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Tom_

89 E041 update

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Update on the cam sensor error on my 89.

I got a new cam sensor after checking the wires in the area for shorts and finding none. Test drove it and the code only came up after the car got to operating temperature. The code set and cleared itself intermittently about three times before setting permanently until the car was shut off and cooled all the way down.

This seemed odd to me but since it wasn't fixed I went ahead and did padgett's cam magnet replacement procedure with a brand new cam magnet and let the jb weld set up overnight.

I came out this morning and put the sensor back in place and the belt and water pump pulley put back on, then went to the diagnostic center and cleared any and all codes. Then I started up the car and the SES light came on immediately and stayed on. I checked the code and it was an E041. I immediately shut it down and pulled the sensor to make sure the magnet hadn't just flung off. The new magnet was still there exactly how I left it. I replaced the sensor and went for a drive and the code wouldn't go away even at operating temperature. I went to the parts store and picked up a new sensor just to make sure and it's still throwing the code.

At this point I just need a direcition to go in to find the source. I was sure it was the magnet after changing the sensor helped the issue. Is there a ground that I should clean or something else simple that I missed? Thanks in advance for any and all help

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Is it possible you put the magnet in backwards? The part you ground off should go in first and the factory end should be pointing out toward the sensor.

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I made sure I didn't put it in backwards after reading an old thread here where someone did just that. I took a couple of pictures after I got it in to check that for sure.

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If you look at the 041 page in the service manual, the next page has a complex troubleshooting tree with proper values. That is where you should start.

That said sometimes the connector does not seat properly on the ICM. That can cause an 041.

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Following the flow chart, the voltage between the A and B terminals on the cam sensor connector measured 11.07V, while the voltage between B and C terminals was 4.85V. So I guess the there's a short somewhere in the pigtail or harness. I followed the loom up to where it intersects a larger portion of loom and it passed behind a hose and appeared to be rubbing it. Tomorrow when I have light I'll get out there and peel off the loom to see what I can find.

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Got under the hood today and pulled the loom off from the sensor's connector all the way to where it meets the main harness behind the motor. I found some dried oil and dirt and whatnot but no shorts or broken insulation to speak of really. There was one thin spot that I separated from the rest of the wires and put electrical tape on then plugged it all in to test if that was the issue and I still had the code 41. I made sure all the insulation was there up to the main harness and put the loom back on and plugged everything in and still had the code. As a side note, while I had the loom off and was test starting it after the tape I also had an E043 but that went away when I put it all back in loom and plugged in again.

While I was back there I looked over the main thick piece of loom and saw a worrying amount of duct tape. I think the retaining clips on the back of the motor broke off at some point long ago and the harness fell onto the exhaust manifold and was taped up. I decided it was too big of a job for me today to pull all that tape off and check all the wires but I see myself putting a new engine wiring harness on in the future now which is unfortunate.

Can the plug that plugs into the sensor go bad in any way? I ask because I'm dreading that duct tape and because the connector was brittle and had a lot of grease and oil buildup around the wires where they came out.

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anytime i unplug a connector, i always use a generous amount of spray electrical contact cleaner. the "CRC" brand is available at your FLAPS, Walmart, etc.

i had a intermittent E041 code last year on my Reatta. i thought i was going to have to do the "Padgett Repair" but the contact cleaner on the connector took care of the problem. i've also used this as a first step on several connections - brake pump, MAF, among others.

not saying it will work with your Reatta, but it's worth a try.:)

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That actually kind of makes sense because it was working until I left it off overnight in my carport and then it stopped working entirely.

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Food for thought:

I have an '88-98 with the vin c 3800 that all of a sudden would not start. My daughter had driven it to Waco from Dallas and parked in her driveway. Next morning she called and said it would not start. This car ALWAYS started and was trouble free. So I drove down there to check it.

It spun over fine, fuel pump powered and good fuel pressure and had spark but would not fire. That only left the injection system so I checked all fuses and found one blown, replaced it and blew again. I knew this could take a week to track down so I reached down by the alternator where the main harness crossed over the top of the engine, grabbed the harness and gave it a good pull to lift it off the engine, installed a new fuse and cranked it up. Drove it back to Dallas without even a hiccup.

I drove that car on a 1500 mile round trip the next day and still running fine. I know that I have some bare wires that had rubbed and shorted, I had noticed deteriorated insulation on several wires before, the insulation simply rots and crumbles away. It is my backup driver and someday I will have to fix it. If it fails before I get to it I will just give it another yank!

The point is, it may be a common problem with these engines with old age and alot of miles.

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Thanks for that Mc. I don't recall for sure, may have been 10A #17. I remember checking voltage at injector or a sensor and finding no voltage so I assumed the ECM was not powered and started checking fuses. If that is the case, it could have been any of the injector hot wires or sensor circuits. Maybe not. I am certain from memory that several wires had deteriorated insulation. My owners book does not show fuse usage data and my sticker is gone from the drop down fuse panel cover. TJ55

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Unfortunately contact cleaner didn't do the trick. I have to drive 320 miles or so this weekend so we'll see if it fixes itself and reevaluate it once the trip is over. I'm going to pull on the harness a little bit and see what happens. I have no idea at this point other than pulling the harness to look for all the shorts and that's not really possible at the moment.

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Just a thought, but could the ECM be bad or would there be other symptoms? The light is just coming on as soon as the key is turned like it should, turning off while the starter motor is running, then immediately coming back on when I let off the starter and staying on. Even when I clear the code prior to starting the engine it turns on as soon as I let off the starter. Shouldn't it stay off for two seconds and after two seconds without the cam signal throw the error and turn on the light?

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I would expect a bad ECM to give a 042, cam signal comes to pin J (next to empty pin K so easy to find) on the ICM and this leg sets a 041.

Need to find the BoB I made but would expect about 10v on pin J with key on/engine off and a smaller varying voltage (easiest to see with an O'scope or an analog meter (DVM is unprdictable) with the engine idling.

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