Craig_Murphy

Looking for a Computer

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Hello, I have not been on this forum for several years. 

I have a 1989 Chrysler Tc 2.2L Turbo with a three speed automatic transmission. 

I sold my TC and it came back ruined (head gasket).  I had the head replaced, twice.  Now they are telling me that I need a new computer.  Does anyone know where I might be able to locate a replacement computer?

 

Thanks in advance for your time and help.  Craig Murphy

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How do they know the computer is bad? While not totally unheard of, it's not common for the SMEC's to go bad. The most typical failure is the voltage regulator, which isn't "needed" per se...

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They scanned the vehicle and they said the temperature sensor is registering 274 degrees as soon as they start the car.  They have replace the sensor twice.  They tell me they have checked all the wires and they believe it is the computer.  Craig

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1989 TC

 

have 5233904 SBEC  this is the one under the hood (5233258  is stamped on the part)

 

came off a running car so I know it is a good unit

 

 

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On 12/5/2017 at 12:37 PM, Craig_Murphy said:

They scanned the vehicle and they said the temperature sensor is registering 274 degrees as soon as they start the car.  They have replace the sensor twice.  They tell me they have checked all the wires and they believe it is the computer.  Craig

There were some 1989 computers (SMECs) that would not read on any diagnostic tester except the ones at the Chrysler dealers. Those anonymous readings mean nothing. As long as the engine runs OK you have no problem. Should you have a problem with any engine electrical component, the codes you can read on the dash or on the tester will still be accurate, the readings on the live readout will not be accurate.

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I'm guessing someone that recently graduated and works for a dealer told you this?  Post up where you live and someone can give you the name of a mechanic that knows these cars.

If you go to turbododge.com there is a mechanic on there that will send you the info to check the voltage on the temp gauge.  He will actually post the page with the directions. 

He goes by NAJ.  Good guy.  When you figure out what was wrong, take the page to the mechanic you used.

 

 

Edited by Bill Reichert (see edit history)

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The problem is that the car is running poorly.  Also hard to start.  The mechanic says this has to be fixed because the computer thinks the temperature is too high.  They replaced the head and the car still overheated.  We had to replace the head a second time and that is when we started encountering all of these issues.  Craig Murphy

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Any chance your mechanic put a new water  pump in with either head swap?  Like some of the other responders here I'm not super confident in your mechanic.  ANy mechanic can get a bad out-of-the-box part so a second shot at an issue is reasonable but a third and a fourth try doesn't pencil out in my book...

 

 

AJ

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Did they pressure check the first head after it was removed?

 

I agree...sounds like they are throwing parts at it.

 

Does the fan come on as soon as you start the car?

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The first head was definitely cracked.  They showed me the head.  The first head had less than 50 miles on it when the car overheated.  I never saw the gauge get hot.  In fact after they installed the second head, they installed another temperature gauge just under the dash.  It reads very different than the original gauge.  That is why they started to replace temperature sensors.  Craig Murphy

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On 12/5/2017 at 12:18 PM, Craig_Murphy said:

Hello, I have not been on this forum for several years. 

I have a 1989 Chrysler Tc 2.2L Turbo with a three speed automatic transmission.  Now they are telling me that I need a new computer.  Does anyone know where I might be able to locate a replacement computer?

They scanned the vehicle and they said the temperature sensor is registering 274 degrees as soon as they start the car.  They have replace the sensor twice.  They tell me they have checked all the wires and they believe it is the computer. The problem is that the car is running poorly.  Also hard to start.  The mechanic says this has to be fixed because the computer thinks the temperature is too high.  They replaced the head and the car still overheated.  We had to replace the head a second time and that is when we started encountering all of these issues.  Craig Murphy

Thanks in advance for your time and help.  Craig Murphy

Well Craig, you began with a question about the computer. I wonder, do you do any mechanical engine work on your car whatsoever or do you depend 100% on others to do the work? Bill Reichert asked you where you live, just a city and state will do,  so that someone knowledgeable could possibly assist you. We have not seen your answer to that question. It is difficult for anyone here to help you unless you supply us some better information to work with.

I wonder if you read what I answered above. You likely do not need to replace the computer. A hard to start condition and running poorly can be due to improper ignition timing, even camshaft timing. Also poor fuel delivery due to a weak fuel pump. There could also be other causes. If the engine is running and still overheating, this could be caused by the fact that the cooling system has not been properly vented (received of trapped air) which will prevent proper coolant circulation. This is very common even after a thermostat replacement.

As for the head gasket / head replacement, I feel that the people working on your car ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOU or are incompetent!

I have read the replies you wrote to others here, but in this day and  age most people are concerned about being 'Politically Correct' which for an old guy like me is silly.

Let us focus on the problem which confronts you at this time.

You say that you have had 2 heads installed, also 2 water pumps. I hope you are not shelling out money for each of these operations.

Feel free to PM me by clicking on 'MESSAGES'  at the top right off this page. 

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12 minutes ago, Craig_Murphy said:

The first head was definitely cracked.  They showed me the head.  The first head had less than 50 miles on it when the car overheated.  I never saw the gauge get hot.  In fact after they installed the second head, they installed another temperature gauge just under the dash.  It reads very different than the original gauge.  That is why they started to replace temperature sensors.  Craig Murphy

OK, you said that the head was definitely cracked, they showed you.  Well, you did not tell us WHERE the head was cracked. These heads have a tendency to have small cracks between the intake and exhaust valve seats which has no detrimental effect on the engine running or on the cooling system. 

Would you say that you took your car on a drive some (fifty) 50 miles and then the engine overheated? Or was this over a period of time that the 50 miles were accumulated?

How far from your "mechanic's" shop do you live?  Yes, we really need to know those small things in order to evaluate your problem. 

I just had a call from a TC member in Minnesota who has had what seems to be YEARS of engine problems with his TC, largely due to the fact that there is NO-ONE who cares to do a good job repairing his engine. 

He has had head gasket after head gasket replaced just to have another failure. Finding a good mechanic these days is virtually IMPOSSIBLE.

So Craig, share with us the small seemingly insignificant points, so if you want us to be better able to advise you, we can. Personally, I feel you are in the same place this guy in Minnesota finds himself.

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Mr. Hemi-Dude; sorry if I was being so vague or was giving so much incomplete information.  I live in New Braunfels, Texas, which is about 30 miles north of San Antonio.  I bought the car several years ago.  I was going to fix it up and kind of drive it around, but decided to sell it after about a year or two.  I have a used car dealers license and I sold it to a customer, who ran it into the ground.  One day he just left it in the driveway after missing 3 or 4 payments.

I also own a specialty garage, called Garland Transmissions.  We got a little slow earlier this year and I got this car out of the weeds in the back and this mechanic, Robert Fell, more than 25 years experience.  Determined that it needed a head.  I ordered a new head, water pump, gaskets, etc.  When he first completed the job, the car seemed to run pretty good but not as good as before.  I had a local shop replace the exhaust and before I sold the car, it was surprisingly peppy.

 

The 50 miles was an approximation, I believe it was probably much less than that.  For whatever reason I was not driving it much at all after Robert replaced the head.  And then Robert left to work for another garage.  After he left I drove the car to bank and go no more than 6 or 7 miles from the shop and I could tell it was running very poorly, no power, would not accelerate, missing, etc.  I took the exit to the bank, the gauges looked good, but while waiting for the light to change the engine died and would not restart.  I still never smelled coolant or hot engine.  I had the car towed back and we just parked the car for a month or so. 

 

We got slow, another mechanic, Rick, who also has more than 25 years experience, told me the new head was leaking or cracked.  We were not sure if we got the right head gaskets or what.  When Rick pulled the new head he showed me some very small cracks on the edge of the valves.  He said that for some reason the engine got hot.  He said we might not have had enough coolant originally or that Robert might no have drilled a hole in the thermostat when he replaced, thereby creating an air pocket that prevented the engine from getting completely full of coolant on the first repair.  In other words, we did not know why the engine got hot and the new head cracked.  Minutely, but cracked nonetheless. 

 

We replaced the head again, made sure we had plenty of coolant and noticed that the temperature gauge was not registering correctly.  Would never read even middle of the gauge.  So we replaced a couple of temperature sensors and then the mechanic, Rick, added another gauge below the dash.  The new gauge seems to register the correct temperature of the engine.  But............ the car is really hard to start when cold and does not run well until it gets warm.  We used an old Snap On scanner we have to read OBD 1 codes.  We did have some but Rick said he got rid of them.  He said he does not remember all the codes.  Now Rick said the scanner is reading the temperature at 274 degrees when the engine is cold.  He said he checked all the wiring and ohmed out everything.  He then said he believes that we need a computer.  I have not really had a chance to drive the car much, so part of what I have told you is what I have been told.  The mechanics work for me.  I do have other mechanics, one of which is ASE certified and taught auto mechanics before he came to work for us.  Sorry I did not give you enough detail before.  Craig Murphy

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Hello again Craig, that was a very concise explanation of past events. Now, did my mentioning of the cracks between the valve seats in each combustion chamber of the head give you any enlightenment to the similarity to the originally replaced cylinder head? I do not feel it was necessary as there is generally no coolant entry or combustion pressure lost through these surface cracks

I also have an 89 TC with the same engine. It has somewhere around 285,000 miles on it and I have replaced the head gasket one time, when I bought it in 1995. I have also replaced 2 timing belts, the first time when I did the head gasket and the second one a couple of years ago before taking a cross country trip. That is really all I have done to the engine.

I have converted the car to a 5 speed from the automatic and removed the ABS system. I might add, I have been a Chrysler mechanic since 1959, though also been a dealer service manager and most everything in between. So, I am very familiar with these cars.

The temperature gauge in the TC cars, as a whole, do not do much good as far as accurate temperature readings is concerned. Mine doesn't either. I have had my Snap-On 2500 hooked up and seen where 210 degrees is on the instrument temperature gauge, so I know the point at which the radiator cooling fan comes on.  I know that anything higher than that is above 212 degrees. Here in Arizona the engine temperatures often go beyond that in the summer time. 

 

From here, I can only suggest you or your mechanic verify that the basic ignition timing is at least at +10 degrees BTDC (with the coolant temperature sensor disconnected) and that the camshaft timing in relation to the crank is correct.

 

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Well I have been busy with life as usual.  I have not yet ordered the computer that I found.  Do you think I should order it, or should I go ahead and have the mechanic check the timing and adjust per your suggestion?  Thanks, Craig Murphy,

By the way, my phone number is 830-481-4441 (cell) or work is 830-481-4441.  Just in case you want to call. 

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Well I am still looking for a computer for my TC.  The guy at Arizona Parts is on a very extended vacation.  Does anyone else know of any places where I might be able to locate a computer?  Thanks in advance for your time and help.  Craig Murphy

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