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'90 Caravan speed sensor


toni1595's Avatar
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ME

08-24-03, 05:42 AM   #1  
'90 Caravan speed sensor

Good Morning. Well I just finished putting another head gasket in our old van and replaced the EGR valve as well. The reason I changed it was to enhance the sale of it. I figured with engine oil in the expansion tank it wouldn't be too appealing to the buyer.

THis time I replaced the head bolts, which I did not do the last time, so hopefully this will work better.??????

After I started the engine up for its first run, and took it for a test drive, I shut it down to check the computer to see if it set any new codes. It showed a code 15 which equals a vehicle speed sensor. Is this something I should change, or , just sell the van as is and let the buyer worry about it. In other words, will it effect the running of the van in the short term? What do you guys think this sensor does for the engine? Thanx.

 
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08-24-03, 09:49 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Pitch it as is. I wouldn't sweat it. Don't put any more money into a sinking money pit.

Get what you can get for it and cut your losses. You'll spend more in time and effort to repair it than to just sell it as is.

 
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08-24-03, 06:13 PM   #3  
Thanks Joe. You kind of echoed my feelings............ I've already had one guy looking at it while I had the hood up working on it and he told me he'd be back Friday with the money. We'll see.

Anyway I think I'll get what I can and be done with it. Personally I wouldn't buy another one of these on a bet.

 
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08-24-03, 06:27 PM   #4  
mike from nj
the last time i checked, this was the 'do it yourself' forum, not the 'don't try to fix it, it might cost you a buck' forum, maybe i missed the change somewhere.

joe---explain this one to me too, whenever you answer someone's post about buying a used car or truck, you tell them to take it to a competant shop and have a technician look over the car thoroughly, if the seller balks, you then tell the poster to look elsewhere, because the seller is obviously hiding something.

here, you tell him to sell it and get what he can, sell it with a known defect, after he just replaced the headgasket as a selling point.


toni---it's very easy to leave the speed sensor unplugged after replacing the headgasket, or to even unplug it unintentionally.

it is directly below the cylinder head wiring harness, take out the air filter box and tubing and look right below the starter, it is on the small extension housing sticking out of the trans leading to the passenger axle, it will have a two or three wire connector and possibly even a cable( i forget the year they eliminated the cable and went to all electronic) if the speedometer works, usually the sensor is good, however, if the speedo is cable driven, that means the cable is good, but the sensor is bad---a good sign is if the cruise control doesn't hold speed or work at all---that could easily be a bad sensor, i replaced many sensors for this(cruise control problems).

the only problem a bad sensor will give you is sometimes it might stall when coming to a stop---the computer thinks the car is always going 0mph.

erase the code and drive it, if it comes back, the sensor is bad(unless the connector is broke or spread terminals)

think of that additional selling point---cruise works! (if it has it)

ask more questions if this is confusing---either way let us know how it turns out.

 
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08-25-03, 03:46 AM   #5  
Joe_F
Mike:

You misunderstood.

I never said for Tony not to TELL the seller about the problem, just not fix it. My opinion is that he's already spent more time and effort to get it saleable than he will get back.

True a Caravan of this vintage with a blown head gasket won't net you bus fare. So fixing the head gasket to make it saleable, good move. Another option? Donate it. I know of folks that donated cars and got more in tax relief than in actual value to sell it. There are different options.

If you keep saying, "Shoot, lemme fix this and that, etc", by the time you net it out, you'll get half of that money back if you are lucky. Sometimes, splitting the difference is better off. "Look, the speedometer doesn't work. I'll take $100 off since the likely cause is a speed sensor for $50".

As for buying a used car, ALWAYS inspect it. Having a third party do it is a bargaining tactic. I've seen sellers say, "The car is original and straight".

Put it up on a lift, well if welds and bodywork make it original and straight, I was taught wrong. Now it's worth 1/2 your asking price if I want it.

I once looked at a Trans Am up in Rockland County that was a proported original, Black Special Edition. It was an S/E that was FAR from original.

Had the seller been asking $2000, I might have bought it then. But he was asking $8000 for a car with questionable history. Big difference! Had I not checked it out, ran the #s and such, I would have bought a big bom for $8000!

Bottom line: If I as a seller have nothing to hide and know my vehicle, I should have no problem offering to let the potential buyer check it out any way he/she wishes (within reason...if they want to take the engine out to inspect it, well ).

I sold a 1979 Cutlass for $700 in 1993. I told the buyer to drive it and if he wanted, I would go to a shop of his choice with him and put the car on a lift to verify whatever he wanted, because I had nothing to hide.

Car sold that day .

Here's a halfway solution! :

Spend no more than 2 hours on it. $60 an hour=120 bones. If you can't fix it in that time, not worth it. Your time is better spent elsewhere, especially on something you are getting rid of.

I mean, you COULD spend days solving the problem, it could be a bad sensor, so give it a crack. But if nothing obvious jumps out, it may cost you more in time (depends what your time is worth versus getting your money back) than it's worth to fix.

If you drop $100 and it would have cost you $250 in time and parts to do it, then it's not worth it .

 
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08-25-03, 12:43 PM   #6  
Whoa, hold on guys. I can see both of your arguments.

Mike, This van does not have cruise control and it does not seem to affect driveabilty of it. THe reason I asked was more of a curiosity than actually to repair it. As Joe said I've probably already put more in than I'll get out, but, I know it wouldn't sell with the oil showing in the side tank..... I know I wouldn't have bought it.


Joe, I know what your saying because I've read in some of these posts on this forum, where the owner gets in so deep that he's put in more than he'll ever recoup in the sale of the same. I guess its kind of a gray area so you really need that shot of reality to make an informed decision.

Yes, I've gotten the short end of the stick before on buying a used vehicle and did not care for the taste of it. But, on the whole I think this would be decent van for someone starting out with a couple of kids and didn't want to spend a bundle, ( I'm only asking $500 ). I wouldn't be surprised to see this van go at least a couple more years.

 
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08-25-03, 08:50 PM   #7  
mike from nj
not starting trouble here----what side tank are you talking about, the radiator? i can't picture a side/expansion tank on a 90 4-cyl caravan. i don't think i've ever seen a 2.2/2.5 headgasket leak oil, only coolant
(for my knowledge)


if you were keeping this thing for a while, the added fuel mileage would pay for the sensor in no time.

 
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08-26-03, 09:16 AM   #8  
Joe_F
No argument here Tony.

Respectfully disagreeing, and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

In fact, we've given you two sides of the fence to look at here.

For 500 bones, if you gave someone a running van, they are getting a good deal in my belief. Even if they got 1 year out of it. Beats taking the bus. LOL .

 
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08-28-03, 01:00 PM   #9  
Re: '90 Caravan speed sensor

Originally posted by toni1595

THis time I replaced the head bolts, which I did not do the last time, so hopefully this will work better.??????


Oh yeah. You have to replace the head bolts too. IIRC, they're all torque-to-yield on Chrysler engines. (Which means that final torque stretches the bolts)

Which engine?

If there's supposed to be wachers, you need to make sure they're in place or the bolt won't torque down right.

 
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08-28-03, 02:14 PM   #10  
Yes Jason, I found that out AFTER I did the first headgasket. Sorry I thought I posted the engine, it is a 2.5 Liter 4 cyl. It has good power but there was the oil in the expansion tank as I mentioned before and I figured it wouldn't sell very well.

Although Mike raised a point about the oil being there makes me wonder if I did the right thing. I thought that it had to be coming from there, how else would it get there????????

Jason, when I bought the headgasket "kit", It had all the parts in it associated with the head including the bolts, washers, and every gasket thats on the cylinder head. I guess its a one shot do it all type thing. All I used was the headgasket and bolts/washers and the valvecover gasket. Anybody need some cheap gaskets???

 
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08-28-03, 04:17 PM   #11  
Joe_F
I have seen people "slip in" a head gasket on those 2.2 and 2.5 Chryslers.

Certainly not the right way to do it, but I have seen it done. The head and block come out enough to slip in a new gasket.

 
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08-28-03, 06:56 PM   #12  
mike from nj
for anybody who cares---i've replaced MANY of headgaskets on 2.2/2.5L and used the old bolts, including my own cars, even with the 'early' 10mm bolts(small ones). if the bolt isn't stretched, it can be reused.

a very simple test is after you turn the bolts 1/4 turn, turn the torque wrench up to 90ft/lbs. if it clicks without turning the bolt---it isn't stretched, if it continues to turn and gets a 'soft' feeling, that's the bolt stretching.

side note: when we have bolts in stock, i replace them now, it's not worth experimenting with customer's cars.

 
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08-29-03, 03:47 AM   #13  
Joe_F
Lol. True.

Felpro makes a pretty decent kit and they have the needed bolts and since Chrysler 2.2/2.5 engines blow gaskets like crazy, parts stores always have them in stock. LOL.

I wouldn't gamble based on the cost of parts, the bolts will only set you back a few bones.

 
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08-29-03, 04:30 PM   #14  
Ya Mike, I know what you mean about the stretching of the headbolts. Its a weird feeling, feels like it is going to break off when it does it. I remember the last time, I did not feel that same thing.

One thing that I thought was odd was that the paper that came with the kit said to torque the head 45 ft. lbs., 65 ft. lbs., 65 ft. lbs., and 1/4 turn. THe book that I have says 30 ft. lbs., 45 ft. lbs., 65 ft. lbs., then 1/4 turn. I went with the latter because it made more sense to me.

Also there was a paper that cautioned the user not to put 10mm bolts in to 11mm holes because it will cause a ruined block.
This was a Victor/Reinz kit and it cost $77 from our local NAPA store.

 
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08-29-03, 04:37 PM   #15  
mike from nj
as long as you get to 65 +1/4 turn, it will be ok

the factory service manual for all years (with 11mm bolts) says 45,65,65 +1/4

 
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