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Thread: 94 ZJ Cranks for 30 secs before starting

  1. #1
    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    Default 94 ZJ Cranks for 30 secs before starting

    So my ZJ has pretty much been sitting around for the last couple months since I had a cooling system freeze up during the winter and over heated. Since then I have correct that issue by adding antifreeze which i forgot to do previously. So now, when I go to start my jeep it takes like 20-30 seconds of consistent cranking before it starts. Once it starts it runs fine. It seem like the warmer it is out, the easier it starts too.

    Any ideas before I go jumping into this?

    I'm hoping that I didn't warp a head when it overheated and now i have oil/coolant running into a cylinder which is why it won't start. The fuel pump was replaced probably around 20k miles ago. I currently running a tank of gas with STP fuel injection cleaner and marvel mystery oil but doesn't appear to be helping it

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

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    Wow, bad mojo. Sounds like you may have a fuel pump or fuel pressure issue. Can you turn the engine over a couple of times, leave the key on and let the system pressurize for about 10 sec or so then try to start it. See what happens- doesn't cost anything.

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    I am having same issue with hard starting. Used to just take a bump of the key, now takes 3-5 seconds. I have leaking injectors so I am hoping that will fix, since I am losing pressure there.

    Look under the hood with key on, engine off. Check around the injectors, FPR, etc.

    Good luck to you, sure you will find it.
    1994 ZJ 5.2
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    I know you say you replaced the fuel pump, but it sounds like it's bad. There is a valve in the pump that prevents the fuel from the fuel line from draining back to the tank when the vehicle is off, and when this goes bad, you get just what you describe.

    You can live with the bad valve if you turn the ignition on and leave it on for a while before you crank, so the pump can refill the fuel line.

    You should check the fuel pressure to be sure, and see how long after ignition on it takes to build up.

  5. #5

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    Does the "check engine" light come on right away when you turn your key on(but not all the way to crank)? If that is also taking a while, then your problem is your PCM. Do you hear the relays spazzing-out as the light comes on.
    As your PCM ages, the capacitors on the PCM go bad and the cold weather makes it worse. When you turn your key to on and supply them with electricity, they begin to warm up until they work again. This is why the problem is better or worse depending on temperature.
    Try propping up a hair dryer so it is pointed at the PCM for 10~15 minutes on a cold morning(when you know it is going to start hard) and see if you don't start right up.
    This is a common problem. I had to replace mine and I know of another that has. I bought a junkyard replacement for $75 and it is working fine for now.

    BTW, when you turn your ignition on(engine off), the fuel pump will run for about 3 seconds only when the check engine light comes on. If you want it to run again for 3 seconds, you will have to turn it off and on again. It does not continuously run without the engine on.

  6. #6
    JU's Resident Physician UPMedic's Avatar
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    I'd consider replacing the fuel filter, too..........
    94 ZJ 5.2L

    Yeah - a couple of mods...

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    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    Well its dry around the injectors, turned the key from off to on (left it on for 4-5 seconds) approximately 10 times and that didn't help..
    The check engine light comes on as soon as I turn the key to on then it goes off while cranking, back on when it almost starts then off once it does.
    I did notice my coolant resovoir was almost empty, really hope its not a head gasket flooding the cylinder with coolant :-/

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

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    Victim of Circumstance HighDesertZJ's Avatar
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    If coolant is getting into a cylinder, you'll smell and see it at the exhaust.

    Check the oil for discoloring.

    Did it start any easier after you cycled the switch 10 times?

    I'd pull the plugs next and see what you find. Pull them first thing in the morning.

    You can get a leak checker at NAPA that can check the coolant for exhaust gas. The gist of it is that if coolant is leaking in one direction, then exhaust gas is leaking the other direction too. It turns blue or green if gas is present.

    Kind of dangerous, but if you spray a shot of starting fluid into the throttle body and it starts right up, then it's likely a fuel problem. It doesn't take much. Overspraying can make too big an explosion and cause damage. Last resort and at your own risk. Better to use a fuel pressure gauge and see if anything is awry.

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    If your CEL is coming on and off like that, you should pull your codes and see if any come up.

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    I would also ask why you didn't have coolant in the mix to begin with. You should always run a 50% or so mix, not just in the winter. It's not "antifreeze", it's coolant!

    Have you tried rigging a pressure gauge to the schraeder valve at the rear of the fuel rail? I don't remember the "resting" pressure offhand, but the rail should remain pressurized as mentioned above, and this would tell you if it's the check valve in the fuel pump that's causing you the problem.

  11. #11
    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    i had put a new radiator in at the end of the summer and didnt' have any coolant so I just put in straight water telling myself I'd drain out half and add pure antifreeze.... well i forgot.


    Also, I'm almost positive that the fuel rail will settle to 0 psi after it its been off for a while. However, it will still be full of gas but no pressure until the fuel pump primes at start up.

    I'll have to right up a fuel pressure gauge soon.

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

  12. #12
    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    alright well i just spent some time in the garage working on the ZJ. I changed the oil and didn't see any antifreeze. I'm going to take the old oil in my other garage with better lighting and take another look though.

    I pulled off the fuel line going to the rail before I attempted to start it and it dripped like 3 times. I pressed in the pin on the schraeder valve and nothing happened. I went ahead and turned the key to on then off and on and off and on and off :-P and tried the above again with the same results... it may have been an additional drip but thats about it. I then cranked it for like 30 seconds straight until it started up, let it run for a little bit and shut it off. I pressed in the pin on the schraeder valve and it sprayed everywhere. I'm guessing I should consider replacing the pump and filter like mentioned above.

    Sucks that I just filled up my gas tank and drove it like 12 miles so far :-/

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

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    Registered horkn's Avatar
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    my original 160k or so 94 (built in 93) starter sure cranked my ZJ slowly, and sometimes it would sound like it may not start. It almost sounded like the battery was near dead.

    The battery was new in the fall of 06, and this was last fall, so that didnt make any sense.

    A new starter cured that issue, and a new fuel filter also helped it start quicker last fall as well. I think it will be the fuel filter on yours as well, mine acted liek yours with nothing coming from the schrader valve after it sat for a few minutes, now starting it right after turning the engine off it would fire right up, but after 5 minutes or so, the pressure would bleed out,a nd it would take a bit to fire up. FWIW, I have the original fuel pump and it has no issues, pressure is exactly where it should be.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillRadd View Post
    If are to spend 1000 bucks on a high mileage Jeep get an XJ ZJ's are junk
    :poofey:

    Even Joe the plumber isn't really Joe, or a licensed plumber LOL

    93 ZJ ltd built early June 1992 factory 4.0, AW4, 249
    160k, all original drivetrain minus a different rear D35, now with posi

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    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    Well I know the battery is fine along with the starter. It cranks like normal, I have a new fuel filter I'm going to put in tonight but I have a feeling its the Advanced Auto Parts replacement pump I but in a while back.

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

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    Registered horkn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublejz View Post
    Well I know the battery is fine along with the starter. It cranks like normal, I have a new fuel filter I'm going to put in tonight but I have a feeling its the Advanced Auto Parts replacement pump I but in a while back.


    my filter was basically clogged, so depending on how old yours was, it could be the culprit. how many miles are on the jeep?
    Quote Originally Posted by BillRadd View Post
    If are to spend 1000 bucks on a high mileage Jeep get an XJ ZJ's are junk
    :poofey:

    Even Joe the plumber isn't really Joe, or a licensed plumber LOL

    93 ZJ ltd built early June 1992 factory 4.0, AW4, 249
    160k, all original drivetrain minus a different rear D35, now with posi

    mods
    2" rusty's BB with hydro shocks, crystal clear full front lamp kit, aftermarket stereo and all speakers, K&N panel filter
    Finally installed-2006 Golden Eagle Ravines and LT235/ 75/r15 BFG AT's

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    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    Ok, so I just went and sprayed some starting fluid in the throttle body.. it took me two attempts with spraying it and starting it before it actually started up. It did start up much easier, probably 3 cranks with the 2nd spray.

    184k miles and about 15k on the filter. New filter going in tomorrow.

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

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    dang man, if you hadn't said hte fuel rail was adry i would've said it was the head gasket

  18. #18
    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    i mean its not dry, its just not pressurizing until the vehicle is actually running or has been recently.

    I still think i have a head gasket issue. I lost like a full reservoir worth of coolant somewhere within the last 3 days. I have a new rad, hoses, water pump and see no external leakage. I may have to get one of those snake camera things to see down in the cylinder and take a look.

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

  19. #19
    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    grr, this thing is really ticking me off. argh

    2004 WJ - IRO HD Steering Stabilizer - IRO Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit - Addco Rear Sway Bar - 4" IRO Coils - KOR 3/4" Spacers - IRO 4" Extended Bumpstops - IRO Coil Spring Retainers - JKS Bar Pin Eliminators - IRO A-Arm Spacer - IRO Adjustable Control Arms - DT8000s - KOR Shock Mount Kit - Stillen Cross Drilled Rotors - Metal Matrix Pads - D30 Detroit TrueTrac - 4.10s - Carolina Double Double Cardan DS & rear DS - 5% Tint - Debadged - Hunter Brushguard w/ 2 Hella 500s - OEM Cross Rail with 4 Hella 500s - Cragar Soft 8s - 33/11.5/16 MTZs - 242HD swap /w SYE - Rear IRO D44 ultimate kit

  20. #20

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    Have you changed the filter yet? Do you actually hear the pump run when you turn the key to on? You should be able to.
    When I was trying to diagnose my fuel issues, I was able to unplug my pump and put a multimeter on it to see if it was getting power immediately. There is a plug type connection down by the tank/ a pigtail from the pump.
    Also, if you have a leak it may be draining all the way back and requiring a long time to get fuel back to the rail. Find out if you ever get pressure at the rail by doing the on/off without cranking or how many times.
    Have you changed the regulator yet?
    If not, when you do, use a lube like vaseline on the O-rings and use a slight twisting motion when inserting back in. The O-rings are pretty easy to pinch and ruin if you don't.

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