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Damsel in distress...help with 1987 Cherokee Laredo

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Damsel in distress...help with 1987 Cherokee Laredo

Old 04-25-2017, 12:42 PM
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Question Damsel in distress...help with 1987 Cherokee Laredo

I am totally new to this, so please forgive any terminology I'm not familiar with. I'll try to include as much info as I can.

1987 Jeep Cherokee Laredo Sport *2WD
Mileage: 140k
Engine: 6 Cylinders M 4.0L MFI OHV

Recent repairs: power steering pump and hose replacement
Ignition switch replacement
Master cylinder replacement

Problem: Car randomly won't start...it's not the battery, alternator or starter. It will normally start the next day after sitting all night or after a few hours but drive it to the store and it won't start again. It may start up after a few pumps of gas on the pedal but not likely. I've taken it to the shop and they couldn't diagnose bc the electrical system(check engine light and half of dashboard isn't working) The car just randomly started doing this out of nowhere. Please help bc I'm fresh out options I'm continuing to put more money into things to no avail.
All advice is welcomed and appreciated 😊
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:42 PM
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When you say it randomly won't start, exactly what is happening? When you turn the key, does the engine crank but won't start? Or nothing at all happens when you turn the key?
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:23 PM
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Welcome to Cherokee Forum! We hope to help all in distress, damsel or otherwise.

Your year of Cherokee was the very first for a lot of things, factory documentation was poor and many shops have NO idea how to work with them. For example, it doesn't even have a check engine light.

Being early in the first generation of fuel injection there are a lot of things which were fixed in later years and models. There are some inherent problems with the wiring that can definitely cause issues with starting - cranking or not. Before putting much more thought into what's wrong and what this exact cause is, you'd do best by doing some catchup and preventative maintenance, and dealing with the known issues on this generation of Jeep.

Check out this site and work your way through the Tips. Pay attention to electrical sections like refreshing wiring, connectors, and grounds. Cruiser54 is a long-time member here and moderator, he also worked at the dealership when your Jeep was new and literally wrote the book on fixing them: http://cruiser54.com/
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:29 PM
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Thanks for the response, Jeepin' ain't EZ.
The engine does crank but won't start fully. It stutters for a moment like it's about to start but then it doesn't.
Sometimes I can drive it to various locations and there will be no problems with it starting and then out of nowhere...it won't crank. Weird and random ��
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:15 PM
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Thank you "Salad" for the insight. I now have somewhere to start. I will be sure to check out the link you posted. And consult the moderator to get his perspective. I've been told that I should change the Crank shift sensor, as well as the Cam shift sensor. I just wanted to get more insight before I shell out any more money.
Thanks again for your valuable information and history lesson, I had no idea ����
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:30 PM
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1987-1990 Cherokees with the 4.0L don't even need the camshaft sensor to run There's a lot of poor advice given out rashly and a lot of people who think the solution is to spend an infinite amount of money on an infinite amount of parts without doing any troubleshooting. Always start with the basics!

A simple thing to try when it won't even crank is jiggling the shifter (assuming you have an automatic transmission), and trying to start it in Neutral. There's a sensor on the transmission that sometimes wears out in the Park position. Easy and free to test that one.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:26 PM
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Thanks again Salad for your wealth of knowledge and willingness to share. Yes, the advice I have been given has been poor. I've spent close to $750 and it's still not functioning properly. I will try starting it in neutral when it doesn't crank.
I'll definitely keep you posted. Wish I'd found this forum a long time ago ����
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:43 PM
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also thanks Salad that will be good reading

welcome to the forum Chrissy
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:49 AM
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did you replace the cps yet?
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:11 PM
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87 cherokee... Still cranks but no start... Recently the vehicle has had replaced: ignition coil,distributor cap and rotor, and ICM as well... Once ICM was replaced it fired right up... But as of 3 days ago... It is still crank but no start... Wondering what else could cause it to continue to have this problem... Please help
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:27 PM
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One of the things that goes on these engines is the crank position sensor. When it goes, it frequently will give rough running, no start sometimes, quit and run later and other weird stuff. These things should be replaced every 100K, but nobody does. They just let them fail. I would recommend replacing it on general principles. That will probably fix the problem. But to be sure, check and see if you have spark. If you do, then it is fuel related. Only two things that can be. CPS or lack of fuel pressure
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