How to eliminate ECU? -

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post #1 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Kelso
Posts: 65
How to eliminate ECU?

I'm new to the forum and new to YJ's. Had a CJ for a long time, a long time ago, but Jeeps are kind of new to me again.

My big question is: is it possible to completely eliminate the engine control computer (the one that Nuttering bypasses)? I'm hoping that an MSD and Nuttering will get this thing running again.

The long version:

So I've been lurking and planning what to do with my new YJ. Its a 1988, 4.2L, 5 speed. Already has a (very poorly installed) Weber. Over all this Jeep is a mess from the POs. I won't bore you with all the problems right now. I haven't even had a chance to go completely through it to find out everything that needs to be done.

I was going to Nutter and Team Rush it this weekend, but now I have a bigger problem. The wiring under the hood caught fire today. It looks like the wiring left behind from stuff being removed shorted out to the engine block and body. Not sure what all the wiring used to go to.

The short that caused the fire seems to have taken out the under dash ECU/computer. Probably the ignition module as well, but that is an easy fix (add an MSD 6 to my list of things to do).

I'm hoping that the ignition/distributor just needs to be tied into an MSD box in order to work. I need to figure out how to get the sensor in the distributor to trigger the MSD and I don't think there is any crank position sensor or air flow stuff that needs to be dealt with.

Any help, diagrams, words of advice or terms to search for would be greatly appreciated.



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post #2 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 12:27 AM
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
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Yes google nutter bypass and do your research. Depending on your end goal your process will vary from what u read or what people tell you. Also what no one mentioned was that the color wires coming out of the igintion control module change at the plug point. A chiltons manual will help tracem the wire

'89 YJ, 4.2L, ax-15, B&M shifter, 1" BL, TJ flares, '99 intake, '91 EFI, 5.0L explorer injectors, GenRight tank & stretch, 35" ProComp Xtreme muds, 52" chevy springs rear, 44044 Ranchos front.....
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 06:25 AM
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1987 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: west palm beach fl
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the HEI is a one wire system (2 if you count the tach) every thing is in the distributor, not sure about the MSD. if you do go with the HEI stay away from the cheap ones on ebay. CRT makes a good one, they sell on ebay and their own web site. you will also need 8mm plug wires to handle the extra spark.

Do everything with a positive attitude, it won't always work but you'll piss enough people off to make it worthwhile.

the voices aren't real but they sure have good ideas.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 02:06 PM
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1987 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Josť, Costa Rica
Posts: 1,440
Mine runs just like that, Weber and MSD, no computer... runs like a champ.

Originally Posted by JeepHammer
I don't mind writing for Fernando because he reads, and re-reads EVERY WORD!... Good to write for someone that actually READS the answer, and takes time to UNDERSTAND what comes back for an answer!
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: Kelso
Posts: 65
Thanks Fernando!

Thanks Fernando, that is exactly what I needed to know. Since all the original wiring is burned up I hoped I could do the simple thing and just wire up an MSD triggered off the distributor. Sounds like my life just got much simpler!

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-24-2013, 01:32 AM
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,032
Nuttered w/ MC2150 and ford ignition upgrade. Works like a champ, got me home on 4.8v when the alternator gave out. Jeep finally died out in my driveway at 4.6v!!!

89 YJ 4.2L
96 XJ 4.0L
kgb_m3 is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 04-24-2013, 07:05 AM
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: SLC
Posts: 54
My ecu is also gone. Along with probably 100 feet of wiring. Much neater!
SLCSmoker is offline  

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