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Old 06-01-2011, 03:25 AM   #1
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Takes 2 tries to start engine cold

So my '98 TJ 4.0 is for some reason always taking me 2 tries to start it cold now. It is only in the last few days that it's started doing this - when I first got it it didn't have this problem. It always fires right up on the second try, but never on the first, when cold starting. When warm starting it fires right up on the first try. It idles smooth and runs just fine.

Is this something I should even be concerned about at all?

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Old 06-01-2011, 05:22 AM   #2
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Sounds like the foot valve has gone bad in your fuel pump. That prevents the fuel from running back in the tank when you shut the engine off. I know of an old ford taurus I once had that is going on 6 years with a bad foot valve but you have to always crank it a lot so if the battery is weak it may cause problems.

Hope this helps,
Dan

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Old 06-01-2011, 05:26 AM   #3
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That would make sense because the fuel system is a bit fux0red as it is. Like it won't take fuel at the pump unless I hold the filler neck with my other hand, and I am pretty sure the fuel tank has been swapped at some point since it's only a 13 gallon tank when the stock tank should be 15... also the sending unit is messed up because it runs out of gas when the gauge reads 1/4 full... anyway thanks for the info I'll probly just ignore it
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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Replace the fuel pressure regulator that sits outside of the fuel tank, on top of the fuel pump. The fuel pressure regulator contains the anti-drainback valve that once it starts leaking, allows the fuel that is supposed to stay in the fuel rail next to the fuel injectors for fast starts to instead drain out and back down into the fuel tank.

This is what the FPR looks like from when I replaced mine earlier this year...
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #5
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Jerry's got it.

And if you are just plain too lazy to do it, or bucks are tight right now, a trick.
Turn key to run, wait a couple of seconds, turn off, repeat. Now start the jeep.

All you are doing is powering up the fuel pump so it has a chance to build pressure in the system. It will fire up like it does when it's warm.

This is only a stop gap fix at best. But will get you started quicker then hammering on the starter till you get fuel pressure built up.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:49 AM   #6
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Jerry's got it.

And if you are just plain too lazy to do it, or bucks are tight right now, a trick.
Turn key to run, wait a couple of seconds, turn off, repeat. Now start the jeep.

All you are doing is powering up the fuel pump so it has a chance to build pressure in the system. It will fire up like it does when it's warm.

This is only a stop gap fix at best. But will get you started quicker then hammering on the starter till you get fuel pressure built up.
This trick doesn't work on my 98. the pump doesn't come on until you start to crank. could just be something specific with my jeep.

If trying shelbys hint doesn't help, then do what I have to do on occasion. My fuel pump is on a contact switch. It doesn't turn on till you start to crank it, then stays on till you turn the key back to the off position. So basically start to crank the jeep, but rather than holding it and draining your battery, let it turn over once, stop, let it sit for a few seconds to build on the pressure and then try cranking it over agian.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:15 AM   #7
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I have a similar problem with my 97 TJ. This is good information.

How big a deal is it to drop the gas tank? Once the tank is out, does it make sense to replace the fuel filter/fuel gauge?
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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7 nuts hold the tank up (4 under the bumper and 3 in front of the tank). There should also be two longer bolts, these are for the straps that hold the tank to the skid plate. You do not have to undo these to drop the tank. Then you have to disconnect the filler and vent hoses, the wireing harness for the pump and fuel gauge, and the supply and vent line for the engine.

takes me about 20-30 minutes, but I've done it like 8 times in the past year. Its not that hard, just make sure you run the tank as empty as possible. due to its size the tanks is a little awkward to handle and remember every gallon of gas left in it is another 7 lbs or so when you take it out. I've found a floor jack with a small piece of plywood 1x1 or 1.5x1 on top helps so you can lift it and drop it straight.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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As stated several times above, this is most likely your check valve in the fuel pressure regulator... if that does not fix it, take a close look at changing your ignition switch. I once verified that I had a bad check valve by putting a pressure gauge on my fuel rail, but changing out the fuel pump did not completely fix my starting issue. I changed my ignition switch out and that completely fixed my intermittent starting problem. My situation was probably the exception to the rule, but it wouldn't hurt for you to throw a pressure gauge on there and make sure that your check valve is acting up.

-Wes
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:09 AM   #10
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takes me about 20-30 minutes, but I've done it like 8 times in the past year.
WTH! are you into pain or what?

Not one of those S&M folks are you?
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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7 nuts hold the tank up (4 under the bumper and 3 in front of the tank). There should also be two longer bolts, these are for the straps that hold the tank to the skid plate. You do not have to undo these to drop the tank. Then you have to disconnect the filler and vent hoses, the wireing harness for the pump and fuel gauge, and the supply and vent line for the engine.

takes me about 20-30 minutes, but I've done it like 8 times in the past year. Its not that hard, just make sure you run the tank as empty as possible. due to its size the tanks is a little awkward to handle and remember every gallon of gas left in it is another 7 lbs or so when you take it out. I've found a floor jack with a small piece of plywood 1x1 or 1.5x1 on top helps so you can lift it and drop it straight.
Excellent. I'm thinking of tackling this project over the 4th of July.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:16 PM   #12
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WTH! are you into pain or what?

Not one of those S&M folks are you?
a really annoying small evap leak and a need to pass emmissions... First the fuel line leaked, and the replacement line leaked worse than the stock line, then my own replacement line leaked. then the fuel pump gasket leaked... and leaked... and leaked... finally I took the tank to a mechanic friend. took him 5 minutes to solve all my problems...
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #13
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Wow thanks guys this has been extremely helpful information

Just one question do I have to remove the fuel tank to replace the FPR? And is the FPR a dealer-only part or is it something I can pick up at Napa or something?
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:00 PM   #14
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This trick doesn't work on my 98. the pump doesn't come on until you start to crank. could just be something specific with my jeep.

If trying shelbys hint doesn't help, then do what I have to do on occasion. My fuel pump is on a contact switch. It doesn't turn on till you start to crank it, then stays on till you turn the key back to the off position. So basically start to crank the jeep, but rather than holding it and draining your battery, let it turn over once, stop, let it sit for a few seconds to build on the pressure and then try cranking it over agian.
That must be exclusive to '98 because I can hear my fuel pump priming in my '97 when the key is in the "ON" position.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:09 PM   #15
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That must be exclusive to '98 because I can hear my fuel pump priming in my '97 when the key is in the "ON" position.
The fuel pump is supposed to cycle/turn on then off when the key is turned to the On position for all model year TJs.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:06 AM   #16
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Thanks Jerry. I have the same issue and hadn't begun to troubleshoot it until reading this. Today I cycled the key twice and then if fired right up. Replacing the FPR is now on my list.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:29 AM   #17
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Thanks Jerry. I have the same issue and hadn't begun to troubleshoot it until reading this. Today I cycled the key twice and then if fired right up. Replacing the FPR is now on my list.
Same here, the trick worked for me too

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