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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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97 Intrepid jerking/bucking

So my first post although I've learned a lot and read a lot on here. Thanks for the help.

My 97 3.3 jerks at all different speeds intermittently. Sometimes I can drive all day and it doesn't do it. Sometimes it does it as soon as I step on the gas the first time. Sometimes at higher speeds, sometimes lower. A while ago before the jerking started, I used to get a check engine light with codes 24 and 43. I had it looked at, everything was at spec electrically and the computer was reset and I didn't get the CE light again. The first time the jerking happened was at 55mph and no light came on. It jerked several times thereafter and still no light. The most recent time it jerked the light did come on, I pulled over, did the key dance and it was 24: "Throttle Position Sensor input above/below acceptable voltage limits." But after I started it back up, no light, no jerking, and drove it around for a while after that just fine. So I've just recently had the transmission serviced and no problem there. When I had it in for the trans service, I asked them to look into this. He said he drove it around, it never did it and he couldn't find anything wrong.

I replaced the TPS myself recently. I read that it could be a spark plug thing but my gut is that it's wiring or something electrical. I have a volt meter but don't really know how to use it.

I'm not a total idiot when it comes to cars so I can take direction. Thanks for any help or opinions.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 05:14 PM
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HI! And WELCOME ABOARD! Very glad to have you come out of the woodwork and say hi.

I was going to suggest a TPS - what brand did you install?

Have you ever changed your sparkplugs?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 05:34 PM
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Mine did this for a while, the plug wires had corroded internally. Shorted out my coil pack in the process too.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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HI! And WELCOME ABOARD! Very glad to have you come out of the woodwork and say hi.

I was going to suggest a TPS - what brand did you install?

Have you ever changed your sparkplugs?
Thanks!

Duralast TPS at Autozone (I know) but it was new.

I bought the car with 104k on it, it now has 160k. I've never done anything with the spark plugs.

Could it be just a plain old tune up in is order? I still think electrical because of the CE codes. Spark plugs wouldn't throw those codes would they?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Mine did this for a while, the plug wires had corroded internally. Shorted out my coil pack in the process too.
Good to know. I'm going to get the plugs/wires looked at. Thanks
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkshadow View Post
Thanks!

Duralast TPS at Autozone (I know) but it was new.

I bought the car with 104k on it, it now has 160k. I've never done anything with the spark plugs.

Could it be just a plain old tune up in is order? I still think electrical because of the CE codes. Spark plugs wouldn't throw those codes would they?
I would really strongly suggest a good old fashioned tune-up. ONLY USE Champion Copper plugs - buy them anywhere, but Champion Copper only. Don't let the salesman upsell you on something else. Gap them properly, and then install. Use dielectric grease (you should be able to get little ketchup packets of it at the checkout counter, ask for it if you don't see it) on all the spark plug boots. Take one plug out at a time to replace it. When you are done with the plugs, pull the plug wires off of the coil pack (passenger side of the motor) and inspect the ends and inspect each tower on the coil pack for corrosion. If you find it, clean it. If not, put some dielectric on it, and put it back on.

Don't just pull on the wires, twist the boots back and forth to work them up and off of the plug wire or coil pack.

If you need any help with the tune-up, let us know - I don't know how much you know, so I don't want to over explain something till you need it.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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I would really strongly suggest a good old fashioned tune-up. ONLY USE Champion Copper plugs - buy them anywhere, but Champion Copper only. Don't let the salesman upsell you on something else. Gap them properly, and then install. Use dielectric grease (you should be able to get little ketchup packets of it at the checkout counter, ask for it if you don't see it) on all the spark plug boots. Take one plug out at a time to replace it. When you are done with the plugs, pull the plug wires off of the coil pack (passenger side of the motor) and inspect the ends and inspect each tower on the coil pack for corrosion. If you find it, clean it. If not, put some dielectric on it, and put it back on.

Don't just pull on the wires, twist the boots back and forth to work them up and off of the plug wire or coil pack.

If you need any help with the tune-up, let us know - I don't know how much you know, so I don't want to over explain something till you need it.
That all sounds like something I can handle. I can do "easy stuff" like thermos, sensors, even did a fuel filter in the trunk recently. I used to have a 85 F150 that I did a lot of stuff on but never done a tune up.

Sounds easy enough. Old ones out, new ones in, check/clean connections? Isn't there a special wrench for spark plugs?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 06:01 PM
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There is a special spark plug socket, but on the 3.3 you don't NEED it - but it does make life easier. A regular deep well socket of the right size (I think 5/8") is all you'll need.

You will need to check and adjust the gap on the plugs - I like a ramp style spark plug gapper - there are also feeler gauges and wire style, and even a plier style - but for a buck or two, you can't beat a ramp style. You'll find it hanging next to the grease at the check out, most of the time.

Old out, new in, clean connections - BUT, remember to do it one at a time so you don't plug the wrong one into the wrong spot.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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There is a special spark plug socket, but on the 3.3 you don't NEED it - but it does make life easier. A regular deep well socket of the right size (I think 5/8") is all you'll need.

You will need to check and adjust the gap on the plugs - I like a ramp style spark plug gapper - there are also feeler gauges and wire style, and even a plier style - but for a buck or two, you can't beat a ramp style. You'll find it hanging next to the grease at the check out, most of the time.

Old out, new in, clean connections - BUT, remember to do it one at a time so you don't plug the wrong one into the wrong spot.
Will do. I'll be tackling this tomorrow or over the weekend. I'll report back. Thanks for the advice.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 08:41 PM
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"Take one plug out at a time to replace it."

Sounds like I did it just right! I used Champ. Coppers gapped to .035 (I have a 3.5, yours should be gapped to .050)
Before the plug change.


Merged into one video is the After spark plugs, oil+filter change, and Air Filter.
(Note how she just starts right up!)

Last edited by 95intrepid99kid; 11-29-2012 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Addin' my vids!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 09:28 PM
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Will do. I'll be tackling this tomorrow or over the weekend. I'll report back. Thanks for the advice.
Great, glad to help. I look forward to hearing of success.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 04:33 PM
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So how did this project go?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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So how did this project go?
Hey, I caught a bug over the weekend and I'm just getting over it. I'm planning this for tomorrow if I'm up to it or friday.

Will update.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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I'm happy to report success with this!!

It was actually pretty easy except for the one on the passenger side farthest back. It was kind of under what I think is the air intake(?) and required some extra body twisting. The wires looked good and the connections looked good.

Inside the back cover of my Haynes manual, there are pictures of what bad plugs look like. They looked old but none of them looked burnt or bad. They just looked worn compared to the pics.

After finishing, I drove it around for 45 minutes all over town at different speeds and it didn't jerk once. Now, before I claim victory I'm going out to drive it today again for a while because it didn't do the jerking every time I drove it before. It definitely seemed to do it more as time went on but not every single time.

However, I have a good feeling it's not going to do it anymore.

Thanks for the opinions and offers of help. More than appreciated. I'm sure I'll be back at some point.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 09:05 PM
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