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Old 08-19-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
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Cool Early 1996 production TJ issues??

First time poster, second time jeeper....I picked up a 1997 TJ with 170k on it back in the spring, has few mods but a rebuilt 4 cylinder...but I don't know to what extent. Does look like the PO bolted all the old stuff right back onto the new shiny motor, right down to the dirty throttle body and rotted vac lines. I've been through it, stripped it down and replaced all the old stuff, general tuneup, clean tank, etc......new TPS, MAP, oxygen sensors. But I CAN"T get this thing to run right. Starts ok, but is terrible to drive, sluggish, blows carbon, takes 4 miles on the flat to get it up to 50 mph. Throws codes for rich and lean.
I SUSPECT the problem might be due to the early build date of 3/96. I bought a MAP for a 97 TJ, wouldn't fit and had to exchange it for one for a 96 Cherokee with a 2.5L.... Similar problem with the TPS, the 97 unit wouldn't match up so I reinstalled the original.
The only thing that helps is unplugging the pre-cat O2 sensor. Still not full power but it's almost drivable. Rich and lean codes due to the ECM going into loop.
Question is....should I have purchased an O2 sensor for a pre 1997 2.5L, like on the 96 Cherokee or 95 YJ, given the early build date? Has anyone encountered this? Anyone can give me the NGK sensor part number for an early TJ? NAPA and the NGK site seem to have different opinions.

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Old 08-19-2013, 10:02 PM   #2
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Not sure on your dilemma but look for NTK (not NGK) sensors on rockauto.com. They are by far the cheapest. I would recommend pre 97 given the issues with the other parts you have had use with.

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Old 08-22-2013, 09:00 AM   #3
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Pretty certain NGK and ntk are the same company with same part numbers, ntk being the ceramic manufacturing division of NGK. You get NGK spark plugs but NGK oxygen sensors will come in an ntk box. I looked on rockauto for the oxygen sensors but the site is messed up, the listing for the upstream sensor directs me to a camshaft pos sensor. NAPA gives me better prices anyway.
I found a procedure for bench testing oxygen sensors which led me to try two new ones, I test drove only about 10 miles with decent results. Acceleration and power is better but still can't get up over about 53 mph. Fuel delivery problem or plugged cat? Seems I would get a cel and a code to check but nothing so far....
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #4
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The early 97's had leftover parts from the 95's so go in and tell them its for a 95, take the old part with you and match it up

I just looked on rockauto and they have the same part number listed for the 97 as my 99... NTK 23506
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsprague View Post
Pretty certain NGK and ntk are the same company with same part numbers, ntk being the ceramic manufacturing division of NGK. You get NGK spark plugs but NGK oxygen sensors will come in an ntk box. I looked on rockauto for the oxygen sensors but the site is messed up, the listing for the upstream sensor directs me to a camshaft pos sensor. NAPA gives me better prices anyway.
I found a procedure for bench testing oxygen sensors which led me to try two new ones, I test drove only about 10 miles with decent results. Acceleration and power is better but still can't get up over about 53 mph. Fuel delivery problem or plugged cat? Seems I would get a cel and a code to check but nothing so far....

You would be the first person probably in history that gets better prices at NAPA than rockauto! But regardless of that......... Yes a plugged cat could cause this issue as well. I had that happen not long ago. Do you have ant kind of rattling near the cat? Mine was making an aweful noise on when I had it swapped out, it was obvious that the inside of the Cat had broken loose and metlted into a big lump.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #6
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Early '97 TJs made in '96 shared some parts with the '95 YJ, especially where sensors are concerned. My '97 TJ was made 3/96 & when its Throttle Position Sensor went bad, I ended up having to use a '95 YJ TPS. The TPS that the book showed fit my '97 had a different size electrical connector that wouldn't plug in.

You say it takes a long time to get up to 50 mph. What size tires are on it & what transmission does it have, auto or 5-speed?
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Tires are p265 something....call it 31x10.50, almost the same size. Five speed tranny. No noticeable rattle from the cat but I'm thinking about slicing it out to take a look, its all welded together.
I did put in the 23506 upstream sensor, looked like all the pre 1997 2.5 engines used that. I put a 23014 downstream but found some different numbers for that one, and not always in agreement.
Sarge, I have bought some stuff from rock auto and generally they were OK to me but I get contractor prices at Napa by putting the company name on it but paying cash.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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I've been humbled sarge, could've saved 10 bucks at rockauto over my " good" Napa price.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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I've been humbled sarge, could've saved 10 bucks at rockauto over my " good" Napa price.

Well the one difference is that you got it right away and didn't have to wait a day or two. Sometimes I also spend the extra few bucks to have it the same day.

If you do need/want to order anything I also have a 5% discount code for rockauto as well. Actually have a thread posted here on it
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:22 PM   #10
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So far the only thing I've found that is a '95 part was the TPS. IIRC my build date was 4/1996. Just recently replaced my upstream o2 sensor with NTK 23151 from Rock Auto, which is the part listed for a 1997 TJ.

It's the connector that dictates what part you need. There's no functional difference between the sensors.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
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Skier, my issue with the tps was different....the 97 unit plugged in ok but the internal parts didn't match up.... the recess in the new sensor was bigger than the old one, the little spade from the throttle body that inserted into the tps was too small.
I bought a MAP that was listed for a 97 that wouldn't even plug in.
I wondered about the difference between oxygen sensors, I tried to find some info thinking that maybe differnet sensors sent different voltages to the ecm, which would be interpreted differently.
Update, I put another 15 miles on the tj tonight, same issues and the cel came on. Haven't checked the code yet.
Will I create any problems if I cut out the cat temporarily just to see what it looks like and see if it changes performance? The downstream sensor will have to be removed, but the upstream one will be intact.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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Removing the downstream 02 sensor won't affect performance but it will likely generate a Check Engine light from the missing 02 sensor. Removing the cat to see if it is clogged is not a bad idea. My cat clogged so badly in July that I was forced to do 5-15 mph along the side of the freeway for 20 miles to get to a friend's house to replace the cat.

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