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Cold / Wet Weather and Starting / Misfire Issues

KimsJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
873
Location
Sacramento
Since the weather has gotten colder and wetter, I have noticed my starting issue has returned. In the last week, I have also noticed a slight miss at start up. Basically it has to crank longer then usual when I first try to start it. I do turn the key on and off a couple of times before I actually crank it over, because of what I read on the fuel pump draining back down, but it seems to take longer to start anyway. During the summer months it seemed to start pretty good, never had to do the on/off with the key.

What concerns me the most though, is the slight miss. It misses for maybe 10 seconds give or take. Then evens out and runs fine. I don't have a CEL yet, so what ever it is it must be so slight that the computer isn't catching on. LOL

I just thought it was weird that it was fine till the weather changed. The one thing I can think of that might be an issue, is maybe my distributors pick up plate can't remember what it is called right off hand) may possibly gotten a little rusty again since the rain started? It was rusty before and I used some sand paper to clean it up. That was back when I replaced the pick up coil. So, the part I'm talking about is the round metal piece that goes through the coil to make it do what it is supposed to do. LOL

Any thoughts of what else could be weather related that would cause this type of behavior?
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
12,558
Location
Escondido California
Your distributor cap and rotor inside it might be worn, I'd replace them both. Most auto parts stores only carry the cheaper versions of distributor cap and rotors that use aluminum for their electrical contacts and they wear much more quickly. Hold out for a distributor cap & rotor with brass contacts. You're more likely to find better quality parts like that at NAPA than you would at cheap auto parts stores like Autozone.

Also, maybe your ignition wiring insulation is old enough that spark is getting through it and arcing to the block. So maybe it's time to replace your ignition wiring too. Avoid cheap ANY ignition wiring that claims "Low Resistance" which is a very misleading claim that only sounds good if you don't know anything about ignition wiring. Resistance is actually added at extra cost to ignition wiring to stop it from emitting static which can interfere with the engine computer plus your AM and CB radios. For a reason only understood by a few electronic types, the added resistance in ignition wiring does NOT significantly reduce the voltage of the spark provided to the spark plugs so going with a low resistance ignition wiring kit will NOT improve engine performance. It actually costs less to make low resistance ignition wiring, they're laughing all the way to the bank.

Are your spark plugs getting old? If so it'd be real hard to beat Autolite's AP-985, Champion's 3034, (both of those are platinum-tipped plugs good for 100k miles) or Autolite's XP-985 iridium tipped plugs good for 200k miles.

Lastly, is your engine warming up quickly enough to its normal 210 degree engine temperature? If not it may be time to install a new 195 degree thermostat like Stant's SuperStat. Avoid any engine thermostats claiming to be "failsafe" which while it sounds good, just creates problems since failsafe thermostats tend to fail in the open position. What they're designed not to do is to fail in the closed position which is good but they just create that other problem of failing in the open position which means the engine won't warm up properly.
 
OP
KimsJeep

KimsJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
873
Location
Sacramento
Your distributor cap and rotor inside it might be worn, I'd replace them both. Most auto parts stores only carry the cheaper versions of distributor cap and rotors that use aluminum for their electrical contacts and they wear much more quickly. Hold out for a distributor cap & rotor with brass contacts. You're more likely to find better quality parts like that at NAPA than you would at cheap auto parts stores like Autozone.

Also, maybe your ignition wiring insulation is old enough that spark is getting through it and arcing to the block. So maybe it's time to replace your ignition wiring too. Avoid cheap ANY ignition wiring that claims "Low Resistance" which is a very misleading claim that only sounds good if you don't know anything about ignition wiring. Resistance is actually added at extra cost to ignition wiring to stop it from emitting static which can interfere with the engine computer plus your AM and CB radios. For a reason only understood by a few electronic types, the added resistance in ignition wiring does NOT significantly reduce the voltage of the spark provided to the spark plugs so going with a low resistance ignition wiring kit will NOT improve engine performance. It actually costs less to make low resistance ignition wiring, they're laughing all the way to the bank.

Are your spark plugs getting old? If so it'd be real hard to beat Autolite's AP-985, Champion's 3034, (both of those are platinum-tipped plugs good for 100k miles) or Autolite's XP-985 iridium tipped plugs good for 200k miles.

Lastly, is your engine warming up quickly enough to its normal 210 degree engine temperature? If not it may be time to install a new 195 degree thermostat like Stant's SuperStat. Avoid any engine thermostats claiming to be "failsafe" which while it sounds good, just creates problems since failsafe thermostats tend to fail in the open position. What they're designed not to do is to fail in the closed position which is good but they just create that other problem of failing in the open position which means the engine won't warm up properly.
Thanks for the reply Jerry.

I replaced plugs, wires, cap and rotor back in end of Jan. possibly Feb. of this year. I didn't get the cap with brass though. I will go ahead and replace with a brass one. I replaced the plugs with the ones that were recommended in one of the threads on this site, and it has been confirmed before that they are good ones. Wires, ??? I'm not sure what they are. LOL I buy my parts from Carquest, so most likely they are what ever their brand is.

As far as the thermostat, I have a new one that was also recommended here, but I have yet to put it in. I was going to do a flush of the system, but never got brave enough to do it. LOL I am one of those ones that worries about something else failing by trying to make things better. On that note, I would say it warms up fine. Maybe a couple miles down the road and it is near the 210 mark.

The missing is only when I start it from it sitting overnight, or when I get off work and it sat for 8 hours. Doesn't miss any other time that I can tell. The hard start seems to be mostly in the morning and after work too, although it did take a little longer after one of my errands I ran a couple days ago.
 
OP
KimsJeep

KimsJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
873
Location
Sacramento
Never mind about the cap. It is one with the brass. I just went out and pulled a wire off to check.

I also decided to try to start it with it not being totally cold. It has been sitting since about 9am. So an hour and a half. I did turn the key on and off 3 times, then turned to crank. It took a few seconds to start, (longer then what it does in summer), and it had that slight miss.

I'm wondering if it is a fuel related issue? Could making the fuel pump go on that many times be causing to much fuel in the system and causing it to miss as it tries to burn it off? Like I say, I have just started to do the on/off thing with the switch since it got colder and seems to be taking longer to start. Maybe tomorrow or later today, I will go out and try to just start it like normal and see if it has that miss. :D

Oh, and this is what one of the wires says on it. Can't make out what the first word is, and I thought I read it as Silicone, LOL but it obviously not that word as far as what letters are showing in the pic. Oh, and my hubby wanted me to go out and spray hairspray on the cap to make sure the water stays out, but obviously water isn't an issue here. LOL It is dry and dusty as a bone under the hood. :D

FB6CADEE-016A-4C4B-8D62-D1AAD495AB80.jpeg
 
OP
KimsJeep

KimsJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
873
Location
Sacramento
Ok, I think I know what is going on.

The last few times I started it, I just cranked it without turning key on/off several times. I cranked and let it turn over a few seconds, then turned it off and then restarted it. It starts right up and doesn't have that miss when I do it that way. I think by me turning the key on and off, I am getting to much gas in it and it misses as it burns it off.

I will just do the crank a few seconds, then turn off and restart till next summer. LOL It just doesn't like the cold. :D