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91 Dodge Dynasty trouble starting


jmann06405's Avatar
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09-19-03, 01:12 PM   #1  
jmann06405
91 Dodge Dynasty trouble starting

I have a 91 Dodge dynasty 3.3l. For the last two mornings, it has had the following problem.
I go to turn the key, it makes a quick 'turnover sound' but only for a split second. I repeat the attempt, 3, 4 times. FInally, it turns over more and more and the cars starts. The battery is fresh. I live in San Diego, so it's not a temp issue. Might this be the electrical system?
Thanks
Jason Mann

 
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Joe_F's Avatar
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09-19-03, 01:40 PM   #2  
Joe_F
How's the battery terminals and cable connections?

 
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09-19-03, 02:27 PM   #3  
jmann06405
The terminals have zero corrosion, the cables look ok as well.

 
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09-19-03, 04:21 PM   #4  
darrell McCoy
If I remember correctly, does this not have a reduction starter? If so and with age/miles you possibly may be due for a starter. Couple days ago in a parking lot, I witnessed an older dynasty, turned over slow for about 5 sec and then finally cranked normal, started right up then? Again however, ya might want to double check and "clean" connections, a visual does not always tell you anything.

 
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09-19-03, 04:41 PM   #5  
jmann06405
what does a starter cost average? Is it a job I can do myself, with no shop, just tools?

 
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09-19-03, 05:10 PM   #6  
Joe_F
Have a look in autolibrary to see if this is something you want to tackle yourself.

 
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09-19-03, 09:14 PM   #7  
janetlee
DIE-NASTY !!!!

We had a 1991 Dynasty and I gotta tell ya, it was the WORST car we've EVER had !
It ate us up in repair costs and we had to take it back to the dealer to be repaired almost right away (bought it used in 1998). As it turned out, he had had the transmission fixed before we bought it (major work). After we became the "proud" owners, we poured over a thousand dollars into it in less than a year !! We finally said that enough was enough and traded it for a 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis that had lots more miles on it and even paid $1000 extra although it was considered to be a "trading down" !!! A man bought the Dynasty just a few days after we taded it in and we saw him and his friend pushing it off the road as it had broken down on them....I felt for the poor guy !!!
One of my best friends, Glenda, had a Dynasty also....I encouraged her to get it off her hands ASAP and of course she didn't. Well, even though it had less than 50,000 miles on it, she had to replace the transmission twice !!!! She was in a car accident with it a couple of years ago and the side was smashed in. She was able to get it home but couldn't afford to have it repaired (she had just put a new tranny in it afterall !!!). NONE of the local junkyards would buy it ! Finally, one agreed to tow it away for her but said that it would be crushed because no one usually came looking for parts off of those cars.
I sincerely hope that you've gotten an "exception-to- the-rule", but if you look at the older Consumer Reports Guides, you'll see that it was considered an "Avoid It" car.
The only good things I can say about the one we had is that it was pretty to look at AND most importantly, it taught us to be VERY CAUTIOUS car buyers! I do my research!

I know that you did not ask for an opinion about the car, but when I saw your message, I had a bad flashback !!!
All the best to you !!!

 
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09-20-03, 07:14 AM   #8  
Joe_F
Janet:

It's true that these are bottom barrel quality vehicles (as are many Chryslers of this vintage) , but you'll find that from any "cheap" offering by most car makers. The 89 Cavalier I own which was my grandfather's is far from stellar in Consumer Reports eyes.

However, if you start out with a vehicle in good shape and stick with it, working with it, it should reward you with decent service.

My Cavalier has been a good car mostly because I started out with something solid and simply take care of it.

Chrysler 4 speeds of this vintage (which your car probably had) are problematic, but the 3 speeds of this era aren't bad. My friend has one in a 1991 Dodge Shadow and it's got over 160k on it, still runs great. But, being my friend, I am firm about telling him what we need to do to keep it running!

You are correct that a bad experience will make you more vigiliant the next time around. That's with anything .

 
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09-20-03, 11:51 AM   #9  
mike from nj
most of these type starters that fail will only click, click, click, then maybe start it up. it is usually a nippondenso starter and the contacts fail prematurely, it is easily rebuildable but a little involved--for the person willing to learn, provided it is that exact problem. if it is a bosch starter, they wear out too, but are not rebuildable, the price of a solenoid is more than a 'rebuilt' starter. the trained eye can easily determine which one you have, or you could just look for the name plate and tell us.

barring any battery terminals that might be loose or dirty, it is usually the starter, why not just take them off and clean them anyway, it's free and is a possibility, they don't have to be coated in white to be not making contact, i always use a terminal brush and tighten them very tight, this fixes some intermittent problems.

ps. the heat that affects the starter is from underhood, not usually the sun, starters go bad all year long, even when we have a week of +10F.

if you're handy with a voltmeter, there are a few tests you can do to isolate it to the starter or whatever else it might be, let us know.



my uncle's dynasty----an 89 with the 4 speed trans, i rebuilt the trans once and it's been a problem free car ever since(only a fuel pump gone bad) it's in the 150,000 mile range too

depends on how you maintain it i guess!



i have found consumer reports to be very off the mark on a lot of things, that's why i don't waste my time with that anymore.

 
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09-20-03, 02:06 PM   #10  
Jason, I'd go for the starter replacement. I had a 1991 Dynasty that went through 2 starters in the 6 years we had it. I think the last one I bought was around 100 bucks, and I did the work myself both times without much trouble.

The one thing I would suggest is using either a gear wrench or a stubby wrench on the starter bolts. One of them is inaccessible with a rachet, and you have very little throw room with a standard length wrench.

Besides the two starters, we had to replace the water pump, fuel rail, and fuel pump, and we had the transmission rebuilt at around 100,000. Of course this cost us some dough; but with the exception of the fuel rail (which was a freak thing), I think you'd be hard pressed to find a 150,000 mile car that hadn't had most of these items replaced or repaired at some point.

A general note on the transmission repair that pretty much all Chrysler OD cars of this vintage require: 90% of all failures are the result of a poor snap ring design. Factory rebuild kits are updated to correct this problem; aftermarket kits are not. If your 10-year-old Chrysler needs transmission work, I'd strongly recommend taking it to a Five-Star dealership for service unless you have an independent mechanic whom you trust 110% to do the job right. A Chrysler reman tranny with a 3/36 warranty should be around $1700-$1800 installed depending on regional labor rates.

When we sold the car last year it ran just as good as the day we bought it, and the AC was still blowing ice-cold from the factory charge. So all-in-all, I'd have to say that our Dynasty experience was far from unpleasant.

 
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09-20-03, 04:33 PM   #11  
mike from nj
hey duster---excellent point, about the snap rings, i've seen many of them break and take out a trans(if you don't rebuild these, how would you know this, for my curiosity)

another point worth mentioning, is that internal seal failure is a bigger cause of failure, even the updated 'd' ring seals were initially made out of the original (bad) rubber, it wasn't until about 5 years ago that they updated to viton seals and their heat resistance was much better, that's what all the 'dealer' kits have in them. i can't really speak for the aftermarket places, except anybody would be surprised at how many shops either take it to a dealer to replace the trans (and mark it up to 'their' customers) or end up bringing it back to us when their rebuild didn't fix it. it happens quite often. if that updated snap ring isn't installed correctly, it's going to be a quick comeback too

also very good point on the stubby 15mm wrench for the starter bolts, especially with a 4spd trans.

 
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09-20-03, 06:13 PM   #12  
Originally posted by mike from nj
hey duster---excellent point, about the snap rings, i've seen many of them break and take out a trans(if you don't rebuild these, how would you know this, for my curiosity)
Times were tight when my tranny went out, so I really did my homework before having it repaired. At the time I worked in the parts business, and I was (and still am) blessed to have good relationships with several mechanics. All of them explained the nature of the problem to me; and the man I finally took it to (the only one who would rebuild it rather than install a reman) is a former Ford and Chrysler tech who runs his shop just like a dealership service department.

I saved about $700 by having it rebuilt; but as I said before, I wouldn't do this if I didn't really know and trust my mechanic.

 
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