Stratus misfire

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  #1  
Old 11-03-07, 05:33 PM
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Stratus misfire

Just finished rebuilding 2004 Dodge Stratus DOHC 2.4L engine (timing belt broke). Just about every engine part was either replaced, rebuilt, or reworked. It starts (very difficult) but cylinders 2,3 & 4 are misfiring. #1 plug is clean but the rest have a heavy carbon residue & are gas soaked. Double & triple checked the timing, both marks on the cam pulley are aligned at TDC. There appears to be enough spark. Scanner only gives a code P0016 (Cam/Crank Position Correlation Sensor A - Bank 1) & it's only reading temp sensors, not any other vital sensors. Normally if the Cam or Crank sensor is not working the car won't start at all? So either there is one other sensor bad or when the shop pulled the crank sensor gear off to put it on the new crank, it was put on in the wrong position (is that possible). However, if it is anything like the flywheel, it can only go on one way. Any ideas? Help? Thank-you.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-03-07, 06:46 PM
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It definelty sounds like a bad crank/cam sensor. It is possible to misalign the sensor so I pull it out and inspect. Just make sure you are a TDC.

My wife has a '01 Stratus and I am currently trying to find the deepest lake nearby. Her Stratus has been nothing but problems.
 
  #3  
Old 11-03-07, 06:55 PM
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What I hope didn't happen, is the gear-like device on the crankshaft itself that the sensor reads (or I guess senses) wasn't put on incorrectly, do you know if that is possible?
 
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Old 11-04-07, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by SuzanneB View Post
It starts (very difficult) but cylinders 2,3 & 4 are misfiring. #1 plug is clean but the rest have a heavy carbon residue & are gas soaked.
This is interesting.

Have you done a compression check?
 
  #5  
Old 11-04-07, 09:12 AM
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Have 170 psi in all four across the board. Interesting is not the word I've been using, any and all help would be appreciated. This one really has us stumped, we're going to get one of those all purpose sensor testers as opposed to replacing them all one by one.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 11:10 AM
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Is this an interference or non-interference engine? The former ones valves can get bent if the timing belt breaks.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 11:16 AM
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Interference, I think, the head was taken into the shop and reworked, they said there were bent valves. The crank was replaced as well as all four pistons with rings and bearings.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 11:28 AM
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Remind me never to buy that engine! This must have cost a fortune.

Now back to your problem. You have 3 really bad plugs that always are like that and one good one where the good one stays good? This is what I am curious about, as to why that is.

Can you describe what this engine runs like through the various ranges, starting with idle? Any backfiring?
 
  #9  
Old 11-04-07, 11:56 AM
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No backfire, but extremely hard to start, you have to hold pedal to floor. It will not idle, as soon as you let up from the pedal just a little, it dies. Plugs are new and wires are about a year old, just for fun I put the old wires in this morning, no changes.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 01:02 PM
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What does it do while pressing on the gas pedal to keep it going? Does it misfire the whole while? Does black smoke come out the tailpipe?
 
  #11  
Old 11-04-07, 01:17 PM
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Not black, whitish-blue...can smell gas fumes front and back. It takes a lot of cranking to finally get it going, then the tach goes from 750-1500 rather erractically. The tach is jumping a lot more than the engine is surging.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 02:19 PM
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interesting problem

I had the same problem with my 350 chev,ended up taking it to the dealer only to find out my temperature sencer for the computor went and was putting out a signal reading -25 deg. This gave me the same simp.as yours.There are two sencers,one is for the gage and the other for the computor....Good luck RICK
 
  #13  
Old 11-04-07, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for the tip...any clue where I may find it or what Dodge may call it. Just went thru the handy-dandy Haynes Manual and all I can find is the "Intake Air Temp" sensor & "Engine Coolant Temp" sensor.
 
  #14  
Old 11-04-07, 07:09 PM
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I dont think your engine has a tone wheel on the crankshaft. The tone wheel is actually part of the flywheel. I doubt you had a cracked flywheel because I dont think you would have missed that when you put it all back together.
It sounds like you have a timing issue.
It could be in the cylinder head. Was it rebuilt or replaced.
Until all of the parameters are set, you will not get readings from alot of the sensors. I would not confuse this as a symptom.
How are the timing marks aligned? The cams have to be aligned a certain way, There are marks indicating up for a 2.4L. The arrows point up and the notches on the cam gears go in the middle across from one another. It only takes two teeth to cause problems. The diagnostics wants you to use a labscope to determine the cam and crank sensors are functioning properly. If you have a scan tool with the ability to monitor data then I would watch the cam and crank sensors and see what they are showing. It is also possible that the crank sensor was damaged when the engine was re-installed. Remove the sensor and inspect the end for damage. You will need a new blotter to reinstall the sensor. It is a small green paper disk that sticks to the sensor and it will come off when the engine is started.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy
 

Last edited by billys68ss; 11-05-07 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 11-05-07, 05:35 AM
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fyi: the 2.4 is a noninterference engine.
 
  #16  
Old 11-05-07, 09:38 AM
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Actually... the 2.4L engine is non-interference to a point. If say you were driving 65+mph down the hughway when the timing belt broke, depending in the location of the valve timing at the time the belt broke, the valves can come into contact with each other, but will never come into contact with the piston, unless of course something actually breaks.
Billy
 
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Old 11-05-07, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SuzanneB View Post
Not black, whitish-blue...can smell gas fumes front and back.
I have a question for anyone in the know: Are newer cars with catalytic converters and all the other stuff they didn't have on cars years ago, a cause why a car that is not running right, and perhaps is not burning FUEL (not oil) properly, that it will billow out whitish-blue smoke as opposed to black smoke? I always thought the blue-white smoke meant it was burning oil, and I have seen this with other vehicles with misfires at idle and have started to wonder if the catalytic converter makes some change as to cause it to billow the blue-white smoke rather than black smoke (the way old cars with carbs with a stuck choke used to cause black smoke to come out the exhaust.
 
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Old 11-05-07, 04:08 PM
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A bad cat on a newer vehicle like this is almost guarenteed to throw a emissions trouble code.
 
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Old 11-05-07, 04:39 PM
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I did not mean if the cat were bad. I meant that if by a cat's nature, that somehow it converts what one would think should be black smoke from unburned fuel to become whitish-blue instead. My own car has done this and I suspected oil, but am not sure as it does this when misfiring at idle sometimes.
 
  #20  
Old 11-05-07, 05:58 PM
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Crankshaft was replaced with a brand new one, cylinderhead was sent to a shop and re-worked. The cams were re-worked as they had bad spots on the lobes and "bearing" areas.
The timing marks on both cam sprockets are dead on, we've checked more than once, and #1 is at TDC. The diagram provided is exactly what we have.
We just ran the engine for about 1-2 minutes. #1 plug was not too bad, but 2, 3, & 4 were black as the ace of spades. I'm also now getting code P0132 (O2 Sensor circuit high volts bank 1 sensor 1).
 
  #21  
Old 11-05-07, 06:23 PM
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Did you do all this tear down/reassembly work yourself? Regardless of who did it, a lot had to come off the engine I suppose. Have you also done a vacuum check? And you are certain every vacuum tube and wire to every sensor and emmission control device is hooked back up?

You said you did a compression check. If that is in order also, maybe your engine assembly is fine and something got dirty or damaged or ?, that regulates the fuel delivery through the entire speed and temperature range (too rich, obviously).

Sounds symptomatic of a bad regulator. I had that were my 4-banger 'loaded up' all the plugs with black soot and it was the regulator. It also had no power with the bad one.
 
  #22  
Old 11-06-07, 02:05 PM
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Not to worry, my siginificant-other was the brains behind this operation, I was simply the glorified go-fer. Everything, as far as we can tell, is back together, no leftover screws, bolts or wires.

What regulator are you refering to?

Could the computer have taken a dump since the battery was disconnected for so long?
 
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Old 11-06-07, 02:53 PM
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Fuel pressure regulator.

I suppose the computer could always give out, but disconnecting the battery should not make a vehicle not hardly run, like yours. Computers today, from my understanding, can even learn things as the car is run and makes adjustments. But never heard of one simply not working from having battery disconnected too long. People unhook the battery to intentionally erase old codes from computers.
 
  #24  
Old 11-06-07, 04:23 PM
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Even for a month?
 
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Old 11-06-07, 05:13 PM
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I'm not sure. It sounds illogical though, how this could be it. You'd think if that were the case, anyone selling computers for cars would have to have them all programed and hooked to batteries instead of just having the part on a parts shelf.

Anyone else?
 
  #26  
Old 11-07-07, 05:31 PM
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I can see your point...I know I'm grasping at straws. I have read where the computer has seemingly gone bad for little or no reason.

We're going to get a fuel pressure guage and check that out next. I don't know what's costing more, the parts or the testers.
 
  #27  
Old 11-07-07, 06:12 PM
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Just a thought, have you pressure tested your cooling system? A bad or improper head gasket seal, could be allowing coolant in to the cylinder, or cylinders and causing the smoking symptoms also. Rad shops also have some dye they can add to your coolant & shine a black light at your exhaust, and look for traces of coolant.
 
  #28  
Old 11-07-07, 07:32 PM
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If the head gasket is leaking into the cylinder(s), would I get even compression across the board?

It just passed the fuel pressure check...book says 53 - 63, I have 57.

Anyone have a match handy?
 
  #29  
Old 11-07-07, 08:04 PM
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It doesn't have to fail the fuel pressure test to have a bad regulator. A torn diaghram in the regulator would allow unmetered fuel into the engine. If you pull the vacuum line off the regulator does fuel run out when you turn the key on?

The cams were re-worked as they had bad spots on the lobes and "bearing" areas.


I've never been to a machine shop willing to do this kind of work. There is a special hardening required on the lobes to be able to stand up to the spring tension and heat produced.

Do you have access to a scan tool that will give you live data? The more info. you can provide the better.
 
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Old 11-07-07, 08:49 PM
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I've been a mechanic for over 20 years and I have never heard of reworking a stock camshaft. There are exceptions if you are talking about a performance camshaft, but for an oe part its either good or not. The cams should have been replaced if there were problems with them. It may be part of your problem.
Computers do go bad from time to time, but I kinda doubt that yours did that simply from sitting with the battery disconnected.
You may or may not get a normal compression reading with a bad head gasket, it just depends on to what extent the head gasket is bad. It is possible however that it was installed incorrectly.
I would take a step back and look over everything that you have touched. Go over all electrical connectors, vacuum lines, and anything that attaches to the engine. Make sure that everything is properly connected and routed correctly.
The fuel pressure regulator on this vehicle is in the fuel tank and is a non serviceable part of the fuel pump module.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy
 
  #31  
Old 11-08-07, 03:02 AM
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would double check injector pulse and spark on the affected cylinders for a starting point, install a noid light on each injector to make sure it is pulsing.
with a fuel pressure guage hooked up does the pressure hold steady when the key is shut off or does pressure drop quickly when the key is shut off?
 
  #32  
Old 11-08-07, 05:46 PM
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those cam gears are also used on the 2.0 engine BUT the MARKS ARE ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE .... make SURE you put the cam gears back on the right way!!! Also check the fuel pressure regulator sounds like the engine is flooding if you have to hold it to the floor cause this gives more air!!
 
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