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Old 07-18-2009, 10:59 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
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88 Wrangler misses/dies at low idle

Trying to figure out where to spend $$ first on this....... 88 wrangler 4.2 , Carter 2 Bbl with 3 speed Auto Trans and about 170,000 miles.

Problem: there is a noticeable miss at low idle; and when pulling out of parking spaces or stopped at traffic lights it often misses and dies. I've adjusted the low idle a little bit but it still happens, mostly around 600 RPM.

I sought the advice of a mechanic (who is a diesel guy and admitted not knowing much about carburetor engines). He put new spark plug wires, plugs and a new rotor in but no fix. He suggested it might be the distributor.

I'm wondering if I should put some kind of different carb in it like a motorcraft?
should I start by replacing the distributor?
OR maybe just both?. Like everyone $$ is tight and I'd like to take my best shot at it first.
Any suggestions appreciated

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Old 07-18-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
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While I will agree that the cater carb isn't from Jeep's best hour, lets try to figure out the problem first. You pulled the plugs. How did they look. I have a 1987 yj with a 4.2L and had a similar problem. My solution was to CORRECTLY time the engine, Correctly route all the vaccuum lines as best as I could, and finally readjust the carb. I found my mixture screws were only 3/4 of a turn out, and at idle the engine was a little shakey. I gave it another 1/2 out and WOW what a difference. Smoother idle and it actually as a bit of power too. This should work on your jeep as well altho' my 87 is running a 1983 non-feedback style carter carb off a late model cj.

Coviello Racing

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Old 07-18-2009, 07:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for writing back Jake....
I'm not a very good mechanic and I'm not sure what stuff is SUPPOSED to look like...the mechanic took the plugs out as kind of a shot gun remedy.

Where can I look to see what "right" is supposed to be?
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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is the engine running rough or is thare a miss?
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:00 PM   #5
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"correct" plugs are fairly clean, tannish in color with a slight ash to them but the cleaner the better. a decent service manual will serve you well. And I must admit, When trying to correct my rig, I had down the street another totally stock, unmolested 87 jeep to take pictures and make notes on.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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Location: wisconsin
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i would suggest the nutter conversion i'm in the process of doing that right now all the people i'v talked to have claimed it makes the thing run way better
some say why i say
its a jeep thing u wouldn't understand
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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i also have the same problem and i sent my idle control cyliniod off for reman bcause it wasnt working its the round thing that mounts on your carb with a power wire and also a vacum line coming to it it is suposed to keep u running at idle or when stopping hold your idle up a little to burn out the extra gas in the carb mabe this works i dont know hope fully it will

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