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THE STOMPER Runs for 1 second and dies...


NAXJA Forum User
San Juan Mtns CO
My lifted '88 (THE STOMPER) will start up and run for 1 second. Then dies every time. Its a 4.0HO, 5 speed and it used to start up, idle a little higher than normal and kick down after a few seconds. Today it tried to start up, you can hear it getting air through the k&n and it dies after a second. I tried to start it with the clutch engaged and without with exactly the same result. This has never happened to the rig since it was bought in 88 brand new. It does have a new 2 row radiator and I got rid of the surge container and upgraded it to a '92 or better. Why won't it start? Its getting air and gas. Help please.
How much fuel pressure is there?? How many miles... If you are the original owner, and have never had fuel pump replaced it maybe time. Deffinitly need some more details... What about spark??

Check the ballast resistor. If I remember correctly on a higher voltage then drops down. I think there might be two fuel pump relays to hadle that also.

My thought is when it switches to the lower voltage and runs through the resistor it loses all voltage and dies.

Good luck.
Two fuel pump relays, one from ignition on for a couple seconds and one from oil pressure. Sounds like the oil pressure relay isn't sending power.
I'd have to go with the ballast resistor as well (just bypass it)...or a bad fuel pump not maintaining running pressure, my .02Cdn.
MarkdaleXJ said:
That would depend on who you ask of course :dunno:

A friend from work was in Winipeg this week and talked about how much prices had gone up in the last six months. Our plants in Canada (wood products) are having a rough time because most of the product is shipped here. And just so you know I'm not trying to be an A$$, our dollar is weakening not yours becoming over valued.

Sorry for being off topic, it's the weekend. Better keep this tech though. :D

zak8642, check that ballast resistor and let us know. The resistance in ohms shoudl be printed on it. I've had them go bad and not look burt also. They would corode and when the coil was touched they would fall apart.
Another vote for check the ballast resistor. On the 88 it's a greyish-white ceramic block on the inside of the driver's side fender, next to the air box. It will have one wire going to the front end of it, and another wire coming off the back end of it. It reduces voltage to the fuel pump when running. The start circuit bypasses it, so when cranking, the engine will develop fuel pressure and fire up. When you release the key to the RUN position, the bypass circuit shuts off and power to the fuel pump is routed through the ballast resistor. If it's faulty, the engine dies as soon as it uses up the initial charge of fuel.

To test, simply run a jumper between the two wires on the resistor. You can drive it like that, in fact. The ballast resistor was a running change to reduce noise -- the 87 4.0Ls don't have it.
Another thing I forgot. Check the wiring harness where it travels around the front of the radiator. I think it was Goatman and Crash that had that problem.
JohnX said:
Two fuel pump relays, one from ignition on for a couple seconds and one from oil pressure. Sounds like the oil pressure relay isn't sending power.

Oil pressure relay? That's a new one.. gonna have to remember that :D
Sorry...confused my jeep with my chevy...oops
Now the STOMPER runs!!!

Just wanted you guys to know that it was the ballast resistor. Thanks for the great info and all the posts. I really appreciate it. Now, after cleaning the connections and bypassing the resistor the jeep runs like it shoud, just makes my fuel pump loud. Anytime any of you |XJ| owners are in Telluride (Black Bear Pass, Imogene Pass, Ophir Pass), drop me a line! We'll go get muddy.