Some new cam and crank sensors have a little rib on the end. You push it in as far as it will go, then tighten the bolt. That rib sets the air gap, the spacing between the end of the sensor and the item it's looking at. That rib wears partially off when the engine is running. Its job is done. When you want to reuse an old, good sensor, there is a paper spacer that you stick on the end of the sensor when you install it. Once it sets the gap, it just slides off when the engine is started. Some new sensors come with the paper spacer already installed instead of the rib of plastic. Either way, there must be a rib or paper spacer, and you must push the sensor in as far as possible before tightening the bolt.
Don't be adding starting fluid. There's no way it's going to run without spark. Too much starting fluid will flood it and short out the spark plugs. That will add another problem, so now there will be two totally different things causing a no-start.
I only have a 2000 service manual, but I think the circuitry is the same. Look in the Power Distribution Center. That's the fuse box under the hood. Look for fuse "T", a 20 amp fuse. It is at the end of a single row of fuses, closest to a corner of the box. It's right next to the High Speed Radiator Fan Relay. You will need to measure the voltage on that fuse. There are two little holes in the plastic on the top. Touch a grounded test light to one of those holes. A digital voltmeter will work too. Ground the black negative lead of the voltmeter, or the ground wire of the test light to a bare metal part of the engine or the negative battery terminal. Use the red voltmeter probe or the test light tip on the fuse terminal in one of the holes. Watch closely as a helper turns on the ignition switch. The test light must light up or the voltmeter should show near 12 volts, but ONLY for one to two seconds when the ignition switch is turned to "Run", not "Crank".
If voltage is present for that short burst, the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay is working properly. On the rare chance there is no voltage, there is some other uncommon issue to address. You can try swapping the ASD relay with another one like it in that box, but I would sooner suspect an engine computer problem or the probe isn't making good contact.
Assuming there is voltage on fuse "T" for one or two seconds, check again while your helper cranks the engine. Voltage should appear again anytime the engine is rotating, (cranking or running). Typically, it will be missing or erratic. The Engine Computer is not turning on the ASD relay because it doesn't know the engine is rotating, and it doesn't know that due to a defective camshaft position sensor, (which you already replaced), or a defective crankshaft position sensor. He is on the passenger side, in the transmission housing, near the back of the engine.
When a sensor fails while the engine is running, it is noticed by the Engine Computer. It sets a diagnostic fault code in memory and turns on the Check Engine light. Reading that fault code will direct you to the circuit or system with the problem, not necessarily the specific part. Unfortunately, when you replaced the battery, all of the Engine Computer's memory was wiped out so that valuable information is lost. If you are lucky, from all the attempts to start the engine, the computer may have noticed the problem again and put the code in memory again.
To read the code(s), turn the ignition switch to "Run", then "Off", then "Run", then "Off", then "Run" within 5 seconds, and wait. I think you will see the code numbers displayed in the odometer readout. Do not crank the engine for this test. If you accidentally do, turn the ignition switch off for a few seconds, then start over. Cranking the engine, even for an instant, cancels this test. On older cars, the codes are displayed with flashes of the Check Engine light. Some cars will always display code 12 first. That's one flash, a short pause, then two flashes and a longer pause before the next two-digit code flashes. You might want to have a note pad handy to record the two-digit numbers. Code 12 just means the ignition switch was turned off. Not all models bother to display it. You are after the next series of numbers. There is likely to be only one more code, hopefully related to the crankshaft position sensor signal missing. Any other codes probably got erased when the battery was disconnected. The last code to be displayed with flashes is code 55. Five flashes, a short pause, another five flashes, then either a longer pause and the sequence will start over, or the flashing will stop. If you missed anything, the entire sequence will start over if you turn the ignition switch off and right back on once. Code 55 just means "End of message".
Another way to read the codes is to connect a hand-held computer called a "scanner" to the connector under the steering column. Chrysler's DRB3 will display the code description, not the number. Many less expensive aftermarket scanners will display the numbers that must be looked up in the service manual or on this web site.
It's never a good idea to blindly throw parts at a problem in hopes one will fix it because each one adds another variable that could introduce its own problem, but in this case, it might not hurt to try a new Crankshaft Position Sensor. If that doesn't help, try to read the fault codes.
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 AT 10:36 PM