89 yj starting issues - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 04-04-2021, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
BeepBeep_420
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89 yj starting issues

OK, my jeep is old and beat up. It burns oil, fouls plugs, etc... Compression is a bit low in at least 2 cylinders last time I tested.
It's got fuel injection, 4.2, manual. The Battery is good. New plugs yesterday. New starter relay the day before.

Lately starting has been an issue.

Usually it starts in the morning and after work when it's been sitting for hours as it did this morning. If I start it, turn it off, the try and restart it usually won't... but in different ways.

Sometimes it will turn over but just not start. I have a kill switch on my fuel pump, if I turn it off and crank the engine some it will rattle to life, flick the pump on and it will get going.
Makes me think that I have flooded it on the first attempt or when I stop driving and try to restart it.

Other times like last night when I pulled into a gas station, turning the key would turn on the lights but no sound. No clicks, no starter turning over. Nothing. I get lights/ stereo/ and the added (with fuel injection kit) engine check light. (this behavior led to the starter relay replacement) (I was first going to replace the starter but after no start at all /web search led me to believe it was the relay, when I replaced that it fired right up so I thought it was fixed)

Occassionally a start attempt (the first) will almost work and end with a loud 'clunk'... Like maybe the starter gear locks up? After that the fuel starving start up usually works.

Kindof lost here, new territory. All my web searches lead me to believe that EVERYTHING needs replaced, lol.

Any ideas?

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post #2 of 19 Old 04-04-2021, 01:01 PM
timatoe
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What fuel injection system is on it? External fuel pump? Are you hearing the fuel pump prime when you turn the key on? Still running stock ignition?
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-04-2021, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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external fuel pump, yep. Can't say I've ever heard it. But when I toggle it with my kill switch it works. And I can drive all day if I get it going.

Forgot to mention, after I stopped at the gas station I was able to kick start it. No sound from starter but I can kick it.

It's stock ignition for sure.

sorry- it's the Howell fuel injection

Last edited by BeepBeep_420; 04-04-2021 at 01:38 PM. Reason: howell
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post #4 of 19 Old 04-04-2021, 05:57 PM
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The clunk is telling.

I had a vehicle that was doing that. At the time, I didn't know why.

Symptoms were pretty much exactly as you describe.

Was a blown headgasket. Engine eventually went "clunk" one too many times and hydrolocked.

EDIT: Yes, I know it was technically hydrolocking every time it would "clunk" and not start. It broke a piston or something. The engine seized.
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post #5 of 19 Old 04-05-2021, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yikes.
Wondering if this thing is even worth getting rebuilt at this point.
I've spent a total of $6k on it, had it for 3 years. It still (has been getting) me around...
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post #6 of 19 Old 04-05-2021, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Just got this message from a machine shop:
"Roughly 2250 to rebuild the long block as long as everything is rebuildable"
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-05-2021, 08:47 PM
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That's crazy, I bought a long block 4.2 from Evergreen Engines (via Autozone) for $1,200. I built a SBC for about the same with all new internal parts, machined the block and heads.

I would diagnose more before assuming it's a bad engine.
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by timatoe View Post
That's crazy, I bought a long block 4.2 from Evergreen Engines (via Autozone) for $1,200. I built a SBC for about the same with all new internal parts, machined the block and heads.

I would diagnose more before assuming it's a bad engine.
Well, it has been burning oil for awhile. I get some good smoke clouds, etc... So if the engine is going bad it's not something I haven't been expecting.

And I've started a business so it's hard to spend time on it, that and living across town and nowhere to really work on it.

-------
Just not sure what else to do.

It's not the starter relay... that's replaced.
I've got a starter but not sure that's the issue so if I don't install it I can take it back.
The battery is good. New plugs, but the plugs do foul quickly.
I don't see water in the oil, or oil in the coolant.
The fuel injectors seem to be spraying pretty evenly.

That clunk sounds bad and when it happens the jeep just won't start easy.

Hitting starter with hammer doesn't appear to help any

It usually starts right up the first time I try after it hasn't been started in awhile. But doesn't like to start more than once in a row if i turn it off right away.

It doesn't seem like the ignition switch because it will start once after sitting. But if it fails to start multiple tries leads to no turnover, just lights coming on, no noise.



All of the searches I have done show some of these symptoms but not all. Haven't found anything conclusive and have no local help for troubleshooting.
-------

edit...
Sometimes it just doesn't want to start. <--- Just started it again.. same old story... Sounded like it was going to but just wouldn't crank over. Turned off fuel pump and 'starved it' and it rumbles roughly to life/ turn the fuel pump back on and keep it going to check the fuel injectors. Running pretty smooth... Turn it off. Turn it back on and get the click/dials come to life.... but NOTHING else.
I'm sure if I let it sit another couple hours I'll be able to fire it up again.

Last edited by BeepBeep_420; 04-06-2021 at 01:29 PM. Reason: added - more - info
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 05:47 PM
Awesome
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I wonder if you've got an injector or two that is stuck open.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so I checked some stuff out with multi meter...

I wasn't getting voltage to my positive connection on my starter, unbolted the wire, cleaned up the connection and re-bolted. Now showing 12 v

I used a screwdriver across the positive (on the starter) and the ignition, I got some sparks but nothing happened. I put the screwdriver across the positive and the lead from starter solenoid to starter, same thing, sparks but nothing else.

So dead starter Solenoid?
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 05:54 PM
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No, dead starter. The starter should spin regardless of whether or not the solenoid engages.

You don't need a new starter you need this: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Awesome View Post
No, dead starter. The starter should spin regardless of whether or not the solenoid engages.

You don't need a new starter you need this: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
OK, Well I see how that would fit in, you just pull the end cap off the starter...

I put my vehicle in the search function on that page and it said that would not fit.

A whole starter might be overkill but I have one. Don't really want to deal with getting a part that won't fit.
You obviously know more than I do so I'm not questioning your judgement (Maybe the search function is wrong)
Just want to make sure I don't get the wrong stuff.

I've got an 89 with 258

(and watching my injectors, they seem normal. Seems like the correct amount of fuel is being sprayed in when it's running. They are clicking as usual)
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 06:19 PM
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Yeah, the Amazon parts thing doesn't work for that part. However I notice you have the 4.2, so I'm not sure if your starter is the same. If there is a starter shop around you, go there and they will have a brush set that will work for you.

I searched parts manufacturer parts lists for weeks before I decided that that particular brush set would work for the Mitsubishi starter that comes on the 4.0.

EDIT: a quick search shows the starters to be the same, but you might want to double-check before you order the part. It takes 10 minutes to install.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks for the help, I will look around
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-06-2021, 07:11 PM
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You, know, this is still a shotgun approach. There is more to that in really testing a starter for a rebuild. A lot more can go wrong with a starter.

Having sparks and no results can be simple like not having enough electrons to make enough sparks to get an engine turning, It could be an engine that cannot turn no matter how many sparks the starter makes and it will soon quit making sparks if you keep forcing it to try so. Electric Motors have inductance and current laws that apply to them that can break the law of some other electronics.

Starters have more reasons electrically that can make them not turn when jumped in this fashion than brushes. In fact, You state yours will not turn when hit with a hammer. That kinda rules out flaky brushes and more than likely leads to an Armature problem or a simple huge misdiagnosis of power, ground and bad connections.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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