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Jeep jerking on the road and stalling often...


NAXJA Forum User
San Diego
1994, XJ, 2WD, Automatic Transmission, 4 Door, 2in Coils, Bilstein 5150’s up front, Stock Rear Leaves, Bilstein OEM replacements in the rear, 31’s no re-gear, Rebuilt Engine 8,000 Miles on it.

About 6 months ago I bought my Jeep from a woman who didn’t take very good care of it. The oil was over a quart low and the antifreeze was over a gallon low. There was a knocking sound coming from the engine, it would stall sometimes at stoplights and the whole car would jerk pretty bad when driving. I bought it anyways because she was selling it for dirt cheap. About 2 months after I bought it I ended up rebuilding the engine. Surprisingly there wasn’t very much wear in the engine. I had the crank ground, new bearings, new rings, new water and oil pump, new timing components, ground the valves down, check all tolerances twice and they were all well within factory spec. Anyways we get the engine started and everything seems good. Large increase in power seems to run pretty well. Then about a week later it dies at a stoplight, Jeep jerks pretty bad sometimes when driving. I didn’t have the time to mess with it but now its summer and its getting much worse. I recently installed a tach and I noticed when the whole car jerks the RPMs drop down to about 500 RPM for a second then there is a huge jerk and slamming sound from my transmission and my RPMs go back up to normal. I noticed it does it often when coasting toward a stoplight but there is no jerk. The RPMs just go down and then back up. Today my Jeep died at a stoplight 3 times in a row on the way to work. If I put the Jeep in neutral at a stoplight it doesn’t seem to die. Also, when in park or drive the Jeep doesn’t idle very smooth. Every few seconds the RPMs get maybe 50 to 100 RMPs lower and you can hear a kind of pop from the exhaust. When the Jeep is in neutral it idles much smother but still the RPMs fluctuate a bit and there is still that popping sound from the exhaust.

I also wanted to mention I didn’t replace any sensors in the rebuild but I did clean everything extremely well; including the TB and all ground and wiring connections.

Sorry for such a long winded post but I was hoping one of you would have some suggestions or know what I could try looking at. Thanks for the help.
is it throwing up any codes? i have a bad o2 sensor and mine is doing what yours is to an extent. not near as bad as it seems, but very much similar.
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I haven't checked but my check engine light isn't on. You are the second one to suggest the O2 sensor. I should just replace it. It's not going to hurt.
My first guess would be the TPS. Also check for vacuume leaks.
Mine does the same thing intermittingly, been doing it since i had the motor rebuilt. My mechanic says its dropping a cylinder and to check out wires, cap, rotor, plugs.....The funny thing is all the stuff he said to check, I replaced a year ago.

It has gotten better by replacing sensors and such, but dont waste your money on things that arent the problem, gets expensive. After about 3 years of this i finally took it in to get looked at. Wasnt my daily driver until about a year ago.

I havent had the time to check out the ignition related stuff listed above, hopefully sunday will work out when i have an extra set of hands to crank it for me.

If i cant figure it out he will take a look at it further.

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thanks for the help. i know one of my vacume lines is pretty messed up. i just ordered a new one should be here in a few days. hopefully that will help a bit.