Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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98 Jeep Cherokee sport 4.0 turns but won't start. i'm stumped

I have a 98 Jeep Cherokee sport 4.0 4x4. I was running down the road and out of no where my radiator popped and before i could get off the road my motor had a clanking death. now i am home with it and i have spark, fuel, and the starter turns the motor but to easy. like there is no resistance. i have no check engine light on. it just wont even try to start. could i have broke the timing chain or something to the top half of the motor?

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I have also seen the timing chain jump a couple of teeth to where the engine has no compression in most cylinders or all with bending of the valves . the easiest way to check is connect a timing light crank engine and see what the timing is if it is off it jumped . next step is remove the timing cover check the chain and marks if it spun and the timing gear is missing teeth well....... they are in the oil pan stuck in the oil pump pickup screen you have to drop the pan and clean it . then you will know what is going on once the timing chain is fixed you will have to do o compression check to see if you bent valves. hope this helps

Posted on Jul 24, 2010

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  • Master
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Yes. It is possible the timing chain popped. it is also possible you cracked the block. If there is a Distributor on the vehicle remove the cap and watch the rotor as you crank the motor. If the rotor turns your timing belt should be good or at least attached. If the Rotor doesn't turn when you crank the motor the Timing chain is broken. If the Timing chain appears good do a compression check and see if you have compression on ALL cylinders. If you lost compression on any cylinder you'll need to rebuild the engine. It could be bad rings, a broken Crank shaft or connecting rods. Only way to find out is to remove the oil pan and check them all and if you have to replace the rings you'll need to remove the head to get the pistons out to put new rings on. Get a Haynes repair manual on the vehicle so you have illustrations and directions on how to repair everything.

Posted on Jul 12, 2010

  • BamBob Aug 04, 2011

    Sounds Identical to what happened to my 98 Cherokee 4.0. Was driving about 65 mph and heard a slapping noise and then lost power and shut down completely. Had it towed home and next day tryed to start and turne to freely. I pulled the head to find number 2 from front piston had part of one side gone but bottom of the skirt was still there, some melted aluminum was **** to bottom of both valves. It was not running hot when it happened but when I removed the head there was coolant in all cyls gasket looked fine. Maybe it was detonation, pre ignition that cause it dont know, looked at the rotor in dist and end of it was almost burnt off. Did not score the cyl wall so I am going to put a good used piston/rod assembly in and use same bearings (inserts) beings they re worn to fit the crank. There is no ridge at top of cyl but I guess I'll hone it a little. Taking the head to machine shop to be checked out,. Whew what a job doing all this in this 100+ heat we re having here in NC.
    Good luck with yours!
    Bob

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