1985 Chrysler Fifth Avenue runs and quits

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Hey there,
I recently bought a 1985 Chrysler Fifth Avenue with the knowledge that it would run and quit after a short while of driving it then start right back up. My father was a mechanic with Chrysler until 1983 so he knows the car quite well and thought the problem was most likely a plugged exhaust system. Sure enough one of the Cad. converters was plugged right up. We cleaned that out and test drove it...we had the same problem. we figured maybe the other two Cad. converters may be plugged so we dropped the entire exhaust and test drove the car without it. We had the same problem, the car would run for a while and then quit. The last owner put a brand new fuel pump on it, so we have ruled that out. We pulled the Carb. and did not see any problems there. Has anyone ever had any problems like this. We think it is the fuel system, maybe something wrong in the tank. If anyone has had this problem or knows of what might be causing it i am open to any ideas. PLEASE HELP!!!!

posted by  Nataku

what about the fuel lines from the tank to the fuel filter and from there to the fuel pump? are they clogged?

posted by  Coffin Type R

Many of the Chrysler distributors had Hall effect pick-up plates which upon failure, caused the car to stop. This same technology is used on many crankshaft position sensors as well. After a few minutes, the car restarts.

Check the ECM for trouble codes and see if any codes are stored relating to the ignition system and let us know what you find. If the system is not fuel related, my guess would be a distributor pick-up plate or crankshaft position sensor. Need codes to prescribe appropriate test to verify.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Sounds like a dirty sock (filter)in the gas tank also do a fuel pressure test on it ,should be 5to 7 lbs . drop fuel tank and pull out sending unit ,sock is on the line with sending unit.remember gas burns BE CAREFUL. good luck Slim

posted by  Slimone

My thoughts exactly...I've seen it many times. When the sensor starts to go it'll often run poorly or not run at all when the engine starts to reach normal operating range...sometimes even within a matter of minutes from the time the car starts.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

We think it may be the fuel pump, when we test it we are getting at most like 4 lbs. Does anyone have any idea what it is supposed to be?

posted by  Nataku

Four pounds is plenty...I don't think it's a fuel problem though...unless your carb is shot, in which case it's a fuel metering problem... I think your problem lies in the ignition system...common pattern failure on those cars.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

A Chrysler 318-V8 should see between 5.75 psig and 7.25 psig @ the fuel pump outlet regardless if it has the 2bbl or 4bbl carb

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Is the car throwing trouble codes??

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Okay...heres an update to what we have done so far to rule out problems. We have run fuel line into a plastic gas tank and test drove the car that way to rule out the sock in the tank problem...the car still died the same way. We then moved on to ignition system.... We adjusted the timing first. On the test drive after doing this the car went quite a bit further before dying. Next we replaced the distributor rotor, pickup lead, and reluctor. On this test drive the car went even further and we thought we had it fixed...then it died. Our next idea was to check the fuel pressure. We could barely get four pounds and that was when we were really crankin on it. I went out last night and picked up an electric fuel pump that is supposed to produce 4-7psi. I will install that today and if it doesnt work i will be sure to be back with more questions. What are these problem codes that you talk about. Im certainly not a mechanic..and my dad was out of the business before everything went computerized.

posted by  Nataku

Most cars built since the early 1980s are computer controlled and if certain systems malfunction, a check-engine light or service engine soon light will come on. I know the 1986 K series chryslers had these systems and suspect your 1985 chrysler has some form of one too.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

When we went to hook up the electric fuel pump we had to unhook the hoses from the mechanical fuel pump that was on the car..which was recently replaced. In the hose going to the pump there is an inline filter. This filter has three inlets, two go straight through and one is a vent. The main fuel suction line was hooked to the damn vent. This explained the low pressure and the starving for gas. We moved a few hoses around she wouldnt even start. Next we looked at the lines and the tank....because we had blown air throught the old lines to find out which was the supply and which was the return. We figure that we may have blown one of the rusty lines near or in the tank. We looked at the tank and above the seam there were hundreds of little holes. Some wider than your finger. We then ran a hose from the reconfigured pump to a 5 gallon gas tank and the problem was solved. Ive got a new tank and straps on the way and im going to run rubber hose all the way. Thank you all for your help with troubleshooting this car.

posted by  Nataku

I an glad you have this one figured out. May want to consider using stainless steel tubing instead of rubber in parts underneath the car susceptable to damage from road objects. Use a piece of rubber hose on top of the tubing where it contacts frame or body parts to prevent rubbing. Tubing is available in 8 to 10 ft lengths @ many auto parts houses.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Hi everyone, I am new so bear with me. My daughter sent me your site and all the questions and helpful answers are just what I have been experiencing. My car has been in the garage since last Fri. and no one knows what is wrong. I replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel line and installed a brand new gas tank and assorted hoses, etc. Still dies. In fact, my mechanic took it out for a test drive twice and both times had to be towed back. He checked everything that has been suggested. He suggested I bring it to the Chrysler garage because they have a diagnostic machine for older cars. I dread thinking about the cost. I have all ready sunk mucho dollars in the last month and can't afford to guess whatever the [problem is.I am still open for suggestions. He thought it might be the "brain" but then again, hard to diagnose. Thanks, Maggie B.

posted by  mbancroft305

Word of advice for next time (hopefully there won't be one!). Don't replace parts that don't need to be fixed. :wink2: Someone on here can help you thats just me throwin in my :2cents:

posted by  99integra

Hi, thanks for the advice. My mechanics are good guys. I was smelling gas pretty bad which led to first doing the pump, lines and filter. Afterwards, I was still smelling gas so the gas tank was determined to be the culprit. Then all the trouble started with the dying on the road. Down here in Sarasota is no place to have your car die in the middle of the road. lol. I am leaning towards a faulty pump but I am no mechanic. I will have to bite the bullet and have it put on a machine. I was hoping to hear from some of the others with this problem to see how it was fixed. ( I pray it can be fixed!) Maggie

posted by  mbancroft305

Although this should be in a new thread, I'll be nice and throw 2 cents in.

Your the trouble codes on your Chrysler can be retrieved by turning the ignition key through a certain sequence and counting flashes on the check engine light. There could also be a loose connection, etc.

don't know about where you live but out Chrysler dealers around here have had so much employee turnover the ones who would know how to troubleshoot the car have retired or gone into more profitable ventures.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

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