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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, this may get no replies but figured I would give it an attempt.

Just bought an ok shape 1992 VR4 (with my understanding of its condition declining daily...). I have no money and a lot I want to do to this beast. My initial work is just a very cheap sound system upgrade from stock ($85 one at walmart, HA!), replace both window regulators, and a lot of misc cosmetic fix ups.

My next project needs to be troubleshooting the ECS and speedometer. The car definitely feels like it is stuck in sport mode (I hope!). I am able to switch from tour to sport until it seems like a hit some bumps in which then I get the flashing. I initially felt that this was just bad caps on the struts but now reading some forums, I'm a little scared that it could be the ECS or worse ECU issues considering - speedometer jumps (starting to question whether its just on bumps), I hear a very slight noise when I switch the ESC (when it works) but there is no way the ride is suppose to be as hard as it is even when in tour mode, and the aero will always work once then fail. Maybe they're all separate but maybe not.

Anyway, if there is anyone close by that would want to help for fun or know a good shop that won't hose me; lets talk. Beware, I am a family man.....my three kids are sucking so much of my time to go in circles with this project.....
 

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Wheee! 2 wheels is fun!
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Sorry man, but these cars ARE money pits, and if your budget is limited you wont get to enjoy the car much. Those regulators for the windows dont come cheap and thats just ONE item!

Disconnect your ECS computer. That will disable it and hopefully put some plush in your ride. If not KYB struts would be the economic option.

The speedo in that car should be controlled by a typical cable. Pull it off the back of the speedo and pull out the inner core. If its undamaged, it will probably be lacking lube. Lubriplate was the lube of choice through the years but it may not be easy to find. Some other light grease would work OK.

Forget wally mart for anything. (I know you're a family man!) Look on Crutchfield for something good for tunes. They also include mount kits for
free if you spend enough and right now they have free shipping.

-SP
 

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Sorry man, but these cars ARE money pits, and if your budget is limited you wont get to enjoy the car much. Those regulators for the windows dont come cheap and thats just ONE item!

Disconnect your ECS computer. That will disable it and hopefully put some plush in your ride. If not KYB struts would be the economic option.

The speedo in that car should be controlled by a typical cable. Pull it off the back of the speedo and pull out the inner core. If its undamaged, it will probably be lacking lube. Lubriplate was the lube of choice through the years but it may not be easy to find. Some other light grease would work OK.

Forget wally mart for anything. (I know you're a family man!) Look on Crutchfield for something good for tunes. They also include mount kits for
free if you spend enough and right now they have free shipping.

-SP
it has electronic speedo not cable :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I think an $85 (speakers and head unit) is going to to be an $85 system no matter where I look. I'll piece together a nicer system some day...

I have disconnected the ECS and there was no change in the ride. I still cant believe that even a 20 year old car would ride as hard as it does but I guess it's so...

I think what concerned me most about the speedometer is that the aero is definitely affected when it jumps but I believe the cruise control is not although I have only gotten the cruise to work once. I have looked at most of the wiring and believe it so far looks in pretty good shape...
 

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As stated, the speedo is electronic in a turbo car... The ECS and engine ECU share the speed signal and throttle position signal. It's quite common for a failing ECS unit to cause driveability problems, and cause issues with the speedo.

Unplug the ECS ans see if the symptoms go away...

The suspension defaults to the stiff setting if there is a code set, and will stay there if you unplug it. So until it's fixed, you're not going to get a smoother ride out of it.
 

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Since it's easy, I would quickly check the front strut ecs wires where someone can put too much weight on them and damage them.. super common. 3 nuts to remove (if you still have the covers intact). repair the wires if any are broken. The rear ones are less prone to breakage because they don't turn or get hands on them often.

I'm confused about your AERO problem.. so if you could elaborate.. speedo: could be electronic sender.. loos connector at the sender (my guess and easy fix) or if your unlucky yeah the ECS computer could be messing with it. Did the speedo problem correct itself when you disconnected the ECS system?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback. I have not popped the covers off of the stuts yet although it's next on the list. All 4 exterior wiring and in general look great and very clean.

For everyone else - does the error ECS tour and sport blinking lights come on after some delay in turning the ignition? It's generally quick but can sometimes be 1min delayed or more. I'm hoping that means it's just a loose wire somewhere?

I was a little confused before when I thought my cruise was working fine although had to fix the button and found out it was just as affected with the speedometer jumps. I'm sure as you listed for the speedo should be the issue.

The Aero of course is erroring with the speedometer jumps; BUT it take one drop below the cutoff and the areo light turns on then it will only work for its one time untill after the ignition turned off/on. Also when I manually use the areo it again will work once then I cannot work it again without redoing the ignition.
 

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Hey Rarobkr,

Sign up for the Colorado 3s site www.colorado3s.org, there are several people that live close to you that may be able give you a hand (I'm in Highlands Ranch, CO). Not to say that the advice on this site isn't awesome.
 

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I have had identical problems with the ECS when the wires are broken at the front. They look fine but you have to peel the rubber boot back off to see the damage.

I have also had identical problems with the aero and just can't quite remember what the fix was for that. I believe if you have thr front aero off it does that.. so you may want to start looking there.. but searching should yield plenty of info on the aero problems.

The speedo I have never had problems with so I'll let others help.. assuming it isnt a loose connection at the sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Rarobkr,

Sign up for the Colorado 3s site www.colorado3s.org, there are several people that live close to you that may be able give you a hand (I'm in Highlands Ranch, CO). Not to say that the advice on this site isn't awesome.
Noticed the colorado site after exploring 3si more once I posted this forum. The admin must be on vacation cause I'm still awaiting validation :D

Seems to be a bit of people around town!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have had identical problems with the ECS when the wires are broken at the front. They look fine but you have to peel the rubber boot back off to see the damage.

I have also had identical problems with the aero and just can't quite remember what the fix was for that. I believe if you have thr front aero off it does that.. so you may want to start looking there.. but searching should yield plenty of info on the aero problems.

The speedo I have never had problems with so I'll let others help.. assuming it isnt a loose connection at the sensor.
Definitely need to look harder under the rubber caps. I just still hope somehow everything is stuck in sport mode instead of tour; there is simply no cushion at all in the struts.

The front aero is not working so sounds like this should be my first look. Thanks.
 

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The suspension defaults to the stiff setting if there is a code set, and will stay there if you unplug it. So until it's fixed, you're not going to get a smoother ride out of it.
Incorrect - The system does not lock into any specific mode when the system fails.

90% of the time the system fails as it does not get a response signal back from a strut. When you first turn on the car the ECS system does a test of each strut. if a strut fails the lights start to blink.

The test involves the ECS computer sending a signal to each motor in the strut to turn then checking the signal from the two micro switches located inside each strut. Error occurs when the system does not get the expected signal back from the micro switches which can be caused by " Busted wire on cap to motor or switch, Damaged ribbon cable inside the strut, bad motor inside strut, damaged micro switch inside strut, ETC" When a strut fails it is basically stuck in what even mode the ECS failed at or the next step in the motors rotation "if it actually rotated".

I have built a tester and tested this numerous times and found that about 70% of the time when it fails, the motor stops with the medium orifice open "Medium mode" as this is the middle point within the motors rotation.

On the Colorado3s.org site PM duke3k as he has done a lot of work with the ECS system and might be able to help you trouble shoot more than I can as I live in NC

Noticed the colorado site after exploring 3si more once I posted this forum. The admin must be on vacation cause I'm still awaiting validation :D
And Yes I was on vacation, well sort of. :p

Sorry it took so long to get you validated!!
 
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