Question about 1988 Jeep Cherokee
Greetings from Edmonton. Sadly my 1988 Jeep Cherokee (4L inline 6 4X4) isnt liking the cold one bit. Saturday the temperature here dove to a chilly negative -30 C. Thats around negatve -25 F or so. As my luck would have it, my XJ was never fitted with a block heater (First on the list for spring) so when it was sluggish and wouldnt start Saturday morning I wasnt all that surprized. I brought in the battery and charged it, tried to start later in the day ( temp had rose to a cool negative -17 C at that point) but still no go. So I brought the battery back in, let it charge overnight and was back out in the morning ( up to - 14 C ) Now we have had these temps ( -15 to -20 ) all last week and the ol girl started up every day, all be it a tad sluggish. Not today though. So I started with the basics, checked the fuel rail to make sure the gas wasnt frozen, which it was not, shot out of the release valve with a good spurt, so im assuming my pressure was ok. next onto spark, removed a spark plug, it was damp ( not soaked) with fuel, put it up against the block and had my wife turn over the engine and voila, there was my spark. I did notice however that the plug had ice on it just after the thread towards the gap end. I checked a couple more plugs and they had spark as well. Now Im at a loss, I removed the breather hose from the throttle body, made sure the valve was opening and still no start!!!! So off and walking to the Partsource I went, picked up a new cap and rotor, plugs and some quick start. Changed the plugs cap and rotor, tried to start but no go. I removed a plug, again i could see and smell the gas on the plug. So i tried the quick start and still nothing. So I have fuel, i have spark, and air seems to be moving through, so what gives? Is it possible that its just too cold for her? I tried to get a CPS at the part source but they need to order it in. But if the CPS was bad wouldnt there be no spark at all? Tomorrow Im going to try to ohm out the coil, just to be sure im getting enough spark. Any other ideas?
Nice to see someone can post in real words without gibberish!!!
OK... Likely will sound crazy, but remove all the sparkplugs and put them on the stove. Heat them really well to get any residual fuel to burn off. What I believe is that the engine has flooded. According to the laws of physics, a cold engine should never start! What we do is to put more than the needed amt of fuel in, hoping that enough vapor will ignite before it floods. In "warmer" weather it works fairly well. At the temps you are working at, it won't.
Put the warm plugs back in as quickly as possible and give a very small squirt of starting fluid into the intake. before (not during )cranking.
It should light. If it tries, play with part throttle to find where it wants to run, 'till it idles by itself.
To aid in preventing this, add 3oz of acetone to 10gal of fuel in tank. Acetone vaporizes faster than gasoline. It may also give you a few more mpg. I heard a few bad things about this but have been doing the same for over three yrs and have had no problems!!!
good luck and try to stay warm!!!
Posted on Jan 05, 2009
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