1989 (or similar years).
All I can suggest is to shoot wires to the coil (the coil will get its positive power from the ASD relay; and will get its ground from the computer).

You should also shoot wires to the ASD relay.
However, if you get FUEL, I can automatically tell you the ASD relay is good (regardless of year, the ASD sends power to the coil, and fuel injectors; on years before 1992 or 1993, it also supplies power to the fuel pump)

The ASD (and fuel pump relay) are not always energized whenever they key is in the "ON" position.
They briefly energize when the key is put to "ON," and than fully kept energized when the key is turned to "START" and, when the engine is successfully running, stay energized when returned to "ON."
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2010, 07:37 PM
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Justin, have you done a code check with your check engine light yet?

I had similar problems as well as my bro-in-law before I got the truck from him.

I did a code check and an "11" code popped up. He'd already changed a bunch of sensors (w/o performing the check.) I put a new crankshaft position sensor in and the problem stopped. It's cranked every single time since.

*knocks on wood*

Some days it would crank, some days it wouldn't. The new CPS was just what the Dr. ordered.

Code Chart and how to retrieve:

http://dodgeforum.com/forum/1st-gen-...-96-codes.html

Last edited by Soundguy; 11-29-2010 at 07:40 PM..
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2010, 07:37 PM
j_parnin55 j_parnin55 is offline
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can you be more specific when you say "shoot wires to the coil"? i am going to try the "new" relay tomorrow as well as repositioning the coil (cant hurt) but i am clear out of options.

i dont understand why the coil wont work (brand new) if the relay is working. could it be a computer problem? also, would running it straight to ground versus having the ground from the coil effect it differently?
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:00 PM
j_parnin55 j_parnin55 is offline
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i have an account with alldata pro so thats where i've been getting my diagrams and whatnot. i'm waiting on a multimeter to ensure that it is the relay, and if it is i will attempt to use the one my friend is bringing me. i've got a good friend at the dodge dealer that is gonna bring me one they had laying around (most likely used).

the coil is brand-spanking-new so im not sure what else it could be if it isnt the relay. could running it straight to ground versus having it run through the computer make any difference? could this end up being a computer problem?

@soundguy: it cranks, it just doesnt get spark to the coil. im not sure if a CPS could still be the cause though. EDIT: no codes. only one is 12 which i had disconnected the battery earlier but is also apparently normal.

Last edited by j_parnin55; 11-29-2010 at 08:29 PM.. Reason: additional info
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2010, 09:01 PM
swapdip swapdip is offline
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OK well after you have confirmed that the ASD is good, you should check your grounds, as well as power to the coil. Also, these may be stupid questions, but how did you determine that you have no/intermittent spark? Did you use the whole screw driver in the sparkplug trick, and if so are you sure that you had the screwdriver close enough to the block of the engine? Did you test the wire coming out of the coil, or one of the sparkplug wires? If you have spark coming out of the coil, but not out of the sparkplug wires, you may have a bad distributor.

Basically I would grab a voltimeter and starting at the spark plug wires, trace all the way back until you find power. You can bet that the junction/fuse/relay/whatever which is distal to where you locate your power is being lost. Other suggestions such as crank sensor and such are also good ideas.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:14 PM
j_parnin55 j_parnin55 is offline
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i took the wire from the coil to the distributor (i will call "coil wire") off the the distributor. i then held it near ground while i had somebody else try to start the truck. back when it first started this, sometimes sparks would jump and then i would plug it back to the distributor and it would start. but when now sparks jumped, which happens more frequently, i assume that there is no power coming from the coil. i assumed since it is a new coil that the coil is not the problem.

i have taken all the covers off the wires and traced both power and ground by eye. power seems good and solid, as does ground. still waiting on that meter (hopefully tomorrow) to actually check the wire itself.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_parnin55 View Post

@soundguy: it cranks, it just doesnt get spark to the coil. im not sure if a CPS could still be the cause though. EDIT: no codes. only one is 12 which i had disconnected the battery earlier but is also apparently normal.
Yeah, mine cranked too. Turned over just fine, but no spark. A bad CPS won't keep it from cranking.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:43 AM
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since you have an '89, there is not a whole lot of electronics, so you should check your hall effect sensor inside the distributor. Best way to tell if it's bad and causing a intermittent no start, get a soldering gun (not the pencil type, the gun type w/ a manual trigger) and turn your key ON engine NOT running. Disconnect the coil wire and turn on the soldering gun and hold it next to the distributor. If you notice a spark coming from the coil wire, your problem lies in the hall effect sensor.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:43 AM
 
 
 
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