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  #1  
Old February 5th, 2017, 18:20
cletus141 cletus141 is offline
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Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

My '91 was stolen aeound Halloween. I got it back just after Thanksgiving. They kept my Rusty's lower control arms, 2 of my BFG a/t's, tailgate struts, and the lights for the back seat. Some loose stuff too.

Finally got it put back together today. There didn't seem to be any damage or anything missing under the hood. The steering column and dash seemed intact.

So I charged the battery, added a couple quarts of oil, and put a couple gallons of gas in. It cranked just fine, and fired a couple times early, but never ran. After that, it seemed like it lost spark, just cranking over and over, with the occasional hiccup like it fired in one cylinder. I pulled the inlet on the fuel rail and there was gas.

Could the gas have gone bad that quick? Could there be some damage from however they started it when they stole it? How could they have even? Bridged the solenoid? Are Cherokees one of those vehicles that only had like 7 unique keys from the factory?

Thanks.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 20:29
machinisttx machinisttx is offline
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

Possibly a timing issue?
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  #3  
Old February 5th, 2017, 21:05
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Green Mesa XJ Green Mesa XJ is offline
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Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

Did they pour something in the tank?


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Old February 6th, 2017, 08:38
cletus141 cletus141 is offline
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

It's possible they put something in the tank. But there was no other vandalism, so I think it's unlikely. But how can I tell?
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Old February 6th, 2017, 10:04
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Green Mesa XJ Green Mesa XJ is offline
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Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

I'd bleed some fuel off at the Schrader valve and see how it looks and smells. Maybe disconnect the line and pump out a gallon or two. If the tank was dry maybe they burned up the fuel pump.


Sounds like another xj owner stole yours for parts or the stole it to sell the parts. It's hard to say what they did, wouldn't put anything past them.
is the CPS still there? Just trying to think of easy to steal parts that are handy to a jeeper.

I'd go back to basics, test spark and fuel pressure, check the transmission fluid. Maybe change the fuel filter.
Most of its fluids I would think make no sense to vandalize and would be more work than it's worth to screw up.

Far as how they stole it, I know old gm ignitions could be fiddled with another gm key, dunno about Chrysler jeep keys. But on our 90s xj the key can be pulled out after it is unlocked and stays working until the ignition is turned back to lock.


EDIT
I have no clue what the tricks are to steal a XJ, maybe they did mess something else up in the PCM and Ignition wiring in the dash.
I'm kind of assuming it's 90% intact, like they had the key or something.

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Last edited by Green Mesa XJ; February 6th, 2017 at 10:11.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 11:54
cletus141 cletus141 is offline
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

Thanks Green Mesa,

I'll try all that. The tow yard guy said he's got an XJ and said they're pretty easy to steal. I should've gotten the details. Checking the CPS is a great idea.

Can I check the pressure at the Schrader valve if it's just cranking?
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  #7  
Old February 6th, 2017, 12:11
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Green Mesa XJ Green Mesa XJ is offline
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Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

You can press the schrader valve on the fuel rail with a screw driver or something and it will squirt out, violently if it's charged. It should charge when the key turns to run.
I got a cheap fuel pressure tester from either Harbor freight or Amazon, it has a way to bleed off the gas in to a small container . If the pump is working it will be 30-40 psi, definitely protect your eyes.
Autozone might have a tester in a loaner program.


I've never thought about how to steal a cherokee, too busy thinking keeping them running right. Don't like anybody else touching my jeeps to work on them and they are nothing special. kinda thought the jeeps are so old nobody would bother stealing them. Now I'm hoping the acquainted ignition cylinder and crank handle manual windows confounds the wayward youth of today. God hope they don't have mentors who know how to steal old jeeps.


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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:15
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

They can be hotwired pretty easily. Not sure what I would do to get it out of park, though, aside from forcing it.

Yes, you can check the pressure. If you have a gauge, test it on just key on and see if it bleeds down, check it when cranking as well and report back. I'd check for loose wires under the dash or near the starter. They may have worked something else loose if they did hotwire it.
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Old February 13th, 2017, 19:18
cletus141 cletus141 is offline
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

Haven't put a tester on it yet, but I turned the key off and on a couple times to make sure it was charge. The Schrader valve barely squirt any fuel out, certainly not something that was violent or seemed pressurized.

Bummer, I just put a new pump in it a couple months before it was stolen
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Old February 15th, 2017, 11:03
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

check to see if the fuel pump is getting power. did they damage the ignition switch? or just jam a screwdriver in the ignition and just turned it?
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Old February 27th, 2017, 16:43
cletus141 cletus141 is offline
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

There's no visible damage to any wires or the ignition switch. I have no idea how they stole it.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 17:57
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Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

I'd bet there's some key trick for similar year jeeps.
IMO Had to be another Cherokee owner.

I mentioned before we have a 90s xj were it is worn enough the key can be pulled out after the column is unlocked, I'd bet there's some easy way to bypass it without breaking it.


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Old February 27th, 2017, 18:15
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1977p View Post
They can be hotwired pretty easily. Not sure what I would do to get it out of park, though, aside from forcing it.

Yes, you can check the pressure. If you have a gauge, test it on just key on and see if it bleeds down, check it when cranking as well and report back. I'd check for loose wires under the dash or near the starter. They may have worked something else loose if they did hotwire it.
Ground the neutral safety wire and you need to ground the steering lock if its electronic.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 18:17
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by xCWolf View Post
Ground the neutral safety wire and you need to ground the steering lock if its electronic.
Right. I forgot folks do that when their NSS fails.
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  #15  
Old March 2nd, 2017, 09:02
cletus141 cletus141 is offline
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Re: Jeep stolen and recovered, now won't start

New clue: I went out to pull the battery to charge it for the weekend. But after reading about the NSS, I decided to check both shifter and steering wheel locks and try to start it in neutral. Both locks work. Didn't crank or prime the pump in neutral. After, it wouldn't prime the pump or crank in park either. I pulled the codes and only got 12 (battery disconnected in last 50 start cycles).

I did find a grey wire that was stripped and loosely wrapped by hand around a bracket near the fuse block. It ran from there to the front of the dash to directly under the stereo before I could no longer trace it. I'll have to pull the lower dash cover off to find out where it goes.
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