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contributions: 8
Started over from scratch and found the problem.
The moral of the story is:
1) Just because you get spark, does NOT mean the coil will keep the engine running.
2) It appears the test for Crank / CAM through the coil is accurate even though the coil may be bad (at least in my case).
What I found was the primary was high by ".01" over specifications on the 2/5.
Just enough out of spec to cause intermittent stalling and finally a no-start.

During the course of solving this, I still have a few questions which I never have found an answer to(any takers):
1) What is an acceptable minimum bleed down time for the fuel pump?
2) Will the strainer resting on the bottom of the tank possibley cause early failure (dodge original pumps are elevated slightly off the bottom) ?
3) Best way -- without removal and without a scanner -- to evaluate for flex-plate cracking?


I want to THANK everyone who posted for their input. It was greatly appeciated.
BTW, never had to install a Crank or CAM Pos.

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contributions: 2261
Images: 37
Location: Oregon
congrats on finding the fix for your vehicle.

the length of time that the fuel pressure stays in the fuel rail is not all that important. Anything more than few minutes would be fine for most vehicles. Most of the cars today that use electric fuel pumps build up fuel pressure fast enough that you don't need residual pressure to start the engine. Some vehicles say an hour some say longer. I have had many vehicles that will bleed down in seconds after the engine is turned off with no bad effects on running or restarts. Where leakdown becomes a problem is where the pressure leak to. If the check valve in the pump section is weak then the pressure will leak back into the tank through the pump. Most American cars has a pump prime when you cycle the key and that will usually bring up the pressure quick enough to start the engine right away. If it get pretty bad then you may have a slightly extended crank time. If the leakdown is through the fuel pressure regulator then you could have a problem with either low fuel pressure or fuel leaking through the diaphragm and put unmetered fuel into the intake. And if the leakdown is from a leaking injector you could have rough idle, High emissions, possibly hydrostatic lock if a cylinder fills with fuel.

the strainer doesn't usually sit on the bottom of the tank. That's where the dirt, scum and water goes. The strainer is just barely off the bottom. If the strainer does touch the bottom then usually there is a lower spot in the tank that is not by the strainer.

checking the flex plate for cracking is different from vehicle to vehicle. If there is a cover you can take off to see the flex plate, that would be the easiest. Some you could pull the starter and look through the hole the starter was in. Other vehicles you may have to remove the trans to see what's happening. But, you don't usually look for a cracked flex plate until you have a problem where you suspect that your flex plate could be the problem. It's not something you inspect for maintenance or something.

are you having a problem that you think might be from your flex plate?

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contributions: 8
Thanks for the excellent response. Re:

are you having a problem that you think might be from your flex plate?

No. Just question for future reference.
Supposedly the Caravan (not sure my year) has had some flexplate issues.
A number of post re: this issue state only way to tell is transaxle removal (PITA).
The starter can be removed but only a small portion of flexplate is visible.
Whether one can get a borescope up to take a look see ???

The strainer is just barely off the bottom

Original OEM fuel pump had a rubber pad on the bottom of the pump module.
The pad for the most part was gone -- either from rubbing bottom of tank or gas eatng it.
When the new fuel pump (module) was installed, examined its position through the fill tube hole.
Hard to tell , but looked like strainer was sitting on bottom (or very close to it).
Since strainer was dry, when wet, may be different story.
New and old tanks do not have wells -- this vehicle.
Don't know what if anything I could do other than buy dealer pump.

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