88 Grand Wagoneer hard to start/stalls in heat - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-15-2010, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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1988 FSJ Wagoneer 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1
88 Grand Wagoneer hard to start/stalls in heat

I just bought an 88 Grand Wagoneer for my wife as she's always loved them. We drove it overnight 300 miles back from Miami with no trouble.

The next day we drove it in the heat - after about an hour of driving in 90 degree Florida heat it stalled while driving at about 30mph. Engine would not turn over when the key was turned.

After towing it back to our mechanic friend's house, it started up as if nothing had happened.

His first suspect was the battery, so we had the battery and alternator tested at Autozone and both passed.

We replaced:
  • Fuel pump
  • Ignition module
  • Battery top ends
  • Fuel filter

Our mechanic drove it around in the heat for an hour or so the next day, and it had no trouble.

We took it home the next afternoon, filled the gas tank and 100ft down the road it stalled again. After 45 minutes of sitting and priming the carb with gas it started up and we were able to drive it back home.

Starting up this morning took a few tries for it to turn over. This afternoon (after sitting in the heat while my wife was at work) it took 20 minutes to get it to start.

It also idles rough, if that helps to diagnose the problem. Not sure if these old Jeeps just idle rough anyway, though.

Any suggestions as to how to make it easier to start, or what I should try next to diagnose the problem?

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post #2 of 8 Old 06-15-2010, 07:04 PM
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1986 CJ7 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 382
looked at the terminals on the starter solonoid? maybe they are loose. bad engine grounds? try swapping in a coil? coil sitting on valve cover and getting too hot?

also take a look at the engine harness on the pass side from the coil to the relay and to the starter. pull off all the plastic wrap and look real hard for burns, chaffing, or rubbing.

going by what you said not being able to turn it over, sounds electrical, but you are also showing signs of vapor locking.

I'd check position of the filter and I use a spacer under the carb to keep block heat from traveling up and boiling the fuel in the bowl. When you are having a real hard time starting it, pull off the top of the carb and look in the bowl and see if there is any fuel in there.

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Last edited by CutterN55; 06-16-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-18-2010, 04:52 PM
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1979 J-Series Truck 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: So fl
Posts: 39
both problems i had.i am in south fla also ...ford starter solinoid on passenger fender,would heat up and not start....also sounds like vapor lock ...i installed a electiric fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator(be sure get a metel one-ie Holley...cheap plastic ones from autozone leaked in less than a week)and mount fuel pump down near fuel tank..that should solve your problems
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-21-2010, 05:38 AM
1989 FSJ Wagoneer 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: melbourne
Posts: 182
Starting cold and stalling after it gets hot is also a symptom of the ignition resistor wire going bad. As it gets worse it will become harder and harder to start in cooler temperatures until it wont start at all.

Of course this has nothing to do with the starter turning over. Perhaps you have more than one problem.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 11:22 PM
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Location: Malibu
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Grand Wagoneer 89 too hot to start (again)

I have a 1989 Grand Wagoneer and have the same issue.
I drove to Palm Springs this week and the engine wouldn't start again after driving for 15-30 minutes (drive... park and then I cannot start the engine). The problem is that I cannot even pump fuel in the carburetor. I replaced the gas pump (it was 10 years old anyway) but I am not sure this is the real solution.
I read the previous comments... What would the coil have to do with this issue... Is there a way to avoid vapor locking? If not, what to do to start the engine if it happens. Thanks for your help
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-29-2010, 10:18 AM
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1979 J-Series Truck 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: So fl
Posts: 39
coils break down over the years ,much like all electronic parts,from heat..try a electric fuel pump,for vapor lock...before i did this i would have to pull fuel line off filter to allow pressure to equalize...mind you i have a 60 gallon tank and a large spin on type fuel filter...im in south fla now...truck came from cali..dont know if they had problems out there or not..
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-29-2010, 04:24 PM
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Location: ARIZONA
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Power valve or the vac/temp thingy these jeeps are known for.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-01-2010, 01:05 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Malibu
Posts: 2
Thanks for your input.
I will replace the coil and get an electric pump as a back-up.
It was 105 degrees in the desert... and it sounds like vapor lock is very common there with older cars.
Another question... What are would be your choice for new tires (I am not doing off road) with white walls?
Thanks in advance!
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