1. #1
    YJ-BLAKE's Avatar
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    Angry 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    i have a jeep wrangler 2.5 liter with around 140,000 miles on it. the problem is when i try to accelerate my engine seems to sputter and hesitate for a few seconds. it loses lots of acceleration and it sounds like popping or a bubbling, and a very harsh exhaust smell is noticeable when it happens. my emissions maintenance light has been on since i got it, witch leads me to believe that it could be o2 sensor? but i am not 100% sure.

    i just recently bought it and i have replaced thermostat, motor mounts, and valve cover gasket.

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    xt master's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    I would start with the basics tune up and fuel filter rotor and cap. If it still persists is it fuel injected or carberated. Also could be fuel pump issues.

    Jeep! not just a vehicle a way of life.

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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Agree. Check for a blocked exhaust or CAT.

    Describe the foul exhaust smell? Any color to it?


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by xt master View Post
    I would start with the basics tune up and fuel filter rotor and cap. If it still persists is it fuel injected or carberated. Also could be fuel pump issues.

    Jeep! not just a vehicle a way of life.
    the cap was recently replaced i've done mostly everything for a complete tune up besides plugs and wires witch im doing today. its fuel injected by the way.

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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNinPA View Post
    Agree. Check for a blocked exhaust or CAT.

    Describe the foul exhaust smell? Any color to it?


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    how to i check for a blocked cat. when it sputters it usually blows out a puff of white smoke. i have a slight leak of exhaust into the cab but it gets waaay worse when the engine sputters.

    Thank you

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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    I cud checking for a intake leak and the TPS.
    Still describe the exhaust smell.


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNinPA View Post
    I cud checking for a intake leak and the TPS.
    Still describe the exhaust smell.


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    It smells very potent, burning fuel


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by YJ-BLAKE View Post
    how to i check for a blocked cat. when it sputters it usually blows out a puff of white smoke. i have a slight leak of exhaust into the cab but it gets waaay worse when the engine sputters.

    Thank you
    Easiest is remove the upstream sensor from the exhaust leaving a hole. See if the problem persists with less restriction.


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    If it seems to be running rich..causing the fuel smell in the exhaust I would look into spark or air flow. Make sure nothing is clogged in the air box and air filter is clean. Could also be a bad mass air flow sensor.

    Jeep! not just a vehicle a way of life.

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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNinPA View Post
    Easiest is remove the upstream sensor from the exhaust leaving a hole. See if the problem persists with less restriction.


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    The o2 right after the headers?


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by xt master View Post
    If it seems to be running rich..causing the fuel smell in the exhaust I would look into spark or air flow. Make sure nothing is clogged in the air box and air filter is clean. Could also be a bad mass air flow sensor.

    Jeep! not just a vehicle a way of life.
    Alright thank you!


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    1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by YJ-BLAKE View Post
    The o2 right after the headers?


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    Yes. After headers and before the CAT

    I no like autocorrect.
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    Last edited by JPNinPA; 03-22-2017 at 02:49 PM.
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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Update!!!!! Clean Spark plugs are a huge plus


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Wow. Little buildup there...you think!


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    lol just a little bit


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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Yeah that looks like it could be causing some problems.

    Jeep! not just a vehicle a way of life.

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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Quote Originally Posted by YJ-BLAKE View Post
    Update!!!!! Clean Spark plugs are a huge plus
    I've never seen a sparkplug look like that. What exactly is that stuff - is it carbon? Would that be a symptom of a larger problem, or just "deferred maintenance"?

  18. #18
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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    It burns a bit of oil every here and there that's what I think it's from. But I don't think the original owner ever replaced them to be honest. I've had new ones for a month or so now and they haven't gotten nearly that bad


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    1988 YJ engine sputtering

    White buildup is usually from additives. It could be small oil or coolant leak. If you note the buildup is in the gap. Where ever that gap was facing is where the problem lies.
    If it were burning oil like blow by the plug would be black sooty or sticky.




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    Last edited by JPNinPA; 04-05-2017 at 05:23 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Re: 1988 YJ engine sputtering

    Thank you I like the chart!


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