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Elfin 10-21-2013 02:36 AM

VM TD2.5 Electrical, running problem (Local garages cant help) Please Help!
Hi All

A newbie here but always in the back ground, checking posts etc
I have a VM TD2.5 XJ 1995 which i havnt had a problem with until now....

When i go to start up, turn key on and nothing happens - no glow plug light, all clocks drop below 0, so you fire it up and it just rattles like mad as if there isnt any oil (but thats been checked). You can turn off and turn key back on and if your lucky dash lights up, all clocks come alive, fire up and runs sweet like usual.

The problem is completly random and sometimes even happens while im driving, clocks drop out and rattle starts for 20secs or so and returns back to normal

This is driving me insane as sometimes this on off procedure works but its becoming worse and worse and is now to the point where its completly 50/50 if it will run right or not. (if it dosnt run right i take something else to work as i HATE driving it - it sounds like its tearing its self appart)

Please any advise will be fantastic.

RLE 10-21-2013 09:28 AM

Saw your post. Don't know a lot about this but have a little experience
with the VM 2.5. Did your local garages try anything or have any theories?

When the glow plugs don't heat and you turn the starter over anyway to
"fire it up", the engine is sure to rattle and jump around because
everything is cold. Same thing as if you push started it, which I have
done a lot.

It could be an inadequate battery/charging system or a bad glow plug
relay. Since you get the problem also sometimes while on the road, the
latter is unlikely.

How old is your battery? The glow plug system runs at 12v unlike some
other diesels which use 7-11v and it needs a lot of electrical power. I
bought 75amp batteries and never had one last more than a year and a
half. Make sure your alternator is giving you 14volts. Clean the battery terminals.

Clean and scrape the ground connection at the engine block.

You may also have an air leak in the fuel system, which causes problems
at starting and maybe intermittently when running. Sometimes the
o-ring on the fuel filter can leak. Take it off, clean the o-ring, and make
sure it seals smoothly. If it is time to change the fuel filter (about every
20,000km), replace it. Check the fuel lines to the injectors and replace
any that are kinked or damaged.

If you don't have a Factory Service manual, you can access one for the
VM engine on this page. It has troubleshooting helps.

It is in the Cherokee/1996-2001/ "Engine" section beginning at page 121,
after the two gasoline engines' info. The 1995 should not be much
different than 96+, except yours does not have the OBDII diagnostic

Elfin 10-22-2013 04:31 AM

Hello RLE

Firstly thank you for the reply and great detail!!!!

Okay starting from the top,
A couple garages had a look and didnt have any ideas, but one private guy suggested the ignition barrel?

Its a strange one, when i say the glow plug lights dosnt come on, im sure the glow plugs still warm as it fires good and hard (like usual) not like when glow plugs dont warm and your chugging for 3-6 turns until it fires.

You mention the battery, i was having problems with my old battery so changed it out approx 4 months ago, good solid batt im pretty sure thats not my worries but will double check/clean connections.

I will look into the fuel filter and make myself aware of the correct procedure etc.

Refering back to when this happens,
imagine you put the key in, turn it on, check dash for lights, okay all clocks, Oil,mph,temp,rpm (not volts,fuel) go to 0 (oil goes below) (if i fire like this it will rattle etc etc) but sometimes i dont have to do anything and suddenly a noise from footwell (high pitch wine raising in pitch for a second) all dash lights pop on and oil moves up to 0 .... fire now and shes running sweet.

When it happens on the road, its not like an engine failiure, oil,mph,rpm,temp drop out and noise starts but no real lose of power (the only thing i can relate this noise to is an engine out of time / engine dumped its oil or even broken push rods .... But like i say clocks come back on and engine over a second or so go back to normal

It certinaly seems like an electrical thing, it seems like its all linked together but im not that electrically minded (compaired with mechanically)

I will try and take a video tonight.

RLE 10-22-2013 05:35 PM

A couple of details.

You find the ground bolt on the right front of the engine. Mounted with a bolt. Just left below the oil filter. Double cable should have 10mm˛ in square. Take it off and clean it with sandpaper.

If you have the original fuel filter setup, the rubber around the plunger also goes brittle with time. If so you can replace it with an o-ring or an original part. The best filter for the original setup is Mahle - an Austrian brand (3microns versus 5mic). I replaced my whole filter setup with one out of a Renault Laguna. It made getting replacement filters a lot easier and cheaper in the long run.

Elfin 10-23-2013 03:30 AM

Okay will start on that tonight, just as a note last night i removed all fues/relays and connections i could find cleaned and replaced. I will do this with the ground like you mention above and hopefully something might work :)

RLE 10-25-2013 09:19 AM


I did a little searching on the forum to see if other guys have had this problem.

1. You may have a problem with the connectors on the back of your instrument cluster.
Look at this post and then look at the write-up referenced by CJ7-Tim in post #3.

2. In this post several people fixed intermittent gauge problems by fixing ground wires.
See also:

3. Here is a 95 owner who had a bad ignition switch:

4. If it is a diesel-model specific related problem, you might look around at
the Australia forum where there a lot of VM2.5 diesel owners.

Hope something helps.

Elfin 10-28-2013 02:26 AM


Checked out these posts, thats great information (i did do a search but couldnt find anything like this)
like you say very similar symptoms but no cigar unfortunately ... very strange problem because i cant find anything similar across google etc.
I will check the forum you mention .. as you say there seems to be more VM engined jeeps there.
thanks again

Elfin 10-28-2013 09:47 AM

Just found this and it looks like a pretty good description of whats happening:

Im going to check these connections out tonight.

Elfin 12-02-2013 01:26 AM

Hi All
So i have finally had a chance to strip out the dash and check all connections, after fighting with the dash to get it passed the steering column i have found that everything behind the dash is perfect. All connections are like new so tried again and same problem occuring :S ....
Left the key on and went to the engine bay PCM and wiggled the wiring (already checked connection and all clean) nothing happened, in frustration I tappped the unit and hey presto we have power.
So looks like i have found the fault seems to be something in the PCM bad connection so thats the next plan take appart and clean gently.....

The time now is 04:03 AM.

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