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New-to-me 1987 LeBaron with non-turbo 2.5 TBI with 5 speed manual (yes, they did make a few). Have only had this car a few weeks; power module blew when shipper dropped it off (voltage regulator was literally boiling the battery). It stumbles and even stalls upon acceleration until it's thoroughly warm or revs climb.
I've only had 2.2 carb and 2.2 turbo MPI before but haven't had this problem.
No codes that I can get it to show.
Where do I start? TPS or temp sensor? Or just set car on fire?
Suggestions appreciated.
 

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New-to-me 1987 LeBaron with non-turbo 2.5 TBI with 5 speed manual (yes, they did make a few). Have only had this car a few weeks; power module blew when shipper dropped it off (voltage regulator was literally boiling the battery). It stumbles and even stalls upon acceleration until it's thoroughly warm or revs climb.
I've only had 2.2 carb and 2.2 turbo MPI before but haven't had this problem.
No codes that I can get it to show.
Where do I start? TPS or temp sensor? Or just set car on fire?
Suggestions appreciated.
Did you already replace the PM? first thing to do is go over the vac lines/hoses. if you have a multimeter you can test each sensor.
 

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Basically you start at the beginning and work your way through the diagnostic flow chart until you have isolated the problem.

I would recommend you start by verifying some basics.
1)No Vacuum Leaks/Vacuum Line Routing/Vacuum Line Condition/Vacuum Line Connections.
Rectangle Font Parallel Schematic Diagram

2)Verify Cam/Ignition Timing are Correct.

If the above items check OK then you need to start at the top and work down through the chart.
Here is Chryslers Flow Chart for Driveabilty Issues Without Fault Codes or Codes 51/52.
If you get to this point let me know and I can walk you through all of tests.
Font Parallel Rectangle Document Number
 

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Follow his directions, and1 at a time I will add a couple more that are TBI only specific I have run across, that caused that same specific issue.

1. Get it to TDC the old fashioned way (look down at the transaxle window, into the timing hole find the zero timing mark. Pull the #1 Plug (easier on next step if you pull them all out). Disconnect the Negative battery cable. Get a ratchet or better a longer breaker bar, long extensions so you can get past the rear of the passenger front tire to the crnk bolt through the access hole in the timing belt cover-if so equipped (or jack up the car and remove the left front wheel and support the car with a jack stand), and the appropriate sized socket for the crank pulley center bolt. (grab a Q-Tip or a long quarter inch wooden dowel, nothing hard that would scratch the #1 piston top (or buy or fabricate a proper TDC piston stop that fits in a spark plug hole, but if done really carefully it can be done just as easy with that mentioned above...But please do not drop anything into the cylinder during your attempt at locating the approximate True TDC), now look at the #1 plug wire, follow it bck to the Dist. Cap, label that post on the cap, and notate in your memory that location or mark the distributor body with a sharpie below the bottom of the cap...that mark at this point should point approximately at the #1 Spark plug hole, but do not at this time make any corrections (remove the Hall Effect distributor shield & cap, but leave the rotor on the shaft).

STOP NOW AND GET HELP FROM AN ASSISTANT for the next step please as it will not take long! As you cannot do all 3 things alone (Turn crank slowly from passenger side, feel for piston top position through 2 crank rotations with the soft straight item-The Q-tip or wooden dowel, and watch for Torque converter timing mark to align at TDC-0 mark on the drivers side.....BUT, It takes at least 2 people!)

Ok, once you have help, ask your assistant to slowly rotate the crank in only the clockwise direction, while you insert in the #1 spark plug hole only the Q-tip or wooden dowel, just down a couple of inches into the hole, not too far down though (caution against wedging anything in there), and at the same time, you watch the timing window with a flashlight, until you see the timing mark on the converter align with the zero (0) mark in the window....and as the #1 piston rises you will feel the piston top gently strike your probe, allow it to slowly and gently rise and push your probe up until the piston reaches the very top, and there will be a lag spot in the rise of the piston as it reaches TDC....TELL YOUR ASSISTANT TO STOP (said process may take up to 2 full revolutions of the crank pulley but no more than 2, and always turn in the clockwise direction).

Now, if your timing mark in the timing window and torque converter mark/line both align at Zero (YOU HAVE FOUND TRUE TDC on the Compression stroke. STOP rotating the crank. move on to the next step. Does the rotor of the distributor point approximately to the #1 spark plug hole? Next, loosen the distributor hold down bolt and remove the clamp after first marking the distributor base and the block where they meet with a sharpie directly straight down from the center of the rotor tip. Then lift without turning the distributor body out of the hole. The 2 notches in the oil pump shaft should be aligned parallel to the front of the block at this point (unless in the past someone removed/replaced the oil pump without first bringing it to TDC first)....Is it parallel with the front face of the block?

OK, here is what happened to me once causing that same condition you are experiencing (carefully with that flashlight, inspect the hole the distributor came out of...Is/are there any debris, strange markings, or steel fragments from a roll pin in the hole?...Now, look closely at the bottom of the distributor shaft at the roll pin that connects and locks the dual tanged lug to bottom of the distributor shaft (Then grab rotor in one hand on outer edge, hold the bottom with the other hand right where that roll pin is, and attempt gently to rotate each in opposite directions.....Is there slippage, turning at all, loosness? It should be totally locked to the shaft and zero rotation should be possible as all.....Or,if there is movement....You have sheared off that roll pin and you either must secure another properly sized roll pin, remove the fragments and replace that roll pin, or replace the distributor.

Mine once had completely sheared both sides of the roll pin, all the 3 pcs stayed in place, and each time the oil pump rotated, the edges would catch it and keep the shaft rotating, but not smoothly, so spark timing via the distr. was all over the map, but it caused a lot of very intermittent issues, shutoffs, high and low idle, etc. and it was a nasty gremlin much like yours that pointed all over heck and back, is not on that troubleshooting list, hard to find at just idle, gets worse as RPM's rise, and took a good while to find.

With limited tools, I used a hammer/nail, punched out all three pcs of the roll pin and replaced the roll pin only long enough to get home with a front axle cotter pin (not suggested at all except as a very temporary emergency band-aid fix to save a tow bill though, as they are much weaker than a full on steel roll pin, can easily shear that off, & pcs can end up further down into the block and pan....Fix it right, replace the roll pin or get a new or rebuilt distributor, they are cheap NAPA carries them. Was that roll pin sheared?

If so, your problem should be fixed and reassemble in reverse, line up all marks you made in the process, inspect all parts and replace as you go looking for other possible future issues to stave off before they happen and especially in the process, pull off the distributor rotor if it is blue in color plastic & check for movement between the plastic and the steel hall effect fins mounting melt points, as the ones made at a certain factory marked EN HECHO Mehico are famously made very poorly and the machine that press plastic heat welds the metal portion on the underside, does not do the job (and causes the same type of intermittent issues as a bad or broken roll pin, replace the bad rotor or you can spot weld yours with 4 very liberal beads around between metal and plastic and they hold for a while, then if that fixes the issues, you know what part to replace next, buy a white or black rotor, those are heat welded correctly 85 percent of the time instead of the blue ones (9 percent or less). If not...move on...

Now, remove the valve cover, and any timing belt covers. Now from the passenger (crank pulley), side & check all timing marks on the belt alignment side (Upper Cam Sprocket-oval(0) hole straight up over Cam Centerline...not at 12 o'clock as engine centerline is actually tilted back a bunch...more like 11 o'clock plus on Cam Sprocket same position there are 2 large holes, one on each side of the cam seal the horizontal parting line for the Cam Cap on the crank end should be splitting the 2 large holes. (You will need to get your eyes low, just above the fender looking straight down the center of the cam to verify that those cap lines split the 2 large holes perfectly.- -O-- CAM CENTER --O--, Next, remove the P.S., Alt./Water pump belts on crank pulley without turning the crank and crank sprocket from the TDC position, or the crank and timing belt, yes, it's tough to do but can be done using accessory belt pressure, or a gentle impact tool, but keep any hammering directly on the crank to a bare minimum, or you can really mess up the thrust shimming of that crank (it may be best to reinstall all the spark plugs first so you gain all compression in the cylinders giving you less to fight trying not to rotate that crank off dead on TDC...(check the transaxle timing window again to make sure timing marks are still aligned)--- (Ok, behind the larger accessory belt pulley is the Crank Sprocket and on its face, there is a 0 mark or a larger dot (o), on right hand side about 2 o'clock (easy to see, but mark it anyway)-and a very hard to see dash on the intermediate shaft pulley edge (---), (once you find that dash on the outer edge...take the time to mark it well with a sharpie, paint marker, or soap stone, to make it much easier to see too. Lay a straight edge across the center of the top of the Intermediate shaft sprocket bolt head, and the crank sprocket bolt hole center...and if your belt is tensioned correctly, and it is still at TDC, check the timing marks in the transaxle window again at this point (Then all 4 crank to Intermediate shaft bolt centers and pulley marks line up -about 7 o'clock lower left to 2 o'clock upper right)...If they all do, (Look again at Timing marks transaxle window both at ZERO, Cam Sprocket 3 marks line up, Intermediate shaft to Crank 4 marks line up, Oil pump shaft slots parallel to block, rotor faces #1 hole-not critical, can only be corrected by removing the oil pan while engine is at TDC, and R.R. the oil pump shaft, and more importantly, the rotor faces #1 hole and the rotor is pointing at #1 wire in the cap--If anything is actually off, better that it be the oil pump shaft slots, hardest to correct and hidden, has really no effect except a small internal engine minor balancing offset effect), then your belt and sprockets that control spark timing is right on (you can only get it closer by actually degreeing the cam with a degree wheel and a dial indicator, but that is good enough to make you know you are not a tooth or 2 off on the belt and sprocket alignment).....Then again check to see if the 2 notches in top of oil pump shaft, down in the distributor hole are parallel to the front face of the engine.(If so, Drop the distributor back down in aligning to the marks you made earlier on dist. base and block)...The rotor should be facing the #1 spark plug hole generally now, and looking straight down at the rotor tip, your lines at block and rotor base directly below the rotor tip should also line up.

Check the timing belt approximate tension by grabbing the belt approx. midway / halfway between the Cam Sprocket front side, and the Intermediate Shaft Sprocket with your right hand, turn the belt about 90 degrees. You should not be able to easily turn it beyond 90 degrees. If that is about right...your belt is tensioned correctly. If not, the belt tensioner is a that idler pulley to the opposite side, use a socket on the bolt, wrench on the lug, the bolt hole through the tensioner/idler pulley is off center, the back of the belt rides against the pulley, not the teeth of the belt. loosen the bolt slightly a quarter to half a turn max. grab the belt right hand (same spot as above), turn belt 90 degrees, use the wrench on the lug, rotate until you feel the pressure push against your right hand pushing back away from 90 degrees slightly, release belt, do not move the the tensioner lug with the wrench at this point (though it will attempt to move as you release the belt), tighten the tensioner center bolt snug only, and check belt tension again, if ok torque the bolt to proper torque specs using an inch lb. torque wrench.

Now you should be able to reassemble everything, but if those marks do not all line up, loosen up the center bolt on belt tensioner pull belt off cam and intermediate shaft sprockets and let it sit out towards you, line up all marks on Crank pulley/sprockets end, and TDC. GO GET AN ASSISTANT AGAIN (you will need them for about 2 minutes, as a third hand, though with lots of practice and experience you may learn to do it alone, if necessary. Start reinserting beltby putting your left hand under the belt below the crank sprocket, 1 finger under very bottom of belt push belt up in sprocket and hold it tight (it is a tight wedge to get your finger between the crank snout shield and the crank sprocket, that is why we start there, hold that pressure, pull belt around and over the intermediate shaft sprocket and mesh the belt into the sprocket so belt is now tight between crank and intermediate shaft, have your assistant now get on your left hand shoulder and grab belt on left hand side loose pressure left, then the belt near top with their right hand (all this done while you hold the belt tensioned fully and fully seated in both the first 2 sprockets), just above the Cam Sprocket, and pull the belt tight around and over the cam sprocket until it meshes...so now all marks are still lined up, all sprockets are in right position to belt, assistant now pushes the back center of the belt towards front of car, you grab the tensioner, insert bolt into tensioner, and the glide the right side of tensioner up against the belt replacing your assistants hand as a team (keep full tension on that belt at all times pushing towards front of the car until you can locate the bolt into the mounting hole on the block (it helps to also hold the lug and rotate it a little to maintain tension), now simply adjust the belt tension again. Alternate to that, once belt is tight round all sprockets, assistant holds belt toward front of car, you put tensioner and bolt on with the tensioner swung or rotated towards the rear (loose side), then once bolt is finger tight, you rotate it to the front or tight side and carefull hold tension and replace the assistant's finger...then tension it together, he holds 90 degrees on belt front, you operate the wrenches.

Hope you have fixed your issues now, found something wrong, and the solution 1 way or another. have fun putting it all back together. I have see a lot of people get it 1 to 2 teeth off by doing it alone, have seen quite a few jump a tooth off simply due to tension too loose or even too tight, and so far at least 2 sheared roll pins before in the distributor on a 2.2L, and many, many of the loose rotor plastic/metal hall effect blades....causes the blades to get much to close to the magnet, and metal hall effect bldes jump to magnet shuts off, missing, all kinds of problems then (but all 3 situations end up with spark/ignition symptoms/gremlins)...Hope you find yours in the roll pin in distributor shaft...a quicker fix than the time it took to type this out. But I hope it helps.

Good Luck.
 

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Oh crap, sry...I just read your O.P. again (it has been a long 48 hrs. here)...You have a 2.5 TBI manual trans, not a 2.2 Auto. Well at least the distributor is the same (check that roll pin first), then look at a model specific Clymer or Hanes manual to get it to TDC, and the timing marks alignment, belt & belt tension sequence, as I have never actually touched a 2.5L (beyond reading about the differences (like balance shafts, extra sprocket due to the balance shafts, and taller block deck brother to the 2.2L aspect), and I have no idea if you have had the "delete of the balance shafts" done or not yet (you should think about it, if you have not yet, but that requires an oil pan drop), and otherwise the 2 engines are not that dis-similar, except in the trans/timing window aspect. (Ooop's No Torque Converter..ok, I am an idiot), is the timing window in the same place with a mark on flywheel or pressure plate or something? I will check my books...to see how far off the process described above is. My bad if it is really different besides 1 more timing sprocket I think.

If that distributor roll pin is loose or sheared (it will be an easy fix, yet very hard to find usually), so hoping for you that is it.
 
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