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Old 03-16-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
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2.4L Spark Plug/Wires

I bought a 2004 Unlimited w/ 2.4L this past fall from my brother. He's been working in Afghanistan for the past few years and between him and his wife, they put maybe 5k on it (it's got 62K now). He'd mentioned at the time that his brother-in-law had put new plugs in it.

Since I've had it, it's misfired like clockwork at 2100rpm, most notably under a little load and accelerating slowly. No check engine light and I haven't checked for any fault codes. The weather's finally broken and I decided to check into the spark plug situation, take a look at the PVC valve, etc. The spark plug wires are Mopar; I can't tell if they're original or new. Upon pulling the #1 wire, I noticed it had a lot of what looks like rust on it, and the same was on the walls in the sleeve that runs down through the valve cover. Pulled #4 wire and it looked new. At this point, it started to rain. I cleaned off #1 with alcohol and buttoned everything back up.

Well, the hickup at 2100rpm is now gone. I can only figure that #1 got some moisture down there and the residue supported some sort of electrical breakdown. I'm now wondering what the plug looks like; if the misfiring has fouled the plug or consumed the electrodes.

Any thoughts on this? I'm planning on pulling plugs 1 & 4 and checking the gap, checking for codes, etc. If they're not the Champion vanilla plugs, I'll pull the throttle body and swap them all out.

On the igniter coil side; is there a single coil in the unit that drives all 4 cyl or individual ones? I've only had cars with distributors prior to this. Could that have caused the rust looking plug boot? Should I be looking at swapping that out as well?

Thanks,

Ty

ETA: on another note; I'm picking up the rear widow from the shoe repair shop tomorrow; they're stitching the zipper ends back down. Got replacement zipper runners coming for the missing one on order and we should be ready to rock out next week when the temp goes over 70! My little girls (and I) are stoked!1!!

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Old 03-16-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
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It seems no one has responded to you and I'm sure you figured out the answer by now. I just wanted to thank you because you have given me a place to look for answers. My problem is similar to yours but a little worse. Tomorrow I shall check my wires for rust of moisture and clean them. I will get new ones once I get the money as my 2.4 has 139k on it.

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Old 03-16-2014, 10:45 PM   #3
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I recommend some new mopar factory wires With plenty of dielectric grease in all of the connections also the 2.4 responds really well to the original NGK plugs that would have came from the factory. I also upgraded my ignition coil to an MSD for a neon srt-4.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:50 PM   #4
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An unlimited with a 2.4L... Is that correct... I did not know they made LJs with the 4cly...
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #5
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2004's dont have plug wires...they have coil packs
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:35 PM   #6
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My 06 2.4 has 4 plug wires and a single four prong coil ...
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slater451
My 06 2.4 has 4 plug wires and a single four prong coil ...
That's the 4 cly anyways...
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:23 PM   #8
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The 03-06 SE 2.4L comes with a ignition coil and 4 short wires with really long plug boots that go down the center of the motor. #1 & #4 are easy to get to #2&#3 its better to remove the intake assembly to access them.

I had the OP's exact problem right down to the rusty plug. I only had 40k when it started and replaced the TPS at the advice of the dealer. Turns out water had gotten around the #1 boot and collected in the bottom causing the plug to arc and miss fire. The first time I thought it was a fluke, changed the plugs and was fine for a few years. The second time it was a different cylinder. I found more water in #3 boot but t it was early and it didn't ruin the plugs. I used Dielectric grease this time to seal out any water (after cleaning it out). Apply it all over the boot shaft, the plug clip, and pack it good around the boot lip to seal it up. Worked great.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiburon View Post
The 03-06 SE 2.4L comes with a ignition coil and 4 short wires with really long plug boots that go down the center of the motor. #1 & #4 are easy to get to #2&#3 its better to remove the intake assembly to access them. I had the OP's exact problem right down to the rusty plug. I only had 40k when it started and replaced the TPS at the advice of the dealer. Turns out water had gotten around the #1 boot and collected in the bottom causing the plug to arc and miss fire. The first time I thought it was a fluke, changed the plugs and was fine for a few years. The second time it was a different cylinder. I found more water in #3 boot but t it was early and it didn't ruin the plugs. I used Dielectric grease this time to seal out any water (after cleaning it out). Apply it all over the boot shaft, the plug clip, and pack it good around the boot lip to seal it up. Worked great.
Thnx. I'm going to try that next week. I just pulled a multi cylinder misfire and a few other codes.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_TJ View Post

Thnx. I'm going to try that next week. I just pulled a multi cylinder misfire and a few other codes.
Also check your battery connections for loose fittings and corrosion. That was just another issue on my list.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:29 PM   #11
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Ok 30cal. Have you checked anything else yet? I just checked my wires and they were pretty bad. I cleaned them off and put die electric grease on them. Also changed my crank sensor and tps. Runs pretty smooth now. Going to get some new wires when I get my money up. No more backfire at all even on load.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:44 PM   #12
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change the plugs, for some reason the 2.4l engine burns the #1 cylinder first, dont get the e3 spark plugs, try to get the copper plugs i dont know why the platinum dont last. i just had those problems. i spent 100 bucks in a new coil pack, i noticed the difference but i still had the code 0301 (cylinder 1 misfire), i changed the wires, feel it needed to be replaced long time ago, anyway the problem continued, went to orreillys to get e3 plugs girl told me these plugs are expensive and bad. after the replacement my tj is running fine and dandy.

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