1995 3.0 FWD Voyager: Hard start, rough running

The issue is that the car will almost never start while the starter is getting power. In order to start the engine, one must flick into and out of the ignition’s starter position. After the eighth or ninth time, it will stutter after the starter is disengaged. Two or three more short bursts of starter power and it fires right up. Often it will stutter as though leaned out way too far if one tries to depress the throttle too soon after starting. Also, after idling for a couple minutes, engine will begin to cough, and will choke out every time the throttle is pressed, often stalling. If shut off for a minute, it will restart by the method specified rather quickly, and run fairly smoothly. Under all circumstances, engine chokes out if throttle is depressed more than 70%. Suspicions lead me to expect an issue with the fuel injection system, and it perhaps locks up when trying to spray extra rich for start-up. Possibly pressure regulator? Prior owner indicated recent replacement of fuel pump, which had no effect on symptoms. Really, I have none of the tools necessary to test such things, as it’s soo not my specialty just yet. Any ideas?

Check all your vacuum lines. Anytime my '87 Cherokee ran rough, I had a vacuum hose that kept coming off.
Also, check throttle position sensor, better yet, do you have a check engine light coming on at all? If so, have a local parts store read your code(s). Most of the big chain stores do it for free and I’ve always had good luck with them reading my codes.

Are you having to turn the key back and forth in ignition position? I had a hard time following what you’re saying.

Let us know what you come up with.

What I meant to say was it needs to be switched rather quickly between “run” and “start”. I’m not sure why I worded it as I did. Alas, no engine lights. Although it’s pre-OBD II, so autozone can’t scan it, a couple shops I used to work at can lend me their scanner, I can at least check for old codes.

It’s okay, we’re not grammar professors here. :> Why do you need to go from run to start quickly? What’s happening?

Sorry, I didn’t pay attention to the year. My wife’s '95 Stratus was hard to scan as well.

Can your old shop buddies lend you a thought?

They’re baffled too. What happens is, it will not fire if the starter is running. If I put power to the starter for only long enough for one rotation, then let the ignition settle back to the run position, it will fire. Not immediately, but much more quickly than if I just keep it turning over.

Some cars have used a system where they get more power to the plugs when starting and normal after the key is back in the run position. I wonder if you have that system and the higher voltage system is out?

When the ignition switch is turned to RUN and START, certain things happen (or, not). Follow the 12 volt power from the ignition switch (on dark blue/white wire) to: fuse #15; ASD relay; fuel pump relay; and data link connector (DLC) plug for the OBD plug-in tester [See wiring diagrams].
Put the ignition switch in RUN and, using a multimeter, check at each component (dark blue/white wire) for the presents of 12 volts dc. Disconnect the power from the starter to prevent it from energising. Hold the ignition switch to START while checking for the 12 volts at the above components. Fuse #15 and the DLC connector (on front of the left shock tower) are the easiest to reach. If there isn’t 12 volts dc, with the ignition switch in START, somewhere before that point, is where the problem is.