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Unread 06-03-2013, 12:03 PM   #1
Pelted
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2002 KJ Liberty 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Redlands, CA
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Crank issue when trying to start, maybe over pressure in the motor?

I had another thread on the starting issue but after more diagnosis I think the last thread not accurate enough description.

I had a chance to have someone else try and start the 3.7L Liberty while I looked down inside. When the key is turned I can see the harmonic balancer very very slowly starts to turn. This is without the accessory belt attached. I've not had any battery or starter issues. It was starting fine then I replaced the fan clutch after an overheat (this was after a water pump replacement the test drive). Basically, overheated, replaced pump and thermo, then fluid, test drove, and it overheated again, then let it cool down and I put the new fan clutch on and this cranking problem is now here.

There doesn't seem to be any outward sign of some catastrophic damage or failure like thrown rod, head gasket issue or anything like that. There is no oil or fluid leaking and levels look good on everything. Trying to hand crank the engine is very hard to do, but it does move. Could this be over pressure and can it be relieved somehow?

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Unread 06-03-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
streetglideok
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Have you had the battery tested, regardless of its age? How spottlessly clean are the connections? What happens if you hook up another vehicle and attempt to jumpstart it? I would go thru that before I went any further. Let us know what you find out.
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Unread 06-03-2013, 01:36 PM   #3
Pelted
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The battery is new (3 months), and for giggles I hooked it up to the charger for 6 hours just thinking maybe that was the case. I also tried jumping it this weekend too. Again to rule that out. I was going to jump the starter directly before I was able to actually look under the hood while attempting to start it, but when I saw that the crank was turning very slowly I knew the starter was at least engaging. The starter was replaced a year ago, and I drive the car 3 or 4 times a week. No starting issues at all just the overheat that led to the work being done.
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Unread 06-03-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
streetglideok
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Take all 6 spark plugs out, and see how easy it cranks then. I'll just caution you(and yes I've been warned for my sharp tongue), it is foolish to assume because a part is only so old, that it has to be ok. I've seen Delphi fuel pumps DOA, and batteries and starters fail days, weeks, and months after install. If all of that checks out, and you pull the plugs and coolant blows out of a spark plug hole, you have a real mess.
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Unread 06-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
Pelted
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Ahaha, I appreciate the foolishness of assuming things are good, and the tongue, at least in this case, is not sharp but well meaning. I will pull the plugs tonight and attempt this. Should I try to hand crank this or use the ignition? I assume I'm looking for coolant, but should anything at all blow out of there? This is a little more than I ever done before so I just want to make sure I understand.

Thank you for the advice and caution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by streetglideok View Post
Take all 6 spark plugs out, and see how easy it cranks then. I'll just caution you(and yes I've been warned for my sharp tongue), it is foolish to assume because a part is only so old, that it has to be ok. I've seen Delphi fuel pumps DOA, and batteries and starters fail days, weeks, and months after install. If all of that checks out, and you pull the plugs and coolant blows out of a spark plug hole, you have a real mess.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
Pelted
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Well I pulled the plugs, and the middle on on the passenger side had coolant on the plug. The other were dry and looked good. When I hand cranked the motor coolant blew out of it and it turned well. At this point I'm leaning towards head gasket and thinking of trying that sealant stuff for now. Any other things I should look for as signs of worse damage? Since it got me home, and only hydro locked after it was off and cooled down I'm hoping the gasket is the primary issue.

At least long enough to have the car for occasional use and to get me through a trade in. I'd love to keep my Liberty but a new Wrangler is looking pretty tempting.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 05:18 PM   #7
95BadBoy
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Oh boy, absolutely skip the coolant seal stuff. Really.

Gasket or head is a fairly good bet.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 07:46 PM   #8
streetglideok
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Yep, 95Badboy is right. This was my fear, and why I said pull the plugs and look for coolant. Looks like you confirmed it sadly. You're looking at a headgasket/warped head issue, or cracked head. If these engines overheat, you'll kill them fast, and that goes for most newer engines(before the negative nancys swoop in). If you got the friends with tools to help, you can attempt it yourself, with the expectation you'll need to find a head. What you want to do, is once the head is off, rotate the engine over slowly, and make sure all 3 pistons on that side come up to the same height in each cylinder. If one is a little lower than the others, in particular the one that had coolant in it, you have a bent connecting rod, and you'll need an engine.

For gods sake also, avoid the sealer junk. That'll make more problems. Good job in taking your time, paying attention to the details described, and finding the problem. Its better to at least have some closure, than to keep guessing at whats wrong.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
Pelted
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Short of a fuel pump and body replacement on an old Wrangler this has been the most extensive bit of auto work I've done this last week. (Water pump, thermostat, fan clutch, hoses) I've been reading quite a bit so I feel the head gasket is something doable if I take my time. I'm an software engineer so solving problems is what I do, but not so much with a wrench. Lots of interesting reviews for Blue Devil sealant, but I also appreciate the experience of people who know more about this stuff. At this point I'm going to get the big manual and start pulling the top of the motor area apart so I can get to everything. Yikes.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
95BadBoy
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Good plan. When in doubt - post your questions. Many members here, with a lot of years of experience.
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FS or FT (2) JK Rubi 17" Moab Rims - really nice shape
Need JK Rear Spare tire bracket for project
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