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Old 03-29-2013, 08:31 AM   #1
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TJ Engine Trouble... HELP!

Ok... I have a 98 TJ. 2.5 4cyl, 5 spd tranny.

First question: Can I check the error code by doing the "on/off key trick"?

My jeep has over 174 thousand on it. Bought it 2nd hand. Been running great.

Pulled into the gas station, and put gas in. Tank was very close to empty.
Went in, paid for the fuel, came back out... and jeep started hard, and seemed to idle a little off. Check Engine light came on. Drove it down the road about 5 miles, pulled into my familiy's driveway, kicked it in nuetral and let it idle. Idle got even more rough. Rpms struggling to stay around 1200, and then would almost cut out as the engine would almost stall. Rev back up to 1500 or so, and idle back. Constantly chugging.
I shut it off, and on restart, it turned over but would not fire. After a minute or so of trying to start it, I smelled gas which meant to me it was flooding itself out. So, I let it set for a few minutes. Tried again to start, same problem. Engine turned over, but no start. Then it started. Running very rough. Drove about 7 miles back home and parked it. Engine was hiccuping and chugging under a load.
Day 2: Put in dry gas, and injector cleaner, thinking it was bad gas, or I had picked some crap up off the bottom of the tank where I ran it so low on fuel.
Seemed to help some, but still started hard, and continued to run rough. Idle is fine. If and when it starts, the thing will set there and idle just beautiful all day long.
So, I drove to work. CEL was still on, and still running rough at a lower RPM band when shifting between 2nd and 3rd. Engine chugging, almost like it was stalling out for a milli-second at a time.
Continued to drive it. Came home for lunch on day 2... Went out and it started first crank like it always had. Kinda chugged a bit, and the CEL went out. Drove it home, and it ran better and had more pep than it ever had. Thought I might have fixed it. Came back out a half hour later, and could barely get it started again. CEL remained off. It took at least 5 minutes for it to started, smelled gas, etc all over again. Ran really rough all the way back to work.
Day 3: After trying to start the Jeep on 3 seperate occasions and failing to do so, it finally started the 4th time. Let it idle for at least a half hour. No problems. No fluctuating idle. No nothing. Sat there and purred like a kitten. So, I decided to take it down the road. Initially it ran down the road fine. No problems. At about a quarter mile, it started in again. And got even worse. Now, between shifts, it will shudder and jerk, and chug, almost giving little mini backfires. Once you release the clutch and engage it in gear, and step on the throttle, it dies out completely. As if it were in Nuetral. Does not rev up. And the engine bogs right out to nothing. The Tach stays at a "chugging idle". You can watch the needle jump around. Take the stress off the motor by backing off the throttle a bit and it seems to ease it some. Push the peddal to the floor and it happens all over again. And it's still extremely hard to start.
I have no idea what would cause this right out of the blue. I've been all through the forum here for the last three hours, and have some ideas. I've read everything from PCM, to O2 sensors, plugged CAT, Injectors, Crank Sensor, TPS.... etc.
Please help if ya can. I'm lost here. I'm all up for diagnostics cuz I don't wanna throw money and parts at it till I accidentally stumble on the correct fix.
Thanks in advance for any advice, suggestions, or help of any kind. If ya have any questions let me know and I'll try to clear it up.
Sorry for such a long post, I know it's a lot to go through lol. Just trying to give as much detail as possible.

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Old 03-29-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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You might have a vacuum leak, that's what I would check first. Also check your battery terminals for corrosion. I don't think the key trick will work on an 98. Check and see if your throttle body is dirty.

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Old 03-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
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Thanks. I will. Just went and bought a code reader. That should help get me pointed in the general direction
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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OK.... just popped up three codes. Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire
Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected
Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected.

Now what? LoL.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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Check your plug wires and plugs. Don't know what else to suggest sorry.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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Checked plugs and plug wires. Possible bad EGR Valve? I know the engine has not been maintained very well, and there are exhaust leaks as well near the manifold. Bad manifold gasket, and doughnut gaskets as well. But it had been running just beautiful, even with the bad gaskets. The plugs and plug wires, as well as distributer cap and button have been replaced a while ago. Will look further into the plugs. Any further help will be much appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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Exclamation

Ok. Checked plugs. Plugs 2 and 4 are not fireing at all. It almost immediatly floods the engine and then it just cranks and cranks and cranks. What would cause 2 and 4 to just not get any fire? The other plugs are fouled trying to pick up the slack I'm guessing.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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Bad coil?


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Old 03-29-2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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Bad distributor cap or distributor itself?


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Old 03-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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distributor cap and rotor have been replaced. As well as plugs and plug wires. Any way to test the coil and distributor to see before i just replace them possibly for nothing?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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Sounds like really BAD GAS drain the tank start fresh take fuel line off put rubber hose on and fill small glass jar see if you water in it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfbody View Post
Sounds like really BAD GAS drain the tank start fresh take fuel line off put rubber hose on and fill small glass jar see if you water in it.
You may not see it right away, either. Let it sit for a few minutes and any water will settle tot he bottom.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #13
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I will definately try this.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:35 PM   #14
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remember to change fuel filter if you find water in there!! but drain the tank first if you do find water
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:50 PM   #15
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Any ideas if this is not the case for my misfire?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:01 PM   #16
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moisture under the cap will do this but you never said anything about rain or car wash so thats out.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:56 AM   #17
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Any ideas if this could be the EGR valve? And is there a way to test it before replacement. It's a good chunk of change to replace it, and then have it not be the problem.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #18
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Mine had codes of misfire on 1 & 3 ...... REPLACED COIL ...... no more problems........... Don't know what else it could be???
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:22 PM   #19
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Ok... Replaced plugs and cleared the codes on my reader. No more misfire codes. Code are at 0. But... still won't start. Plugs don't seem to be fouled out. No smell of gas like its flooding itself anymore. Could be fuses for fuel pump? Or distributor or coil?
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:42 PM   #20
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Did you check for spark?? At Coil then plug,make sure your dis is turning the rotor. you can get a Spark Checker 3 to 6 bucks auto store.
Make sure you did'nt jump time with "Engine was hiccuping and chugging under a load" ez way to check that turn crank to TDC pull off cap rotor shuold be pointing to #1 plug if pointing to the opposite side turn crank one rev to TDC again.
Hope that helps...
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #21
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Exclamation

Ok... soooo... I have replaced both the Camshaft Sensor in the distributor, and the Crankshaft Sensor on the bell housing. Got spark at the plugs. Got fuel to the fuel rail. When I unscrew the cap on the rail, and push the pressure tab fuel comes out... but engine still just won't start. It'll turn over and over until you drain the battery but won't start.
This is just blowing my mind. I've checked all fuses for the fuel system, and the PDC. Nothing blown.
Tried to cyphon out some fuel but can't seem to get the hose down into the tank no matter what.
Not sure if the engine "jumped time" or not. I'll check that out next and let ya know.
Plz help. I have NO idea what can be the cause of this not starting. Is it possible I have the Crankshaft Sensor in wrong??
Also, the CEL is out, and not throwing anymore codes.
You guys can be miracle workers on here lol. So thanks again for all of the help. Plz refer to the first post in this thread that I have started to read the whole story. Basically, just pulled in for gas one day. Jeep ran like crap for a day and a half almost immediately after leaving the gas pumps, and hasn't started for the last 2 and a half weeks.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:01 PM   #22
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Anybody??
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:09 PM   #23
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replace your coil if you have not done so already
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:31 PM   #24
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Question

Why should I replace the coil if I'm getting a spark at the plug??
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:41 PM   #25
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Might not be sending a hot enough spark.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:09 PM   #26
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Check your fuel pressure, just because there is fuel in the rail doesn't mean it has proper pressure. Check for spark
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:26 PM   #27
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Is there a way to test the coil to see if its a proper spark without buying one first?? I will definately check the fuel pressure. If it doesnt read out correctly should i look into replacing tye injectors or the pump?
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:41 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by djjd76 View Post
Is there a way to test the coil to see if its a proper spark without buying one first?? I will definately check the fuel pressure. If it doesnt read out correctly should i look into replacing tye injectors or the pump?
I know of a way to check for spark....just can't remember what it is at the moment. IIRC it involves a screw driver, but I can't remember.

If you're not getting proper pressure you'll want to replace the pump. Did you check the lines for any kinks or pinches that could be limiting fuel flow? Its highly unlikely, but its possible.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #29
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Nothing kinked in the lines. Fuses for fuel pump all check out. Getting spark at the plug. Tried spraying in ether, still no start. I figured if I could get it to start with the starting fluid, I could say it was the fuel pump. But again, it didn't start. I'll have to check for pressure at the fuel rail, and I guess, try replacing the coil.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #30
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Any other help? lol.

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