1985 Chrysler 5th Avenue Periodic no fire

Tiny
DALECOX13
  • MEMBER
  • 1985 CHRYSLER 5TH AVENUE
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 87,000 MILES
For approx. 3 years the problem has existed (slowly becoming more frequent). Sometimes the car won't get fire (won't start), I can wait a few hours and usually the car would then start. It never dies after getting it started. Just recently the problem has escalated and if I crank and drive the car everyday then I usually don't have a problem but if I let the car sit for a whole day then it won't crank. I've tried several times a day to crank the car and eventually it'll crank right off, then driving it twice/three times a day I don't have a problem, if I let it sit for a whole day then it's another 3-4 days before it'll crank again. I've replaced the wires, plugs, alternater, voltage regulator, rotor, and battery. Is anyone familar with this particular problem. I had a lincoln (mark series) with the same problem but decided to sell it rather than fix it. Please help.
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Sunday, October 10th, 2010 AT 10:03 AM

16 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi dalecox13. Welcome to the forum. When you say, "usually don't have a problem but if I let the car sit for a whole day then it won't crank", do you mean the starter won't spin the engine, (won't crank), or it cranks but won't start and run? The parts you mentioned are in all different circuits so it appears you're jumping around and replacing parts without doing any troubleshooting first. OR, ... Did you have some specific reason for replacing the parts you did?

One thing to look at is the pickup coil(s) inside the distributor. Most commonly there are two, one for the start circuit and one for the run circuit. Switching between them is done with a relay. First, check for spark when it doesn't start. Also check for one single spark from the coil wire when you turn the ignition switch off. If you only get that one spark, that proves the ignition coil system is working but it's not getting triggering pulses from the pickup coil in the distributor.

Most commonly those pickup coils fail when they get hot resulting in running fine as long as cool air is blowing over the engine, but they open up electrically after the hot engine has been sitting a few minutes. Then they work again after the engine cools down. There are other ways they can fail including the way you described. When the no-start occurs, unplug those pickup coils and use an inexpensive ohm meter to measure their resistance. As I recall, about 500 - 700 ohms is normal.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, October 10th, 2010 AT 10:25 AM
Tiny
DALECOX13
  • MEMBER
Yes the car will crank fine but won't start (won't even try !) I'll check inside the distributor and see if that does anything. Also the other parts that I replaced was for various reasons but the lack of firing continued even after I changed those parts, however it did start after I replaced the voltage regulator for about a week then did it again.
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Sunday, October 10th, 2010 AT 12:30 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. For the problem I described with the pickup coil(s), peeking inside the distributor won't do any good. The best test is to unplug the two-wire connector and measure the resistance between the two wires going into the distributor. Most cars have two two-wire connectors. Check them both. I have two of the few cars that only had one pickup coil.

I'd have to look at a diagram, but I seem to recall that when two pickup coils are used, the relay that switches between them is turned on by the ignition switch. The two coils are identical, but they are positioned in such a way that the "start" coil has slightly retarded timing for easier starting, and the "run" coil is a little more advanced for better power and fuel mileage. With two coils, and one is defective, it would seem to me the engine would run either during cranking or when already running. If the "run" coil is defective, the engine should run when you're still holding the ignition switch in the "crank" position, but stall when the key is released. If the "start" coil is intermittent, which was fairly common, the engine might start when it is cold, then even if that coil fails when it warms up, the engine will keep running on the "run" coil. A quick way to tell would be to switch the two electrical connectors. If the "start" coil is indeed intermittent, the engine will stall when it gets warm. Understand that performance and fuel mileage won't be so good, but this will identify a defective coil.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, October 10th, 2010 AT 6:00 PM
Tiny
SSOLIS
  • MEMBER
Message to Caradiodoc. I too have an 87 Chrysler Fifth with a bad creak in front suspension area. I know its the bushings on the Front r/l bar but the dealer won't call it a Torsion bar. Anyhow they tell me they can't change out those bushings. I have to replace the whole torsion bar cause the bushing come like that on the bar from the manufacturer which no longer has them. I guess they were pressed on. Can I remove them anyway and try to find a rubber piece that could fit in the place of the old one? Please help.
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Thursday, December 30th, 2010 AT 8:54 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First jack the car up to relieve any stress on the suspected bushing, then spray it heavily with Silicone Spray Lube. If it becomes quiet for a while, you'll know for sure you have the right bushing identified. These cars use a transverse torsion bar that anchors on one side, goes through a pivot bushing on the other side, then curves back to the outer end of the lower control arm.

I've never had one of these apart so I don't know how that bushing is attached. If the mounting bracket is two pieces riveted together, those rivets can be ground off and be replaced with bolts. I would start by hunting a used torsion bar down in the salvage yard and replace the entire assembly with the bushing on it. Look for a bar from a Fifth Ave, Volare, Aspen, Diplomat, or LeBaron with the same size engine and with air conditioning to get the same strength bar. A torsion bar from a six cylinder car will be weaker causing your car to bounce unevenly.

You can look at your old bar to see what it takes to remove the bushing. If the mounting bracket is two pieces riveted together, those rivets can be ground off and be replaced with bolts. It is either split and can be peeled open or it was lubed with Silicone Spray Lube and slid onto the bar. Silicone spray makes rubber parts slide over metal parts REAL easily. Some of these bushings, Caravan anti-sway bar bushings for example, have a teflon coating on the surface that contacts the bar. Water gets in there and forms rust which chews that coating off causing a squeak. It only takes a couple of minutes to remove the brackets, peel the bushings open and spray them with Spray White Lube. That quiets them down for a long time but any type of grease eats the remaining teflon coating away. If you can get your bushing open, you might spray that White Lube in there. It's a lithium-based grease that doesn't deteriorate rubber like wheel bearing grease will.

Both of those lubricants are available from the Chrysler parts department. The Spray White Lube is nice for door hinges. It has a liquid that soaks into tight places and takes the grease with it, then the liquid evaporates leaving the grease behind. You can find Silicone Spray Lube at auto parts stores too.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, December 30th, 2010 AT 9:30 PM
Tiny
SSOLIS
  • MEMBER
But if I get one from a junk yard won't I be replacing the transverse bar with the same old problem? I would think that those pivot bushings sitting in a yard like that would rust and dry out. Where exactly do I jack up the car from, to relive any stress on the bushing? I know I have the right bushing identified. There are two bolts holding the bushing up against the fram, so I don't think they are riveted. Now, on each end of the bushing s are these silver rings that look like c-clamps, those look riveted shut. I sprayed some WD40 on the culprit and it stops for a couple of day, only. What is the exact name of the white lube and who makes it? And if I do replace the whole bar do you recommend I may as well replace the upper/lower ball joints and control arm bushings, too? Thank you for your time.
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Thursday, December 30th, 2010 AT 9:59 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I have two 1980 Volares and a 1978 LeBaron station wagon. Used to have a '78 LeBaron 4 dr and a '79 LeBaron Wagon too. In all of those, I've never had a squeaky bushing. That's why I'm fairly confident a salvage yard part will work fine. What you have is not a common problem.

Jack the car up under the cross member or frame rail; anything that lets the wheel and suspension droop.

I can visualize the rings you're talking about. I would assume they are supposed to prevent the bushing from squirming sideways out of the bracket. If they have a half-inch long section that is folded over on itself, that is a crimp that pulls the band tight. A special pliers is used to tighten those bands. It is commonly used for the bands on cv joint boots on front-wheel-drive cars. Two jaws squeeze the crimp, and a little ram comes down in between them to press the crimp flat. That same pliers can be used to open up the crimp to release tension on the band. Just use it without squeezing it tightly. Bend the crimp side to side a few times to stretch it out.

"Spray White Lube" is the name on the can. The Chrysler dealer's parts department has it. They also have "Silicone Spray Lube" but you can get that at auto parts stores too.

Another really good chemical from Chrysler is their "Rust Penetrant". Originally it was designed to free up rusted heat riser valves in the right exhaust manifold of V-8 engines. It works WAY better than WD-40, but once it does its job, you have to wash it off, otherwise water will follow it in and things will rust up tighter than they were before. I used to do a lot of tv antenna work. Once in a while we would run into a really old tripod made of angle iron. Those bolts hadn't been loosened in decades. There were times when I would see those bolts starting to twist. If I sprayed them with WD-40 on Friday, they might come loose on Monday. Once I learned about the Rust Penetrant and started using it, bolts would come loose twenty minutes after spraying them. Later, as an alignment specialist, I started using it on tie rod adjusters thinking it would keep them freed up. When those cars started coming back for maintenance alignments months and years later, I found every one of them rusted so tight, I needed a torch to get them loose. They were much tighter than tie rod threads that were never sprayed with anything. That's when I started using Spray White Lube instead.

I also used Spray White Lube to coat brake line nuts, bleeder screws, parking brake cable adjuster nuts, and power steering line nuts on all the new cars I did the "New Vehicle Prep" on. I live in a state where they throw a ton of salt on an ounce of snow and our cars rust away overnight. When doing repairs on a ten year old car, you could always tell when it was one I had prepped because all the nuts and bolts came loose easily.

I'm told PB Blaster is another good rust remover product but I've never used it myself. Chrysler's Rust Penetrant gets the job done now but it doesn't contain a lubricant or rust preventer. It has a single purpose of getting rusty things apart quickly. It seems two-in-one chemicals that break the bonds of rust AND provide a lubricant in one product never work as well as two separate products each designed for a specific purpose.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 12:50 AM
Tiny
SSOLIS
  • MEMBER
I think I may have found the bushings but not completely sure if these are it. Check it out for me, please and let me know if you think these are the right ones. Here is the link: http://www.carpartsdiscount.com/auto/parts/87/chrysler/fifth_avenue/torsion_bar/torsion_bar_bushing.html?3593=35331
The listing mentions bracket not included which leads me to believe that they could be the ones. What say you? Thanks again, boss!
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 3:57 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Wow. Based on the prices I would say they are quite proud of their parts. Seems like an awful lot of money. You might want to check Year One to see if these are old enough to be available from them. This suspension system goes back to 1976 models but I don't know if there were design changes during that time.

It looks like they are split on the side for installation.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 5:02 AM
Tiny
SSOLIS
  • MEMBER
So. Do you think these are the right ones? Year One has nothing close to this. Here's a picture of one underneath my car.
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 5:21 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That dimple in the middle of the bracket will hold the bushing in place. I suspect the clamps on the sides are to help keep water out.

The left clamp has the crimp I was talking about sticking straight up toward the camera. It looks like these are the right bushings for the application but they will probably look a little different.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 6:32 AM
Tiny
SSOLIS
  • MEMBER
Now, how do I completely replace these? Do I still want to lift the car at the cross-member spot? And, do I have to completely disconnect the bar from both ends near each tire? When I saw the dimple in the center and looked at the bushings, I became more convinced that these were the right ones. It also looks like there is another rubber piece underneath those clamps. Can I re-use the same clamps cause I don't see them in the new ones. I guess these clamps didn't keep the water out or they wouldn't have rusted, causing all this squeaking. I don't know why we just don't have a phone conversation. I am willing to make the phone call to you or if you so dare my number is 323-924-5589 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 323-924-5589 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. I'm in LA. Where are you? I am Saro. Attached is a larger picture of the new bushings, you'll the where the dimple would go. Thanks for everything.
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 12:57 PM
Tiny
SSOLIS
  • MEMBER
Yeah. Here's a shot of the new bushings where that dimple would go. Now, to replace these bushings do I still want to jack it up by the cross-member? Can we have a phone conversation about this. I am willing to make the long distance call if you feel you can't. My number is 323-924-5589, I am in LA. Where are you located? My name is Saro and I can't thank you enough for your knowledge.
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I'm in Wausau, WI. Been unemployed for 2 years and I don't get unemployment benefits. I don't believe in the government taking care of me even though they were happy to take 50 percent of my last paycheck! Canceled my long distance service to save money.

I don't think you're going to have to disassemble anything other than the bracket. When the car is jacked up by anything other than the lower control arm, that arm will hang down and there will be no pressure on that bushing. You should be able to pry the bushing out of its pocket very easily. Since the new bushings appear to have a slit in the side, it should bend open to pop it around the bar. You might have to discard the two clamps and a rubber insert if that's what's in there. You would be able to tell by the inside diameter of the new bushing. My guess is these new bushings don't need those clamps because they have a lip on each end to keep them in position. Since they are obviously a different design in that respect, they are probably different where they contact the bar too. The ridges in the center suggest all of the flexing the bushing needs to do is supposed to occur in the center, or the bar is intended to rotate inside the bushing. Polyurethane can hold up a long time to that.

If you do have to reuse the clamps, stop by any mechanic who does front end work and ask to see what the special pliers looks like and how the clamp works.

Here's a picture of the most commonly used tool:

http://www.mactools.com/Product/tabid/120/productid/318714/variantid/309473/Default.aspx

The two jaws squeeze the crimp tight and the center plunger comes down and flattens it. That flat spot is to provide clearance for clamps on CV joint boots so they don't hit other parts as they rotate, but the flat spot also gives it strength to remain tight. You can also crimp these clamps with a large side cutters, (wire cutter). The reason I like these pliers is they work nicely for loosening the clamps too. By grabbing the crimp loosely, then rocking the pliers back and forth, it will tug on the crimp and pull it apart. Once it is loose, there is a small hook that goes through a hole. You squeeze the clamp a little tighter to release the hook. Any mechanic can show you how they work.

New clamps come with new cv joint boots but there are a lot of different sizes. I suspect you can buy new clamps at the auto parts stores too.

caradiodoc
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 10:02 PM
Tiny
SSOLIS
  • MEMBER
So sorry to hear of your long distance cancellation. I could have easily made the call. I have Vonage and it never lets me down. I can call anywhere in the country, Canada and Puerto Rico for no extra charge. I only pay 30 bucks a month. If you ever decide to get it, give them my number and they'll give me a free month for referring you. Thanks for everything but if I happen to have a question during installation can I call you and at what number. I used to live in Chicago so I've been up to Milwaukee a few times and Brookfield and so forth. I even made to Stevens Point with a few of my buddies for a weekend get away, many moons ago. Thanks again and I hope you find a job in the new year.
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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I'm 30 miles north of Stevens Point, and for what it's worth, I like driving in Chicago a whole lot better than in Wausau.

I have Magic Jack which works real well but it's on a different computer that isn't hooked up right now. This one I'm on is one I built from scratch over ten years ago and has been real reliable but it's too slow for the Magic Jack to work without a lot of cutting out.

No plans on looking for work. Why bother when half my paycheck goes to support the government giving it away?

Anyhow, getting back to your bushings, you might consider taking one apart in a salvage yard first. I made the rounds to a chain of yards from Georgia to Indiana a couple of years ago. The yard was called "Pull-A-Part" and was REAL clean and well organized. You pay a buck, then throw your tool box into one of their wheel barrows, and you can spend all day there. All of the cars are well supported off the ground and the parts are real cheap. There are similar yards around the country, but one I visited in St. Louis was real expensive. I'd love to visit a bunch of yards in CA but I'd probably want to bring a lot of cars home! I have too many already, although I've never had a Fifth Ave. Yet. That was my dream car for many years.

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, January 1st, 2011 AT 12:35 AM

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