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Thread: 1997 wrangler issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Paden City, WV
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    1,585

    Default 1997 wrangler issues

    I have been eyeing a 97 jeep wrangler 2.5 5 speed. But right now its not running and I want to know what im getting into with it before I consider buying it.

    It has no spark.
    I know for sure the crank position sensor and the coil have been replaced. Also pretty sure that the cam position sensor. I know the fuel pump is running so that means that the relay isnt bad.

    I know there are some jeep guys on here and hope to get a better idea of what to check out on it.
    1973 Dodge Dart Swinger: Garage Queen
    1984 Dodge Ramcharger: Project postponed
    2015 Dodge Dart: 2.slow 6 speed manual No mods.... Yet


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Posts
    952

    Default Re: 1997 wrangler issues

    Troubleshoot it like any other motor. If you can not do that, you probably do not need to own a Jeep.
    You need a lot more details otherwise we are just throwing out guesses.

    Stay away from the 2.5L, its way underpowered. You can get 4.0L TJ's for the same prices.
    Dont buy someone elses problems.
    Take it to a local shop and drop $50 - $75 for an once over or diagnostic from them. It will save you money in the long run.

    I know you arent going to listen to me though so check the frame, all 4 sides of it, front to back. The front and rear are known problem areas. A hidden area is where the cross member bolts to the frame. It hides the rust well. They are usually shot.
    '14 WRX
    I miss fast cars and fast women.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: 1997 wrangler issues

    I agree with mykal on getting a scanner hooked up for diagnostics. It will save you a lot of guess work. If you don't have access to a scanner then you might check a couple of things. First check all the fuses and your ground wires to the body and the right side of the engine block. Then check for 12 volts on one of the two wires that hook to the coil when you are cranking the motor. This will tell you if the shut down relay is being energized by the computer. If it is then check the other wire for a ground pulse while cranking. To do this hook your test light to the battery positive cable and then to the coil connector wire that didn't have 12 volts on it. It should flash as you crank the motor. If it does then you have a bad new coil. However you probably wont have power and/or a flashing ground signal. If not then check for a 5 volt signal at the tps or map sensor with the key on. If not then you either have a shorted sensor somewhere that is killing the 5 volt reference signal, a shorted or broken wire in the harness or the computer is bad. The wiring around the back of the valve cover is a good place to check and the wiring inside the harness down to the crank sensor. Since the fuel pump runs then that means that at least part of the computer is powering up. I guess that you have made sure the distributer is turning, some jeeps ground the gear off and then you have no distributer sync signal. I have seen other jeeps where the rear head bolt on the drivers side of the motor cuts through the wiring harness and shorts stuff out. If someone can crank the engine for you, wiggle the computer connectors while its cranking. If you get some spark from the coil then the pcb inside the computer is damaged and you need a new computer. Run a few of these tests and get back with us.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Clarksburg, WV
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    10,366

    Default Re: 1997 wrangler issues

    Unless they are giving it away, it sounds like a lot more headache than it's worth, lol.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Toolshed
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    14,149

    Default Re: 1997 wrangler issues

    I had a 2.5 Wrangler 5 speed and as long as you don't plan in lifting it I think you will be fine. As for the not running part I think you are aware of the process of troubleshooting a no start condition.

    Specifically to a TJ you need to consider rust. TJs are prone to frame rust. Get on the ground get under the jeep and look at the frame rails. Everything is fixable even a rusted frame so its all in the price.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Paden City, WV
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    1,585

    Default Re: 1997 wrangler issues

    Thanks for the info. I know the frame is a little rough on it. Needs new top. It's at a garage already and if I can get it running I'm gonna put it on the lift and check it out closer. I'm not only troubleshooting it for me but the owner of it. If I can figure it out for him I will but I may buy it and figure it out or swap motors. Or part out if I got it cheap enough. I'm not a huge jeep fan but if the price is right then might as well buy it to add to my collection of cars sitting in the backyard.
    1973 Dodge Dart Swinger: Garage Queen
    1984 Dodge Ramcharger: Project postponed
    2015 Dodge Dart: 2.slow 6 speed manual No mods.... Yet


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    14,149

    Default Re: 1997 wrangler issues

    4bt..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Paden City, WV
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    Default Re: 1997 wrangler issues

    ^^^ Definitely like that idea haha.

    If i get a chance around the other jobs at work tomorrow Ill try to check into it more and see what I can find. I know the wiring going to the crank sensor is good because I had already checked it out. Unless its broken inside the coating.
    1973 Dodge Dart Swinger: Garage Queen
    1984 Dodge Ramcharger: Project postponed
    2015 Dodge Dart: 2.slow 6 speed manual No mods.... Yet


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