So my 88 YJ I bought about 2 months ago is great except for every once and a while it's hard to start. Usually after I drive it to one place, park go inside do whatever then come back out, it takes a few cranks of the key to start. And when it finally starts sometimes it'll blow a little white smoke out of the exhaust. Other than that it doesn't smoke overheat etc. The guy I bought it from said sometimes the choke sticks??
Its all stock as far as I know except a motorcraft carb.
Depending on outside temp almost all vehicles produce a little white smoke after start up and you can see some water dripping from the exhaust tip. It's condensation from hearing the air and it goes away fairly quick unless it is really cold out.
When the engine is cold, I push the throttle halfway and release once, and she starts better than at any other time.
When the engine is warm, I hit the starter and then progressively give more throttle as it cranks, and it usually kicks over. If it cranks a little more than expected, I'll give the throttle a couple of pumps to get some fuel moving. I've not yet seen this engine/carb flood. If it isn't starting, it needs some pumps. I'm running a fresh rebuild of the OEM Carter BBD.
You just have to find the combination that works for your setup. Those of us who were around before fuel injection took this stuff in stride. No more just reaching through the window and turning the key. You're going to be a little more interactive with it and you have to learn her preferences.
I had the same issue with mine (Weber 32/36) with hard starting after shutting down and letting her sit for a little bit. I tried all kinds of starting scenarios and found that if she had been off for 8+ hours, then I would set the choke by one full pedal press. Once warmed up/driven and shut back down for any shorter duration, I do not touch the gas pedal and she cranks up after 5-10 seconds. Every time I tried to manipulate the gas pedal while trying to crank when the engine is warmed up resulted in flooding.
Old4x has an excellent point with his comment and that condition contributed to some of my issues. Vapor lock is causing your hard starting due to the nature of the carb sitting directly above the exhaust manifold. With the engine at operating temp and then shut down, everything is becoming heat soaked and the fuel is actually boiling in the carb. Next time you shut her down after driving a while, wait about 5 minutes and lift the hood......I'll bet you will hear the fuel boiling in the carb bowl. I actually started a thread on this a few weeks back. Search 'fuel boiling in carb'.