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RWD - Random weird stall, then won't start then will start

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Random weird stall, then won't start then will start 200 1992

1992 240 with 260k. Battery 1 year old and alternator charges. Replaced in-tank fuel pump 1 year ago (needed it). Recently after driving about 5-10 miles it will randomly stop running for less than 1 second several times over the course of a mile or two, then finally die completely, and won't re-start. After sitting awhile (2-10 min) it starts back up and runs great. Replaced the fuel pump relay and the main fuel pump (OK, guilty of throwing parts at it, but it was a fairly easy SWAG). That didn't stop the problem. Checked the OBD and got code 3-1-1 (Vehicle speed signal missing) on #2, #6 is 1-1-1. My wife disagrees with Bentley and reads 3-1-1 as "Give up and get another freekin car already". Before I swallow my pride and admit she's right (gasp)do you guys have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!





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    The 311 is vehicle speed sensor (VSS), not crank sensor (CPS) code. How's your speedo/odo/ABS?

    Anyhow, beginning in '92, the fuel ecu will cut injector signal (cut fuel) on decel with no pedal (TPS in idle mode) after VSS has determined you've been driving on the road. If your VSS is intermittent, as can happen when the wires at the differential-mounted VSS rot away, there's the chance it will stall.

    My experience with the CPS is exactly opposite to porkface's whom I respect -- having had an out-of-box OE sensor failure and decent long-lasting $12 aftermarket units. So it goes.
    --
    Art Benstein near Baltimore

    Eat, drink, and be thoughtful.



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      Thanks everyone for the replies and feedback. Finally got a chance to look into this over the weekend. Sure enough found that rodents had chewed on the wires in at least two places between the connection to the differential and where they disappear into the body, right through the grey sheath and the insulation for both wires. Wrapped the bare wires with electrical tape (separately) and then tucked them into some split plastic conduit and cleared the code. Problem solved? Nope; Started right up and ran like a champ until I got about half way to work, felt a few hesitations, but made it to work ok (18 miles, 1/2 highway). After work started up fine, maybe a few skips on the highway, then about 5 miles from home it died on me as I let up on the gas for a red light. Coasted into a driveway. Cranked fine but no start. Waited about 3-5 minutes and then it restarted fine. Made it the rest of the way home with occasional skips and stutters. Code 3-1-1 is back.
      Speedo/odo/ABS appear to be working ok. CPS was replaced (bougicord) at the 250k timing belt change 10k ago, so doubt that's a problem but will put a spare in just to rule that out. Looks like I'm going to need to check that wire farther up to see if there are more shorts. The Mrs is very consolate but somewhat indulgent.



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        Update - I went ahead and replaced the wire harness to the speed sensor from the connector under the floor board (it's inside a weird plastic little connector box stuck to the underside of the floor board with a gob of black elephant snot) to the speed sensor, soldering in new wires at the connectors which are in good shape. Also removed the speed sensor to check it, but no apparent damage damage. Test drove about 1/2 hour, ran fine, no skips or stalls but got the 3-1-1 code again. Swapped out the instrument cluster for the one in my 93 and reset codes. No codes set on my 18 mile drive to work, but the 3-1-1 code was set again after I got home. Swapped the 92 cluster back in and reset the codes. Yes I'm going to do the CPS next, but wanted to rule out the wiring first and the instrument cluster.



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          The 311 is specific to the VSS, not ignition or CPS.

          Though the usual cure for it is in what you did back of the car with the gray cable, that should have caused trouble with the speedometer and ABS intermittently.

          Rare, but could happen: The Vehicle Speed Signal is conveyed from the instrument cluster round plug #6 to the fuel ECU pin 34 on a blue/black wire. While the wire itself is usually not an issue unless some PO monkeyed with it, it does pass through a connector just to the left of the glove box. Also, the signal might be compromised by corrosion from a windshield leak at that connector or at the ECU itself.
          --
          Art Benstein near Baltimore

          Subj: How To Diaper A Baby

          "Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together.
          Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again." -- Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968



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            Art - thanks for your replies and the info, will check that wire and connector. Yes it's weird I haven't noticed any speedo/odo issues. So the latest is after Monday's post I drove Daisy/Christine Tues and Wed with no issues and no codes. Thurs morn headed to work and 1.5 miles from home she stalled on me as I letup on the gas to round a corner. Pulled over and set the hazard, several cranks but no start attempts. Then I wait about 2-3 min, and it cranked right up, took a deep breath and drove to work, ran fine. Then after work, headed back home, 1.5 miles and stalls again, this time at a red light in the middle of traffic at a super busy intersection. Several cranks, no start. Wait about 2-3 min and she started right up, drove home about 12 miles on the highway at 80, then 6 miles stop and go, no prob. No codes set. Tonight I went ahead and replaced the CPS with a used spare but I doubt that's the issue as you've pointed out. One positive note I was able to do a safety check on everybody's horn behind me while stuck at the intersection and can report they all work very well.



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              "Pulled over and set the hazard, several cranks but no start attempts."

              This symptom cannot be the VSS, so the reason you're getting a 311 is either unrelated, or just part of a general failure at the fuel ecu. A working computer doesn't care about the speed sensor when trying to start the car.

              Next time you stall on the road and it doesn't start immediately, you might try spinning fuse 6. If you're "lucky," you'll burn your finger tip on it, and in doing so will be convinced there's a poor connection right there and you've identified the problem.

              If fuse 6 doesn't seem to be the problem, and you want to tie the issues of the 311 code and the stalling together, I'd suggest having a close look under the glove box. Look carefully at the connector between the cabin harness and the fuel harness. Signs of overheating mean you could lose power to the fuel injection system, then it would cool, and work again.

              Also, disconnect the ecu and look at its plug for signs of oxidation or water. The tin plating on the pins will take on a white powdery appearance if they're getting wet.







              Also give this pictorial a read and see if any of other places power to the fuel system show signs of overheating... http://cleanflametrap.com/emfuse.html
              --
              Art Benstein near Baltimore

              "To do is to be." - Descartes
              "To be is to do." - Sartre
              "Do be do be do." - Sinatra



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                So this mystery has an interesting plot twist.....Monday AM headed to work, car starts to die. Pulled over and checked #6 fuse, hot, replaced it. Started car up and just when I got smug it died on me. Waited 2-3 min, restart, drove to work ok, skips and stutters a few times. So after work I dove under the dash looking for the connectors in your post above. Pulling out the trim I noticed the carpet was soaking wet. Both driver and passenger, front and rear. Pulled up the carpet and removed the insulation, shop vac'ed all the water out of the floor boards, nooks and cranneys (1-2 gal at least). Turned on the garage A/C (it's Florida), set a fan inside the car and let it dry overnight. Also did the rocker panel leaf removal tango. Cleared the car's A/C drain hose, it was plugged with gunk and water gushed out when I removed it for cleaning. I normally check this 2x per year but haven't driven the car much lately, shame on me. Car drove fine the next day, no stall. Let everything dry for a few days and re-assembled the interior. So far no stalling issues. The square cabin to EFI harness junction (located on the passenger side, right side of center console below the dash) looked fine. The ECU looked fine but I did not pull any connectors. I'm going to check for more leaks but I think the plugged A/C drain and soaking wet floor carpets was causing at least part of the problem, not sure exactly how (did not see any connectors on the floor), but maybe the two wire harnesses that run fore and aft were affected by sitting in water. We've had a lot of rain these past few days with humid conditions so I'll re-check for water and leaks, especially up by the ECU. Thanks Art for all the feedback and info.



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                  Several days later - running like a champ, no stalls and staying dry. Put the old CPS back in too. Crazy that happened. I usually check that drain 1-2x a year but looks like it got away from me (oops). Hopefully this thread will be helpful to someone else. Thanks Art for the suggestions, definitely helped with the diagnostic. In retrospect I think the in tank fuel pump, FPR, VSS wire harness fix and #6 fuse replacement where all parts that needed to be replaced, but not sure about the main fuel pump. Maybe Volvo should have put a bilge pump in the floor panels.... Oh well on to the next challenge - window motors....



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                    Bilge pump, yes! Not only for Volvos.

                    Main fuel pumps and window motors are bulletproof. The switches and wiring are not.
                    --
                    Art Benstein near Baltimore

                    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer." (W. C. Fields)



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                      And there's a sequel to this mystery....while working under the dash re-insulating the refrigerant lines to the evap I somehow partially (slightly) disconnected the square white plastic cabin to EFI harness connector (its easy to do). Just barely enough so that it would start, run fine, then give me similar stall out, restart, run, stall, similar as before, all the way to work. Got it running in the parking lot and stuck my head down there trying to figure out "OK now what?"..... Accidently bumped that connector and it stalled out. Bingo! Reseated the connector and the problem went away. Probably a good thing I'm not an aircraft mechanic.....good grief!



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                        Good thing aircraft have better wiring harnesses, I hope. This one is possibly looser than it was new because the contact resistance creates local heat taking temper from the contact, which increases the resistance and thus the heat, and you can see where this will go. Not so easy upside down under the glove box.

                        Just a collection of anecdotes so far, but I've come to think of 1992 as the peak of the years with the engine management intermittent power syndrome I attempt to describe in http://cleanflametrap.com/emfuse.html
                        --
                        Art Benstein near Baltimore

                        “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” -Socrates



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      art-what brand sensor? if you've told me in the past, i forgot. thanks, chuck.



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        Hi Chuck,

        My comment about opposite experience was not so much an attempt to contradict your professional advice with my family fleet experience, as it was a "YMMV."

        I'm pretty sure the crank sensor spec'd by Bosch and provided by Electricfil back in the 80's was pretty hard to make. The design, putting the thing on the top of the clock and running the lead wire straight out was, I think, re-thought in later renditions of the electronic engine management era. I believe it was hard to make because the winding had to be made with very fine wire and still stand up to the forces of encapsulation.

        My guess was in the 90's when these were being built in production quantities the makers got pretty good at it, or figured out how not to throw too many out in final inspection. It helped that car makers like Volvo provided feedback and inspection for their spare parts.

        Now that the things are made in small quantities I believe we are the final inspectors, backed by "money back warranties" instead of the threat of alternate suppliers to an assembly line. Our experiences with brand names amount to a few anecdotes, even when given by pros, because there just aren't enough of them getting tracked from install to failure. Two comebacks will burn you on a brand of practically anything, especially if you can't see the reason it failed.

        Imagine if your customer switched mechanics without giving you feedback. It's human nature, avoiding conflict, so if you've been doing this for any length of time you know it is bound to happen, and happen for reasons out of your control.

        My experiences with the aftermarket CPS are just insignificant snapshots in the scheme of automotive understanding. The "off-brand" was AIP, and Dan Page's experience was, like yours, opposite of mine: https://www.brickboard.com/RWD/volvo/1604824/220/240/260/280/art_b_tell_aip_crank_sensor_experience.html

        Kinda hate to dwell (ouch) on the ignition aspect of this thread without first understanding why the code being reported is on the fuel side.

        --
        Art Benstein near Baltimore

        "If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem." -vwbusman66



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          "My experiences with the aftermarket CPS are just insignificant snapshots in the scheme of automotive understanding. The "off-brand" was AIP, and Dan Page's experience was, like yours, opposite of mine: https://www.brickboard.com/RWD/volvo/1604824/220/240/260/280/art_b_tell_aip_crank_sensor_experience.html"

          I had an AIP CPS fail on me less than a year after I installed it. Although out of warranty AIP was gracious enough to replace it as a good will gesture. The replacement was doing it's job up until the time I junked the car and removed it to live again in another car. They are still available on Amazon for a very reasonable $23.
          https://www.amazon.com/AIP-Electronics-Crankshaft-Compatible-Replacement/dp/B00FSCAQEA/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=aip+volvo+crank+sensor&qid=1554923637&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull
          Dan



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            just curious. seeing as worldpac only has bougicord and amazon is too far away for me, i'll have to settle for this. thanks, chuck.



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              Bottom line is, in my opinion, buy two of whatever brand you get. Or you could buy from the dealer (Bougicord I think, at least it was) and have the same get-out-of-jail-free card IT managers used to have by buying IBM.
              --
              Art Benstein near Baltimore

              In a world without walls or fences who needs windows or gates.



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            My experience with Volvo branded CPS of late is that they are made by Bougicord. I had put a Bougicord in my '90 240 three or four years ago. Last year I started getting intermittent codes for the CPS so I replaced it with one I purchased from Volvo. Inspecting the two, they had identical markings. I don't even remember seeing Volvo on the one I purchased from Volvo (other than the package it came in).



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              Just a note on Bougicord. Bougicord is a trade name belonging to Electricfil, aka EFI Automotive.
              --
              Art Benstein near Baltimore


              “Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.” --- Henry Rosovsky



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      Good to know I’m not alone out there with this problem. Please let us know if you change out the crank pos sensor and if it solves the issue!
      --
      '92 245 74k, '84 245 80k, 79 245 162k rust in peace



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    BAD GROUND? CPS SENSOR WAP IT W ALUM HEAT TAPE



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    crank speed sensor at the top of the bellhousing. get a dealer 1, no others allowed. seen too cheap ones many cause no starts out of the box or with little miles. good luck, chuck.



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