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94 Explorer Cam Sensor going to swap due to Code 214

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Old 07-16-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
mechjames
Richmond, BC
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CAN 94 Explorer Cam Sensor going to swap due to Code 214

I finally decided to find out how hard it was to pull the cam sensor on a wrecked explorer at the wrecker this weekend, after dealing with a 214 code that is on 95% of the time. With the hood off, it only took about 25 minutes, including the time to pull the upper intake off.

So I got a cam sensor, and it looks like it's been replaced before. Truck was high mileage (323,000km i believe) so I was a little worried, but I pulled out a bosch sensor, so I don't think its the stock sensor. Must be newer or replaced at least once.

The question is, i'm afraid of putting the alignment out when I reinstall. The bolt and tab that holds it on sorta resembles a distributor, right? So if I don't reinstall it on the same position (it looks like it can go in 6 different ways according to the teeth) wouldn't the timing be out?

Can I get away with replacing the top part of the sensor (the electrical part only). Its the part thats held on by two screws and has that little plastic window. That was the original part I took off, before I realized there was a bolt/tab holding it on. This way the alignment of the sensor will stay the same, since I believe it is just something electrical, as my 214 code will usually only come on once I start driving from an idle when I start the truck, but the CEL is on 95% of the time.

Seems like it should work, and its alot better then the 400$ napa wants for a new one.

I guess if i'm careful and seeing what position the sensor comes out, if it runs a little rough i can adjust it while its running and check the timing marks with a timing light, but its in such a bad spot already. Ford puts their distributors up front in the 302's, but why is this at the back of a v6?
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:45 PM   #2
mechjames
Richmond, BC
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I've tested this out. I disconnected the plug at the cam sensor, and the truck still starts and runs the way it has been over the past year and a half. Going to check voltage at the harness, and attempt to swap it into the same position it comes out. If it doesn't work, then I just unplug it and keep driving.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:44 PM   #3
fordfrenzyist
regina,sask
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Originally Posted by mechjames View Post
I've tested this out. I disconnected the plug at the cam sensor, and the truck still starts and runs the way it has been over the past year and a half. Going to check voltage at the harness, and attempt to swap it into the same position it comes out. If it doesn't work, then I just unplug it and keep driving.
i have a 94 were swapping engines and the new engine is from a 94 but is missing the egr and cam sensor so your sayin it will run w/out a cam sensor plugged in??? cause our new engine has a plug in place but no sensor, and i dont wanna put mine in out of alignment.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
Runnin'OnEmpty
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Lightbulb

Guys, the engine won't run for long without input from
the CMP sensor. The PCM is probably using the last best
signal in memory to fire the injectors now, but once the
battery is disconnected and memory is lost, it won't start.

My Haynes manual gives the procedure for replacing the
cam synchro for pre-95's, but it's rather involved and
you have to use a voltmeter for aligning it.

Try AutoZone's website for the procedure, or do a
search for it. I don't have time to type it in right now,
but will later if you can't find it anywhere else.....




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Bought another 2000 Sport (God help me), 4.0 ohv auto, 60K actual miles, Cragar SS alloys/BFG TAs, AAL, EE anti-sway bar, Gibson cat-back, Harvest Gold, GT leather interior.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
mechjames
Richmond, BC
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Aye, i've had no cam sensor for a year and a half, and swapped batteries and disconnected it to clear ecu after maf cleaning a few times.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
Runnin'OnEmpty
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by mechjames View Post
Aye, i've had no cam sensor for a year and a half, and swapped batteries and disconnected it to clear ecu after maf cleaning a few times.
Thanks, James, I didn't know it would do that. I'd read that the ECU needed a cmp signal to start.

Here's the alignment instructions:

1. Position engine at TDC for cyl 1 compression stroke.

2. Install the synchro with the trailing edge of the sensor vane aligned with the short mark at the left side of the sensor window.

3. Insert the sensor and drive assembly into the engine. The sensor vane will rotate clockwise as the drive gear meshes with the gear on the camshaft.

4. Turn the synchro counterclockwise to make room for the hold-down clamp and bolt. Install the clamp and bolt, but don't tighen. Now turn the synchro back until it is parallel (lengthwise) with the centerline of the engine. Reconnect the sensor.

5. Rotate the engine two revolutions and return the engine to TDC compression for cyl 1. This will take up any slack in the timing chain. Now continue to turn the engine until it is positioned at 26 degrees ATDC. (There should be an additional mark on the damper at 26* ATDC, but if you can't find the mark, make one at exactly 1-11/32 inches counterclockwise from the TDC mark.)

6. Turn ignition on. Connect positive probe of voltmeter to the backside of the center terminal of the sensor (dark blue w/orange stripe wire). Connect negative probe to a good ground.

7. Rotate the sensor counterclockwise until voltage reads on the voltmeter. (battery voltage). Now turn the sensor CW until the voltmeter reads 0 volts. Finally, rotate the sensor slowly CCW and stop exactly when the voltmeter reading changes from 0 v. to a positive v. reading.

8. Detach voltmeter and tighten the hold-down bolt securely.

9. Crack open and enjoy your favorite beverage, you are done.

Hope this helps someone. remember this is for 1995 and earlier models.

ROE




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Bought another 2000 Sport (God help me), 4.0 ohv auto, 60K actual miles, Cragar SS alloys/BFG TAs, AAL, EE anti-sway bar, Gibson cat-back, Harvest Gold, GT leather interior.

Last edited by Runnin'OnEmpty; 08-06-2009 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Typo edit.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:19 PM   #7
mechjames
Richmond, BC
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Quote:
Thanks, James, I didn't know it would do that. I'd read that the ECU needed a cmp signal to start.
Yea, you'd think it would be a necessary item for function, but 94 has its own cam sensor that is specific to that year only. Makes me wonder if the 1994 computer can cope without it, and use other sensors like O2 and knock sensors to determine the optimum firing.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:05 PM   #8
Runnin'OnEmpty
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Yeah James, the O2 and knock sensors would help determine the fuel mixture, but I'd guess the injector timing would be late without a cmp signal. The ECM probably has an injector timing setting programed in that the engine uses to start, and then it stays at that setting no matter the RPM (if there's no cmp signal).

Power and fuel economy would have to be better with a good cmp signal, and having the synchro timed correctly. Otherwise, there'd be no use for a cmp sensor at all.

I installed a new cam synchro in a Ranger 3.0 last week, and they're much easier to time using the position tool. I guess that's why Ford changed to the newer type synchro.....?




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Bought another 2000 Sport (God help me), 4.0 ohv auto, 60K actual miles, Cragar SS alloys/BFG TAs, AAL, EE anti-sway bar, Gibson cat-back, Harvest Gold, GT leather interior.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:52 PM   #9
mechjames
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yea, ever since my sensor came back to life, its been idling smoother, and has a heck of a lot more torque. its the equivalent to not having vaccum advance on a carbed system when your cam sensor isn't working.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:31 PM   #10
Willie C.
Forrest City, Arkansas
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I know this is an old thread but this is to mechjames,Runnin'OnEmpty,&fordfrenzyist. Thanks for the how to on the install I needed That Bad! I think It may be Like say chevy vortecs. When there is no signal it resorts to a default setting. I know that for a fact on vortecs. I make my livin mechanikin. Thanks again.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:03 PM   #11
Runnin'OnEmpty
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Originally Posted by Willie C. View Post
I know this is an old thread but this is to mechjames,Runnin'OnEmpty,&fordfrenzyist. Thanks for the how to on the install I needed That Bad! I think It may be Like say chevy vortecs. When there is no signal it resorts to a default setting. I know that for a fact on vortecs. I make my livin mechanikin. Thanks again.
Glad we could help, Willie.
Apparently the PCM does indeed resort to a default setting,
since James has run his without a CMP signal for a long time.

Welcome to the forum.




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Bought another 2000 Sport (God help me), 4.0 ohv auto, 60K actual miles, Cragar SS alloys/BFG TAs, AAL, EE anti-sway bar, Gibson cat-back, Harvest Gold, GT leather interior.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:10 AM   #12
Jack Flash
Ethel, MS
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I took a rebuilt engine out of a wrecked '91 EX and it had a cam sensor. The engine was just installed in a '92 Navajo. The Navajo had a plug where the sensor would have been.

Apparently the Navajo never had a cam sensor because there was no wiring there to have been plugged up.

Perhaps some came with cam sensors & others didn't ?
,
,

J...inquiring minds wanna know.




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Old 08-23-2009, 01:26 AM   #13
mechjames
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yup, I can confirm that it can run without a camshaft sensor signal, because it can run with the plug disconnected, but with a little bit reduced mileage and torque, and it sucks driving it uphill a mountain pass as well.

Glad we could help. Hopefully your truck runs great now! Nothing better then knowing that every electronic part of your vehicle is working 100%. That's what the 111 code means, and I was sure surprised to get it once the sensor came back to life. Three weeks now of no Check engine light, and counting!


--james
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:34 PM   #14
lefty84
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help

ok heres my problem with the same thing. my computer is throwing the 214 code and i went and got a list of things to check since i prefer to try to fix it myself. i went and bought a chiltons for my 94 and it says that my vehicle does not have or use a CMP sensor. the local advanced auto parts also backs this up. so i bought and replaced the CKP sensor since it was also one of the things that could cause the 214 code. still the CEL is on. the other 2 things to check on my list are the ICM and PCM. both of which i can get about $50 each at my local wrecking yard. any help or input would be great.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:57 PM   #15
mechjames
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All 1994 explorers use a camshaft sensor. The chilton's manual has been proven wrong.

Rockauto.com used to carry a replacement camshaft sensor, but it was discontinued from their manufacturer, and disappeared from their catalog. The same thing probably happened at advance auto parts.

Currently it seems like NAPA is the only place to get them new, but you won't like the price. $400+. Best thing to do is to pull the sensor out from a wrecking yard. Take the upper intake off the wrecked truck and you'll see the plug on the back of the block. If you have long arms, you could probably find the plug behind and below the upper intake on the firewall side of the engine. It might have just come unplugged on your truck, although more likely it is the sensor itself.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:58 AM   #16
Brandon M.
Wilmington,OH
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Originally Posted by mechjames View Post
All 1994 explorers use a camshaft sensor. The chilton's manual has been proven wrong.

Rockauto.com used to carry a replacement camshaft sensor, but it was discontinued from their manufacturer, and disappeared from their catalog. The same thing probably happened at advance auto parts.

Currently it seems like NAPA is the only place to get them new, but you won't like the price. $400+. Best thing to do is to pull the sensor out from a wrecking yard. Take the upper intake off the wrecked truck and you'll see the plug on the back of the block. If you have long arms, you could probably find the plug behind and below the upper intake on the firewall side of the engine. It might have just come unplugged on your truck, although more likely it is the sensor itself.
Or could be in the wiring too
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:46 PM   #17
95ExpLim
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Great forum, lots of good info. I need all the help I can get!

I know this is an old thread but...(I need to get rid of that nag "first post thing!)...it's my understanding the cam pos sensor is just used until the engine starts to determine when cyl #1 is on the compression stroke.

This info (along with crank position) allows sequential injection whenever the rpm is low enough. The actual spark timing is from a sensor near the harmonic damper, it detects the teeth (1 every 10 degrees) on the "trigger wheel".

This wheel has one tooth missing (36 teeth minus 1). This missing tooth is at 10 degrees BTDC on cyl #1 but it could be 10 deg BTDC on compression or on exhaust -the cam sensor information determines which.

The pulse from the "trigger wheel" is sent to the EDIS module where it's cleaned up a bit and sent on to the computer (PIP signal). The computer calculates the proper spark advance and sends this information back to the EDIS unit as the SAW info. (if you lose this SAW sig it goes to limp mode spark -think SPOUT and 10 degrees).

Without the cam sensor information the computer can't do sequential injection and so resorts to "bank" or "simultaneous" injection which is less than optimal.

The EDIS always fires two plugs -one will be in a cyl coming up on the compression stroke, the other will be in the complementary cyl and it will be on the exhaust stroke, hence "wasted spark".

This is my understanding of how it works on my 1995. Please correct me if I'm wrong.




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