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Old 12-30-2013, 11:34 AM
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Default Jeep had to be towed for the first time in 13 years

Well, my 88 YJ died on me while going down the highway at 55mph. There was no warning, the 4.2L engine just shut down. My Jeep is "Nuttered," with an MC2100, hei module, "TFI upgrade" (E core coil, dist cap, base and rotor from a ford 300). I had a buddy bring me an ignition module, its a 4 pin hei, and that did nothing to help. It would start and run for a couple seconds then quit and not run again until it cooled down a slight bit but not for more than a few seconds. I checked for fuel in the float bowl, it has plenty and the jets squirt when the throttle is applied. It has a new fuel pump, well its a few months old anyway. I had it towed to the house and parked it in the garage over night. The next day, it started and let me drive it around the block. I went in and replaced the fairly new coil (Ford E core) with a new one. Drove it around the block, parked it in the garage, revved up to about 2500 rpms and it just died again, no stumble or anything. I checked spark on the number one wire with a screw driver. Nothing. I cranked the engine a few more times and it started sparking reddish orange in color. So I started it and it died again, checked spark, nothing, let it cool for a minute, then it sparks... I repeated this until I gave up but it was always the same sequence of events. I am using a bolt on the fender as a ground for the spark.
So that is where I am now. Confused. I replaced the distributor about two years ago, replaced the coil and fuel pump a few months ago and the coil again today. The module is new as of yesterday.
Could this be distributor related? something to do with the pick up? I will replace the distributor but would rather not if I don't have to.
Thanks for any responses.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:46 PM
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Well, we know it's an ignition problem, so that narrows it down. And it's probably not a primary ignition problem, but you should confirm that. Have a volt meter connected at the coil and at your ground bolt on the fender, then watch it while you start it up and watch it die. If the voltage there stays at or above twelve volts it's not the problem.

It sure sounds like a pickup to me. That would explain the relatively short time between start up and failure. Pickups can be heat sensitive, and the inside of the distributor will warm up fairly quickly.

My '78 still has everything original in the ignition system except for cap, rotor and wires, so I've never had to research intermittent ignition woes. Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:55 PM
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Yessir, the pick up was the culprit! I had bought a new distributor with the idea that, if I needed to replace it, I could do so under warranty. So that's what I ended up doing. Thanks for the reply!
Next issue to tackle is the oil blowing by the filler cap on the valve cover...only thing I can think of is a backed up pcv system. Any ideas on how to evacuate the pressure a little more efficiently? Without replacing rings and/or valve seals...
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:20 AM
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At one time I had a problem on my 258 where blowby was making its way up into the distributor, condensing inside the cap and causing misfiring. I tried to cure it by making a plastic manifold that put two PCV valves in parallel. It didn't seem to do any harm, but didn't solve the problem either, which turned out to be caused by a crack in the vacuum advance diaphragm, which was actually sucking blowby in past the distributor shaft seal.

The standard test for a PCV valve is to shake it. If it rattles it's assumed to be OK. If yours has passed that test you might try replacing it anyway. If that doesn't cure your problem you'll either need to replace rings, put on an old fashioned road draft tube, or put up with it.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:47 PM
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The 'ol girl died on me again a few days ago; no spark. I was driving 60 MPH and traffic stopped due to an accident. I idled for about 10 minutes and the temp gage was rising so increased revs to about 1k to get the pump turning a little faster. Traffic started moving so I put it in drive and crept along with everyone else. Then it quit.
It was late so I had no choice but to try replacing the coil and module since the parts store did not have the distributor. Neither fixed the problem so the new parts came out and back in went the old. The next day, I swapped distributors believing the pickup coil went out again and still, no fire. I tested the hei module and it is bad so I put in a new one. Still no spark. At this point, I have a new distributor and module and am scratching my head. I have twelve (battery voltage) volts to both sides of the coil when energized. But when cranking, the negative side of the coil does not pulsate (the test light does not pulsate, that is) like it should, making me believe the pickup coil is not doing its job. I replace the pickup coil and, you guessed it, no spark. The orange and purple leads have 1.3 volts to each when ignition is on (is this correct voltage for the setup?). I grab a new coil and replace it. We have spark! So I clean up my mess and drive 12 miles home to pick up the wife so we can go back to the Jeep and drive it home. Half-way home, the same thing happens. I try a spare pickup coil and it doesn't fix the problem. That's where I'm at now.
I did notice that my dash voltmeter was a little higher than usual, just over 14 volts when it normally registers just under. I was contemplating that the alternator may have shot too much voltage and took out the ignition but I think it may be a little more capable of handling voltage spikes than that.
I have to believe that one thing is causing all of this since the same thing has seemingly happened in a similar fashion twice; the Jeep has died with similar issues twice in a week, that is.
So I think there is one thing that is causing this to happen. Any ideas where to continue?
Thanks,
Tim
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:52 PM
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Try Engine Restore for your blow-by problem.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:59 AM
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Made-in-China ignition modules and pickups have a reputation for failing quickly. It's not unheard of to get two or three bad ones in a row. I would replace both at the same time with new ones from a dealer or Napa, if you're absolutely certain that you have a good primary circuit all the way from the ignition switch.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:23 AM
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If Ole CJDave were here he would tell you to check all of your grounds. battery to block, battery to body, block to frame, all of them.
I'd also have your alternator checked at this point. Strangely the parts joints check them for free but they always find them bad.....
As for blowing oil...I have seen a bad PCV valve once...but I have seen worn rings in 258's many times.
Might be time to take serious look at where you are and where you want to be. I was in a similar position when I swapped in a low milage 4.0 and I couldnt be happier.
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