need help getting jeep running -
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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need help getting jeep running

Need help getting a 1978 cj with a v8 running,it has been sitting for about 8 years.we pulled it down the road no start but exhaust manifoils are getting warm.we cheched for spark but see none.Will the manifoild get warm with no spark.we get very little gas out of the lines but was putting it in the wont crank unless we jump the solinoid.
just need some direction from here.
Also the transmission only goes in reverse and first.could it be an adjustment needed in the linkage?

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post #2 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 05:53 PM
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Just the compression of air will cause it to heat up so its possible it could have warmed up the manifolds. Fix the carb, get a rebuild kit. It's cheap. Check for power at the "S" terminal of the starter solenoid. If there is no power, start checking fuses and connections. No spark could be a lot of things. Start with new plugs, wires, cap, rotor. Still no spark, take ignition module in to have tested. For the trans, what make of trans would help. Do some homework, figure out what you have. If it were me and I was trying to revive a vehicle that had been sitting for 8 years, I would start by changing all the old gas out of the tank, replace rubber fuel lines, full tune up and oil change. Then I would start chasing down the electrical issues like the no spark, etc.

It's just a Jeep, and if you don't wheel it once in a while, it's not even that.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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we have some very bad looking wires going to the coil.
we want to make sure it will start before dumping hundreds in it
what is a good way to test the coil ?
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tblt44 View Post
we want to make sure it will start before dumping hundreds in it?
Is that a question or a statement?

Either way, I generally agree with your idea, but you have to realize that there is not necessarily a quick fix here. Most likely you will need to spend time fixing some small things like bad wires, testing the electrical system, cleaning things, and replacing small parts. This is not expensive, but can be time consuming.

To get the engine running, you need fuel delivery and spark, so concentrate on those areas. Don't worry about the transmission if the engine can't be made to run.

Originally Posted by tblt44 View Post
what is a good way to test the coil ?
You can get a basic cheap spark tester at an auto parts store. That's one method. I would wear thick gloves and hold the high voltage wire from the coil next to a clean spot on the engine block while someone cranks the engine over. Keep your fingers away from the bare metal end of the wire. See if a spark jumps from the bare end of the wire to the block. Of course, a dozen other things need to be in place for that spark to happen, but this is a quick first test.

I would pop the distributor cap off and make sure the metal contacts are clean. You might consider installing new spark plug wires and a new rotor. Obviously new spark plugs will be important early on. You might also replace the coil just to be sure. Make sure your grounds are right, as that is a big source of problems on a Jeep.

As for fuel delivery, crank the engine and see if fuel comes out before the fuel filter. That's a quick test. You should install a new fuel filter. Personally I would drop the gas tank, clean it out, and run with totally fresh gas. 8 year old gas, if it's even still liquid, is going to be totally worthless with no octane left. An alternative here is to have the fuel pump pull gas directly from a lawnmower gas can. That's a good enough test to get the engine running on good gas.

As already has been posted, the carburetor is a big source of potential problems. If it's been sitting for 8 years it may be gummed up or just frozen in areas like the fuel inlet valve, the float, ball valves, and more. Thin diaphrams will probably be shot. Narrow passages may be clogged.

You best bet may be just ot pour some gas straight into the intake, through the carb, and see if the engine fires up.

Before doing any of that, however, I would put in new oil and possibly put a small amount of oil into each cylinder via the spark plug holes.

Obviously check the coolant level, belts, hoses.

Another problematic area could be the starter solenoid.

A word of warning about old wires: sometimes a wire will be totally shot, but the outside insulation will look fine. This is often the problem with battery cables.

"I give you a republic, if you can keep it." - Benjamin Franklin
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 07:28 PM
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if you can crank it then you are halfway there.

Which type of ignition is it fitted with? If it is points then they are real easy to hotwire for a test, if electronic then you have to look a bit closer and make sure you are getting power to the right lead on the module.

I agree with the tipping of petrol into the carb.

I would first of all take out all the spark plugs, clean them up. Replace the engin oil then crank the sucker without the plugs in to circulate it round the engine.

Put the plugs back in, establish you have spark and carefully apply a small amount of petrol.

Before you do any of this it is worth crawling over the engine and checking it has water an dno bvious signs of damage such as a split block.

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post #6 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 08:49 PM
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I'm with the no power to the coil crowd. Gotta have spark before anything else matters. He said he tried to pull start it so oil should be on the cylinder walls by now. Priming the carb will work fine for fire up, but I would disconnect the fuel pump on the tank side until I cleaned it. Definitely get it to fire before spending any money. The plugs and wires should be fine for firing, might run like crap, but should run. If I wanted to run it at idle for a few minutes before I cleaned the tank, I might run a line directly into a gas can, THIS IS NOT A SAFE PRACTICE, but we have all done it or worse at some point. Once running defintiely go throw the carb, clean the tank, hopefully spinning at running RPM will free the tranny. Just make sure its not stuck in any other gear. When you are satisfied that is operates change every fluld and all the filters in the thing, if they look really bad run it a week or so and change them again. I have brought many back to life, it usually doesn't take much initially if they were running when parked, however you should expect trouble with most of the seals after moderate use.

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