cranks but doesn't start -
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-04-2019, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 343
cranks but doesn't start

So I got this '96 Jeep Cherokee XJ that cranks but doesn't start. It's got around 180k on her but I keep everything in good shape. Batt seemed strong.

I used to drive it everyday but this past year I've driven it only about twice a week. It's been just slightly slower to start in the last couple of months, but just barely slower. Was guessing it had something to do with aging plugs or something.

Drove it yesterday and everything was normal like always, sat overnight and today it cranked but didn't catch.

Any ideas on where to start?

~~_/) ~~
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-04-2019, 11:13 PM
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2000 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Clyde
Posts: 5,619
Check for blown fuses, look under the hood and underneath to see if rodents have chewed any wiring, then turn the ignition to on/run to see if you can hear the fuel pump prime for about two seconds. From there, try to narrow the problem down to fuel or spark by spraying a shot of starter fluid down the throttle body to see if it will briefly catch or not.

2000 TJ SE
2005 LJ Rubicon
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-06-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 343
Thanks mukluk that sounds like solid advice.

So far I've been able to run a couple tests..

Hooked up a fuel pressure gauge and first key turn got it up to only 20psi. Second turn got it up to 45. And third and subsequent turns got it up to 48. It only fell to 43 after 2 minutes so I think that means the fuel pressure is good.

Hooked up a spark tester between a plug and wire and it didn't light at all when cranked so I'm guessing I've got a spark problem. I'll start by doing a tune up with new rotor, cap, wires and plugs then see what happens.

~~_/) ~~
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-06-2019, 05:40 PM
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,524
Check fuel, check spark. Is fuel pump running? Do you have pressure at the rail? WhT kind of shape is cap and rotor in? Any check engine light prior to? Something I always do on a crank-no-start on these is unhook the battery for 20 minutes or so then try again.

**1997 Jeep Cherokee SE**
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-11-2019, 01:40 AM
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Jeddah
Posts: 319
If you got fuel pressure on gauge, and no spark, check the ASD relay in the distributor box under the hood, sometimes it burns.

2000 Jeep Cherokee Classic. Built for export
432K Kilos.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-11-2019, 11:10 PM
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1981 CJ7 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bali
Posts: 7,246
^ ASD relay

It feeds power to coil, injectors etc. If you have no battery at these items, it will be because the ASD relay has not engaged. This can be for a number of reasons including bad relay, loose connectors in base, no signal from PCM. I take the relay out and check for voltage and ground on pins in base.

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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
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1951 Willys CJ3A/MB/M38 - Little Willy
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