The Prescott Rally 2011 – Some last minute drama…

Last Tuesday after a marathon weekend of mounting seats, belts, lights, etc. I wanted to drive the 2GN rally car to work and get some miles on it before the rally. I start her up in the garage – *blub *blub *blub *blub “Why does that not sound right?” *blub *blub… Sounds like it’s running on three cylinders. I open the hood and the engine is bobbling around pretty good. Rev the motor, drive it around the block, no power, call it done, and park it back in the garage.

In the evening I pull the code P0202 from the computer. This means the “Fuel Injection Circuit has failed on cylinder 2.” Only three things to check and replace. I swap injector 1 and 2 and nothing changes. I test the wiring going to the PCM with a meter and it’s fine. The only thing left is a bad PCM / ECU (Power Control Module / Electronic Control Unit) and I have no idea why it failed. Right now I think it had hesitation issues when I bought it and they got worse. Plus the wiring loom in the front went into the AC compressor, remember?

Wednesday morning, worst nightmare happens – no one has a computer in stock. The last one in the US (you think I’m kidding…) is sent over-night to Tustin Dodge for Thursday. I formulate a backup plan and find one from a junkyard for an automatic (I confirm that it will throw a code, but still run). To add to the drama, you can’t just plug in an old ECU and expect it to work in a car from this century. The dashboard and key module are aware of the VIN number and won’t start without re-programming from a dealer. 😡

On Thursday morning we are all packed on the tow dolly and ready to head to Arizona with a car that only runs on three cylinders. 😐 I drop the 2GN off at the dealership at 7am and go to work. I finally receive a phone call later in the day. The part is in, and the tech I know there (who is a past Neon Owners Club member) has installed the new PCM and was able to re-flash the junkyard one (sometimes it won’t go). The car is running great and we are good to leave for Prescott after work. Now the real adventure can begin. 😀