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  1. #1
    JK Newbie
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    Apr 2007
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    Question It wont start! Help please? 89 WRANGLER YJ!

    So heres the story:
    I bought a 1989 jeep wrangler yesterday, it has 88,000 miles and ran pretty damn well. I brought it home and decided to take it to get a little muddy. Being my first time 4 wheelin I didnt do anything to crazy. I used my winch for the first time and pulled a bronco out that was stuck, i had 10ft of winch length left and went to start my jeep to pull him out the rest of the way but my jeep wouldnt start.
    I let it stand at increments of about 30 min and it still wouldnt start, thinking it was flooded. I looked under the engine, and I see about 4-5 bypassed hoses, i dont know if thats bad or not, being a first jeep owner and not knowing but about engines. The battery died from trying to start it and now it just wont plain start. It turns over just fine and sounds like it wants to start, I even tried using starting fluid.
    Ive charged it all the way and took the spark plug wires out and im going to get some new ones in a couple hours.
    Anyone have any suggestions on waht I should do? Im lost for ideas and Im not to much of a mechanic, should i just go get it checked out or try to deal with this myself?

  2. #2
    JK Enthusiast POTO's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    N. Lanc. PA
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    First, next time you winch somebody or youself, I'd leave the engine running. The winch is a HUGE drain on the battery. Next, if you're going to run a winch, make the investment of a Optima or some other deep cycle battery. My guess is, you might have taken the battery to far beyond it's recovery point with a charger. I've actually done this with a Optima red top, not from winching, but from letting it sit for 5 months. Took it back to where I bought it (was less then a year old still), they tried to charge it, couldn't, and handed me a new one. HTH

  3. #3
    JK Newbie
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    Apr 2007
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    Thanks for the help, Ive looked into buying a better battery for the winch. But the problem, ive narrowed it down, is the carb. I bought the jeep from a guy who was a mechanic and he said it was aftermarket, my dad recalls him mentioning it was a weber but I dont think it is due to not having a filter on top of the carb. I got it running again but every time I wheel the damn thing it has problems starting up after about 30-45 min of wheeling. I dont know what to do now, im guessing Ill try ot figure out what kind of carb I have and go from there...maybe the 02 sensor? not sure! any feedback would help! thanks!

  4. #4
    JK Enthusiast CHOPPER's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Hartford county, CT
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    Default My huge reply

    Personally, if I were to buy a used vehicle, before I went anywhere or did anything with it I would check it out from top to bottom. Chang all the fluids and do a complete tune up, check all the brake shoes or pads and hoses...etc
    I know as well as anyone that the urge to play with a new toy is hard to resist, but Just because the guy it came from was a mechanic, that doesn't mean it was well taken care of. I'm not busting your stones, I'm just letting you know what I would do.
    Think of the old saying..."He the best shoemaker in town, but the shoemakers family goes shoeless".
    A mechanic can be the same way sometimes. They will fix the customers car the correct and proper way, but when it comes to their own vehicles they will let things slide, or they may fix things on it in a half-assed way just to keep it running well enough because they can live with it or so they can get rid of it, and pass the vehicles problems on to some body else. I'm not trying to scare you, but there are people in the world like this. I'm sorry for painting such a crapy picture in your head...I'm just not a very trusting person.

    I am wondering if the bypassed hoses that you mentioned are actually just vaccuum lines on the intake manifold or carb that used to go to the original carb? If the carb is not the stock unit, then it is quite possable that that's all they are , which is not really a big deal as long as none of them are leaking. And also as long as the main ones that are needed are connected properly, like the one for the choke (unless you have a hand operated manual cable choke).
    And the other main one would be for the vaccuum advance on your distributor.
    The rest would mainly be for emissions control purposes.

    I would say, if you feel that the carb has something to do with the starting problem, make sure that the choke is working properly. What you have described, sounds to me like, once the engine heats up, instead of the choke opening up completly, it is staying closed. It wouldn't hurt to throw a bottle of fuel system cleaner or gas line antifreeze (also known as Dry-Gas) into the gas tank as well, because not only will it get rid of any water in the fuel, but it will help to get rid of any old gummy fuel deposits in the carb. You may also want to buy a spray can of "Carb Clean" to spray a little of down into the intake port of the carb as well.

    Also, I would check to make sure that the ignition timing is set properly.

    If the guy you bought it from is a mechanic and a halfway decient human being then I'm sure that if you called him up and let him know the problem you are having he will be more than willing to check it out for you and may-be even show you how to deal with it so you can take care of it yourself next time if it ever happens again. After all it was his vehicle before you got it. I bet he would be able to take care of it in twenty minutes, or at least know what would have to be done to fix it.

    Give him a call...The worst thing that could happen is he will tell you "No, I'm not gonna help you" or "it's your problem"
    That's about the time you should really start to worry

    Good luck dude Keep us informed.
    "A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open." Frank Zappa
    2006, TJ Unlimited Black--Rubi "The last of the 2 door Unlimiteds"

  5. #5
    JK Newbie
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    Apr 2007
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    Thanks for the help. Yesterday after work I decided to take apart the carb and clean it out a bit, used some carb cleaner and changed the bolts etc....started up right away. i think im still going to have my buddy check it out though just to make sure, its also making a weird sound under my front end like its in four wheel drive when im cruising but im not quite sure, gonig to have that checked out! im praying it wasnt some how stuck in 4 High or when I was cruising the freeway....thats not good news at all!!

  6. #6
    JK Freak fathomgreencamaro's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    I have an 89 258 cid with the stock Carter carb.

    I've had problems with the carburetor gumming up
    since '88. I frequently spray an entire can of carb cleaner
    down it to clean the butterflys and the jets.
    This has kept her going for 133K.

    Not sure what carb you've got, but the carb cleaner
    and fuel system cleaner are good routine maintenance.

    I also recently replaced my stock cat converter and
    muffler. They were stifling the engine with backpressure.
    See if your's are still original. If so, get rid of them.

    Idle speed on mine is steady at 900 rpm when warm.

  7. #7
    JK Newbie RockDawg's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    Glen Allen, VA
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    What you describe sounds like a common problem with the Carter BBD carb.
    Are you sure it's an aftermarket carb? Can you post a pick of the carb I could tell you if it's a carter.

    The Carter has an issue with what's called the venturi cluster which is basically just 2 tubes in the carb, here's a write up for the fix http://www.yellowjeep.org/Carb.html I've done this fix on 6-7 Jeeps and they always had simular symptom to what you've described.

  8. Default JK-Forum


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