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2000 XJ Ignition (Coil Strip)


New member
QUESTION: My 2000 XJ has the late model coil strip for the ignition, where the coils, plugboots, and everything else is mounted into the sigle strip that bolts over the spark plugs. I love the fact that there is a dedicated coil for every two cylinders but it drives me crazy when it comes to working on it, plus if one part in it goes bad you have to shell out the bucks to buy a new one. I was looking for some opinions on how others think this setup compares to their distibutor based ignitions as well as has anyone ever done or heard of someone doing a conversion back to a distributor style ignition. Perhaps someone has designed a distributorless ignition that mounts remotely with short ignition wires going to plugs for easier access to the plugs?

Would love to hear what you all think...
Well, concerning the remote thing - one major advantage of a distributorless ignition system is the fact that there are no wires = no loss.

If you wanted to convert back to a distributor (which, IMO, is a step backwards) I THINK you'd have to also swap the computer, and maybe even the entire block (did they redo the block or just plug up the hole for the distributor?)

EDIT: hey! nice name
I haven't checked for a distributor hole yet, but I really don't won't to reverse engineer it back to a disrtibutor ignition. What I think would be great is some new and different distributorless ignition that makes it easier to work on the motor as well as makes it possible to change out the idividual parts of the ignition system without having to buy a whole new ignition strip.

Hey, nice name to you as well.
Just let the sleeping dog lay.

I think you need let it be. The early GM distributorless ignitions also had it so you replaced all the coils if one went bad. Over the years GM has made individual coil packs so you replace the bad one not all of them.

I'd love to have the coil on plug instead of 2-3 feet of coil wire and spark plug wire for each electrical charge to travel through.

I am trying to figure out why you are messing with the plugs so often. You change the plugs every 30,000 miles, other than that it should be an item you don't touch. Why do you find yourself removing the coil pack assy so often?

I think you should put your efforts into new radios, suspension changes, stuff like that.

Yes I am shouting, but politely I hope. :)
I've been messing with plugs and ignitions for 33 years. My wife's WJ has the same system that you do. We bought it used, so to cover all the bases I changed the plugs at slightly less than 60k miles. I have never seen plugs with such LARGE GAPS work in an engine. I'm not kidding, the gaps were over two times what the factory calls for. 60's, 70's, and 80's engines would not have started, let alone run.
After putting in fresh, correctly gapped plugs, there was absolutely NO difference in performance. It was freaking amazing. My 90 4.0 needs plugs, rotor, and cap annually, according to my MPG tracking, but not the WJ 99 4.0 and your 2000 4.0. Jeep calls for 30k changing of the plugs, 50k works fine.

The truth is I enjoy the added benifit of the coil strip, it does my rig well. In fact when I changed the plugs right after I bought it,(they looked like the factory plugs) they were about 1.5 times larger then specified gap and the engine still ran well. The strip packs alot of power with little resistance, its great. I plan on keeping it that way. Thanks for the advice. Maybe one day I'll try to design a dristributorless ignition to replace the one in the XJ that uses 3 off the performance shelf coils.