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Unread 11-09-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
Jeepa16
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1997 jeep TJ wont start no spark

hey guys im new to the site. i have a 1997 jeep tj that i parked over a year ago, no winter has come and i wish to drive it again, when i parked it, the jeep ran and drive just dandy, didnt have any problems worth complaining about. went to start it at the beginning of the week and nothing, it cranks and cranks but wont fire. it doesnt seem to be getting any spark at the plugs and the only two gauges in my instrument panels that show any life are my temp gauge and my oil pressure gauge, also my headlights only turn on when i turn my brights on. now i had heard that a common problem was the crank position sensor which i have replaced to no avail, i also tried replacing the coil pack right before the distributor, also nothing. i have checked and re-checked every fuse and relay and can't seem to come up with anything. Any help on the subject would be much appreciated i would really like to get my jeep back out on the road!

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Unread 11-09-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
Jerry Bransford
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You're absolutely sure the spark plugs are not getting spark? How did you check for spark?

Is there fuel pressure at the Schader valve on the fuel rail that the fuel injectors are attached to after you crank it?
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Unread 11-10-2013, 09:01 AM   #3
Jeepa16
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My dad was helping me, we pulled a plug from the engine and grounded the plug no spark. We checked for power at the distributor with a test light and got nothing it seems like we aren't even getting power to the coil either. Checking fuel pressure and such hasn't really crossed my mind yet considering everything worked fine when I park it.
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Unread 11-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
Jerry Bransford
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You won't get power at the distributor but there should be power going to the ignition coil which you probably meant. With no power at the ignition coil, that means the ASD (Auto Shut Down) relay inside the Power Distribution Center in front of the battery isn't proving the ignition coil its power. The ASD relay is energized by the ECM (engine computer) that won't energize the ASD relay unless it is happy with everything like from the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors. Of course the ASD relay itself might be bad so swap it with any other relay inside the PDS of the same size & shape as a test. I suspect the ECM is not happy with one of the signals from a sensor , or perhaps a sensor connector corroded while sitting so long. You might try disconnecting/reconnecting the sensor connectors. The camshaft position sensor is inside the distributor so it connector is on the cable leading out of the distributor. The crankshaft position sensor lives next to the flywheel high up on the driver's side, where the transmission bolts to the engine. Its connector is low on the driver's side firewall where its cable leads up towards the ECM on the passenger side of the firewall.

Also, can you hear the fuel pump (located in the rear of the Jeep on top of the gas tank) cycling on then off a second later when you first turn the ignition switch on?
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Unread 11-10-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
Jeepa16
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Ive checked all the relays using the starter relay as my check point, systematically switching all the relays through the starter relay slot, assuming that if i found a faulty relay the starter wouldnt kick and the engine wouldnt turn over, as far as i can tell all the relays are good. i put in a new crank position sensor so that connection should be good i've unplugged and plugged in the ignition coil and distributor so those connections should be good, i came across a thread on another forum where a guy was having a very similar issue, but his problem was caused by a bad PDS and was remedied by replacing the whole unit, i probably wont be able to get back under the hood until tuesday evening, im just stumped because there was no issues when i parked the jeep, i really hope its just a bad connection, i dont have a whole lot of money i can sink into my jeep at this point. just want to say im really thankful for you're input already, and hope to continue to hear from you until my issue is solved! thanks a bunch!
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Unread 11-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #6
Rubi4MyMrs
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Start by checking the 3 connectors to the PCM. Make sure they are dry & no corrosion, pins all in good shape. Then on the black one (left one I think) with it unplugged find the a-2 (red/ white) & a-22 (red/light green) pins & make sure the a-2 has 12v power when the key is on & that the a-22 has constant B+ power.
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Unread 11-10-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
Jonny Jeep
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Another thing to check would be fuse 11 (PDC Coils) behind the glove box, which supplies ignition switched power to the coils of the fuel pump and ASD relays. I've known a blown fuse there stopping the engine from starting.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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So I finally got back into the shop and I'm about 90% sure that my ECU is cooked, I don't know how to test it for sure but I pulled the fuse box from under the hood and checked all the connections on the back with a test light and all the connections in the slots all fuses and relays are good, I'm getting no fuel pressure, no spark, my headlights only work on bright, my fuel gauge and amp meter don't do anything my tach doesn't move when turning over the jeep, is there any sure fire way to test an ECU? And is there anywhere to buy one other than a dealer that costs less than $800?
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Unread 11-15-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Only sure fire way I know is to swap with a good one and try it. Maybe a fellow Jeeper can help you there.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 09:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteMtnJeep View Post
Only sure fire way I know is to swap with a good one and try it. Maybe a fellow Jeeper can help you there.
Hopefully whatever fried the PCM isn't external to his problem and wont fry another PCM?...
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Unread 11-15-2013, 09:32 PM   #11
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It may a bad PCM but before spending that kind of $ I would exhaust all other possibilities. It is easy & cheap to do the checks noted in posts 6 & 7. If you are not getting B+ power from fuse 6 in the PDC to the PCM (pin a22) or if power from fuse 11 is not getting there (at pin a2) you will get most if not all of the problems you have except the headlight issue. Fuse 11 also power the relay coils of the fuel pump & ASD relays, among other things.

The headlight issue has no connection to the PCM.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 09:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuckelhead View Post

Hopefully what ever fried the PCM isn't external to his problem and wont fry another PCM?...
I had that thought, too. Hopefully an external issue was looked for and does not exist.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 10:01 PM   #13
Knuckelhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepa16 View Post
So I finally got back into the shop and I'm about 90% sure that my ECU is cooked, I don't know how to test it for sure but I pulled the fuse box from under the hood and checked all the connections on the back with a test light and all the connections in the slots all fuses and relays are good, I'm getting no fuel pressure, no spark, my headlights only work on bright, my fuel gauge and amp meter don't do anything my tach doesn't move when turning over the jeep, is there any sure fire way to test an ECU? And is there anywhere to buy one other than a dealer that costs less than $800?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteMtnJeep View Post
I had that thought, too. Hopefully an external issue was looked for and does not exist.
One can only hope...
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Unread 11-16-2013, 08:47 AM   #14
Jeepa16
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As far as I can tell the PCM is all good, every fuse slot and relay slot is getting power, to my knowledge the ECU is the problem. As well all the fuses behind the glove box are in working order as well. Keep in mind the jeep was parked for approx 1 year and everything work fine when I parked it. I may have gotten a bad surge when I tries boosting it.
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Unread 11-16-2013, 01:04 PM   #15
Rubi4MyMrs
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I think you are confusing the PCM with the PDC. The PDC (power distribution center) is the box with the fuses & relays in front of the battery. The PCM (powertrain control module) is the “computer” or what you are calling the ECU with the 3 big connectors above the battery. That is what I have been referring to as far as how to check it for input power from fuses 6 & 11.
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