Auto Repair - Roadshow forum



by anderson9700 / August 30, 2011 9:44 AM PDT

My wife and I have owned this Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, straight 6, 4x4, since it had 95k on it. It was a single owner vehicle and well maintained.We've maintained it perfectly and always ensure that it is in for its fluid changes early. Nearly 6 years later, it now has approximately 144k on it.

About a year and a half ago it began cutting out now and then. It would just die. However, you could restart it without fail.

Then it began to die while coming to a stop. Then it began to die at idle. Then it began to die while driving on the freeway and highway at much higher speeds.That's the progression.

We've read numerous forums and the like and have notated the information we found therein. I recall reading a few posts made by members of these forums stating that they had spent every dime they had over a 6 month period trying to fix it, now they are broke and without transportation because it won't start, they can't afford to fix it, the mechanic is clueless, and we thought, ... well, (cough, cough), we won't be one of those guys. Ha.

We have replaced all of the typical causes for such behavior and a few other things, to no avail.

Here's a list of what we have replaced and done thus far:

Diagnostics (Several Times)
Compression & Leakage Test (three times): Passed with perfect mesurement.
Spark Plugs
Distributor (Twice)
Cap & Rotor
Pick Up Coil
Ignition Coil
Power Steering Pump
O2 sensors (front and back)
Timing Sensor (on the block)
Crank Shaft Position Sensor (Twice)
Fuel Pump (complete assembly with the filter included)
Two Hoses top-side of the engine block
PVC valves on top of the engine
Throttle Position Sensor
Idle Control Module
Cleaned the Throttle Body
Inspected all hoses for leaks numerous times
Coolant Temperature Sensor
Battery Cables
Checked all connections numerous times
Checked for the correct readings on all sensors
Conducted Ground Test on Circuitry
Inspected PCM Harness
Inspected PCM Harness Screws
Replaced PCM Harness Screws
Ensured that they were approx. 1/4 distance out

Now, most of that, our mechanic has done. Never-the-less, here we are. And still with NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT.

He's said that he's thoroughly checked the harness to the PCM and verified everything is properly grounded. He doesn't believe that it has anything to do with the connections or the wiring. He also said that he thought that the whole idea of changing the screws holding the PCM in place was preposterous (so did the dealership), since the PCM is grounded anyways and that if it wasn't grounded there would be more problems then stalling. Dealership concurred, so the voo doo solution of modifying the screws as referenced in some forums appears to be shear non-sense.

We've spent all of our savings and current cash flow on this vehicle at this point. Its been down for over a week. We haven't even paid our bills at this point. I'm self employed and when I'm not driving, I'm not making money.This is a critical moment in my life as I don't have enough money to purchase another vehicle right now.

Chrysler took a look at it once and said that they couldn't identify a problem. I haven't taken it back as that was a fruitless effort and pricy.

My wife ran into a Chrysler mechanic of thirty years the other day and he said that we ought to check the valve springs. However, that didn't seem right to me because it would seem like you would hear it rattle. When I forwarded that information to our mechanic, he assured me that if it were the valve springs, that it would be a noticeable noise. There is no such noise.

Sometimes it just dies, sometimes it'll sound like its choking a bit while it dies or while it comes close to dying. Sometimes it dies at idle, sometimes while driving slow, sometimes at high rates of speed, sometimes while stopping.There does not appear to be any consistency with it. Sometimes it runs real rough and seems to loose power when taking off from a stopped position.

It does not make any unusual sounds. When it originally began, it was just hard to start a couple of times and then for the first few months, seemed to only want to die when coming to a stop. Now it can be hard or very hard to start, and it will die unexpectedly with no check engine light or other signs of problems.

There is one exception to the engine light. On two occassions while driving at 50+ mph and climbing in elevation (long hills like going into the mountains), it would choke a bit, and then give a check engine light. However, it never died.

When I connected the OBD 2 scanner to it, it read: CYLINDER 2 MISFIRE DETECTED.

So, my question to anybody who is a mechanic, anybody that works for Chrysler, anybody who has ever owned a Jeep and experienced a similar issue. Do you have any idea what the cause could be and the best way, at this point, to resolve the issue and/or where to go from here?

Is it likely to be the Catalytic Converter?

ADDITIONALLY:MECHANIC: JUST TODAY - Replaced the crankshaft position sensor .... again. No avail. Same thing. Runs for awhile and then dies. Everything
is as it should be according to the diagnostics and computer readings.
I've talked to a few shops and they are all clueless. Mechanic
also advised that he's talked to other mechanics he knows, a couple of
specialist, a former Chrysler Technician, and some other shop owners in
California that he knows, and they are all clueless at this point.

said that he thought whatever it is that's causing the problem is most
likely something small because it doesn't have any issues with the
engine and most all other parts have been replaced now. ~ Doesn't make
me feel better.

He recommended that I bring it back to the dealership for further review. I'm stuck and cannot afford to go to the dealership. PLEASE HELP!

P.S. If you're in Seattle, please feel free to e-mail me for correspondence or to meet up.

Thanks everybody!

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Clarification Request
Stalling Jeep
by Moran Morgan / June 29, 2016 1:11 PM PDT

My friend had the same problem, He never got codes on his auto computer. We then surmise the problem is before the computer like the wiring or connections. He check that area and found two bad connections. The Jeep runs fine now. Good Luck

All Answers

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"we won't be one of those guys. Ha."
by puffballman / September 4, 2011 5:05 PM PDT

Cut your losses. Take a loan for 3-5k and buy a used compact car. It is better to work then it is to be stranded. You probably spent enough money to buy a working car already.

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Well, that was a pointless replay, now wasn't it?
by anderson9700 / September 6, 2011 6:32 AM PDT

As indicated in the posting, I don't have money to buy a new car. Not even for the down. While I appreciate all feedback, I certainly hope that the next response is by somebody who may have some insightful thoughts about the vehicles problem or another point of reference, rather than suggesting to simply buy a new car. Unbelievable.

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(NT) I swear- I wrote this blog!
by GrandCherokeefixer / July 30, 2015 9:32 PM PDT
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by Ssolis65 / November 20, 2015 9:26 PM PST

Did you ever figure it out I having same issue

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stalling jeep
by 1964jane / May 21, 2013 10:50 PM PDT

My jeep does the same thing every so often you have to clean your battery post real good and under your battery is a peddle that connects to the PCM you have to make sure that it is pushed down hard where your battery does not move around other words your PCM will not reconize your battery. Works every time for me.

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my stalling jeep
by sue23111 / August 14, 2013 7:56 AM PDT
In reply to: stalling jeep

hi, your solution sounds like it applies to my stalling problem with my 1997 Jeep GC., and i want to try doing what you did with the battery posts and pedal thing connecting to PCM... forgive my COMPLETE ignorance, but can you please tell me, as if explaining to a first grader, how do i safely accomplish this? is there anything i need to know (NOTHING with a car is obvious to me, please i'm such an ignoramus).., and also what does one use to clean the battery post? i really appreciate your help. thanks, i'm desperate!

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by kharo141 / September 9, 2011 5:21 PM PDT


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did this fix it?
by passmore118 / February 1, 2012 1:14 PM PST

im taking in my jeep tomorrow to replace the solenoid and transducer in the tranny. im experiencing all of these problems but im getting the 1763 and 1762 codes that refer to having these replaced. also the stalling and diying engine to boot!!

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by dragon5126 / August 7, 2012 8:03 AM PDT

YOU HAVE THE CODE ! If you go to the doc with a broken toe does he splint your elbow???
this is NOT your torque converter! First off, it would not act up in second gear as the TC should not be locking up to the engine below 35 MPH! WHy do people look to transmission/torque converter before they look at the engine which causes 95% of the issues. especially when the PCM TELLS them where the issue is located??? YOUR O2 sensor has issues that need to be taken care of before you can diagnose any other issues!

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PLEASE JUST DRAIN THE Tranny fluid and change filter!!
by 904Queen / September 13, 2012 2:20 PM PDT
In reply to: WHAT?

Draining the tranny fluid and changing filter works with the shifting, Mine would not go into first at all, shifted hard got the GPC codes.. change the stuff and BOOM!! Drove like a dream!

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Kharo I had the same problem...
by 904Queen / September 13, 2012 2:17 PM PDT

I had a 95 JGC and it had the same problems same codes.. Check round for pricing and people.. the whole 9... simplest fix was changing the transmission fluid and filter.. RAN LIKE NEW!!!! Hope it helps someone.. you can u tube how to do it yourself. I am a lady and did it! Happy

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by voodoojeep2 / September 29, 2011 5:21 AM PDT

I feel your pain!

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you are describing PCM issues
by dragon5126 / August 7, 2012 8:12 AM PDT
In reply to: voodoojeep

it sounds like the dealer screwed up and did not properly set the PCM when they installed it. As for "burning out the cat" sounds like an attempt to sell a new cat. The cat for the 4.0 is the same cat for the 5.2, and your MPG is not that far out of line. The statement that the PCM replacement was a temp fix bothers me right off the top. did they make sure it was properly grounded? are all the connectors properly seated? are the contacts clean? pull the connectors coat them with DeOxit (available at radio shack but not cheap, google it for other local sources) and plug them back in then put wire ties around the housing and connectors to ensure they stay locked in place and see how that goes. if it doesnt help try a DIFFERENT dealer (dedicated JEEP) tell them that you were told that itsounds like the dealer that replaced the PCM did not set it properly per the haynes repair manual for the 97/98 year JGC and see if the can reset it.

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Jeep stalling
by zzdubs / October 14, 2011 11:22 AM PDT

There are a few other threads addressing this issue, seems to be fairly common. The most basic fix that seems to help about 75% of people is to locate your PCM (should be a metal box, passenger side, behind the coolant resovoir mounted to the firewall) On the front, there are three rectangular connectors, white, black and gray. Try backing out the screws located under the two outer connectors about 1/4". If it works, either file off about an eighth of an inch, or get some 1/4 or 3/8 #6 screws to replace them.

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Voo-doo Fix
by voodoojeep2 / October 17, 2011 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Jeep stalling

That's the voo-do fix!

Since I replaced my injectors, my JGC has stalled once. I turned off the AC from Auto and it started right up - this got me thinking that the Auto lights and Auto AC may be keeping a circuit open. If it stalls again I will turn both off and see if it fires right up which would indicate an electrical short somewhere - something that I never had considered before.

Let's stop the Voo-doo fixes!

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AUTO stuff
by dragon5126 / August 7, 2012 8:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Voo-doo Fix

the Auto headlights and the AC thermostat run through the PCM... it's not Voodoo fixes... its bad software in the PCM. Just like when Windows 98 first came out and Bill Gates crashed it by plugging a plug and play scanner in front of a national audience. Software glitches. The issue comes in right at the PCM itself. clean contacts, proper ground and SOLID contacts that dont wiggle around. Deoxit and wire ties make a major difference at the PCM but the other ends of the cables and all connectors inbetween need to be dealt with as well

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This works too
by JGC-Works / December 9, 2014 5:01 PM PST
In reply to: Jeep stalling

Just put a couple of small Flat Washers on the two #20 torx screws. I did this a month ago to my 1997 JGC and it worked too. I saved a lot of money time and trouble by giving this a try, this fixed the problem. "It really worked !"

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Same Problem
by My5abchar / November 4, 2011 6:33 AM PDT

Have you found a resolution to your problem? My daughter has a '98 with the same problem and we have been unable to resolve it either. One website I found today mentioned the wiring harness which we have already determined does make the engine shut off when its moved. We are going to try that the recommendation on that website this weekend. Below is the website maybe this will help both of us. Good Luck.

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I think you are on to something but...
by voodoojeep2 / November 8, 2011 12:54 AM PST
In reply to: Same Problem

Okay, I think we are now moving in the right direction. I checked out the link and it seems they were on track with possible faulty grounds: "poor/bad body frame grounds, Ground points G100,101,103,104,105,106,109,300,&304 will need to be checked for corrosion & tight connection to the frame or body." But they went VooDoo with the 2 screws on the PCM.

Where are those ground points? Any pictures?

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by dragon5126 / August 7, 2012 8:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Same Problem

first off get some deoxit (radio shack sells it as well as other electronic suppliers) and a LOT of cable ties treat all connectors you can find and wrap a tie locking the connectors together do the PCM first and put the ties around the body locking the connectors in place and make sure the ground is solid, if you have to add a secondary ground.

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Yes Cable Harness!!!!!!
by voodoojeep2 / August 8, 2012 3:11 PM PDT
In reply to: CABLE HARNESS

dragon5136, thanks for your three posts. Due to hesitation and stalling, excessive unburned fuel was pushed out of the exhaust valves and into the CAT, when the engine fired correctly, the hot gasses ignited the unburned fuel in the CAT and see you later $250.

My auto headlights and AC work great, I most likely never needed to replace the PCM, it was another process of elimination.

Like I said above My5abchar was onto something. So i created a bracket similar to one described in the link. This effectively made solid contact with all three plugins to the PCM. 97 JGC was a reborn new ride especially because of all the new parts I installed including new I said $1500 total. After about 5k miles it started to hesitate then just recently began stalling.

Because I KNEW that the harness bracket solved the problem, after starting it Saturday I took hold of the wiring harness just below my new bracket and gently moved it back and forth which caused it to hesitate and nearly stall!!!!! Very exciting.

My conclusion is that there is a minor short within the harness itself. I haven't had time to explore, but i DEFINITELY know now where the problem is.

I will post my results

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97 jeep grand Cherokee stalling
by captzola / August 26, 2012 4:00 AM PDT

Thanks for all your help everybody. I too have been chasing the "Jeep Ghost"... -for 6 months, and have successfully exorcised it from my Cherokee... I did the obvious things first: plugs, wires,rotor, cap. still obvious replaced coil. -still stalled, next to mechanic shop for diagnostics they concluded crank shaft sensor, replace new, -still stalled a block from their shop ! another shop "replace the crank sensor with a mopar sensor" 2 days later -stalled. 3rd shop for diagnostic test and 2 days of drive and testing " uhhh, have no clue...." back to first shop "oxygen sensor" "-ok change it " stalled on way home... desparation with head hanging low....TO CHRYSLER DEALER FOR DIAGNOSTICS !!!! $100 "probably your ecm...? you've replace everything else..." Well, throughout this ordeal i kept jiggling the harness plugs disconnecting reconnecting cleaning and cable tie securing them to the ecm body. stalling kept getting worse and worse. had to tap on ecm to get jeep to restart after "high speed and dangerous" stall outs !!! after 6 months of troubleshooting (and stalling !!!! ) confirmed that tapping on the ecm body with pliers, screwdriver, rocks !!! the jeep would restart. while all the time following this thread and everyone elses pains and successes. after believing I had located where the ghost was hiding ( ECM) I opted to buy a re-furbished one at $158.00 against an $800 one from the Chrysler dealer. I received it in 2 days, installed it
ON ANY VEHICLE, IF A STALLING OR STRANGE SYMPTOM APPEARS, CHANGE THE ECM WITH A RE-FURB FOR $158.00 !!!!!! most of what i did was all following logic. no one in 6 months new enough about this to be able to tell me what I have learned as I have learned it. as someone stated wisely earlier in this thread " a computer board sitting on your firewall in heat and cold for ten years is doomed to fail..."
-I'm surprised they last as long as they do... I bought my re-furbished ECM from a company in Dania Beach Florida. they seem to have a lab where they open and actually re-furb them. and seem to specialize in this. I have been lucky with the one I purchased. Im including their contact here as they successfully helped me to purge the ghost from my jeep. I felt great putting the old one in the return box and taping it up extra securely and knowing I was dropping the ghost into the postal mail box. I got the last laugh-
I hope this helps many.

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by captzola / August 26, 2012 4:20 AM PDT

....see above post. I forgot to post where I bought my re-furb ECM It was in Davie FL ( not Dania Beach FL ) -good luck all..

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I am a mechanic and have ran into this problem before
by lone_eagle032 / November 7, 2011 9:52 AM PST
I do believe its the catalytic converter or the tube that is next to it that might be plugged replace catalytic converter and the tube for the EGR that is connected to the catalytic converter and you should be good the last one I did that too and it ran great and regained all of its power again
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How I fixed my 1997 Grand Cherokee
by Hugh_Jass70 / February 9, 2012 2:25 PM PST

Most mid to late 90's Grand Cherokees have bad solder joints in the PCM (Computer behind the radiator overflow on the passenger side firewall). It affects the grey wire which is the ignition coil ground controlled by the computer. You can gently wiggle the inner most PCM plug (closest to the center of the vehicle) and the engine will stumble or stall. You can also check for codes and see if it has a P0351 in memory. When you buy a supposed "remanufactured" PCM all you are getting is a used, cleaned PCM. Since many Grand Cherokees experience this problem, it is a gamble if the used computer is any good. My Grand Cherokee started to stall on me on a daily basis. Sometimes it would immediately restart, other times I would have to unplug and plug the inner most PCM plug to get it started. It became very scary to drive. It is temperature related as the circuit board flexes. I fixed my problem by making a clamp to gently press the PCM and three plug in connectors together. Go to the hardware store and buy a steel bar approximately 1" wide by 1/8" thick by 20 inches long. Cut two identical pieces approximately 8" long with holes on each end. You will put one bar behind the PCM and the other in front of the three connectors on the front of the PCM. Use two 4" lag bolts and two wing nuts on the sides of the PCM to clamp the bars together. It can be a tight fit and the bolts should come in from the back side of the pcm so the wing nuts can be tightened from the front. Don't try to over-tighten the wing nuts. You don't want to break anything. My Jeep hasn't stalled once since I did this. It can be made for under $10.

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by dragon5126 / August 7, 2012 7:56 AM PDT

As this problem "progressed" in the speed the engine was running at, and you have covered everything except injectors and cat, and the injectors generally end up sending a code, look to the cat. To save money ( a reputable mecanic will not do this) CAREFULLY cut the cat out, front and back so as not to damage it. remember to disconnect the O2 sensor... slide and Clamp a modified piece of exhaust pipe in place. the modification is to hold the O2 sensor. remember you can not use any sealants on it. just drill a hole undersized enough to screw the sensor in place. then drive the vehicle. if this fixes the problem you know its the cat. You also should be able to see light through EVERY cell in the monolith of the cat when backlit with a flashlight. Some people have used steam or acetone or hot water poured through the converter to clean built up carbon out of it. I've even heard of people putting it in the BBQ grill after filling it with water and firing up the grill to steam out the carbon. some have claimed success others not, but a replacement cat goes for between 150-250 depending on source and your location (CA substantially higher)...

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97 JGCL stalling issues
by JEEPROCKSTAR / September 14, 2012 1:24 PM PDT

I don't know if I'm happy to hear I'm not only one with jeep problems or sad.
I just bought a used 97 Jeep grand Cherokee Laredo It had 150,000 miles on it. Was in good condition. I was excited to buy the jeep. This is my first car. I replaced the battery the day I got it. Then not even 24 hours later I got stuck at the gas station filling up. After filling up I went to start my jeep up and it would crack. It was dead as a door nail. We jumped it and it started and I pulled out and didn't even get a foot away and it died. I had it towed and found out my battery cables and connectors were bad. So we replaced that and fixed two minor leaks that I had. I got my jeep back and not even two weeks later one more on my way to work it stalled and died when making a left turn out of my neighborhood. It scared me so bad for I was in the middle of the road with traffic headed my way both ways. I put it park turned it off then back on. It turned on fine and I was back on my way. This started becoming a normal thing. I got frustrated. No matter if I babied the car or drove aggressive it would stall. I started watching it and making notes. I started noticing that when ever my gas level got passed the half tank line stalling issues would happen more often. When I asked my father what to do he basically just said well you need to stop driving so crazy.
I contacted the owner before me and asked him of some of the repairs he had done. He told me somethings he had replaced right before I bought. He had put a new fuel pump,replaced power steering pump and hoses, new spark plugs and wires, radiator. I took it to my car guy and he couldn't get it to act up on him. He did repair rear differential cover leaks, rear brakes, front rotors turned, driver side engine mount broken or missing, valve cover gasket leak, rear main seal leak, gear box leak.

I got it back had it for two weeks and it started stalling again. Took it back and it finally acted up on him. They got it to throw a code it. Turned out I needed a new computer. So we replaced the computer got an oil change and also did a tune up.
I got it back and not even a couple days later I was driving down the road in a 45MPH zone and it stalled and died in the middle of the road. I got it to crack back up and made it home safely. I then got online and started searching for answers. I then found that thousands of jeep owners are having the same problem. Wish I had known this before. Some owners did go and replace the computer some said it fixed it some said it didn't.
One user said that if the wires and connectors to the computer had to much vibration that it will become a problem. He should a cheap way under $10 at home depot to fix this problem. My boyfriend and I did the same thing it worked for two days and then I was back to a stalling jeep.

It then started jumping anytime I went from park to drive or park to reverse. It also started to forget what gear it was in while sitting. I could be at a light and try to roll up or take off and it would act if it was in neutral. It would take it a minute and then it would finally go while the people behind are honking at me to go. It did finally start backfiring when it went to stall out. It never has an engine light come on anytime it acts up. It also started not cracking in the mornings. The mornings have started being very cool so if im having problems starting it from cold im in trouble with fall/winter around the corner. It also sometimes will have a gassy smell if my air is on. If the defrost gets turned on it shakes and acts like its gonna blow up or something.

I took it back to the shop to have them take another look and asked them to check my transmission for I started getting scared that was my next problem. They finally got it to act up and do the things had told them its been doing. I then got the word that my transmission is going bad but he doesnt repair transmission but told me a guy to go see. I took it thursday to the transmission guy and he looked at it and told me my transmission is fine. He kept till today to have the other transmission guy look at it to double check things and make sure he didnt miss anything. He came back saying 100% its not the transmission. Monday the engine guy will be there and they will take a look at my engine. If all comes back fine I will be having my Idle sensor checked and there is another sensor that I cant think of at the moment.

It is frustrating me that we all seem to be making the same repairs and no one can get answers. I love my jeep. Its a great car when it is running.

Please if anyone else has any answers let me know. I hope that Jeep can fix this problem. But it sounds like all jeeps no matter the model they all have this problem.

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pcm defect
by albertbishop50 / March 21, 2013 3:37 PM PDT

Have you tried just changing out pcm because the defect of the screws being to long is true but just changing the screws doesn't actually fix it just prolongs the inevitable cause if it is the fact of the pcm shorting out it will also throw out random codes. And will end up throwing thousands in random parts before you find out it was staring you in the face

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1994 jeep GC 4.0L - crank no start
by Winterrioter / June 26, 2017 8:18 PM PDT
In reply to: pcm defect

I've been having something similar-ish happen with my '94 GC.

A few weeks ago, I'm driving around running errands. Last errand of the day before I make my way home, jeep starts up - I make my way halfway out of the parkinglot - all of a sudden, the car dies.

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