IMO - I would look at your fuel system. Sounds like your fuel pressure regulator or fuel pump maybe giving you a problem. Before you fire up the Jeep, check the fuel rail pressure with the key in the "on" position. You should hear the fuel pump energize in the tank and you should have around 40 psi on the rail prior to starting.
I have the same issue.. fuel pump issues for sure.. i just turn the key on.. then off then on again.. fires right up... you have to let the key sit in the on position for a little before cranking.. that works well for me as well... just let it sit for 5 seconds or so then crank.. see if that will help
Same thing happened to my ZJ for about 3 months before I finally pinpointed the problem and got myself a new fuel pump. Hold onto your wallet because there not cheap (at least it wasnt for a grand cherokee). But I would put a heavy assumption on your fuel pump from the sounds of it.
Just live with it as a lot of us do.It is pretty much normal for it to start this with age.It has to do with the evac setup and a one way valve in the fuel lines.The pump has to pressurize the fuel line before it will start because the one way valve somewhere in the system lets the pressure leak off on the main line.I have just got used to getting in bumping the starter then start it.
I had the same issue. This may not be your problem, but I was getting ready to replace my fuel pump.Then my starter failed. After replacing the starter it never happened again. I hadn't noticed that it had dropped off in cranking power. The new starter cranks much faster and it fires right up.
I had the same thing with my 99 Wrangler a couple summer's ago. Once it started, it ran fine but you had to crank it for 5 seconds or try to start it twice to get fuel from the tank up to the fuel rail. I had the pressure checked at the fuel rail and it was very low if the Jeep sat for more than 10 minutes.
Mechanic that looked at it wanted to replace the whole fuel pump ($400-600 plus his labor costs). I told him that it ran fine once it was started so the pump must be okay. I did some research and replaced ONLY the fuel pressure regulator/fuel filter that sits right on top of the pump. Did it myself and it only cost me $118 for the part and 3-4 hours labor. It wasn't hard. I'd never dropped a fuel tank before but I got a Haynes manual from the local library and it showed me step by step.
That was the summer of 2006 and I haven't had any problems since. Now when I turn the key it starts just like it was new.
To tell weather it's fuel leak back problem cycle the key a few times then try to start it it it starts right away then the problem is the fuel pump assembly allowing fuel to leak back.
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