engine coughs, shudders hard and dies after hour on highway
hello, new to forum posting, so bear with me.
I have an 87 yj I got cheap cause of a bent frame and bad pukegoat tranny.
Completely rebuilt the thing using donor parts from 90 yj and others. Put in 4.0 from rearended 91 xj (95,000m). Got a rebuilt ax15 also. All installed by me july 2010. Replaced the timing chain at install. reman ecm from autozone. Wiring harness is xj from firewall forward, and 87 back. Everything but altenator and few sensors replaced, multimeter readings were within specs. Checked with timing light and runs at 12 btdc. Could never correct it. Ran great locally.
Fast forward july 2011. Decided to move from gulf coast MS to Denver. Ran from MS to abilene, tx with no issues except it struggled to maintain 7omph, especially on inclines. I would press pedal to the floor with hardly any response. Stopped for gas in abilene and there was alot of oil underneath my jeep. Opened the hood and it appeared to be coming from the front ccv tube that used to be connected to the air box (went to cold air and never hooked up the tube from the valve cover). Oil was sprayed all inside drivers side from the open tube back (brake booster/ reservoir, underside of hood, recesses of intake manifold- all soaked). I added some oil at that time (1qt). I got back on the highway and had very little power (40' rv's were passing me- HOW EMBARRASING!) Did I mention it was 107 degrees out. Anyway, I got about 80 miles into the desert and my engine "coughed" (sounded like it was in the oil pan), the entire jeep started shuddering violently, lost all power, started stumbling and as i pulled to the side it died. It would not start up unless I waited a few minutes. It turned over but wouldn't start. After about 5 minutes it would start only to repeat after a a minute or two. I limped down the road for 20 miles (took me 3 hours to get to the next town) stalling and coughing,and dying. The temp guage never went above 210, not overheated. Replaced fuel pump,filter, ignition coil. still same thing happens after about 40 minutes on highway. Mechanics wouldn't spend enough time with it to recreate the issue. Gonna check compression this weekend. (got it transported to denver after being stuck in lubbock for 10 days).
Repaired an o2 wire (black/lt blue-common sensor wire) that was melted against exhaust manifold, but i am reluctant to be confident this was the issue. It would suck to be on mountain pass with a dead engine. Anyone I talk to just shakes their head like I'm speaking japanese>
Please if anyone could point me in the right direction as I am a jeep owner and have very little money left. We all know what JEEP stands for (just empty every pocket)
Thanks in advance