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Thread: DIS, Cam Sensor, Crank Sensor questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    21

    Lightbulb DIS, Cam Sensor, Crank Sensor questions

    Hey guys, here's the deal.

    My 35th was bucking REALLY bad when driving.

    I'd pull the car off the road/highway and the tach would be going nuts, so I'd either shut the car off, or it would eventually just idle horribly with the tach still going nuts while in park, then stall. If I wait a few minutes before starting the car back up usually it will return to normal and I'll be able to drive around normally until it decides to go nuts on me again.

    Usually, the car will turn over and over and over and over, but not start right away, unless I wait for about 5 minutes in which case it'll turn over and fire up like nothing ever happened. In either case, when the car finally starts, I DO NOT have my upshift arrow staying on which I've read would indicate a bad Crank Sensor. Sometimes, after the car starts back up, my tach will not register any RPMs at all until after I've driven it for another 5 minutes or so.

    I replaced my DIS module about 3 weeks ago, and prayed that it would fix the problem. No dice, the car went nuts again on me, while I was on a 300 mile trek from MA to CT and back in a driving rain storm 2 weekends ago.

    So, this leaves me at going to tackle the Cam Sensor. I've read on here that this is a piece of cake job, but I'm wondering if I need any special tools, or greases or sealers or anything like that for when I do this tomorrow.

    Next weekend, I'm bringing the car in for new Plugs and Wires (85,000 miles), but that's another story for another time I guess.

    If anyone here can offer some advice about this I'd appreciate it bigtime because last weekend I seriously considered driving this thing into a pole at 70mph (with seatbelts buckled of course!) because of this garbage.

    Thanks guys,
    -Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    5,742
    Just curious as to why you replaced the DIS to start with? Did you check with anyone here first?

    The cam sensor is a piece of cake. 20 minutes if you take your time. Really isn't much to say, you remove the SC belt, unplug a couple of things to get the wire bundles out of the way, then take the 2 bolts off and put then new one in. Its the black cap thing under the SC snout.

    The only tools you need is a 6 mm socket, extensions, and possibly a torx bit Oh.. and maybe a drill to round off the nub if it has the original sensor and the tamper proof torx screw. Another option is to slot the torx screw with a dremel tool and then use a flat tip screwdriver to remove it.
    One other tool which is a MUST is a handfull of paper towels.. You stuff them under the sensor to catch the bolts which would otherwise fall out, then down and bury themselves deep within the engine compartment never to be found again and thusly ruining your afternoon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    21
    I got the DIS advice here off the board a while back. I think when I originally mentioned the problems I was having, I left it at "The car is bucking really bad". I didn't elaborate too much. Oh well, at least I got the most expensive piece of the trifecta out of the way first.

    Thanks for the advice with the new Cam Sensor install.

    Are there any signs I should look for that would tell me that my Crank Sensor is on it's way out? I DO NOT want to tackle that one, it looks waaaay too involved for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Canton (Atlanta area) GA
    Posts
    1,089

    Lightbulb

    It sounds like a bad cam sensor, but before you invest in one, try putting some heat-sink compound between the newly installed DIS and the mounting surface on the AC compressor bracket. If the DIS gets too warm, it will get flacky. You can get a tube of heat-sink compound at any electronics store (radioshack). Spread a thin layer on the bottom of the DIS and re-install it. If that doesn't fix it, get a new cam sensor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    21
    Larry, thank you for the advice. I already laid some dielectric grease on the bottom of the DIS/on top of the mounting plate. Should I add some heat-sink compound on top of that?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    790

    heatsink compound

    You should remove all of the dielectric grease and use heatsink compound, they have different properties. I generally use a thick even coat of the compound.
    The tach gets it signal through the DIS.
    It still sounds like your cam sensor needs to be replaced because it starts after a few tries. Good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    5,742
    The trifecta.. I like that title. Fits well.

    As for the crank sensor.. yes they do go eventually. The best sign of a bad crank sensor is a no-start with the up-shift light on while cranking the engine. Usually, there is an unexplained engine cutout also.. (e.g. you're driving along and it just cuts off for no reason or it won't start at all, you wait for a while and it starts up just fine.)
    Replacing one is not a lot of fun.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    804
    Lj, Vancouver, TbirdSCFan, and anyone else, could I talk you guys into putting a small piece together about the problems associated with the DIS, cam sensor, and crank sensor and what the symptoms are when they go bad? These cars are older than probably we would like to think and I would like to put a page together about these sensors for the Registry. I can't remember what is what sometimes and just wanted to help 35th's owners that aren't club members when they have problems with this. I didn't know about the shift light coming on with a problem until I read this and a couple of other threads. Your knowledge about this aspect of SC's would be welcomed and appreciated.

    Thank you gentlemen.

    Have a great weekend all.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    504

    Lightbulb

    I HAD A SIMILAR PROBLEM, WITH THE SAME SYMPTOMS. IT TURNED OUT TO BE THE PLUG FOR MY COILS WASN'T PUSHED DOWN ALL THE WAY. GOOD LUCK!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Somerset, Mass.
    Posts
    632
    Had the same problem on my 92, bad wires. I had just bought the car and the dealer replaced cam, crank and DIS sensor. I got sick of it and turn the car back in. He put new wires, finally and the car ran great, but I has already purchased another car.
    Check the simple stuff first.

    Where in MA are you?

    Aaron

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    21
    Thanks to everyone for all the helpful replies.

    Pastera, I'm located in the Lowell area.

    -Steve

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