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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #1
jhumphrey
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Middle, TN
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Died while going down the road...

Hello all,

I've been lurking for awhile but now need to post... its bittersweet. Anyway, I recently was offered the chance to drive a 1987 YJ for the week, as I am thinking of buying it. So, with that being said, I picked it up from the owner on Sunday (the 31st of Oct). I took a stroll in the country with it and tested out the 4wd

After spending the day out with no problems, I returned home, parked it in the driveway, and began to build wishlists from various sites, feeling confident that I had found a good jeep at a good price. The engine is an I6, automatic tranny, and I noticed there was leaks here and there with it, so I decided to go to a local car wash and "degrease" the engine/undercarriage to try to trace back the source of the leak(s). The jeep sat untouched on Monday. So today (Tues), I decided to clean the engine.

After the degreasing session, I left and fueled up. The fuel gauge doesnt work, it was on my "must fix" list, as well as the wipers dont work. On my way back home, I stopped at a stop sign, turned left, and began to accelerate out. Where I was is a fairly steep hill (asphalt) and I had to give it some gas to accelerate, as a speeding car was coming up faster on me than I had thought. I noticed that the jeep sort of struggled with this, I heard a backfire "spit", and the jeep became sluggish. As I topped the hill, I let off the accelerator and coasted. I noticed that the RPM gauge bounced a little between 1500-2000. When the hill flattened, I eased onto the acceleration, but the jeep just sputtered and died. After I coasted to a stop, the jeep was still in drive, so I put it into park. I than turned the ignition key off, then back on, but nothing. The car will not start, or even attempt to start, at this point.

So, I tried to jump the battery off...nope. Tried to "manually" jump the starter off, not that either. My headlights/dash lights work. I also "tested" my jumper cables by leaving them hooked up to my battery and quickly touched the red/black of the opposite ends for a spark...it did spark VERY LIGHTLY and then it wouldnt at all. Since I needed to go to the parts store, I pulled the starter. AZ told me that the starter was bad. However, that doesnt solve the non-crank issue anyway.

Since Im new to jeeps, what in the world could this be? I talked to the owner of the jeep and he said that its an issue they've had before. They would let it sit for a few minutes, pump the gas several times, and it would start. He told me that the alternator, starter, and ignition switch have been changed in the past year. I think its something ignition wise, but need some advice on how/where to proceed....or should I just pass on this jeep (as the wiring in this jeep is horrific anyway, plus the other "issues) and try to find something a little better?

Thanks!

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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:08 PM   #2
Nick_Knipp
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1986 MJ Comanche 
 
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Location: Warner Robins, Georgia, Georgia
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crankshaft position sensor? from what im hearing it could be alot of things. from fuel pumps to the ignition
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
moonshinefuel
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Horrific wiring is no fun unless you are an electrial mechanic who really likes the challenge of fixing what sounds like a complete mess. Your problems with the electrical system may very well be a multitude of things very possibly. Its your call whether you are to it or not.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
Cool92yj
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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So it does crank over right? Check for fuel psi and for spark. Sounds like the crank senser to me.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
jhumphrey
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@Cool: No it doesn't attempt to crank over. Thats why I think it has something to do with the ignition switch. I mean, with the key on, the starter wouldn't engage, so that tells me that its not getting a "signal" to start. Im not super mechanically inclined, basically I know just enough to be dangerous

@moonshine: yes the wiring is jacked up. The current owner's wife had installed speakers and "mood lighting" inside the jeep. There are wires EVERYWHERE. The mood lights are wired into the ignition fuse by the looks of things. Thats a gem I discovered when I was tracing wires earlier.

The jeep's price is great, but now I know why it was so great. I haven't made a final decision yet, but Im leaning more toward not going with this one (as its obvious its probably going to be a money pit). I can just keep saving my pennies and buy a newer/better one in the future. I would still like to figure out what's wrong with it, none the less.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:32 PM   #6
Nick_Knipp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhumphrey View Post
The jeep's price is great, but now I know why it was so great. I haven't made a final decision yet, but Im leaning more toward not going with this one (as its obvious its probably going to be a money pit). I can just keep saving my pennies and buy a newer/better one in the future. I would still like to figure out what's wrong with it, none the less.
1. all jeeps cost money
2. newer isnt better when its broken, olders easier to fix

I'd stick with your current Jeep, its cheap, VERY reliable, and easy to repair. I'm sure that problem you have is only 1 or 2 parts away from a fix and its running good again. we'll be here to help you find the problem, Im looking thru the books now for a solution

remember you got a very good jeep, 2.5Ls are so easy to work on.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #7
Nick_Knipp
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heres what ive found in the book so far...

1. battery and/or its terminals loose, dead, or corroded
2. broken, loose, or disconnected wires in the starting circut
3. starter motor pinion jammed in flywheel ring gear
4. bad starter
5. engine seized
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
jsawduste
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Start simple.

Remove the battery cables and clean the battery posts and the cables themselves. BOTH ends of the cable. Battery and starter ends.

On the passenger side, rear of the engine is two ring terminals. These are the grounds. Clean `em up.

My bet is that you might have just solved the problem.

Be aware though. The battery cables can often corrode under the insulation. So it might be wiser to replace the cables themselves.

With electrical, always start at the simple things. Good power and grounds are a must for anything to work properly.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 08:58 PM   #9
moonshinefuel
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Mood lighting? In a wrangler? What the heck is that? Lol.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 09:00 PM   #10
Nick_Knipp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinefuel View Post
Mood lighting? In a wrangler? What the heck is that? Lol.
my guess is red light bulbs and soft music playing, just make sure its not on when ur best buddys riding with you
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Unread 11-02-2010, 09:01 PM   #11
jsawduste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinefuel View Post
Mood lighting? In a wrangler? What the heck is that? Lol.
Sure the hell hope it`s not a "Jeep" thing..............
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Unread 11-02-2010, 09:01 PM   #12
Chiles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhumphrey View Post
Hello all,


Since Im new to jeeps, what in the world could this be?
I'm not sure what it could be, but welcome to the world of Jeeps!
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Unread 11-02-2010, 10:15 PM   #13
MJMPC
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Also get your battery LOAD tested.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 04:32 AM   #14
jhumphrey
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@Nick: Thanks for the help. The engine is a 4.2 (inline 6), I don't know how much different that is from the 2.5 (isnt that an inline 4 cylinder?). I'm going to pull a battery from my buddy's car, hook that up, and see what happens. That's in case the battery is dead. How can I check the starter motor pinion? I pulled the entire starter last night and took it to autozone for testing. The guy told me that the starter was bad, but would that make the engine shut down in the middle of driving? Though Im not extremely mechanical savvy, I thought that the starter simply engaged the engine and after the engine started, the starters job was done... I had checked all the fluids before I took it out. The oil needed to be changed but was showing full, so I doubt that the engine itself is seized.

@moonshine: Yes, mood lighting. It was on my list to be removed ASAP. Who does that? Anyway, the guy that owns it is a buddy of mine and "inherited" the jeep when he got married. She had the jeep before they were hitched. Long story short, they're selling it because the bought a new car and she used it as a daily driver up until July, where she parked it in the garage and it sat. The battery had to be jumped before I could take it out, so maybe that's the culprit.

If I can get it fixed in the next few days, I'll probably end up buying it, minus the cost of parts. BUT that's something I have to talk to him about, I'm not going to drop cash on this thing and then not buy it without some sort of reimbursement
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Unread 11-03-2010, 05:01 AM   #15
Mark05059
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sounds like you have a voltage issue. It could be a bad battery, a bad alternator or the 2 alternator fuses could be blown.
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