Have to short out spark plug to get jeep to start?? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-17-2020, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
JEEPNJ151
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Have to short out spark plug to get jeep to start??

Hello Jeep Mates - I have a 94 YJ - it wasn't starting so a friend pulled a plug wire and with a screw driver shorted it to the body - it started up.

I'm pretty good with car/trucks, my 2nd YJ, but I don't think I have ever seen this before. He wasn't sure why it worked but it did. My guess its a grounding issue somewhere with the ignition system? it runs fine after that. But - I have to do it every time and that's not gonna fly.

Thoughts? Thanks!

DK

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post #2 of 13 Old 01-22-2020, 02:47 PM
fishadventure
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I can’t even begin to explain that and in fact I actually want to say that ain’t possible but I won’t.

Replacing negative(-) wire with brand new ends to the block, plus dedicated 8ga wires with new ends to firewall, and coil base, and 4ga to alternator takes care of most (-) problems.

[size=3]Shackles & D-rings are different things.
Cranking IS turning over
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-23-2020, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Fishadventure -I'll do some wire clean up, that makes most sense. I know he could not have done much, I was in the driver seat and turned the key, so I am just going by what he said he did, but that makes no sense to me at all other than make some sort of a connection/ground. He was only under the hood for about 1 min or less.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-23-2020, 05:50 PM
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So have you started vehicle several times by this method or just the one time when your friend was under the hood? Your OP made it sound like this works over and over to which I say no way. I will one up Fish and go out on a limb and say it is not possible by all laws of physics and electronics.

The ONLY thing it could have done and ONLY IMO IF he truly grounded it to the body is made it arc across a bad ground and made a very temporary repair so to speak. If it really worked that way it was pure luck. Somebody needs to buy a lottery ticket.

I reiterate. Your OP made it sound like this made it start over and over. Your last post made it sound like it was a one time deal. Which is it?

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-23-2020, 06:31 PM
1project2many
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This is a strange issue. So you remove a spark plug wire, connect it to ground, and the engine will start? What do you do with the grounded wire? Is it the same wire every time?
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-23-2020, 06:44 PM
fishadventure
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An installed spark plug is grounded.

I chalk it up to random chance coincidences.

Taking a spark plug out and then grounding it absolutely makes no sense whatsoever in facilitating an engine starting.

[size=3]Shackles & D-rings are different things.
Cranking IS turning over
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-25-2020, 06:45 AM
mike134
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does the check engine light illuminate when first turning the key from OFF to ON?
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-25-2020, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
JEEPNJ151
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OK - I first apologize for burning daylight as they say with proving not so accurate info. I left town after it started and let it sit, only to come back and it wouldn't start. Yes - Permission to hit me in the head with a tire iron which may fix my dyslexic description of this problem and take me off the planet for being an idiot. But, It seems after cornering my friend on the phone who lives not to close (just visiting that week) he claims he put a screw driver in the distributor wire or coil wire (Not a spark plug). His English is not so good so I am not sure what the hell he did. But neither make any sense, and maybe I should have bought a lottery ticket because something possibly just happened by luck is what I am thinking.

So today, I pulled the ECM out and the cable/plug to look for corrosion on the contacts (none) and I wanted to check if voltage was even getting to the ECM, pin 3 on the plug was live as it should be (From what I've read) and when I turned the ignition key to "On" pin 9 got voltage and lit up the tester. So - tells me power seems to be getting though but still no spark.

Fuses seem to be ok - checked those today.

But no Check Engine light when I turn the key on. I don't hear the fuel pump either. Turned the engine to check for a Dist. Cap spark by putting a screw driver in the coil wire getting it near the block-didn't see anything. What the best way to test the ignition coil? I have a volt meter but electrical is not my strongest brain power (which is probably obvious by now) Does an Ignition coil lose ground maybe its not clean at the bolt, haven't taken it off yet but will tomorrow.

Why the thing started last time makes no sense, I agree, what I should do is fly my friend back but I can't help but think I'd be wasting my money because I think he may have just did something temporary and with luck.

Thanks for the help, again sorry for the pathetic misleading info, but from hear on out I'll do all this work first hand unless I drag it to a local jeep shop if I can't figure it out.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-25-2020, 06:35 PM
1project2many
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Quote:
But no Check Engine light when I turn the key on.

Why the thing started last time makes no sense, I agree,
Actually, it might make sense. And yes, it may have been luck and it may have had nothing to do with your friend. The ecm in these vehicles develops a problem where faulty capacitors will cause it to fail to start for some period of time. If you leave the key on long enough, sometimes it will eventually start. Along with the no-start is no check engine light. You can try turning the key on and leaving it on, then come back in 10-15 minutes to see if the CEL is working. If the light is on, try to start the engine. If it starts you either need a replacement ecm or you need to repair the one you have. This thread has a bunch of helpful posts on replacing the caps. I fixed the ecm in my own Jeep using this thread as a reference.
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/...rs-ecu-492597/
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-28-2020, 07:13 AM
mike134
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yep. the post above is your issue.

you dont have to stair at the CEL ehilr you wait. Turn key to ON, read a magazine, wait time depending on the weather, you'll hear the fuel pump prime in 15 minutes or so. then you can start.

get it taken care of with 1project2many's link. about 30 cent repair parts (plus $10 shipping) from digikey.
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-28-2020, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
JEEPNJ151
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Thanks - this helps. Appreciate all the help. My only delay to fix this is the temp - working in my garage its 20 degrees the past week, cant take more than a few hours in that before my hands just don't move to well from being frozen. I'll get back to workin on this when it warms up a bit and see how it goes. keep you posted.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-29-2020, 04:28 AM
mike134
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you only need to get the computer out of the vehicle. you'll work on it inside in the warmth.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-31-2020, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Good point - wasn't thinking. Probably half frozen still. Let you know how it goes. Thanks.
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