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Old 02-27-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
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Starting, Stalling problems in Rain.

I'm having troubles with engine stalling when driving on very wet roads & have to sit a while before it will start & stay running again. Also, just before leaving work the other night, I raised the hood to check coolant (water pump going out) & it had been raining earlier & the hood dumped a little water on back of engine when I raised it & then the Jeep wouldn't start, had to leave it overnight & started fine next morning. At the moment, I'm waiting out a thunderstorm that caught me in the middle of changing the water pump & thermostat & I just know when I'm ready to start up, flush & leak test, that it's not gonna start. Have any of you Jeepers had this issue? I don't know what to check but you can imagine the da-gone fustratiion when the jeep won't handle rain water parked in the drive, much less offroading. Thanks all

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Old 02-27-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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What year Jeep do you have and/or do you have a distributor and distributor cap on your engine? Later model engines no longer have distributors.

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Old 02-27-2011, 11:08 AM   #3
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My money is on you have worn plug wires, bad connection to your coil(s), bad connection to a crank or cam sensor, or a bad seal on your distributor.

Something is getting wet in your engine compartment and causing your problems.

Are there any DTC's being set, or is it just plain dieing?
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:09 AM   #4
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1997 Sport with 4.0, 5 speed , It does have distributor cap ( cap, plugs & wires replaced about 6 months ago). When the raised hood poured water on rear of engine, it looked like all the water went behind the cap & it appeared to be dry, but I'll replace it anyway (good place to start). Thanks for your quick reply Jerry, sorry for leaving out Vehicle info. All input, replies appreciated.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:42 AM   #5
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I would simply remove the distributor cap and dry out the interior, it sounds like moisture may have found its way inside. Flushing it out with WD-40 is a good way to chase the moisture out. A bead of dielectric grease where the distributor cap seats can help to keep the moisture out. I also place dielectric grease inside the spark plug wire boots to help prevent them from seizing to the plugs and distributor cap.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #6
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He He - it's really simple to find what's causing it.

When it's running, use a spray bottle of water - spray it around the places you suspect. When you hit the spot that kills it, you found it!
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Finally got the Water Pump & Thermostat installed between thunderstorms & sure-nuff, it didn't want to start. I cleaned out the distributor cap with WD 40 & after sitting a while it started but bucked, spit & sputtered for a minute or so & then smoothed out. This time it finally thru a CE. I ran it long enough to flush cooling system & refill with coolant & then noticed CE was off, but I went to town & had codes scanned & it showed code 11. Parts guy said might be crank sensor just as Sticks suggested. I sprayed different things with water bottle like rrich suggested but no luck, I don't know what the crank sensor looks like or location. I'll try to find out & spray water on it to see. Could the crank sensor cause an occasional miss even when dry?(or just go out at once) I've recently had that problem as well. I've got to replace cracked Exhaust Manifold too, reckon this could cause a miss as well? Thank y'all for the help.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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The CPS provides the engine's master timing signal and if it hiccups even a tad, so does your engine. A cracked exhaust manifold can allow cold air back into the valves which can burn a valve seat which can also cause a miss.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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Thanks Jerry, I done a search & found one of your post in another thread that explained the location of the CPS. I'll check it out tomorrow for loose connection & may just replace. The burned valve is scary but likely since I've put off the manifold repair for a long time (live & learn). I did get a quote on labor last week for changing out the manifold for $300 + parts. I guess I better get this done. Jerry, would a burnt valve cause a constant, consistent miss or could it be off & on like I'm dealing with. Thanks again
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #10
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A burned valve is burned all the time, not intermittent.

You said it happened when you opened the hood. Water slid down onto the back of the engine - on? What? The Crankshaft position sensor's connector!

Look on the back of the engine behind the valve cover. You'll see the harness coming from the CPS - it has a connector on it right where the water would go from the hood. It's usually on the right side way down and back there.

You may have to take the harness out of the clamp it's in to access it.

Open the connector (if it has a red tab pull it out) - liberally coat the terminals inside the connector with dielectric grease - same stuff you use on plug boots. Reassemble the connector. (Not heat sink compound.)

Hopefully that will do the trick. While you are there, make sure the wires haven't been chafing against something, baring the wire.

The CPS signal is a high impedance signal (weak) - easily shorted. The dielectric grease keeps the water out.

It could be a cheap and "not quite so easy" fix. (Hard to reach.)
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:26 PM   #11
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rrich, thanks for the info. I'm gonna try to locate the CPS tomorrow & check it out. What you say sounds VERY likely because I sprayed everything I could see with water bottle as you suggested with no affect, but did not know where the CPS was located at the time I sprayed, and that is certainly the area the water dumps when I raise the hood. Thanks again for your knowledge/help. I'll try to update tomorrow
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:07 PM   #12
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Sometimes a water bottle isn't enough. Then a garden hose is the next step. Just keep it out of the intake.
There's nothing under there that water will hurt. It should keep running fine completely doused.

Just don't do it when the engine's hot - it could crack the exhaust manifold from the sudden temperature change.

Let us know!

If you use WD-40 to drive water off, be sure to wipe it off afterward. WD-40 is kerosene and it attracts water from the air!
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
While you are there, make sure the wires haven't been chafing against something, baring the wire.
rrich, that was apparently the problem. One of the CPS harness wires had about an inch of bare wire showing. I removed CPS, cleaned it up & tightly wrapped with electrical tape, then put heat shield back on & taped again. This was a good day to test because we had some local flooding from this mornings Thunderstorms (water everywhere). I drove thru lots of water when I left the farm this evening & had no issues, I also made it all the way home without that occasional miss that I've been dealing with, so I'm hopeful that the bare wire was causing both issues.Time will tell. Anyway, for now the TJ feels like a Jeep again. Thank y'all for taking the time to share your wisdom & help out an ole country boy.

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