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Old 04-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Upstate NY
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TJ Won't Start (I blame you guys!)

Ok, i only blame you all in the sense that i've been a lurker on this site for a while, and finally purchased 1997 Wrangler (4 cyl, 5 spd)....because everyone seemed to be having such fun with their Jeeps!

So i picked it up last week, after looking long and hard for the right deal for me. All in all body is decent...typical front fender rot, small bubbles below taillight, rockers etc. Front floor pans are shot (new on the way), pan support channels are missing middle 6 inches on each side. Frame has seen better days. Plan on patching the floor and making the tub "nice" again, then maybe a frame swap next year. Work from the ground up so every nut and bolt is the way i want it.

98k on motor and trans. Took it for test drive (had to be jumped, it was sitting). Notice gas light is on when pulling out of drive way, plan on turning around at next intersection and heading back. Yup, ran out of gas at said intersection (1/2 mile away). Owner comes with gas can, jumps again. Now it seems like it doesn't want to idle...had to drive it back to his place, and make sure my foot was always on gas.

Pay the man, and pick it up next day.

Again, had to jump it, and really won't idle. After warming up for 5 mins i could take foot off gas.

Drive it home, need to keep rmps up (above 1000) for the alternator, or lights go out. I added 3 gals more gas before the drive.

Jeep seems a little sluggish, but that could be me...the steering is still very loose, so it wasn't comfortable. Never went above 40 mph for whole drive.

Next day, new battery. Starts up and runs, will now idle under it's own free will from the get go.

Leave it running for couple mins, but notice gas gauge is low. Doesn't seem like i should run out, because if figure we added 3-4 gals to the tank, and drove it maybe 5 miles.

Two mins later...stalls...like it ran out of gas. Added 5 more gallons to tank and now it won't restart. In the evenings after work i've started digging at it.

I can hear fuel pump run when i turn key. I pulled a plug after repeated cranking and letting the pump prime, the plugs don't look "wet" at all. I haven't had a helper around yet to help me check for spark.

When i get the chance i intend to pour some gas in the throttle body and see if that helps. Again i can hear the pump (but i know that doesn't necessarily mean it's pumping).

Anything else you guys can think of trying? I don't see the need to swap relays etc...because i can hear that i have power. Maybe a clogged strainer screen?

The whole series of event is rather odd to me, so i thought i'd check to see if anyone else has had a similar problem.

Thanks all!

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Old 04-01-2013, 08:14 PM   #2
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Location: Cheshire Oregon
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No offense but there was about 10 red flags in that whole statement which would have made me turn the other way. I hope you got a screamin deal on that thing

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Old 04-01-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Upstate NY
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for this area, i did.

the price was lower than most. the jeep was actually in better condition than some i've looked at, and for every problem spotted I lowered my offer by an appropriate amount.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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how much was it?
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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Location: Upstate NY
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Honestly, I'm not terribly comfortable sharing, only because it was one of those friends of a friend deals...and i'd hate for the guy to see comments on what I paid...then go complain to my coworker.

I will say this...based on what I know 3 or 4 people paid for used craigslist parts in this area... I could sell the hardtop...and something simple like the seats...and then send the rst of the jeep to the salvage yard...and at least make my money back. Motor and trans would just be extra.
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