View Full Version : First post: Dead Jeep

September 6th, 2010, 18:53
First of all, Hi everyone. I looked around at Jeep specific sites and settled on this one. Lots of smart, polite, pleasant people without all the dreck I found on other sites. I have owned Jeeps on and off for years now (3 CJs and 3 XJs) along with many other 4 wheel drives and cars. I was raised around cars and garages and mechanics and dirt tracks so I speak the language and can fix most run of the mill stuff that breaks. That being said let me tell you about my current Jeep (XJ #4) It's a 2001 Silver Jeep Cherokee 60th Anniversary model. 4.0, automatic, Part time/Full time transfer case. 120,XXX miles. It's the only Jeep that I have ever had to walk away from and it happened today. I take the blame for it since it has been acting up the last couple months. When it has been driven for long periods, an hour or more, it would sometimes idle very rough. This would happen at intersections or at a destination. Backfiring and generally running very rough until it cleared out. I would have to turn off AC or it would just die from the excess load. Once I was out of the idle circuit I was fine. I thought about vapor lock in the fuel rail but it really didn't strike me as that as it would happen after running at highway speeds. I'm thinking it's some ignition component breaking down as the problem comes and goes, until now. So today me and my girl are driving around seeing the sites, ran fine for an hour or more, I pull up to a red light and wait for the left turn. Light turns green and I step into it and start my turn and half way through it just shuts off...like I turned off the key. I coast into a Taco Bell and park. Try to start it and it will crank, all lights and systems are working, but it will not fire at all. Not even a little bit. So we went in and had something to eat and let it cool off and come back, nothing. I really didn't feel like trying to diagnose it in a Taco Bell Parking lot so I called a roll back and had it delivered to a very good mechanic down the street. He won't be cheap. Feel free to analyse my problem. I'd love to see what you guys think. I have to call the guy tomorrow and tell how a silver Cherokee magically appeared in his lot over the weekend and see when he can look at it. I'll be back, right here, when I find out what made my Jeep die today.

September 6th, 2010, 19:24
Welcome to NAXJA!

Ok, could be a thermal failure in the coil or crank sensor.

Tough with the distributorless to try and test for spark.

You are aware of the 0331 head problem, cracking between cylinders 3 and 4? Only on the 00-01 XJs.

September 8th, 2010, 17:37
I took my key to the mechanic yesterday morning. He said it was probably the crank shaft position sensor or fuel delivery when I told him what happened to my Jeep. I got a call around 4:30 today from the shop. He said they had replaced the cam position sensor, thinking that was the cause, and it made no difference. It would still crank but no fire. So they started tracing wires and found that the computer was not getting power...hence no engine. Eventually they located the problem.....a bad wire BEHIND the fuse block. He figures it was making bad contact for some time, which would cause the problems leading up to failure. It finally lost contact completely Monday afternoon. They took off the new sensor and put back the old one. Anyone who has changed one of these out knows how much fun they are to do. Anyway, runs great and the check engine light is staying off so I go in tomorrow morning and get my XJ back... poorer and wiser for the experience. If I get any more details or learn anything new I'll post tomorrow evening.

September 8th, 2010, 21:51
there are some smart people here but broken wire > forums everytime

September 9th, 2010, 06:14
Yours is not one of the more common problems when an engine stops running.
Electrical trouble shooting can be expensive.
Thanks for the update.

September 9th, 2010, 10:12
First of all, I am glad to hear that it wasn't anything major.
These are good vehicles but are prone to electrical gremlins...which I am almost certain are predominately ground related.

I have a 98 Jeep that's been sitting for months because I was working overseas.

My first lesson in grounds.

I am an electrical engineer and my first lesson in ground connections was when I was about 10 years old.

After tiring of building the plastic muscle car models. I had bought this radio shack crystal radio kit. My first electrical project.
I was psyched !

I assembled the kit very carefully, following the instructions and double checking the wires and and all connections. But there was absolutely no sound !

A crystal radio doesn't use a battery BTW but uses the energy in the AM (Amplitude Modulated) radio waves themselves.

After hours leading to days of frustration, It turned out to be the ground.
I had attached my ground wire to a hot water pipe instead of a cold one !


So that was my first lesson in troubleshooting electronics.

Power AND Ground - You simply can't have one without the other.

Enjoy your Jeep and I wish YOU many happy miles and smiles ahead !!