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Code E041 Cam Sensor Circuit 3800 Vin C 1989 E series question


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I seem to be having a little difficulty with a Code E041 issue. When I follow the ECM Trouble Code Diagnosis chart for E041, at Step 2, measuring the voltage between harness connector Pins A-B and B-C, both values should be between 8 - 10 volts. Has anybody else run into a voltage slightly over 10 volts on the B-C pair? This should be from the Ignition Module 10 volt supply. I swapped to another Ignition Module and still get a value slightly over 10 volts there. I have actually tried different Cam Sensors, Different Ignition Modules, and a Different ECM. I have visually confirmed the presence of the Cam Magnet, and still seem to a steady Service Engine Light and still have a Code E041.

The chart instructions say what to do with a low voltage there, but don't have any instructions for a high voltage there. I think the battery is a little bit weak, possibly resulting an the alternator putting out a little bit of extra current. Is there any chance that the voltage value there being over the expected 10 volts is causing the Code? Has anybody ever run into this issue before?

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Matt, I guess this will add to your confusion. I just went out and checked the voltages on the cam sensor connector on my '88 model. It has been upgraded to the Delco system. On pins A-B the voltage was 6.63 volts. B-C was 10.54 volts. I don't have a code E041. I'm a little concerned that my A-B voltage is so low.

I don't think the high voltage reading you are getting is setting the code 41. Is it possible the magnet is gone and what you are seeing is the plastic holder it is mounted in? The first and easiest thing to do is try a new sensor if you are certain the magnet is good.

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TexasJohn55,

I was thinking something like that might be worth trying. I will try that tomorrow and see what happens.

Ronnie,

The voltage at BC5 varies but it is around 11.5 volts instead of 10.5 volts.

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If the voltage is fluctuating one would think the cam magnet would be good and triggering the sensor. You could have a bad ECM but I would make certain the magnet is good before buying one. I can't explain why the voltage from the ICM is so high..

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That magnet looks dirty and possibly damaged. You need to clean it off and verify all 4 magnet rods are present in plastic holder before proceeding with more tests.

If pieces of metal are covering up the magnets, and you don't have at least 3 of the 4 code will set.

post-55241-143142398665_thumb.jpg

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This makes me ponder the question if a dirty magnet is the root cause of my finding E041 History occasionally. I never find it as Current but it periodically shows up as History.

That magnet looks dirty and possibly damaged. You need to clean it off and verify all 4 magnet rods are present in plastic holder before proceeding with more tests.

If pieces of metal are covering up the magnets, and you don't have at least 3 of the 4 code will set.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]235525[/ATTACH]

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Quite possibly. If interrupter is installed backwards it won't work either. Need to follow Padgett's instructions on preparation. May not want a glob of JB Weld on top either since it has metal in it. Not sure if it is ferrous or not, but why take a chance. I use hi-temp silicone to install them now.

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I think that Mc_Reatta probably provided the key missing piece of the puzzle. In all of my previous reading, I had always seen references to the "Cam Magnet". I did not realize the Interrupter assembly had 4 separate magnets. In a cursory glance, the "Cam Magnet" appeared to be there. I looked closely this morning and I think that two of the four magnets were missing. It is hard to tell for sure, because I broke it all up removing it this morning. I now have a new Interrupter (with all four magnets) installed. After 24 hours of JB Weld cure time, I will know for sure if it is fixed.

Assuming the Interrupter was the problem, the good news is I now have plenty of good spare parts. The bad news is that I could have saved the money for the spare parts. The funny thing is the Interrupter that appears to be the problem was the cheapest part that I bought. I guess that with 2 of the magnets missing it set the code, but still varied the voltage when testing at BC5. That certainly made it confusing when trying to troubleshoot it.

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As mine is all factory original, this is not an installation issue, but it could well be either one missing magnet or metal shavings accumulating. I only see E041 occasionally in History, never in Current, so it is very intermittent. I am just going to keep an eye on it for the moment. Good tip on using high temp silicone to install the new magnet...will keep that one for further reference

David T

Quite possibly. If interrupter is installed backwards it won't work either. Need to follow Padgett's instructions on preparation. May not want a glob of JB Weld on top either since it has metal in it. Not sure if it is ferrous or not, but why take a chance. I use hi-temp silicone to install them now.
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a E041 question (or two): 3 times in the last 6 weeks, i've had the "electrical problem" pop up on the Instrument Panel and the CRT. i hit the return button and the check engine light goes out after around 15 seconds. when i check the codes, it will show E041H. i clear it, and all is well for a couple of weeks...

does hitting the return button/and or the check engine light going out makes the code go to history?

there's no difference in running or mpg, etc. when this happens.

i've also rec'd a B122 and B123 code - showing as history (but not showing as a "problem") - each time i've checked after the elect. problem display for E041, and twice in between. (headlight switch?)...

in reading the FSM, i can't see where these may be related. i'm not a vehicle electronics/computer expert - i'd rather work on my '51 Studebaker 6 volt positive ground, thank you!:) - but i can read/understand most electronic issues and have made repairs when necessary.

so, what am i missing?:o

Edited by Corvanti (see edit history)
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Short answer, hitting the return button on the CRT when an electrical problem message appears only clears the screen. As long as the check engine light is illuminated, the code is CURRENT. When a code is set and later the condition clears itself, the code is moved to history (i.e. intermittent). The fact that the check engine light clears after a 15 seconds says that the situation is intermittent. The BCM122&123 codes are extraneous to the E041 code.

In my case the E041 condition is SO short in duration that I never get the check engine light OR the CRT warning screen, but I find E041 setting in History periodically, but not routinely. I suspect that both of us are experiencing the same thing but to different levels of severity and the issue is likely a failing cam sensor interrupter (magnet). Even with a failed cam sensor circuit (sensor or magnet/interrupter) the car will start (may take several tries as there are syncing points that the cam sensor would normally provide that will be missing and the ECM simply chooses one at random to determine the timing for the fuel injection system.

David T

a E041 question (or two): 3 times in the last 6 weeks, i've had the "electrical problem" pop up on the Instrument Panel and the CRT. i hit the return button and the check engine light goes out after around 15 seconds. when i check the codes, it will show E041H. i clear it, and all is well for a couple of weeks...

does hitting the return button/and or the check engine light going out makes the code go to history?

there's no difference in running or mpg, etc. when this happens.

i've also rec'd a B122 and B123 code - showing as history (but not showing as a "problem") - each time i've checked after the elect. problem display for E041, and twice in between. (headlight switch?)...

in reading the FSM, i can't see where these may be related. i'm not a vehicle electronics/computer expert - i'd rather work on my '51 Studebaker 6 volt positive ground, thank you!:) - but i can read/understand most electronic issues and have made repairs when necessary.

so, what am i missing?:o

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I've not heard of the engine being hard to start due to a code 41 but it could happen. As info from the FSM... The ECM initially gives a primer shot of fuel to start the engine. That should be enough fuel to get the engine to fire even with a bad cam sensor. The injector pulses begin after two revolutions of the crankshaft. Usually the engine starts before two revolutions are completed. The engine in my car always has. After two revolutions, if the cam sensor signal is present the injectors open in relation to the camshaft position, otherwise the injectors are opened randomly.

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With SFI it almost does not matter when the pulse takes place. The old Rochester injection was constant flow: it sprayed on the valve all of the time and the pressure varied. This meant it had to use very small lines to improve response. The system was purely mechanical.

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I'd first start by pulling the sensor and checking the interrupter. If it is clean and all 4 magnet rods are present, then I would suspect a poor connection somewhere or a bad ground. Check sensor connector, ICM connector and ECM connectors. Grounds are thru ICM baseplate and ECM ground is in engine compartment. Ronnie has instructions for cleaning them. Worst case would be the ECM is going, but that would be doubtful.

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Corvanti,

If you end up needing an ECM and since you are local to me, I will be happy to make you a good deal on one in excellent condition, since I just bought one that I did not actually need.

Now, to complete the story on my E041 code... After waiting for the JB Weld to cure, I was surprised to see that I still had the same E041 code. I rechecked every voltage, still getting similar numbers as before. Everything still checked out as it should but I still felt that somehow I was not getting a good connection between the cam interrupter and the ignition module on circuit 633. When I checked it with the meter, it was fine, but it just did not make sense that I still had the error code. I looked very closely at the cam interrupter connector and noticed that the A pin contacts in the Cam Sensor Connector looked a little wider than the B and C contacts. I took a small screwdriver and bent the contacts inward a slight amount. I plugged the Cam Sensor Connector back in and fired it up and the Error Code was gone.

So, the lesson here is that it is the stupid small things that make a difference. While I did not really enjoy all of this work, I am happy to know that all of the ignition system is now in good condition and should give me many years of service. I have learned a lot more about this car than I knew before and I am now quite confident to drive it anywhere I want to go, which was the reason that I bought it anyway.

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Corvanti, If you end up needing an ECM and since you are local to me, I will be happy to make you a good deal on one in excellent condition, since I just bought one that I did not actually need..... So, the lesson here is that it is the stupid small things that make a difference.....

thanks Matthew:cool:, i'll let you know if i need a ECM. i hope my E041 problem is similar to yours - a bad electrical connection. i always try the "cheap, fast and easy" fixes first!:P no codes have shown up on some local driving in the past few days.

it might be a week or so 'til i get back to the Reatta. my daughter drove down from Raleigh yesterday to "turn in" her '05 Caddy CTS i bought for her high school graduation (Ashley) in '09, plus a decent car to drive during her 4 years at UNC-Chapel Hill. she did maintain it, but still has some mechanical "issues".:(

going more off-topic, is the Saturday morning car show at the mall starting back this year? i had some health issues pop up last spring/summer. PM me if you get a chance...

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TexasJohn55,

No, the voltages were still like they were originally. I can't explain why they all seem to be close, but a little "out of range", by the book but it runs great and no codes, so I am going to just drive it.

Corvanti,

The Cape Fear Chapter's Annual Spring meet will be on March 8th this year. Here is a link to the registration form if you or anyone else in the area who wants to pre-register and save $5 off of the day of show registration:

http://www.ncregionaaca.com/capefear/docs/2014%20Car%20Show%20Registration%20Form.pdf

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  • 1 year later...

I got this code on my 1990 Reatta with about 100,000 miles on it. I decided to replace the timing chain and associated parts and also the water pump. When I went to order parts, Rock Auto lists two camshaft gears, one with three bolt holes and one with one bolt hole. Does anyone know which one is used on the Reatta? I'd like to know before I send in my order.

 

Thanks

 

Ed

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  • 3 years later...

Just last week I replaced the magnet in my wife's Reatta. I have done the JB weld method several times and worked good every time. ( read Padgetts link above this post )

Auto Zone sells new ones for about $ 12 and that is where I got my most recent one.

Their part number is wells SU151

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  • 10 months later...

I had a real bad Miss when it was under a load idling was fine I was coming up with and E 041 code. I replace the cam positioning sensor did not fix the problem. I took the sensor back off turn the flywheel around until I found where the magnet was supposed to be was not there just plastic pieces. I removed all the plastic pieces very thoroughly cleaned it with brake cleaner wiped it all out. Got the new magnetic interrupter took a orbital sander held it in my hand and took the Top Hat part of the interrupter off so that it was perfectly cylindrical. Mixed to JB Weld placed the J-B Weld all around on the back side and all around the sides being careful not to get it on the top where the magnets are actually located but up till about three-quarters of the cylinder. I use the quarter inch Drive extension which attached to the magnet put the J-B Weld all around and then with the mirror and a light placed it in the hole I'll let it dry and that should do it.20190716_094844.thumb.jpg.8f141fc5ead9587891d16e70c0b31503.jpg

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Never had one fail on over 300,000 collective miles on the 3 Reattas I drive [The Red,Black, and 'vert]. The Red was pretty much gone but still worked [replaced the sensor], but I swapped in a different [rebuilt] engine and am running good.

 However I am glad this solution was developed as it is really a great time/money saver.  

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