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2014 Town & Country
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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 2014 Town & Country w/ ~165k miles with a rough idle and throwing a P0303 code.

Question
How do you undo this clip on the fuel injectors?


Backstory
The van drives great but recently developed a rough idle. A couple weeks after developing the rough idle, it began throwing a P0303 code. My OBDII scanner confirmed it's misfiring on Cylinder #3 quite a bit. In troubleshooting the rough idle, I've done the following:
  • Smoke tested the air intake system. No vacuum leaks identified.
  • Swapped the #1 & #3 coils. The misfires stayed with Cylinder #3.
  • Swapped the #1 & #3 plugs. The misfires stayed with Cylinder #3. I noticed a little bit of oil on both the #1 and #3 plug electrode. The oil went up 3-4 threads on plug #3 and a couple on plug #1. Plug #5 was damp from what looked like oil (it was blackish).
  • Checked for valve cover gasket leak for Cylinders #1, 3, and 5. It looks clean with no leaks.
  • I don't know how to test if the computer is sending a good signal to the coil to create spark. However, I connected a Lisle 20610 in-line spark tester to both the #3 (the cylinder throwing the misfire code) & #1 plugs. Both were showing a lot of spark that looked the same for both cylinders.
Similar to what I've done with the coils and plugs, I'm wanting to replace the #1 and #3 fuel injectors. I'm confident I know how to depressurize the fuel system. The problem I can't figure out is how to unplug the dang clips on the fuel injector so I can remove them! :)

Any help walking me through how to undo those clips would be awesome!! Thanks!!
 

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The red plunger comes straight up. Pull up with a finger nail, (or a pick device). It should come up about 3/8 inch. Once it is up. You will be able squeeze the connector, underneath the left area of the clip, in the photo, to release the electrical plug from the injector.

BTW - have you compression tested cylinder 3?
 

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2014 Town & Country
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Discussion Starter #3
@kenbeneezer Thanks man!! I appreciate the help. I tried pulling up on the red plunger but it wouldn't release. Not being sure if I was doing it correctly, I quickly got discouraged as to not destroy the connector due to my being overly aggressive. I'll give it another shot!

Re: compression testing....I've not yet done a compression test. Assuming the misfire doesn't follow the fuel injector swap, I'm going to do a compression test (both dry & wet) followed by a leak down test. I have a compression tester. I'm holding off on getting a leak down kit until I confirm the injector is good.

Thanks again....you're awesome!!
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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I wouldn't worry if the red lock snaps off. I've had to wedge a screwdriver between the red and black parts to get them to separate before. Sometimes the red lock doesn't survive that. As long as the connector still slides on and clicks, you're fine.

As for your misfire... Do you hear any tapping? Lifter/rocker failures are pretty common.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
...As for your misfire... Do you hear any tapping? Lifter/rocker failures are pretty common.
Nope...no strange noises. It runs perfectly once you start driving it around.

The only thing that indicates something isn’t right is the slightly rough idle and P0303 code.

When the rough idle first started, and prior to it throwing a code, my wife took it to an independent mechanic to have the rough idle fixed.

He said he checked a few things and suggested running Chevron injector cleaner...which she did. A couple days after putting the cleaner in the tank, the rough idle continued and escalated into the van also throwing the code.

The mechanic thought the cleaner may have jarred something loose and clogged up an injector - resulting in it throwing the code after using the cleaner.

Upon learning about all of this, I hooked up my scanner, identified the code was a P0303 and watched the misfires begin registering through the scanner’s live feed. It’s been holding stable at 100+ misfires / couple minutes. No misfires on any other cylinder.

After seeing a little oil on the plugs, I’m no longer suspicious of it being a fuel related problem.

I’m with you in suspecting it’s more of an internal engine problem. Nevertheless, in the spirit of being thorough, I want to rule out the fuel system.

Thanks a ton for the feedback, guidance, and confidence - you guys are great!!

I’ll work on swapping the #1 & #3 injectors this evening and report back!!
 

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2014 Town & Country
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Discussion Starter #8
Unfortunately, I still couldn’t figure out how to work the clip on either of the #1 or #3 fuel injector.

I didn’t attempt #5 as its access is blocked by the throttle body. The #2, #4, & #6 injectors are underneath the air intake manifold.

My new plan is to:
  1. Divert my attention to fixing a P0128 code on my daily driver by replacing the thermostat (engine operating temp stays between 155-160*). I may also replace the water pump if I see my small coolant leak is emanating from the water pump. Currently, I’m assuming it’s leaking from the thermostat but I haven’t gotten in there to visually confirm.
  2. Move my attention back to the van and do both a compression & leak down test on all six cylinders after getting get a leak down kit.
@Tiger862 Yeah...my research also indicated cylinder #3 is in the middle of the back bank. If I did pull the valve cover to inspect the cam, I don’t know what I’d be looking for.

If it were a bad lifter / rocker, would I likely be able to jiggle it to see it has play whereas the others would be tight and solid?

The van isn’t making any odd noises - just a slightly rough idle when stationary and consistently lots of misfires in cylinder #3.
 

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My 2013 had a rough idle and P0305 code but ran very well anything above idle. If I cleared the code it would not return if I didn't let it idle too much.
It had a burnt exhaust valve.
The compression was about 50 PSI in that cylinder. I would go for the compression test before swapping injectors.

Mine was build after the know cylinder head issues, although those issue were for the other bank (even/front bank).
 

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Unfortunately, I still couldn’t figure out how to work the clip on either of the #1 or #3 fuel injector.

I didn’t attempt #5 as its access is blocked by the throttle body. The #2, #4, & #6 injectors are underneath the air intake manifold.

My new plan is to:
  1. Divert my attention to fixing a P0128 code on my daily driver by replacing the thermostat (engine operating temp stays between 155-160*). I may also replace the water pump if I see my small coolant leak is emanating from the water pump. Currently, I’m assuming it’s leaking from the thermostat but I haven’t gotten in there to visually confirm.
  2. Move my attention back to the van and do both a compression & leak down test on all six cylinders after getting get a leak down kit.
@Tiger862 Yeah...my research also indicated cylinder #3 is in the middle of the back bank. If I did pull the valve cover to inspect the cam, I don’t know what I’d be looking for.

If it were a bad lifter / rocker, would I likely be able to jiggle it to see it has play whereas the others would be tight and solid?

The van isn’t making any odd noises - just a slightly rough idle when stationary and consistently lots of misfires in cylinder #3.
look at that video, it is nicely explained from where it might leak. Let us know what was the problem
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@lancia_voy_user You referenced a video for me to watch. I can’t seem to find a link to the video...could you again point me to the video?

Thanks a bunch!!
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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If it were a bad lifter / rocker, would I likely be able to jiggle it to see it has play whereas the others would be tight and solid?
Yes, but you need to do this at a point on each cylinder where the cam lobes are not pressing the rockers. If it moves when the cam's pressing it it likely would've flown away already.

There's several videos out there showing damaged rockers. Just search YouTube for "Dodge 3.6l rocker tick".

If you find damage, replace -at minimum- both the affected lifter and rocker. I did the whole set for that head to be extra safe. There's likely a newer revision of them, so get the latest revision you can find. Think when I did mine 2 years ago the model numbers ended in AG and AF (can't remember which was rocker or lifter).

You may need to replace the cam if it's really nasty. I lucked out and had some fairly serious scoring that I was able to polish out. I have a 1/32" less of a cam lobe on I-1B, but being a 4 valve design the engine doesn't seem to notice or care. Still chops Camaros.

You're right about cylinder IDs. 2-4-6 in front starting on the pulley side, and 1-3-5 in back.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@Sienile Thanks man!!

Based on @1994 Sport ’s post, I did the simple & elementary test shown at :32 of this video.

It shows how to do a burnt exhaust test by holding a paper towel to the exhaust pipe to see if it gets drawn back into the pipe while the engine is running.

My paper towel reacted just like his did in the video - making me think I have a burnt exhaust valve - likely on cylinder #3 since it’s throwing a P0303 code.

I still need to perform a compression & leakdown test to get more data before drawing a final conclusion on the van’s rough idle issue.

I’m in the process of changing my daily driver’s thermostat, power steering pump, and water pump. Once I’m finished with that I’ll do a compression & leak down test on the T&C.

I found a YouTube video where a gentleman explains everything involved in removing the 1,3,5 cylinder head (eg. timing chain cover, timing chain etc...). That, coupled with the engine is set in the engine bay sideways, which gives you little room and a lot of blind access, I’m not sure I’m up to removing the head unless I pulled the entire engine.

Assuming it is a burnt valve, I need to think through if this a project I want to take on.

Although I’ve always wanted to, I’ve never done something to this magnitude - maybe this is my chance?

I’ll need to think through the space requirements, money spent vs satisfaction gained etc...
 

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If everything confirms head has to come off it would be quicker to drop everything from the bottom. Not many have tools or space for this. I had a table at dealership (Chevrolet) that made it easier.
 

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I did the simple & elementary test shown at :32 of this video.
It shows how to do a burnt exhaust test by holding a paper towel to the exhaust pipe to see if it gets drawn back into the pipe while the engine is running.

My paper towel reacted just like his did in the video - making me think I have a burnt exhaust valve....
That is a very old test, I learned it about 40 years ago.

But still haven't seen a good engine that doesn't pull that paper in and out. Don't rely on that test alone. For that reason, I haven't tried it since then.
 

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@Sienile Thanks man!!

Based on @1994 Sport ’s post, I did the simple & elementary test shown at :32 of this video.

It shows how to do a burnt exhaust test by holding a paper towel to the exhaust pipe to see if it gets drawn back into the pipe while the engine is running.

My paper towel reacted just like his did in the video - making me think I have a burnt exhaust valve - likely on cylinder #3 since it’s throwing a P0303 code.
That test is really not reliable on most engines. Modern exhaust scavenging creates pressure pulses that will have it do the same thing.

I still need to perform a compression & leakdown test to get more data before drawing a final conclusion on the van’s rough idle issue.
Remember that this is an Atkinson cycle engine, so TDC will seem like it has an intake leak. You'll have to go a few degrees beyond TDC to ensure the intake valves are closed.

I found a YouTube video where a gentleman explains everything involved in removing the 1,3,5 cylinder head (eg. timing chain cover, timing chain etc...). That, coupled with the engine is set in the engine bay sideways, which gives you little room and a lot of blind access, I’m not sure I’m up to removing the head unless I pulled the entire engine.

Assuming it is a burnt valve, I need to think through if this a project I want to take on.

Although I’ve always wanted to, I’ve never done something to this magnitude - maybe this is my chance?

I’ll need to think through the space requirements, money spent vs satisfaction gained etc...
This is not an engine I would recommend to a first-timer for head jobs. It's a full day or two for an experienced mechanic. Given it's not your primary car though, if you did do it, don't freak out if it takes you a whole week. Take your time and double check everything. You have a lot of parts that can be easily misaligned if you rush through it.
 

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@ That’s good to hear!! Hope you’re right on this one too!!

There is a good reason why you shouldn't run your engine without a exhaust manifold.

Runing an engine without exhaust manifold may cause a head to crack due to cold air getting inside through the wrong place.

So, no, that test is not credible.
 

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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
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There is a good reason why you shouldn't run your engine without a exhaust manifold.

Runing an engine without exhaust manifold may cause a head to crack due to cold air getting inside through the wrong place.

So, no, that test is not credible.
It would be difficult to run the 3.6L Pentastar without the exhaust manifold since it is integrated in the cylinder head.
 
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