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Old 03-22-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
starting issues

Right now im having starting issues. Replaced everything under the hood with the exception of belts and alternator. Starting coil, plugs, fuel filter and pump, starter, and distributor rotor have all been replaced. Had the thing running for one night and brought it on some trails which seemed to handle just fine. The next morning the new starter i had put in was shot. Replaced it and now i am back to square one with it not starting. I have a 4.2L carb rebuilt motor with less than 600 miles on it....HELP....what am i missing here???

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Old 03-22-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 44
I also have a 4.2 which means you have an '89 or '90.

So; need a little clarification on what "doesn't want to start" really means.

Do you hear the solenoid clicking or is it totally dead?

If it's totally silent went you turn the key, you prolly need to replace the starter relay. Located on the firewall just to the right and 6" lower of the battery. When you turn the key, it energizes the relay which then sends power to the solenoid.

Just went thru this on mine.

Let us know whether it clicks or if it's silent.

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Old 03-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Brand new starter was put in 2 days ago and was running morning silent...found out the starter was shot...replaced with new...again. This morning it turned over and the engine "puttered" when i let off the key but he engine didnt take off. I replaced the ICM? On drivers side fender thinking it was a electrical problem. Jeep has new plugs, ignition coil, and the rotator in the distributor cap and starter. Getting spark at coil to the cap but its orange, i was told it was supposed to be blue. Bout ready to blow this thing up
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 44
You can rule out anything Ignition system related if when you turn the key the starter DOES NOT turn over engine; or if you just hear a click or it's dead quiet. In other words the starter itself is intermittent or in-op. Sometimes there's nothing; sometimes it only turns over for a short time.

Let's just work on the starting system for now.

If I understand the problem correctly, what you're saying is that sometimes the engine turns over and sometimes it doesn't. BTW, how a starter goes bad in 2 days has me stumped. Don't know how you determined it was bad (big question mark!!) but for now I'll assume you're right. I think something-else is going on other than the starter.

When I say to the left or right; it's when you are standing at the front of the Jeep looking rearward.

I'm going to say that you have bad grounds. There's 3. One that goes from the engine to the firewall, it's a braided strap. Located just to right of center of the firewall connecting to the flywheel housing or engine block. If it's missing after the engine swap; go buy one and install it!!

The second goes from the neg. battery terminal to the engine block near the oil filter on the left side of your engine.. This is the one you should check first!! If it has come loose; the starter will act just like you're describing.

Least likely is the third which is the "G" terminal on the starter relay. Should have a blk/ white tracer wire going to it. Splice in another black wire and run it to a good grounding bolt on the chassis.

Listen-up!! These grounds are how the starter draws hi amps while cranking the engine and they are necessary to complete the starter circuit. Check and fix these and let me know how you make out.

Hope this helps,
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
I took the starter out and brought back to the store i bought it from. They tested it with a 'load' and it failed they replaced it. Jeep is now in the hands of a friend whos into electrical stuff...i think i was getting into more over my head trying to figure this out but i am over his shoulder constantly. We read on another thread about bypassing the ECM/ICM by means of a Nutter Bypass?!? Im JUST getting into jeeps but this sounds like brain surgery to me.
I guess its a common thing for the 4.2 L t have electrical and starting issues like i explained and this bypass was the answer to the problem.....have you heard of anything like this?
Thanks for the input on the grounds....all of them looked intact, which makes me wonder now if there is something in the wire harness that i am not seeing that is causing this electrical issue....
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:37 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 44
Funny you should bring up the Nutter Bypass. Yes I've done it to my Jeep along w/ a Motorcraft 2100/ 2150 carb (about $290 and the ign coil upgrade) All well worth doing!! The 2 problems that the YJ is known for is a weak ignition and a terrible carb!!! So the ign and carb upgrades make a huge difference to the way it runs!!

I thought that the Nutter Bypass may have been part of my electrical issues because I may have disturbed one of the grounds when I did the upgrade; or the way I did it. Did all of the upgrades, all at once when I installed the reman engine on a Jeep that bought 1 month earlier w/ a blown engine. No history; didn't know if the Jeep was "straight" electrically speaking before I ripped into it. This last electrical problem I had; had me scratchin' my ass for awhile!!

The ground wires that were really important; that corrected my problems; were the ones associated with the starter relay.

I'm just getting into Jeeps too. I've just had maybe 3 more months experience than you. I've gone thru some of the things you're experiencing.

Good luck and if you need help....... holler!

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
It ended up being a bad pick up coil in the im having carb issues with the choke....tis why the jeep wont stay running vs not getting the spark to get it to start, now i cant keep it running. Know of anywhere i can get a used non electrical sending carb for relatively cheap??

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