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lOlllOl 07-04-2013 05:46 PM

About to give up on this whole Jeep thing...

So based on the title of this post, you can kind of gather what's up. You can also read all the other threads I've started and they're ALL trouble-related. I absolutely love my YJ but problem after problem, I am quite rapidly leaning towards selling it and buying a more reliable vehicle. Too many times has this car broken down in the middle of an intersection or highway and the frustration level is way too high!

I got the Jeep almost exactly one year ago and the longest problem-free streak has probably been a month, tops.

My most recent problem includes very sporadic sputtering and lurching, both upon startup and while cruising on the highway. I have replaced the fuel filter, fuel pump, ECU, TPS, Idle air control, and O2 sensor (some of these replacements have been for other problems, as noted on my other threads). I also had an ignition tune-up done where they replaced the cap, rotor, and wires. The computer threw a code 54 which is related to the distributor sync, but I have no idea where to go from there. When in neutral and at a stop, I can give it gas and it will idle fine up to about 3500-4000 RPM's, when the sputtering occurs. I held my foot on the gas to see what would happen and it just kept sputtering. If it does this when driving, the Jeep lurches and loses power. The most frustrating part about this is that no mechanic (I have been to four) has been able to replicate the problem. Whenever they drive it, it is flawless. Whenever I drive it, I have to pull over and hope to God that I'll be able to make it home without getting a tow. Is there ANYTHING AT ALL I can do to fix this problem before I sell the darn thing??

Like I said before, I love riding around in my Jeep, but I am a college kid on a low budget and I have neither the time nor the money to have it sit in a mechanic's garage for two weeks while he tries to diagnose the problem!

PLEASE HELP! Thanks in advance!

Jrgarcia715 07-04-2013 06:33 PM

I feel your pain man I've had my jeep for about 5 months I got I t right before I went off to college and have had nothing but problems since i now have to put a new engine in it

HillbillyJeeper 07-04-2013 06:49 PM

Three words... Maintenance, patience and maintenance again. Be patient and make sure you maintain it well. A little grease here and there, oil changes and some carb cleaning additive can go a long way. You local autozone has manuals that will help figure out how to do it yourself. Good thing about the yj is its pretty easy to learn how to work on. I'm sorry to hear about your issues, where are you? Maybe there is a forum member close by who can help?

petercass88 07-04-2013 06:49 PM

I am by no means a jeep mechanic but that problem to me screams fuel pump! Sounds like it struggles to feed the engine at higher RPMs and runs lean or misses a cylinder completely. Right now I have similar and replaced TPS sensor and will be doing fuel pump next if the TPS doesnt work for me either. I will say this as a prior college student - nothing is better than a reliable vehicle during college because stress levels are already high. I know its cool to drive around in a jeep but when its your only vehicle... it can be tough! I would give it one last shot and get the fuel pump swapped out and maybe pick up some seafoam and if that doesnt help... consider jumping ship until you can get a YJ as a back up vehicle.

harleydragon 07-04-2013 06:51 PM

any time you have a piece of machinery that is 20 or 25 years old,unless it has low mileage,has been maintained properly and not abused then unless you go through everything on it,you can expect to have problems..we spend several hundred hours ( and dollars ) going through an old jeep but we end up with one that is as,if not more dependable than a new one

petercass88 07-04-2013 06:53 PM

One more thing - its harder to do this when its your only wheels in the event you mess up but... I still just have my walmart tool case from freshman year of college and that is all I have needed so far to work on my YJ. If there is anything unique like a specific socket that I needed to replace my oil pressure sending unit I will buy it then. A lot of things are very easy to do and as someone who isnt very mechanically inclined i have really got by from the forums and youtube!

JeepGirl94 07-04-2013 06:56 PM

My yj has over 300,000 miles 2.5 had it over 4 years now. I have replaced clutch and starter and that's it within the past 4 years, clutch was bac when I bought it. Sorry your having such a hard time with yours :)

Acidhouse 07-04-2013 07:26 PM

I think it's just your Jeep. Sometimes you just get a lemon. I'm looking at getting back into Jeeps after taking a couple of years off. I had my '97 TJ for seven years and it literally gave me no issues other than regular maintenance. It beat out every Japanese car I have ever owned. People either tend to get a really reliable Jeep or one they pour money into their Jeep. As I am looking around for my next Jeep, (probably a YJ), I am noticing that the ones that have been used for frequent offloading and hunt clubs look and sound terrible compared to their yuppie counterparts. They can be same make and year but look decades apart in terms of condition. Jeeps are made to take a lot of abuse but even they can't handle what a lot of their owners subject them to. Not saying that's what happened to yours. If this one is a money pit then maybe it is time to move on but I wouldn't judge all Jeeps based on what you are experiencing.

lOlllOl 07-04-2013 09:44 PM

Thanks for all the responses. @Acidhouse -- Yeah, mine's a money pit all right! However, I am only the second owner and the guy who had it before me used it as his every day driver. He took it to a couple jeep jamborees, but never did any major offroading. What's killing me is that my problem is probably something so small and simple, yet neither I nor 4 different mechanics can see the problem. I'm gonna give it another shot but it's definitely on thin ice at this point! If I do wind up selling it, I think I'm going to look into a TJ. The Jeeps are amazing; now that I know what to look for and what not to look for, I'm sure I'll be able to buy one that will last a long time!

89Saharagreen 07-04-2013 10:22 PM

An easy way to check the mechanical fuel pump is disconnect we're it goes into the carb and crank it I it pumps fuel into a soda bottle you know the pump is fine.

What kind of engine and fuel system do you have?

Cole Noah 07-04-2013 10:39 PM

Here's what the problem is, you've got a 20 year old jeep and someone before you didn't take care of it. No matter what he has said, you can only believe so much. Jeep are a offroad vehicle, and he probably took it through a lot more than he told you. Remember, it's an old jeep. Nothing on it is going to be perfect.

Take time, and take care of the jeep, it will last a lifetime if you take care of it.
My jeep is 23 years old, doesn't like the cold weather, sputters on occasions and sometimes it doesn't want to go into gear. And I love it to death.

If you really love the jeep, you'll fix her up right. It's it going to be easy, no. Is it going to cost you? Probably so, but once you get her up and running and keep it up, I guarantee that jeep will out last any new car or even newer jeep.

Yjs are extremely simply vehicles and are easy to work on by yourself.

Take a day, bring out the Haynes manual, use the forum, and turn some wrenches until you figure out the problem.

Then take another day to fix the problem. Don't try to work to fast or do all the work in one day. Take your time.
In my honest opinion the best mechanic for a jeep is a old do it yourself man that fixes all his vehicles by himself. I have taken my jeep to a mechanic before and I felt like they had no idea anything about it.
I take the jeep to my grandfather who has never been a mechanic, never went to college, and we can fix the jeep in a day.

Keep you head up and keep on jeepin'!

roadyrob 07-05-2013 04:31 AM

Jeep Cherokee Engines - Camshaft Position Sensor / Sync Pulse (Stator) Diagnostics

this might help you, its info on the cam sensor. as your problem is intermitant I'd check connections at the distributor.

lOlllOl 07-05-2013 05:09 AM

Thanks for the info. I will look into the distributor connections and get back to you. @89Saharagreen -- I have a 2.5L engine, fuel injected. I just changed the fuel pump myself about two weeks ago.

TOK 07-05-2013 06:03 AM

I think roadyrob is pointing you in the right direction... I agree this sounds like an intermittent issue with ignition advance. You have pretty much eliminated a fuel delivery issue. I have a JK, but saw your topic in the sidebar and had to come take a look.

Late 80's-early 90's is a funky era of automotive electronics. Fuel injection and computers were getting more advanced, but there were still old mechanical hold-overs like the distributor.

It sucks having a daily driver you can't depend on, but it sounds like you're way over the hump as far as making it reliable. :thumb:

Megamonster 07-05-2013 07:06 AM

Something to check, if electrical checks fine, is the exhaust system. The exhaust system might be clogged at the cat or muffler giving you that loss of power when cruising and at high rpm. Specially if you can drive slow without problems.

Hope it helps.

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