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Unread 03-20-2013, 04:07 AM   #1
jmcgill
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1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 90
2.5L missing + check engine light

I have a chance to buy a 1994 Wrangler locally. I've looked at it twice. It seems to have no real issues with rust aside from one spot under the driver's door. The frame and floors look great. It's obviously had a leaky top in the past, due to the smell in the car, but I figure that's par for the course with a Wrangler.

It's the basic (S?) model with a 5 speed and the 2.5 motor and has 117K or so miles. When I went on a fairly decent test drive, I immediately noticed that it seemed to have NO power. I mean, it had less than my 1972 VW. At first, I shrugged that off as the 4 cylinder being weak, but on the way back, it started missing or hesitating really badly, it was also making some kind of rattling sound and the check engine light came on. I was scared I wouldn't make it back. Fortunately, I did, and when I got back and turned the car off and restarted it, the CEL went away, and it sounded great again. I don't think the motor is inherently bad, as it sounded fine, and idled great.

I really like this Jeep, and the price is RIGHT for a YJ that needs just some cosmetic and maintenance things. However, I'm really worried that the engine is having issues.

Any idea what might be causing the miss/cutting out on the engine? And, should it be a deal-breaker?

Thanks,
Joe

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Unread 03-20-2013, 06:35 AM   #2
Que89YJ
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Start with the basics: tune up for sure. Plugs, wires, cap,rotor, and the fuel filter. Clean the throttlebody and IAC:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/q...-body-1262267/
Check your fault codes and post back what they are. Easy to check. Follow this directions:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/h...codes-1257145/
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Unread 03-20-2013, 07:09 AM   #3
jmcgill
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1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Huntsville, AL
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I don't actually own the Jeep yet. I am seriously considering it based on the price alone.

The current owner has done the plugs, wires, and put a new coil in. I'm not sure if he's done the fuel filter, but he may have. He's not a Jeep guy, so I highly doubt he's worked on any of the sensors.

I guess what I want to ask is : Should something that might very well be a tune up issue preclude me from buying a somewhat low-mileage YJ that has a new top and is 98% rust free? I like to work on cars, and my wife and I both like Wranglers.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
tanboiii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcgill
I don't actually own the Jeep yet. I am seriously considering it based on the price alone.

The current owner has done the plugs, wires, and put a new coil in. I'm not sure if he's done the fuel filter, but he may have. He's not a Jeep guy, so I highly doubt he's worked on any of the sensors.

I guess what I want to ask is : Should something that might very well be a tune up issue preclude me from buying a somewhat low-mileage YJ that has a new top and is 98% rust free? I like to work on cars, and my wife and I both like Wranglers.
I have a 1994 6 cylinder. Check the codes on it. I bet you will get a 27. Mine had the same thing happen recently. It's either a bad injector or bad injector pigtail. It's no problem at all to fix.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
Que89YJ
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No the code is definitely not a deal breaker. The YJ is pretty eay to troubleshoot and real easy to modify. The 4.0 is a stronger engine for sure but the 2.5L is a very good engine. and will easily get you 250K miles. You and your wife will both enjoy it for sure.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 08:41 AM   #6
jmcgill
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Thanks! I was thinking the same thing. The engine has good oil pressure, and didn't heat up at all when driving it. Doesn't make any really bad sounds, aside from that knocking when the CEL came on.

I think that for the price the guy is asking, it's worth taking a shot on in hopes that it's just a 2 hour labor job to clean out the throttle body and replace some sensors.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
Que89YJ
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Knocking, is it preignition knock? Check the fault codes so you have some idea of what you are dealing with. If the kocking is only happening when the CEL comes on then it will tell you alot about what is going on.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #8
jmcgill
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I'll check the codes when I go look at it again. When I was driving it, it was sluggish and lacked power, but I didn't get the SERIOUS miss/cutting out until the CEL came on. That's when I started to hear some kind of sound from the engine...I say "Knock" because that's what it sounded like....not a rod knock, but something, almost like what an old Mercedes diesel would sound like.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
Que89YJ
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Sounds like preignition. It is still definitely a buy. Make sure you bargin it down! I am sure we can get it running right for you and if your willing to turn a wrench then inexpensively too.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 11:07 AM   #10
jmcgill
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If, indeed, it was pre-ignition knock, how is that solved? Sounds like something to do with the distributor.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 11:38 AM   #11
idaholtby
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Given the symptoms, this rig could easily have a plugged catalytic convertor, likely due to a bad and ignored O2 sensor. This is just a guess, but as Que stated, check the codes which is easily done using the Check engine light and ignition key. The 2.5L is a strong/long lived motor. It's power is fine around town and in the hills, but the lack of power would only be noticed on the highway, especially with larger tires. If it seems under powered while on surface streets, then again, likely a plugged Cat due to a Bad O2 sensor causing an overly rich fuel mixture = loss of power. The Cat can be spendy, but not a deal breaker as this can be negotiated into the price. The more you know going into this deal the better. Check the codes and make an informed decision. YJ's are relatively easy to work on and diagnose. Usually cheap to fix as well. You won't go wrong by following Que's advice. He is a good egg. This forum is an excellent resource for any future issues as well. There is a wealth of collective knowledge from us Jeepers who have seen and diagnosed most issues that these YJ's are prone to.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
pete1991YJ
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You can always ask to try another drive, and then use that opportunity to get the codes. I'm with idaho - it could as well be a bad O2 sensor causing a clogged cat. Actually getting the codes is easy, all you need is the key - here's a video that shows how -
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Unread 03-20-2013, 11:49 AM   #13
jmcgill
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I had thought about the Cat too....it's got a new muffler on it, but doesn't look like anything between the muffler and the manifold have been replaced in recent times.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 11:55 AM   #14
jmcgill
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Which code would it throw if the Cat were clogged up? I didn't see a specific catalytic converter code in the list I just downloaded.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 11:58 AM   #15
idaholtby
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These rigs will eat mufflers if they are used as a grocery getter. Meaning that when engine and exhaust temps don't get high enough to burn off condensation, then the muffler will last 2yrs at best, even in an arid climate. So a new muffler is no suprise. If the rig is normally driven long enough to get at operating temps, then no condensation is left in the muffler to rot it out. So get the codes and report back. Someone will be glad to help you out.
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