PDA

View Full Version : '97 Sport with hard cranking at startup


jandaraw
July 10th, 2005, 20:39
This is my first visit to the site. Looks like some great information. I have a problem that I hope someone can help me with. My '97 XJ Sport started experiencing hard starting a couple of weeks ago. It will crank several times but not start, acts like it is not getting fuel. When I shut the key off and turn it back over it will usually start right up and run fine. In the last few days it seems to be taking 2-3 series of cranks before firing.

The odd things are:
1. Once it starts it runs fine, no issues of hesitation or misfiring.
2. It usually starts after cranking on it for a few seconds, then letting off the iginition and trying it again.

I've read several posts about CPS's and fuel pumps being a problem but wanted to see if anyone could pinpoint me in the right direction before replacing different components. We are still driving it but I'm afraid it is going to go out altogether sometime when I (or worse the wife and 2 year old) are out and about.

When turning the key on I can hear the fuel pump kick on and then off after about 2-3 seconds. The odd thing this morning was that I cycled the key on and off about 3 times to see if that might help and it did it's normal not starting the first series of cranks but then started up on the 2nd. The odd thing was that the check engine light came on at that point. This is the first time we have seen the CE light. I checked the codes and at that time was getting 12, 43, and 55. Seems that 12 and 55 are normal but 43 has 2-3 choices and not sure what they might signal for the problem.

I went ahead and did a tuneup on it this afternoon (it was needed anyway) but still the same issue after replacing plugs, wires, air filter, d cap and rotor. After this I disconnected the battery cable to see if the CE light would disappear. The light went away and hasn't been back since but I have only started and driven it twice since.

Any ideas would be much appreciated. I haven't tested any voltage or resistance as I don't have a multimeter but could find one to borrow if needed. Just not sure where to even start before going through that process.

Thanks for the help.

badron
July 11th, 2005, 01:11
Sounds like the fuel rail is losing presser when the key is off. Have the fuel presser check? Try turn the key to on then wait for 5 or so seconds before cranking. Should start right up.

jandaraw
July 11th, 2005, 06:58
I have not checked the fuel pressure...how would I do that?

I tried holding the key on for 5 seconds and then starting and it still did the same thing.

One note I didn't mention before: it starting doing this 2 weeks ago when the weather was very hot (upper 90's and humid). Not sure if it was coincidence or not.

Thanks.

olivedrabcj7
July 11th, 2005, 07:02
ive noticed my 97 starting to have this same problem. its also been in the 90's recently. seems like it turns over a couple times too long before it starts.

Jason A-33
July 24th, 2005, 09:18
Sounds like the fuel rail is losing presser when the key is off. Have the fuel presser check? Try turn the key to on then wait for 5 or so seconds before cranking. Should start right up.

Can you guys further explain the fuel rail? And regarding fuel pressure, would the fuel pump/filter be the problem?

langer1
July 24th, 2005, 10:09
Can you guys further explain the fuel rail? And regarding fuel pressure, would the fuel pump/filter be the problem?
The fuel rail is the plumbing that ties the injectors together, there is a pressure test port,
The filter, relay, pressure regulator, or pump "could" be the problem.

Kejtar
July 24th, 2005, 10:46
Turn the key, count to 20, start. If it starts normally then your fuel pump is allowing for bleeding of fuel back to the tank.

jandaraw
July 24th, 2005, 13:49
I've tried turning the key on for 10-15 seconds before starting and it still doesn't want to start right up (does the same thing...cranks for 5 seconds or more before firing). I've also tried turning the key on then off then on about 3 cycles to see if that would make any difference but it didn't help.

A couple of things have happened since my last post. First, I checked the spark and I am getting spark at each of the cylinders. Seems to guide me in the fuel area and rules out electronic issues (I'm assuming). Secondly, I continue to get a check engine light coming on. I've checked the codes using the key method and a friends OBDI reader and the one I keep getting is 'Cylinder 1 misfire detected' (code 43 and P0301).

Any ideas what would cause this?? I thought possibly a bad injector. Could I swap injectors and see if the problem follows? Any advice would be welcomed.

Thanks.

Dirt
July 24th, 2005, 14:08
yes you can swap injectors and see. if the code changes with moving the injector you'll have found your problem. with a leaking injector your fuel rail will not hold pressure and have to build up everytime you key on. so i would definatley try swapping the #1 injector to another spot and see if the code changes Good luck

jandaraw
July 24th, 2005, 15:33
Well I guess my dumb question is how hard is it to swap the injectors? Is it worth the time to do this or should I try something else first? Will I have to replace the orings when I swap the injectors?

I just discovered several posts talking about injector leaks on the manifold and I got a little nervous about swapping them, especially if I should be trying something else first.

Should I check pressure at the rail? What should that be?

Dirt
July 24th, 2005, 16:09
it's not hard at all. i don't remember the exact steps to taking them out so i can't babystep you through it but.... looking at it you should be able to figure it out. the only advice i can give is the o-rings may stick inside the head this is not generally a problem though just pull it out and apply a small amount of grease or i've used rust penatrant to lubricate them before. this is just to insure that they don't stick and tear on the way back in. make sure it's all the way in though or you will have serious leaking problems. and it is definatley worth trying by yourself if you have any mechanical inclination at all

langer1
July 24th, 2005, 16:10
Did you try a tune up? I see you said you did. Try pulling the plugs now and look for a wet or fouled one. BTW the FSM says don't reuse the o-rings so if you go that route get new ones and save yourself a fire from a fuel leak.

Calata
July 25th, 2005, 19:26
Try cleaning all the contacts of the positive wires and grounds, especially on the engine block where ignition module gets it's ground. I purchased my truck used with 130K and it had the same problem you are describing. Once I cleaned all the contacts and replaced the battery cables with a set from Jeepers and Creepers, the truck started in under 1/2 the time frame as before.

Then I went out and replaced the battery also. Even faster starts. Now I just get in and crank. Don't even wait a full second. Starts in under a realistic 1-2 seconds.

My point is that once you check your fuel press ( $10 for a gage which screws on like you would screw on your tire step cap ), a WEAK electrical signal is your next best bet.

LostintheWoods
July 25th, 2005, 23:34
I would strongly suggest that u check your cps. Your problem is identical to one I had with my 94(at least it started like that, later began stalling too). The best advice I've heard is to replace the cps and its harness even if your not sure(not too pricey if u do the work yorself) chances are it will crap out soon anyway........At the very least you remove a future problem and can rule out a serious gremlin causer from your rig. Who knows? you might even fix the starting problem too.

jandaraw
August 3rd, 2005, 20:33
I am still having the problem of hard starting. I got a fuel pressure gauge and it is at 40 psi when idling. Is this normal for a '97?? I've looked in my Haynes manual and can't find the spec for a 97. When I shut it off the pressure immediately drops to zero.

When trying to start it after it has sat a little while there is no pressure when I cycle the key. After cycling it a few times it will then start to build some pressure (up to 20 psi or so for a split second before falling). Once this happens it will usually then fire up pretty quickly.

Any ideas???

Kejtar
August 3rd, 2005, 22:39
I am still having the problem of hard starting. I got a fuel pressure gauge and it is at 40 psi when idling. Is this normal for a '97?? I've looked in my Haynes manual and can't find the spec for a 97. When I shut it off the pressure immediately drops to zero.

When trying to start it after it has sat a little while there is no pressure when I cycle the key. After cycling it a few times it will then start to build some pressure (up to 20 psi or so for a split second before falling). Once this happens it will usually then fire up pretty quickly.

Any ideas???
Yeah... your checkvalve in the fuel pump is not holding and it allows the fuel to bleed back into the tank which is what causes hard starting.

jandaraw
August 4th, 2005, 07:14
So does that require a new pump?? I've read something about installing a BMW check valve inline. Is this worth doing or is it worth the time to simply replace the pump?

Kejtar
August 4th, 2005, 07:31
So does that require a new pump?? I've read something about installing a BMW check valve inline. Is this worth doing or is it worth the time to simply replace the pump?
Check valve is a bandaid, pump is the fix. Myself, I count to 10 before I crank :D

jlex
August 4th, 2005, 13:40
I replaced my fuel sending unit (re the gauge) by dropping the gas tank a few weeks ago... no big deal & since the tank was down I cleaned the pickup filter & installed a new fuel filter/regulator unit ($108). Wasn't really having slow start problems, but was amazed at how quickly it starts now (about half a second). Didn't expect that & the difference was quite noticeable. Could have a filter or filter pick-up problem that's starving it a bit. Keep it in mind.
regards,
jlex.