1999 Jeep Cherokee Sputters, surges and dies while Speedom

Tiny
NYSABRE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 161,000 MILES
My 1999 Cherokee 4.0L inline six 4wd has been sputtering when not at operating temperature and is always touch and go when starting. It used to start fine and when I would put the vehicle in drive and as I began to accelerate it would sputter and almost stall. I would get up to highway speeds and have no problems. The things I have already done to it in an attempt to fix the problem are: replaced battery, replaced TPS, cleaned TB and part of IAC, replaced air filter, changed the oil, sea foamed fuel system, checked recently replaced spark plugs, wires and distributor cap (and rotor). Oil gauge has been reading at 80 for a while now and I am in the process of replacing Oil Pressure Sending unit, tested fuel pressure at ~47psi (fuel pump is priming), Also replaced Crankshaft Position Sensor.
It ran fine this morning (highway ~40 mins), when I tried to return home it sputtered, surged, and died on me several times (speedometer bouncing around the entire time) when tying to accelerate, It idled perfectly (it always does). It sputtered all the way up to about 60mph and then after a while it began to run less rough (speedometer functioning normal). When exiting the highway and coming to a complete stop, then again accelerating it seem to run smooth for the 2 or 3 miles to my home. Please Help!
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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 12:00 PM

16 Replies

Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Sputtering speedometer makes me think you have a ground problem causing this erratic behavior. Start by checking all the battery and engine grounds paying special attention to the connections at the battery, replace the terminal ends if you feel they are even questionable.
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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 5:42 AM
Tiny
NYSABRE
  • MEMBER
Good point. I will check that. The battery terminal ends are fastened pretty securely on the battery. Is it a pretty labor intensive process to replace those ends. Also, The speedometer needle bouncing seems to parallel the engine sputtering and stalling, this could all be related to a bad ground somewhere?

There what appears to be a ground attached at the rear of the valve head cover. A leaky gasket seems to have created some sludge around this ground. Could this be a possible answer for why it runs better when the engine heats up to op temp?

Thanks for your quick response.
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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 11:59 AM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
The grounds are very important and can cause many different problems. The replacing of the cable ends is very easy. They sell just the ends and all you do is cut off the original battery cable ends, then trim 1/2 inch of the insulation off with a razor and then clamp on the new end terminals
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Friday, November 7th, 2008 AT 5:38 AM
Tiny
NYSABRE
  • MEMBER
I have found two grounds so far. One on the rear of the engine block connected at the rear of the valve cover to the firewall. The only other one I could find was from the - terminal of the battery to the fender. Where at the best places to look for other grounds?

When testing continuity should the multi-meter tone on the bolt holding the ground in place? I have a feeling that the ground covered with sludge is what is causing the problem.

If these don't provide the solution what would be the next logical step?


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266348_img161_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266348_img162_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266348_img163_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266348_img164_1.jpg

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Saturday, November 8th, 2008 AT 11:43 AM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
By the looks of the battery terminal ends I would start by replacing them. All you do is cut off the ends and splice in universal battery cable post ends. Yours are in rough shape. Make sure you have enough wire to connect to the battery after cutting off the old terminal ends.
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Saturday, November 8th, 2008 AT 1:12 PM
Tiny
NYSABRE
  • MEMBER
So I really cleaned up those grounds and took it out for a test drive. It started up great and ran great, acceleration was extremely smooth. Everything was going fine until I attempted to take a sharp left turn, upon doing this when attempting to accelerate through the turn it would not. It seemed like there was no fuel getting to the engine. When I straightened it out I accelerated great again. This only happened on sharp left turns. I pulled into the garage and cranked the wheel all the way to the left and it idled nicely. Turned it off and inspected under the vehicle but couldn't find anything out of the ordinary. What should I look for? Any thoughts?
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Saturday, November 8th, 2008 AT 3:21 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Well it would be nice to see actual fuel pressure so we could tell if the problem is in the tank or its wiring. When turning left and it acts up is that when the speedo starts acting up? If it is then there is a wire chafed out somewhere and the shift of the engine is causing the wire to either become open or shorted to ground
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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 5:23 AM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
And on the battery terminals, I find the problem to be in the wire where it connects to the end clamp, you can not clean it because your not getting to where the cable is soldered to the end post.
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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 5:24 AM
Tiny
NYSABRE
  • MEMBER
Ok. The fuel system pressure at the fuel rail is 47-50 psi. I have noticed that when removing the gas cap that absolutely no air comes out like all other vehicles I have owned. It was my understanding that this was normal on my model Jeep, but I could be wrong. This could be related to a pressure problem in the tank? Is it possible to have pressure in the rail and not in the tank?

As for the speedometer, it seemed like cleaning that engine ground in the first picture has solved that problem, but I won't know for a few test drives. In the past, after a 45 min drive on the highway, and letting the vehicle cool down (couple hours), this is when the problems with sputtering and needle bouncing occur. I will be replacing the terminal ends today. Do you recommend any particular type of terminal ends (brand, etc.)?
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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 10:00 AM
Tiny
NYSABRE
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I found a bunch of wires that looked like they connected to the rear o2 sensor before the cat. They sit directly above the transfer case and the plastic "heat shield" (i'm assuming that is what it was) was off exposing the wires from behind the transmission to the pigtail harness connected to the sensor. I placed the wires back into the sleeve and used electrical tape to cover the opening. I believe this might have happened when the slip yoke dust boot ruptured and broke up the sleeve. The dust boot has been replaced but the wires went unnoticed until now. Could this have been my problem all along? The wires appeared to be in good shape.
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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 6:32 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Probably not. If the wires were not rubbed through the insulation and bare wire was not exposed, that was not the problem. If the wires were bare, even one of them then that could have caused the problem
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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 6:23 AM
Tiny
NYSABRE
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I was wondering if you saw this, I made back to back replies and didn't know if you caught this post.
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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 10:43 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
The battry cable ends are universal and I have only seen one type and when you explain it to the parts guy, he will know exactly what you are talking about. The fuel pressure in the tank thing is normal, as long as there is fuel pressure in the rail were good.
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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 AT 5:19 AM
Tiny
NYSABRE
  • MEMBER
Alright. The vehicle runs great now, except I am still having a problem on hard left turns. The gas tank is full. So the pick-up is out of the question. I don't believe there is a problem with the tank, filter, pump, etc. As you said the pressure is good. I noticed that upon making these turns when the engine sputters I hear a noise, that resembles the sound made when you try to start the car when it's already running, coming from the driver's side of the vehicle. Any thoughts? It's only when I try to accelerate a little harder through the turn, or from a stop.
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Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
If it is the starter turning over then the wiring problem is near the starter trigger wire. The hard turn like I said will lift the engine and cause body to roll, I would still be looking for chafed wiring harness.
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Friday, November 14th, 2008 AT 2:26 PM
Tiny
NYSABRE
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The black harness connected to the top of the starter will not firmly clip into place. It stays put from what I can tell but I know it should be snug. I don't really have any starting problems anymore. I'll let you know if I find anything else.
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Saturday, November 15th, 2008 AT 9:52 AM

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