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Old 02-01-2019, 12:13 PM   #11
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Location: Downeast Maine
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We have a 2000 Xplorer on the 3500 chassis (360 CID, same type of mileage) and I once had an intermittent no-start condition caused by the coil wire. It never quit once it was running but was clearly at fault once I started testing. I guess these parts get old and insulation can break down causing issues.

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Old 02-11-2019, 01:33 AM   #12
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hi, just wondering if you were able to come up with a conclusion and a fix to your issues with the van, please let us know when you get a chance,,,

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Old 02-11-2019, 10:11 AM   #13
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Was the wire damaged? Close to the coil, or somewhere else? Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:21 PM   #14
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Hello all, time for a follow-up. We got home a couple of days ago but I didn't get time to report until now because we are into a series of snow storms here that are making things challenging.

So, as I stated earlier, I had replaced the engine shut-down relay and was hoping that would be the end. It was not. we went back to the Oregon coast and wandered as far south as the Avenue of the Giants (redwood forest) and started wandering back north up the Oregon coast. When we were on 101 crossing the high bridge across the harbor In Newport, it suddenly died. Wednesday 1-30-19, 4:00 pm rush hour and we were not very popular. A few minutes sitting and it started up again. I have a friend living in Corvallis so we turned east and tried to get there - 3 miles and it died again. Cool and restart but barely make it back into Newport. Check in at an RV park. Thursday morning find highly rated independent shop who says it seems to be the ECM and he could order one for us from O'Rieleys for a little over $500 for me. He could not install because he said it needed to be 'flashed' and only the dealer could do it. Called the Dodge dealer and they agreed to let me have the van towed to them (this time it wouldn't start even after cooling a while) and I could install the ECM when it arrives and then they would 'flash' it. They even allowed us to camp in the van overnight in their lot - not a recommended camping location, but beggars can't be choosers.

So, long story shortened, the ECM came next morning & I installed. The dealer said if the mileage showed up and it started, then we didn't need to 'flash' it ? Don't understand because several times we were told flashing was necessary? Anyway, it started and mileage was showing correctly so we headed to the auto parts store to return the ECM core and the ABS warning light came on after a block. The guys at the auto parts store said should be no problem but should be flashed when we get home.

Headed out of town and made it about 6 blocks to a stoplight and as we were stopping and strange pulsing/vibration/growl passed thru the van? Don't have any idea what that was but since the ABS light was on I though possibly some strangeness with the ABS? anyway, light changes and we move out. We get up to about 35mph and suddenly have a box full of neutrals and coast to a stop. I found that when first started, I could put into gear and move about 50' or so before going to neutral again, shut off motor, wait a few minutes, restart & put into gear & move 50' or so and repeat. Made it back to dealership. They spent 1 1/2 hrs 'flashing' and still no tranny function. We put the old unit in and still no tranny.

AAMco transmission is 1/2 block from Dealership & we managed to limp there about 3:00 pm Friday afternoon. They agreed to let us camp in their parking lot and they would drop the pan Monday to see what was going on.

Monday they dropped the pan and found lots of metal bits. Estimate for a rebuild was $3500 and 3-4 days or, they could get a fully reman unit from Portland that afternoon and have it installed by Tuesday afternoon for $3800. This was a no brainer and so we got a fully reman tranny installed with a 3 year/50k warranty good anywhere in the country, and they really did have it done and ready about 3:00 Tuesday afternoon. One bonus is Oregon not having sales tax so the bill was an even 3800.

Wednesday morning we headed for home. I had confidence in the tranny but I still have no confidence that replacing the ECM really fixed the engine stopping issue. We had driven over 1200 miles over a week long period of time between failures and just because we made it home hasn't left me with any real comfort.

Hopefully the ECM was the problem with the engine dying. As to the sources of rebuilt ECMs I was looking at the same one that GalenH posted because the feedback seemed good, but subsequent searches suggest maybe they aren't the best???? Anyway, I didn't get to try them or anybody else because of the situation I was in with local shop calling O'Reileys and they seem to be the go-to parts store so that's is what I got.

I hope this helps those who have the Dodge vans.

This, by the way, was definitely the 'Vacation from Hell' for us!!

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Old 02-12-2019, 01:44 AM   #15
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wow, sorry to hear about your issues, I was really hoping it would be something minor, we have all had those trips from hell, for some reason,, it just happens, Im glad to hear you got home safely,,,take care,,,

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