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Unread 10-04-2003, 08:42 PM   #1
chubsmalone
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CJ shuts off randomly

I have an 81 CJ7 with the 258. Recently it has been just cutting off while I am driving. At first it was once a week, then once every couple of days, but tonight it cut off on me 4 times on the way home from work. It doesn't seem to follow any pattern...flat roads, bumpy roads, turning, going straight, accelerating, decelerating, steady RPM...I really don't know what to do. I changed the distributor cap and rotor because they looked pretty nasty and it seemed better for a short time, but didn't fix the problem. It usually starts back up within a few seconds of shutting down. I want to suspect the fuel system, but I know that ignition could be an equal culprit. I am going to change the fuel filter tomorrow. Other than that, what should I check?

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Unread 10-04-2003, 08:48 PM   #2
MudMonster
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Thats kinda tough, fuel pump maybe, what does it sound like? Does it sputter and die or just instantly stop firing?
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Unread 10-05-2003, 12:02 AM   #3
Incredable
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couple things could be the prob but i think all are in the fuel line b/c u replaced the cap. Maybe try running fuel injector cleaner in there b/c it'll clean everything in ur fuel system. but if its the pump it wont help to much there.
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Unread 10-05-2003, 12:31 AM   #4
aviator
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You might also check the Cap on the coil. This little thing has given me more problems than I can count! Check to make sure it's seated cleanly on the coil. If it's just a little bit loose, I would recommend replacing it. It very well could be the culprit. It was in my case!
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Unread 10-05-2003, 08:54 AM   #5
chubsmalone
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It doesn't sputter at all...it just shuts off.

What do you mean by the cap on the coil? I just have the two wires that go to the posts on top and the coil wire that goes to the distributor cap.
I will try to jiggle those wires and see if it causes the same results.
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Unread 10-05-2003, 09:08 AM   #6
DZLCJ7
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You might want to try the starter solenoid. On the CJ's its like some fords and the solenoid is put on the inside fenderwell. Its only like a 10 dollar part and its prob a good place to begin. If the solenoid is messed up, then the engine will cut out and then go back on. Just my 2 cents.
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Unread 10-05-2003, 10:30 AM   #7
aviator
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What I am calling a 'Cap" is a semi-circular piece that those two wires are located in. At least on my (83 CJ7) That how the coil works. This semi-circular piece slides onto the top of the coil and snaps in place over the posts on the coil.

the 81 may be different, or yours may be an aftermarket coil.
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Unread 10-05-2003, 01:09 PM   #8
redhat6161
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id also go with the ignition module.. these things are junk and ive been going through them like water. im upgrading to an hei setup, and hopefully this will solve my similar problems... good luck
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Unread 10-06-2003, 05:10 AM   #9
THl
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I had this same problem with my 81 and I kept going to the carb but it was the Ignition module. Since I replaced it There have been no more problems. When mine shut off, especially on the highway it would backfire.
Good luck
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Unread 10-06-2003, 07:28 AM   #10
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This is one of those problems where you can start replacing part after part until the symptoms stop or you can take it to a competent mechanic and pay him to find the exact problem.

In my past experience, it's alway been the ignition module. Yours should be mounted under the washer/overflow bottle on the drivers side fender well.
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Unread 10-06-2003, 08:59 AM   #11
MR.CJ-7
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If it is just stalling with no sputtering or anything I would think electrical. Maybe a loose connection or broken wire. Maybe the igniton module. I would start with the module, they are fairly cheap and if it isn't bad you could either return it or keep it for a trail spare. Mine died like you are describing one time on the trail, I found no spark from the coil and suspected the module. Come to find out the module had lost its ground source. My module was just chassis grounded through the four bolts that hold it on the fender. I ran a ground directly from the negative side of the battery to one of the mounting bolts and it started right up. If that doesn't do it look at your wiring from the module to the engine. Then look at the battery cables, a new starter relay, like mentioned above, wouldn't be a bad idea either, worst case you have another trail spare. If that doesn't get it go for a new coil and plug wires. All of these are fairly inexpensive and could the Jeep could probably benefit from a slight tune up anyway.

Good luck and happy Jeeping!!!
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Unread 10-06-2003, 11:42 PM   #12
Sandman74
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I solved a similar problem by changing the ignition module. Mine was mounted on the passenger fenderwell, cost $16 bucks at Auto Zone, and took all of 5 minutes to change out.
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Unread 10-07-2003, 04:40 AM   #13
chubsmalone
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Well, I changed the ignition module last night. I did a small test drive and it ran really well...it seemed to start way faster than usual. We'll see if it can pass the test of time. I'm really thinking about doing the HEI swap so I won't have to worry about this again. Thanks for all of the advice.
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Unread 10-07-2003, 04:21 PM   #14
MR.CJ-7
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Cool! Keep us posted
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