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Old 06-27-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
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Desperate for help!

My 98' 2.5L TJ is having a ton of problems here, and I'm getting impatient with it!
* About a week ago it started not wanting to crank the first few times, it would just make a single clicking sound when I would turn the key. We thought this would just be a bad battery, so we pulled a good battery from our Cherokee and tried it out. It did the same thing a couple times, but then started starting up fine.
* I thought everything was okay, but then I saw water coming from the tail pipe. About a small cup full came out when I had been starting it. Also it spewed out a little bit when I gave it a little bit of gas.
* The last thing is that I'm leaking radiator coolant mixed with water, and it's coming from in between the tranny and the oil pan.

I'm hoping that this is just a bad water pump causing the problem, and not also a blown head-gasket. But I'm no expert. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-27-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
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the coolant is probably a freeze plug behind the flywheel. the water in the exhaust does it happen when it's warmed up or just cold starts? the clicking, try cleaning battery connections at the starter solenoid, and battery.

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Old 06-27-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
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the coolant is probably a freeze plug behind the flywheel. the water in the exhaust does it happen when it's warmed up or just cold starts? the clicking, try cleaning battery connections at the starter solenoid, and battery.
I've already cleaned the battery connectors and terminals, haven't tried the connector at the solenoid. The water I only noticed when we started it up cold, but it did spray out when I gave it gas up to about 2,500rpm.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ole4Cyli View Post
My 98' 2.5L TJ is having a ton of problems here, and I'm getting impatient with it!
* About a week ago it started not wanting to crank the first few times, it would just make a single clicking sound when I would turn the key. We thought this would just be a bad battery, so we pulled a good battery from our Cherokee and tried it out. It did the same thing a couple times, but then started starting up fine.
* I thought everything was okay, but then I saw water coming from the tail pipe. About a small cup full came out when I had been starting it. Also it spewed out a little bit when I gave it a little bit of gas.
* The last thing is that I'm leaking radiator coolant mixed with water, and it's coming from in between the tranny and the oil pan.


I'm hoping that this is just a bad water pump causing the problem, and not also a blown head-gasket. But I'm no expert. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
* Sounds like the starting business is possibly a starter going bad - I'd check that. Next time it does it, open the hood and bang on the starter solenoid with like a broom handle or something.
* Some water from the tail pipe on start-up is normal and to be expected. The possibility does exist that a head gasket problem could cause this, but....
* Antifreeze should not be back there. There's a couple of possibilities that I can think of. Head gasket could do that back there. First thing I'd do for that would be to check the oil and make sure there's no antifreeze in it. It'll look like a chocolate milkshake (mmmm....milkshake). They also make a tester for the radiator that bubbles the air that would be in the top of the radiator through some liquid that changes color from exhaust gasses. I just did a horrible job of explaining that, but that's the best I could come up with. OR It could be a leak at the front of the engine just being blown back that way while you're driving. OR (I've seen this a few times) there could be a pin-hole leak in one of the heater hoses and it's shooting it over there.

Hope this helps, and let us know what you find. Oh, and there's MANY other possibilities as to what these problems could be, but this is where I'd start.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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* Sounds like the starting business is possibly a starter going bad - I'd check that. Next time it does it, open the hood and bang on the starter solenoid with like a broom handle or something.
* Some water from the tail pipe on start-up is normal and to be expected. The possibility does exist that a head gasket problem could cause this, but....
* Antifreeze should not be back there. There's a couple of possibilities that I can think of. Head gasket could do that back there. First thing I'd do for that would be to check the oil and make sure there's no antifreeze in it. It'll look like a chocolate milkshake (mmmm....milkshake). They also make a tester for the radiator that bubbles the air that would be in the top of the radiator through some liquid that changes color from exhaust gasses. I just did a horrible job of explaining that, but that's the best I could come up with. OR It could be a leak at the front of the engine just being blown back that way while you're driving. OR (I've seen this a few times) there could be a pin-hole leak in one of the heater hoses and it's shooting it over there.

Hope this helps, and let us know what you find. Oh, and there's MANY other possibilities as to what these problems could be, but this is where I'd start.
Yes, there are sooooo many things that could be the problem. That's what worries me. Thanks for the input. The coolant leak happens there when the Jeep has been idle and stationary for an our or two. I'm probably going to bring it up to the dealership this weekend and see what they throw at me.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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Take a good look at you heater hoses. One could be spraying the water down between engine and trans, and could be drenching your starter as well.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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Take a good look at you heater hoses. One could be spraying the water down between engine and trans, and could be drenching your starter as well.
I hope that's not happening!
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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the coolant is probably a freeze plug behind the flywheel. the water in the exhaust does it happen when it's warmed up or just cold starts? the clicking, try cleaning battery connections at the starter solenoid, and battery.
^x2 - Completely agree here. All connections need to be tight in the starting system. Especially those down on the starter. ...Since your digging around, might wanna preemptively clean up the ground locations on the passenger middle of block, driver side back of head (top corner closest to the driver's seat), firewall, and hood. little 120 grit and some elbow grease never hurts those grounds.

Cooling system leak - Honestly, the fastest way to get this solved is with a dye test. You'll follow instructions on the bottle, but it's pretty simple in theory. Add dye to Radiator, run engine for X period of time, get a black light and shine it around until you find the leak. It should light up like a xmas tree and be brighter/more concentrated at the source. Be sure to have your thinking cap on, as like any fluid, it's going to follow the path of least resistance to get to the ground (almost sounds like electricity) so if you see a trail, follow it up. This will get you there without spending a lot of wasted time chasing parts and draining & filling your system.

Another cheap thing to do might be to pressure test the rad tank... This is a worse idea than the dye test, but you & a buddy may be able to find something. Rent the pressure tester, pop your rad cap off, pressurize to NO MORE than what is listed on the Rad Cap. Start crawling all over looking for the leak.

Good luck brother!
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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I hope that's not happening!
Actually - for your sake, I hope it is! Fix all problems with one part!!
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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Actually - for your sake, I hope it is! Fix all problems with one part!!
Good point! But spraying hot water and coolant all over the starter is never good!
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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It is better than spraying transmission fluid on your exhaust
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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It is better than spraying transmission fluid on your exhaust
Haha! And then not having an extinguisher!
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:23 PM   #13
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I checked the oil and it's fine. The water that came from the exhaust is anti-freeze free. I'm thinking that that it was just natural water build-up, and that my drain hole on the exhaust is clogged with mud. I just got a new battery so I'm about to pop that in, and if that doesn't change the clicking noise, I'm going to find a good price on a solenoid.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:51 PM   #14
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my bet on your water leak is still the freeze plug on the back of the block.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:56 PM   #15
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I'm thinking so too. I'll roll it into the garage and take a look
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:49 PM   #16
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It's still doing the click with a new battery, guess I'm going to the parts store tomorrow
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:31 PM   #17
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Went and bought a new starter. Popping it on tomorrow. Hopefully it'll solve my problem, which I'm sure it will. Then I'm going to let the shop take care of my freeze plug I think, depending on how difficult it is.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:38 PM   #18
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Clean your ground connection
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:40 PM   #19
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I'm cleaning everything. It's a good habit to get into when changing out parts!
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:11 AM   #20
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Okay so I put it in and everything is good! Just need to fix those leaks now!

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