Having problems with your 1997 Jeep Wrangler ?

I can get it to start, it turns over, but won't start. I believe it's a timing issue. How can I tell if the timing sprockets and chain have jumped timing or the distributor?

Posted / edited by AnonymousUser on : 21-01-2019

Answers :

Turn the engine by hand till it reaches tdc on the timing scale (if no scale, just make a fixed mark and use that as a reference). Remove the dist cap and watch the rotor and turn again by hand in the opposite direction 'till the rotor just begins to move. Measure the distance the crank turned to allow the rotor to move. (measure from the first mark to new position. If that distance is more than 1/2" likely you have too much stretch in the chain. Generally this will happen in engines with over 140k.
You didn't give a good description of your problem (symptom and what you checked and how) I'm assuming that you also mistated it because it cant start and not start at the same time??? In testing anything, you will need a decent manual (haynes and chilton are OK for this) and a decent digital volt ohmeter, I suggest you have a code check done if you can, and, begin by testing crank sensor, coil and if fuel is reaching the plugs. Don't eliminate the first basic tests of cap rotor , wires.
Rotate engine to top dead center (TDC) on the number 1 spark plug hole using timing mark on balancer...check number one hole to see if you are at TDC... You need a piece of stiff wire in the plug hole to feel the piston movement.

If it jumped a tooth, it is very loose. To see how loose, pull the
distributor cap...Rotate engine by hand until the rotor moves...Then reverse the rotation by hand and see how far you have to turn the crank before the rotor moves. More than a few degrees means wear (some of which is normal, it's going to wear) and more than 1/8th turn means beware, and 1/4 turn means start pulling it apart.
Repair Help & Product Troubleshooting for 1997 Jeep Wrangler

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