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Unread 02-17-2012, 05:38 AM   #1
ntk4
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95 Cherokee 4.0 Stall

My daughter's 95 cherokee died suddenly last night on the expressway . Here's what I know. Keep in mind, I have about an hour's drive to get to the car, and want to fix it myself.

She was traveling at about 70mph on the expressway, the engine chugged shifted gears a bit and then quit. She coasted to the side of the road, and I picked her up in the darkness and didnt have time to diagnose or check much. Here's what I know:

1. New alternator within 6 months
2. Battery is strong - lights all work well
3. Engine cranks, but does not fire
4. Her ammeter went to 9 just as this happened

My guess is that it is a coil pack, but am looking for input from others. I've verified the battery is good. Can the coil going out kill the motor like that? I realize it could be a fuel pump, but why would the ammeter go down if that were the case? Any ideas?

I plan to check the coil first, and have been told if it has a yellow spark it is weak, and no spark... well it's done. Could it be a crank sensor if the coil is good? If I have spark, and still no fire, I would assume either the CS or a fuel pump?

Help, please, and thanks in advance for any responses.

NTK

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Unread 02-17-2012, 05:55 AM   #2
jeepkid03
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I'm thinking the crank sensor. Definitely check for spark and fuel. A bad fuel pump could also cause the engine to die. In my experiences, coils seem to die slowly and will work when the engine is cold, but not allow the engine to start when hot. It would probably be a good idea to check fuel pressure. You can usually rent a gauge from the autoparts store.
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Unread 02-17-2012, 05:57 AM   #3
BUSA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntk4
My daughter's 95 cherokee died suddenly last night on the expressway . Here's what I know. Keep in mind, I have about an hour's drive to get to the car, and want to fix it myself.

She was traveling at about 70mph on the expressway, the engine chugged shifted gears a bit and then quit. She coasted to the side of the road, and I picked her up in the darkness and didnt have time to diagnose or check much. Here's what I know:

1. New alternator within 6 months
2. Battery is strong - lights all work well
3. Engine cranks, but does not fire
4. Her ammeter went to 9 just as this happened

My guess is that it is a coil pack, but am looking for input from others. I've verified the battery is good. Can the coil going out kill the motor like that? I realize it could be a fuel pump, but why would the ammeter go down if that were the case? Any ideas?

I plan to check the coil first, and have been told if it has a yellow spark it is weak, and no spark... well it's done. Could it be a crank sensor if the coil is good? If I have spark, and still no fire, I would assume either the CS or a fuel pump?

Help, please, and thanks in advance for any responses.

NTK
Fuel pump would just cut the jeep rite off possibly the CS too my bro and i were drivin in my 99xj dwn the eway and the jeep shut off for a sec thank gosh it came back on to get me home that was the CS
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Unread 02-17-2012, 06:01 AM   #4
ntk4
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My only issue is that the ammeter went goofy, so I'm assuming its electrical in nature, hence the coil as my first choice. Would the ammeter go down if the fuel pump went out? Based on what I have read, if the CS goes bad, it usually restarts, and in this case I had no fire in the engine?
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Unread 02-17-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
ntk4
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I've been informed it could also be the computer. How can I best troubleshoot this? Here's what I can do that I know

1. Make sure there's fuel coming in.
2. Check for spark

How do I test the crank sensor?
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Unread 02-17-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
tjwalker
It's the crank sensor!
 
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Unlikely that it is the computer.

I always approach a no-start with unknown origin like this.

Remove a spark plug, keep it attached to the plug wire, place the plug electrode near a good engine ground, have a buddy crank the engine while you watch. You are looking for a strong, BLUE, snapping spark. Any other color indicates a weak spark which may not be strong enough to start the engine (test your coil if spark is weak)

If you have no spark, the crankshaft positioin sensor is the #1 suspect, the ignition coil is the #2 suspect.

IF spark checks out (and only if because if you don't have spark, this test is moot), try a splash of gas into the intake or a small shot of starting fluid. If the engine starts and runs momentarily, you have verified a fuel delivery problem.

The two above tests are very quick and dirty but are absolutely invaluable in narrowing the root cause down.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Unread 02-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
ntk4
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Tuns out it was the fuel pump. Thanks for simple, yet effective tests TJ!
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Unread 02-19-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
tjwalker
It's the crank sensor!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntk4 View Post
Tuns out it was the fuel pump. Thanks for simple, yet effective tests TJ!
Glad I could help. Simple fix and back on the road again......
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Unread 02-20-2012, 02:51 AM   #9
DullesJeep
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Also of note for this kind of issue, bad capacitors in the computer can cause the fuel pump to get screwy.
I had a similar situation with my 95 Cherokee.
Mine ended up being the ECU.
$4 in parts 2 hours and some RTV sealer later, I was back in action.
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