My 96 Jeep Cherokee Quit Running

Posted in Internal Engine Parts

Im about at my witts end with this thing. My Jeep was running fine and then just quit when I was driving down the road. I have good fuel pressure and it turns over fine. I am not getting any spark. If i turn it over I have power to one of the two lines going into the coil (i think I am supposed to have power to one all the time and power to the other when its started?) I had the coil tested and it is supposedly within electrical specs (they cant really test it to make sure it works). I did replace the crankshaft position sensor as there is no way to test it and everyone told me that was the problem. I had a parts place try to sell me a new computer but its $250. Like I said, I think its a problem in the wiring because with the key “on” i have no power to either wire attached to the coil. If I roll it over I get an electric “pulse in one. Is there some sort of auto shut off or fuse I am missing?
Its a 1996 Cherokee with a 4.0 liter inline six cyl. engine, 4×4, automatic.
My #1 spark plug was wet and smelled of fuel.
I did get a rapid “pulse” on the test light on one of the two wires that goes into the coil. Are they both supposed to be hot when I turn it over?
I also replaced the pickup plate. ( I do have some parts around from a running jeep).
Ok…the waterpump I replaced was on the other jeep (the one that runs fine). I dont think the coil is the problem because I switched it with a good one and it still doesnt start. I changed a pickup plate in in the distributer, but that has no effect on timing.
I may not be stating this correctly:
There are two wires that go into my coil. one has a rapid “pulse” when I turn it over and the other seems to be dead. these are the wires that power the coil. I would guess that this means that I am not getting power to the coil.

There are 3 Answers for "My 96 Jeep Cherokee Quit Running"

    1. Mechanix says:

      If you’re not getting any spark from the coil and the crankshaft sensor was replaced…disconnect the coil, place a test light in the connector crank the engine the light should flash rapidly if you see the test light flashin replace coil, if not replace the Ignition module (this may be located inside or near the distributor) always consult your repair manua

    2. duster360 says:

      I think its a fuel problem still. Pull the spark plugs after cranking. See if they are wet. I would bet that they are not. Check that and post again. okay. Fuel pressure is only one test. Is the fuel getting to the cylinder.

      Okay, now we know for sure its getting fuel. If I read your update right, you should not be getting power to both sides of the coil. Swap out the coil with a known good coil and let us know. It should run. I have one more thing to try if that does not work.

      I read your first post about your jeep. About the water pump. You had problems with timing? That could be a very good place to start looking with a NO START problem. You said after the pump it lacked power, Well that sure could be timing, Still run but no power. Timing is off. Remember start with basics. Also when you think something is right don’t take it for granted, Recheck what you have already checked, you might have missed something.

      You also said that you messed with the distributor, well there lays your problem,(imo) That’s were you want to start. Check, Firing order Distributor placement, (Top Dead Center) and advance 10 Degrees. (Basics) Try again.

      Okay, try this: There is a fuze in the fuze block under the hood. I dont remember what they call it, but its toward the front of the box, it has a lot to do with power to the starter and “could” be why you get power at the coil but wont start. Try that. Next I think you could run a jumper wire from the battery to the positive side of the coil and try and start. Next are you checking to see if you are getting spark out of the distributor cap? If not let me know. I will check back here in 10 or 15 minutes to see how you are doing. You can also email me directly.

    3. Don E says:

      Things to check: Oil pressure sending unit (the engine will not start if the signal to the computor from the oil sending unit has a open circuit ).Water temp. sending unit (air fuel ratios are configured by water temp at start up until heat is sufficient to go to closed loop).Quad drivers are the transisters that fire the ignition coils.Usually located under the coil pack .This module could be defective.If you have a distributor,the ignition module inside could be defective.Check all fuse links attached to the starter for broken connection.If you have a cam position sensor check for voltage at the plug in with key on.Good luck,I hope I have helped you to find the problem.The positive side of the coil is battery power and the negitive side goes to the distributor reluctor ignition hook up.If the start up ignition resister is bad the ignition will not activate.1:00pm Tuesday