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Old 10-17-2010, 03:30 PM   #1
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Black smoke then stalls!

I recently purchased a 1990 Wrangler so I could get around in the snow and in the future put a plow on it so I can take care of my parents driveway. As I am driving it home, I hear a huge pop and cloud of black smoke come out of the exhaust. A few seconds later, the car dies. My brother was with me and luckily had jumper cables. Got the jeep to start up again, but the same issue persists every 10-15 miles. Besides needing a new battery, what would cause the black smoke and jeep to stall? The sounds and shaking was as if the vehicle was gonna explode.

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Old 10-17-2010, 03:39 PM   #2
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Exhaust is clogged?

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Old 10-17-2010, 03:53 PM   #3
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Exhaust is clogged?
How do I check if it is clogged besides looking through the end? Am I better off having it towed to a shop? I would like to try some simpler options before doing so. Sorry for the noobish questions
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:21 PM   #4
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Crank it and have someone rev it while u stand behind it to see if exhaust seems to be flowing freely. There really isn't a way that I know of beside changing it to be sure
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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Black smoke is fuel, I don't know if the 90 yj had a carb, my 94 was fuel injected. If it has a carb it could be flooding. I had an 84 Cherokee that would backfire when cornering due to internal carb float issues. Does this happen to you during a specific maneuver, eg. Stopping turn left, turning right, uphill etc.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
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This was on the freeway, straights. After a backfire, is it normal for the vehicle to lose power, or is that an indication of a weak battery? It stalled several times and needed to be jumped each time ETA: It has carbs
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:18 PM   #7
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I'm almost positive it is not the battery. Once the jeep is running the alternator will generate enough power to keep the it going even if the battery is dead. A simple way to check your power situation is to turn on the headlights and if they light up normally you have enough power.

It is possible that either the carb or the timing can cause backfires to happen. One simple thing to check is to make sure that all of the rubber vacuum lines are in good condition and connected. But if you are not familiar with adjustments on the timing and carb I would suggest you get some expert help.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:56 AM   #8
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Sounds like it's running rich. Definitely check your vacuum hoses! Have you replaced any lately? I just cleaned out the PCV line in my 88 2.5L and it started running rich. It was because I missed a hose when reconnecting all the hoses.

Check the hoses for deterioration too.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
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Well I ended up bringing it into a shop, and they said that the alternator was toast. They replaced the alternator and battery, and went over the carb (accelerator pump). Took it on a short test run and it seems to be running ok. But I can't imagine that the alternator would be causing the jeep to backfire and stall, could it? Went on another forum and they thought it was carb related, or it had something to do with the distributor. Thoughts? Is there a good thread regarding checking vacuum hoses? I'm very much a newb when it comes to basic car maintenance
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:29 PM   #10
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Well a bad alternator could cause it to stall because you need to have power to create the spark in your engine, so if your alternator wasn't working it was drawing power from the battery until the battery didn't have the power to ignite the fuel. and if you had to jump start it every time then it was really drawing off the battery.

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