Won't go over 50 mph.. 97 dodge 1500 van.. I know whats not wrong with it

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  #1  
Old 06-27-07, 12:59 PM
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Won't go over 50 mph.. 97 dodge 1500 van.. I know whats not wrong with it

97 dodge van has had the service engine light on for some time..

it was showing

torque converter clutch solenoid
and the #1 O2 sensor

after driving on the highway I went to pass a truck and when I hit the gas for extra power what I got was less.. From that point on, the van went 0 - 30 in about 30 seconds.. It max's out at 50 an flat land and if you try to gun it the lack of power just gets worse..

The van does not seem to just be stuck in a low gear, if this were the case I assume it wouldn't struggle so hard on hills..

The exhaust system is not clogged in anyway..

it is not misfiring

the o2 sensor problem has been taken care of

air filter is clean and clog free


so I guess the question is .. Re these problems consistent with a bad torque converter clutch solenoid?


any advise is greatly appreciated
 
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  #2  
Old 06-27-07, 01:27 PM
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Sounds like it's in the "limp" mode. It's telling you that there is a problem which needs to be resolved. Get somewhere and have the codes checked, then fix the problem.
 
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Old 06-27-07, 03:56 PM
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Pull a couple plugs and see if they are loaded up with carbon to see if your engine is perhaps running super rich - perhaps form a bad fuel pressure regulator.

Fuel filter clog causes your symptom as well. And is more likely a cause if the engine runs good at lower speeds but then feels like it chokes off at higher speeds and loads.

Check out some plugs and get back with us what you find.

I forgot to ask you if the vehicle coasts good, so that you have no non-engine related "braking" going on.
 
  #4  
Old 06-27-07, 04:13 PM
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Yes, the vehicle coasts smooth..

I will pull some plugs as soon as am done makin dinner for the whole neighborhood..

I never did think of the fuel pump, and I hope thats the problem..

It doesnt seem like a trans issue, what it does seem like is there is a limited amount of fuel makin it to the engine.. So lemme go check it out and hope it is a filter issue.

thanks
 
  #5  
Old 06-27-07, 04:31 PM
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The computer won't spit up a tranny solenoid code for no reason. This solenoid controls all your shifting.

ALso look for a vacuum leak.
 
  #6  
Old 06-27-07, 07:11 PM
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Lucky me.. Fuel filter is part of the fuel pump.. and of course the pump is in the tank..

they claim its a 100,000 mile filter, so thats the reasoning behind putting it on the fuel pump which is also rated at 100,000..

I dont have anything foul on the plugs



before I drop this tank and swap out the pump should I do a compression test on each cylinder?

what would be your guys next step?
 
  #7  
Old 06-27-07, 07:42 PM
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I've never heard of a fuel filter or pump causing a TC code.

With the car in Park, hit the gas and hold it down (not floored). Does it sound like it's struggling? That's an easy way to determine if it's fuel related.

I think the problem is elsewhere. I think the clutch pack in the TC has locked up the stator. I could be wrong.
 
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Old 06-28-07, 05:09 AM
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I would be rigging up a pressure guage to confirm fuel pump before I dropped the tank. And I agree with OKC that getting a SEL would tend to point away from a fuel pump.
 
  #9  
Old 06-28-07, 05:50 AM
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The only thing that concerns me about that TC code is it was there a year ago too..

So its a question of "did it go badder" and is that why I had a sudden loss of power..

My instinct says no, but lets see what the trans shop says this morning
 
  #10  
Old 06-28-07, 08:27 AM
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Ok, here's something I pulled from another source:

"Sometimes a stator wheel will hang up and remain locked at high speed. If this happens it will act like a speed brake, causing the torque converter to fight against itself. The car may start out and drive normally at low speed but, as speed starts to build, the engine will strain harder and harder to overcome the resistance. If the engine won’t rev much beyond 3,000 rpm in neutral, the stator is definitely hung up."

Also, you should have someone use a scan tool while you are driving to see if the solenoid is being energized, if it's not, you may have a bad speed sensor.
 
  #11  
Old 06-28-07, 09:14 AM
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there is something wrong and its doubtful that its transmission related would be checking fuel pressure by removing the dog house and hooking up a guage to the test port on the fuel rail and test drive it to see if it drops under load.
no power with a top speed of 50 is usually a fuel starvation problem or an exhuast restriction.
 
  #12  
Old 06-28-07, 11:32 AM
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bejay,

care to explain how a fuel problem caused a torque converter problem?
 
  #13  
Old 06-28-07, 02:24 PM
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OK

I took the car to a trans shop and after a test drive the guy assured me that this isnt a torque converter issue.. Who knows if he is right ..

so took the car back to a 3rd mechanic and he claims that its a catalytic issue and it needs to be replaced.. This is exactly the opposite of what the original mechanic/exhaust shop told me.. They had assured me it was not clogged and there was good flow..

So after this 3rd mechanic blamed the cat, I asked them to leave out the O2 sensors so I can see for myself how the much power is restored when the missing 02 sensors allowed the cat to breath... I didnt see any improvement..

The fuel pressure is good btw


so I spent about 300 bucks today so 3 different mechanics can give me a cop out and answer and send me someplace else..


I did notice on my way home that when give the gas 100% I did get signs of misfiring.. Could it be that all 3 mechanics could have failed to notice shot cap/rotor/wires (which were changed 6 months ago)..

after dinner I will open them up myslef and see if there are any signs of "****tiness"


thanks for everyones help
 
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Old 06-28-07, 02:38 PM
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If not fuel related - timing issue maybe? Don't leave us without telling us what is causing this.
 
  #15  
Old 06-28-07, 02:48 PM
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What is causing the computer to throw a torque converter solenoid malfunction? What were the exact codes from the scanner?

Curious, what kind of test did the mechanic do when he said it wasn't the Torque converter?


There are many things that could be the problem.
 

Last edited by HotxxxxxxxOKC; 06-28-07 at 03:23 PM. Reason: added info
  #16  
Old 06-28-07, 04:06 PM
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Let's think about this a second...........Torque convertor clutch can "fail" two ways........Either it never comes on when it should.........or it STAYS on when it shouldn't.........If it FAILS to engage, your major problem will be fuel economy........When you get deep in the pedal, looking for power, the ECM,s first mission upon seeing a WOT from the TPS, is to disengage the TCC.......That wouldn't be a problem. Failing in the never DISengage mode would cause a stall at every stoplight...........Like forgetting to put your foot on the clutch of a standard.......
One of two things going on here.............Either restricted exhaust........Drop the manifold pipes and run it.............OR..........Check compression......Looking for a UNIFORM drop in pressure.......Tooth or two of the timing chain????
 
  #17  
Old 06-28-07, 06:57 PM
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ecman51.... I wouldn't dare!! Nothin annoys me more on these forums then when people never come back after they resolve the problem..

HotinOKC ... I'm not sure of the exact code that came up, I will call them in the morning and ask if they recall..

The trans guy concluded from a simple test drive that it wasn't the TC.. He claimed that by shifting in to low gear when driving, the car slowed like expected.. He claims this would not be so if there was a problem with the tcc..

who the crap knows if this is true but he didn't show a doubt in his face

wrench47... Would removing the 2 o2 sensors in the cat relieve enough pressure to show a difference?

The timing chain has been in need of some love for about a year.. This according to an old retired mechanic that came out of his house to tell me to fix my timing, he can hear it was messed up.. But once again I wrote that off after I mentioned this to mechanic 1 before they diagnosed it, according to him "that aint it" after I questioned mid way through my visit

also, I borrowed a gauge from pep boys to check my compression after the "dude" behind the counter suggested I do so.. I will get to that tomorrow after i change my cap and rotor..
 
  #18  
Old 06-29-07, 04:21 AM
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removing an o2 sensor in front of the cat should of helped it out alot and if you saw no improvement then its probably not restricted, most exhuast shops will do a back pressure test where they will torch a small hole in front of the cat and install a guage start the engine and snap the throttle a few times to read the back pressure.
you did have fuel pressure checked while driving the vehicle?
would also like to know what the shop checked a good mechanic would do several tests to find the problem they would of checked the ignition system using a scope,driven the van with a fuel pressure guage and scanner installed to monitor sensor data and fuel pressure, and if the problem did not show up during those test they may do a compression test on several cylinders to see if its ok as a scope or scanner can find dead cylinders or cylinders with significantly lower compression than other cylinders,and may even take a fuel sample but chances are they could tell you what is wrong with the van in about an hour.
 
  #19  
Old 06-29-07, 04:37 AM
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I'm with bejay; I think what you need is a shop that likes a challenge and that really wants to fix it and will agressively attack the problem using any and all test equipment at their disposal. I'm not sure any of the garages/mechanics you've been dealing with fit the description.

The head scratcher in all this is the tranny code.
 
  #20  
Old 06-29-07, 06:29 AM
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all the same things happen with my 98

I am not as verse as all the people you have been hearing from but I can say I had ALL the sme problems and finally change the cadilitic (sp) converter and now everything is good.
 
  #21  
Old 06-29-07, 03:45 PM
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just got home from a hard day of not fixin cars and I swapped out the rotor and cap, no improvement..

1 of the 3 mechanics yesterday decided to not put back part of my airfilter assembly.. on top of my drivers side heads, in the same place the pvc is on the passenger side.. There is a gaping hole in the head where a tube once came from and went to my air cleaner..

What do we call this missing tube? The tube that once filled the hole in my engine which now produces a vacuum when idling..

And what do we call the idiot that decided not to put it back? many names come to mind..


If I felt improvement with the o2 sensor out of the cat I would swap it out in a second, but I don't feel improvement.. Anyone think im silly for not dropping the cat totally to see what happens?

Considering the timing belt was definetly and issue before these massive problems i assume i cant go wrong taking care of that first and hope for the best..
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 06-29-07 at 05:07 PM.
  #22  
Old 06-29-07, 04:19 PM
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It's been awhile since I have worked on any cat converters. Is yours a bead bed or honeycomb type. I believe it is a honeycomb.

What you might do is crawl under the truck and bang on the converter (not intending to break anything). if the substrate inside rattles, then it is bad and a piece of it could be blocking the exhaust.
 
  #23  
Old 06-29-07, 05:10 PM
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Still, with the O2 sensor out I would expect him to have some improvement. Still have the unanswered questions about tranny codes, too. At this point it may not be a bad idea to drop the cat all the way out under the premise that it can't hurt and at least there will be ONE thing we can all agree isn't the problem (assuming it doesn't help).
 
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Old 06-29-07, 07:25 PM
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anyone know a good site that tells you the depth of my local rivers and lakes?

I just want to keep my options open
 
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Old 06-29-07, 08:37 PM
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lol. I understand your frustration.
 
  #26  
Old 06-30-07, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
Still, with the O2 sensor out I would expect him to have some improvement. ).
I agree. it was merely an attempt to further disqualify or qualify that idea with minimal effort.

If it is posibble to drop the conv., that would be even better.

Yes, the tranny code definately is of concern.
 
  #27  
Old 06-30-07, 04:47 AM
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As someone suggested, bang on the cat and listen for rattle inside.

I'd drop the pipe infront of the Cat and try, remove the two O2 sensors (actually only one) are not creating enough flows if the cat is bad, the more I read and re-read, the more I think it's cat/con problem, your timing also playing an importance part too so if you have a loose timing chain that will vary more than 5*, they may contributes to the problem also.

I wouldn't worry about the TCC code, I think the reason why TCC code is there because the vehicle wasn't able to achieve the condition for the ECM to engages the tcc for period of time, then the ECM will turns on the light, in this case, the TPS,MAP were out of the parameter to achieve the TCC engaged, if you are cruising on highway and your left foot is rested on the brake pedal just enough for ECM to "see", it'll disengages the tcc and if you keep doing it, the light will comes on.

Again, I'd drop the pipe infront of the Cat and try, it will be very noisy.
 
  #28  
Old 06-30-07, 08:26 AM
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This what you had in mind, BLD:

http://www.mastertowing.com/pics001.htm

 
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