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Tom_
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My '89 started intermittently showing the E041 and turning on the SES light about 4 or 5 months ago. It got more frequent in the past 2 months and from about three weeks ago the SES is on all the time from the time I start the car. After reading up a little I figured it was a cam position sensor and interrupter since the light was constant. I finally got time to dig into it a little and snapped a few pictures.

First I found that the pigtail looked good.

http://i.imgur.com/mvEfhJb.jpg

I jiggled the wires a little and none of them seemed loose or damaged.

Then I took out the sensor and turned the motor until I saw the interrupter and it was somehow still there.

http://i.imgur.com/Wib06el.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/2032rMb.jpg

Does this thing look functional or do I need to invest the time and effort into digging it out of there and doing the JB weld fix to put in a new one? The vehicle has 120,000 miles if that helps at all.

I also found this broken sensor/plug thing down there and I think I found where it plugs. I would really appreciate any input on what it is/what a part number for a new one is.

http://i.imgur.com/zyi812o.png

http://i.imgur.com/EKeGpFb.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/1dWn2Kf.png

Thanks in advance for your help guys!

-Tom

Edited by Tom_
'89 not 81' :P (see edit history)
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I also wanted to ask how gentle I should be in removing the interrupter and if I should collect all the pieces. Would it be awful if I just chipped away at it and pulled out what I could with needlenose pliers and let the rest go wherever it may? Or should I make sure every single piece comes out?

-Tom

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Tom,

As most of us that have been impacted by E041 have found little to nothing left of the interrupter magnet assembly, that would seem to indicate that if pieces are NOT recovered during the removal of anything left, it should not be of much concern. When I replaced mine a few months ago, I found part of the plastic housing intact, but NONE of the small magnets. But I have to say that based on your pics, the interrupter LOOKS to be intact. Regardless, it IS 25+ years old and they have a LONG history of failing as the plastic deteriorates from the heat and oil exposure. When I replaced mine, I did both the interrupter and the associated sensor as neither was all that expensive. Before you actually replace it, you could try removing all those metal particles clinging to the interrupter as well as any sludge, but given the age and the history of these interrupters, you will likely be back in the not too distant future replacing it.

David T

David T

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At this point, I'll probably take a punch and a small hammer and just knock it out of the hole. I could either clean it, put the sensor, water pump pulley, and belt back on and see if it works and potentially have to pull it all back apart and punch it out anyway, or I could just punch it out and jb weld a new one in.

I went out there and pushed and wiggled the magnet with my finger and it wasn't loose or falling apart, at least it didn't feel that way. Could the connector I found broken be the cause or is it unrelated entirely? At any rate I don't want to rip out a perfectly good interrupter unless I 100% have too. It's my daily driver and I don't know how long Padgett's jb weld technique will last for me.

Edited by Tom_ (see edit history)
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Guest Mc_Reatta

Then take some degreaser and a rag and clean off the end of that interrupter and the sensor. It looks like the upper two magnets are still there but you can't see them thru all the gunk. Take another photo and see if you really have to replace it or not.

Only sensor in that area that has a single wire connectorI can think of is the knock sensor. Take a photo of that to see if that's what it is while your at it.

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Well I got out there today and cleaned up the magnet as best I could with a rag, some engine degreaser and my sausage fingers and it looked a little better but still not new. I put the mounting bolt for the cam sensor head first on the magnet and it held it straight out. Then I put another little bolt head first on the end of that bolt and it was held straight out.

I assumed my magnet was good. So I put on a new cam sensor and cleaned the plug on the pig tail and connected it. Got everything put back on and cranked it up and no error code! I let it idle for about 4-5 minutes and the code came back up and wouldn't leave. When I get bac to the house I'll put up some pictures but I'm thinking that fiddling with the magnet may have been enough to get it to break off but who knows. Tomorrow I'll take the sensor back off and look in there to see. In the meantime, what are the other things that can throw that code?

Edited by Tom_ (see edit history)
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Other than an intermittent connection, the sensor and/or the magnet are the only things that can throw that code. When the interrupter on my '89 was in the process of failing, it would come and go. I could go days without it setting, but toward its final demise, it was setting the code E041 more and more routinely until finally, it set immediately on starting every time.

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Well I drove the car about 300 miles this week and noticed that when the car is cold (when the temp gage is at the bottom not moving) the code doesn't set. However, when it gets to operating temps (170F-190F) the code will set intermittently three or four times before staying on until I shut the car off. If I start the car before it cools completely the code is still set. The plot thickens. Replacing the magnet over the weekend and doing some other routine things under the hood while waiting for the jb weld to dry. I need to get this headache sorted so I can move on to the abs light headache.... Will post results(hopefully good) when I get the work done. Thanks for your help so far gentlemen.

Tom

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I never had an 89, does it have the long harness like an 88 or the stub harness like a 90 ? If the stub check the connector near the knock sensor.

Is the SES now coming on as soon as you turn the key on or a few seconds later ?

ps the one I did with JB in 2001 is still fine.

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It has the three wires going to the plug coming out of a piece of loom that branches into the knock sensor plug, the cam sensor plug and the oil pressure sensor. All three have several inches of wire between the loom and connector. I glanced over the exposed portion of the cam sensor wires and saw no cracking or missing/melted insulation.

The ses light comes on as soon as I turn on the key pretty much every time since whenever I turn it off its been warmed all the way and the code has set. If I turn it on when it's cold, the light comes on immediately and then after running for a second or two it turns off.

Edited by Tom_ (see edit history)
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