i have a 1998 jeep wrangler tj and it has a heavy fuel smell
no leaks anywhere and doesnt blow smoke while driving
on deceleration only i can hear a small popping in the exhaust not a big backfire just small putting sound
My first guess would be a bad upstream 02 sensor. Your '98 has more than enough miles on it to by now need new 02 sensors (your '98 has a total of two 02 sensors). When the upstream 02 sensor (mounted just below the exhaust headers) goes bad, it often erroneously signals the computer the air/fuel ratio is too lean... which causes the computer to enrichen the air/fuel ratio way beyond what it should be. That air/fuel ratio is often so rich you can smell it. Plus it will cause the engine to run like crap.
To save $$$, I'd start by replacing just the upstream sensor. On early TJs like yours, the upstream 02 sensor is the one that the computer uses to monitor the air/fuel ratio.
__________________ ...Gone wheeling, back Sunday night.
Location: where I wheel: N 45º 36.663' W 123º 20.935'
Jeep used to have a strong fuel odor, especially after a fill up. Turned out to be a loose collar on the fuel tank. I didn't find out until I dropped my tank to install my gas skid.
LOL, the dealership told me at the time that the tank "needed" replacement and that they would easily do it for $650 . I'm glad I turned the recommendation down and troubleshooted myself. Didn't cost a dime to tighten the collar .
1998 TJ Moss Green Sahara w/ numerous scratches & dents whose playground is on a tropical island that's 33 miles long and 4-12 miles wide, in year-round 82 degree weather
I had similar symptoms and more--powerful gas smell, popping, sputtering, flat-out backfires, hesitation, smoke on start up, high idle, absolutely awful gas milage... But, no check engine light. Based on what I read in this thread, I decided to replace the upstream O2 sensor and do a quick tuneup. All the symptoms are gone. I'm positive that the O2 sensor isn't the only cause of the smoke and idle issues and will be paying close attention to see if those or any of the other problems come back. For now, things are really good. Cheers, all.