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Old 10-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #1
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Have to crank 3 times to start, suggestions?

1999 Jeep Wrangler 4.0. When I try to start it, the motor just spins the first time and usually the second. I do not have to turn the key off, simply disengage the stater. No later than third attempt it starts and runs fine. Crankshaft position sensor?

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Old 10-27-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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Have you tried turning it of and on, but not starting it? If you try that and it starts right up it could be a fuel delivery issue.

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Old 10-27-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
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Fuel Pump ONLY PRIMES/PUMPS for a 2 second period each time the Ignition is turned to
the ON Position. To reach Pressure the system usually requires 6 seconds. Try an on and off sequence of → ON for two sec, then OFF, Back to ON for Two, Off one more time, THEN On --- Start. Bet that works for ya. I know-- a PAIN in the Hiniey for sure, but it's better than Cranking and Cranking with ALL the un-do wear and Tear on the Starter, not to mention the embarrassing LOOKS from people you get in the Mall Parking Lots.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys.

I just replaced the fuel pump / pressure regulator. I start it by cranking it for a second, stop then crank it again. It doesn't matter if I turn the ignition off or not. It starts second or third time. Checked fuel pressure and it's fine.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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how long does it hold pressure? key on to see pressure then key off. let it sit and see if it holds pressure.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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Fuel pressure

45 psi steady. Sometimes I have to "crank it" twice, never more than three. It makes no difference if I turn the key to the off position or leave "on" (gauges and warning lights on) I have to engage the starter 2 or 3 times.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:23 PM   #7
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I think you'll find that Starter engagement really has nothing to do with it. THAT ACTION
is the same as if you activate the Ign. ON & OFF 2 or 3 times WITHOUT engaging the
Starter. BUT that's OK ----- It is what it is, after all, My Sig says it all, WHAT DO I KNOW ┐
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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Well since you have eliminated fuel as the problem you should start looking over your ignition system.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:26 AM   #9
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Good excuse to do wires, plugs, cap and rotor.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
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Thank you, NH-JK. I've replaced all of those plus the idle air control and the throttle position sensor. Turning the key to on and back off doesn't help. You have to turn the key until the engine cranks, let off, (doesn't matter if you turn the key back to off) and repeat one or two more times. It always starts by the third attempt and then runs fine.

I have purchased a crankshaft position sensor to install. I will let you guys know if that works. Next I guess would be the camshaft position sensor.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:28 PM   #11
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Definitely keep us updated. I'm curious to see if that's the fix.... Good luck
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:29 PM   #12
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My jeep does the same thing! Once it's warm it starts fine but if it sits for a few hours it won't start unless you disengage the starter 2 or 3 times.
I replaced my injectors and no change.
Also when it's cold and finally starts it runs real rough for about 15-20 seconds like its missing and then just Clears up and runs fine. I sure would like to know what's causing it.....
Brian
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:28 PM   #13
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My jeep does the same thing! Once it's warm it starts fine but if it sits for a few hours it won't start unless you disengage the starter 2 or 3 times.
I replaced my injectors and no change.
Also when it's cold and finally starts it runs real rough for about 15-20 seconds like its missing and then just Clears up and runs fine. I sure would like to know what's causing it.....
Brian
Sounds like you problem might be in the fuel pump. There's a check ball in it that stops it from blessing off fuel pressure.
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:12 PM   #14
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Sounds like you problem might be in the fuel pump. There's a check ball in it that stops it from blessing off fuel pressure.
My father-in-law said the same thing. He suggested trying some fuel additive for the next 2 or3 tank fills and see if that unsticks it.
Does that sound like it would work? I kind of think it needs replacing but what the hell do I know....!
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:25 PM   #15
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I don't think it will. it can't hurt to try
:-). Mine has been this way for 2 years I just turn the key on and off 2 times and the third time to start it.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:59 PM   #16
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Just to keep you guys updated. I can turn the key from off to "on" and back all I want and it doesn't help. It holds fuel pressure fine. I have to actually go from "on" to cranking it 2 or 3 times to start it.

I still haven't installed the crank position sensor. Will let you know if that helps. I have changed the fuel pump/pressure regulator and it did not help.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #17
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I need a replacement fuel pump/FPR, please PM me let me know if you kept what you replaced since it sounds like they are good... if you're interested in getting rid of them that is.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:10 AM   #18
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clean your battery terminals. how old is your starter? maybe it is starting to go. and by that I mean it is wearing out and not quite getting enough electricity to it to do its job, or the parts don't want to fire off as well anymore.
If you changed your fuel sending unit, and all is well there, check your battery terminals and your starter next.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:28 AM   #19
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My jeep does the same thing! Once it's warm it starts fine but if it sits for a few hours it won't start unless you disengage the starter 2 or 3 times. I replaced my injectors and no change. Also when it's cold and finally starts it runs real rough for about 15-20 seconds like its missing and then just Clears up and runs fine. I sure would like to know what's causing it..... Brian
I have the same exact problem. If you ever find out what the problem is Let me know
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:14 PM   #20
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Me too. I have tried the on/off trick with no luck either. I replaced the starter and same thing.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:41 AM   #21
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Any updates? You ever remedy the problem?
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #22
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #23
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:43 PM   #24
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When cold, mine takes several seconds to start and getting longer. When the engine is warm, it's just a twist of the key.
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:02 AM   #25
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I'm guessing the check ball in the pump is not holding pressure in the fuel line so the pump has to be cycled in order to build fuel pressure.
I think it runs rough shortly due to air in the fuel lines causing the engine to miss.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:02 PM   #26
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I've been having the same problem on my 99 TJ! I tried the trick mentioned earlier and it worked! Obviously just a band aid but it's better that looking like I drive a heep...
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:57 PM   #27
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Might as well throw my two cents in there. I actually have gone from being able to prime my pump and it would usually go to having to turn it over at least once, sometimes twice. I've replaced my plugs, wires, rotor and crankshaft position sensor. For about a month after that she started no problem first try every time. Then one -12 degree early morning I barely bumped the key enough to get the starter to go and ever since it's been a two crank start. I've since replaced my starter (which was separately needed due to this I'm guessing.) Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:20 PM   #28
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Bob97 and some others are right on with their suggestions. Mine does this, but I just cycle the key or let it crank. Pre-lubes the engine this way! Lol! There IS a check valve in the fuel system somewhere. It works like a foot valve on a well pump....it will KEEP the fuel in the lines and hold the pressure until it is started again. True....you MAY HAVE good fuel pressure....it just takes those extra 'cycles' to get the fuel BACK to the injectors. The Explorers and Rangers are famous for this as well. (I only know that from being a Ford guy! Lol!). Their check valve is built into the pump. Someone on the web was making a 'kit' that allowed you to install one without pulling/replacing the pump. Since I never had the need to research it yet, there MAY be someone doing it for our Jeeps as well?
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:33 PM   #29
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Cycling the fuel pump doesn't pre-lube the engine, the oil pump is only operational while the engine itself is rotating.

Regarding the check valve failing so the fuel pump has to be cycled repeatedly to get the engine to start, I was up to 8-12 cycles before my engine would start due to the leaky check valve and the pump itself finally failed Friday. Even after it started the fuel pump itself wasn't able to keep up & the the engine was running rough from not enough fuel... which generated a lean fuel condition in both banks (1 & 2). It was a crappy Spectra Premium fuel pump that barely lasted three years... that and Airtex are a couple brands that can't be trusted.

I now have a new Bosch fuel pump on order and it better make it here by Thursday as promised, I have a weekend wheeling trip I'm leaving for on Friday. Apparently Bosch is one of the OEM fuel pump manufacturers for Mopar so I'm hopeful it will last far longer than 3 years.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:28 PM   #30
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Hi Jerry! Yeah...I was just being a smart ass! Lol! I meant it can build some OP while I just let it crank for 4-5 seconds or so until it fires! It means nothing...bad humor on my part. I do agree with your opinions on FP. I've seen the same thing MOST times. A guy DID put an Airtex in his F-150 against our advice....but wouldn't you know it....that's the one STILL running 5 years later and a ton of miles later! Bosch DOES supply a lot of OE mfgrs. Carter does a few as well.

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