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  1. #1

    1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Hey all....found this forum searching for a solution to my Jeep. Hope someone can help, I am getting REALLY frustrated! I have an '88 Jeep Wrangler 4.2L with a stalling problem. I have looked through the forum a bit for a similiar problem, and found some that are close, but not quite the same! It runs fantastic, only has 85,000 on it....except when it stalls. And it does at random, idling or driving, it just shuts off. No stutter, nothing, just dead. The tach drops to zero, and it dies. It will restart right away, but sometimes it will die right away, and sometimes you can go 120 miles with no problem. Replaced fuel filter, O2 sensor, adjusted carb, checked timing, full tune-up, new battery, ignition switch, checked all the grounds, and still nothing. Read somewhere it could be either a crankshaft sensor or an Ignition control module, but I really don't want to spend $150 or so if thats not the problem. My folks gave me this Jeep because they had it gone through and could not find the problem....so now it has become my problem. ANY help would be awesome!! Thanks!!!

  2. #2

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Welcome to Jeepz. Although the ECU could be a good candidate, when it stalls, does all the power with the key on die as well like the radio gauges etc.? or just the engine?.
    Confucious says: Don't eat the snow where the huskies go!

  3. #3

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoyt4elk View Post
    Hey all....found this forum searching for a solution to my Jeep. Hope someone can help, I am getting REALLY frustrated! I have an '88 Jeep Wrangler 4.2L with a stalling problem. I have looked through the forum a bit for a similiar problem, and found some that are close, but not quite the same! It runs fantastic, only has 85,000 on it....except when it stalls. And it does at random, idling or driving, it just shuts off. No stutter, nothing, just dead. The tach drops to zero, and it dies. It will restart right away, but sometimes it will die right away, and sometimes you can go 120 miles with no problem. Replaced fuel filter, O2 sensor, adjusted carb, checked timing, full tune-up, new battery, ignition switch, checked all the grounds, and still nothing. Read somewhere it could be either a crankshaft sensor or an Ignition control module, but I really don't want to spend $150 or so if thats not the problem. My folks gave me this Jeep because they had it gone through and could not find the problem....so now it has become my problem. ANY help would be awesome!! Thanks!!!
    had this problem 3 weeks ago with my 87...ignition switch was my culprit...30 bux at salvo's...haven't had a problem since

  4. #4

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    i don;t think you have a crank position sensor
    99 xj with 350k miles on it. Still runs great

  5. #5

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    well, my 87 4.2 doesn't have one
    99 xj with 350k miles on it. Still runs great

  6. #6

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    dude...stop f'n around and go get one of these.

    This product FITS your 1988 Jeep Wrangler

    This product DOES NOT fit your


    AC Delco Ignition Switch
    for 1988 Jeep Wrangler


    AC DELCO STEERING COLUMN IGNITION SWITCH -- Features premium quality components; Engineered to high standards to assure dependability; Tested under extreme conditions; Constructed with no substandard cores; Replaces OE numbers 01990115 and/or 1990115.

    Quantity Sold: Sold individually
    Warranty: AC Delco's 12-month or 12,000-mile warranty



    Compatibility Info Manufacturer Info

    Fits the vehicle:
    1988 Jeep Wrangler
    • 1988: Sport; All Engines;
    • 1988: Base; All Engines;
    • 1988: Laredo; All Engines;
    • 1988: Islander; All Engines;
    • 1988: Sahara; All Engines;
    • 1988: S; All Engines;
    If you don't see your model here, call us at 1-800-387-8108, or click here for a live chat with a parts specialist.

  7. #7

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    and it's only 24 bux!!! hey waita minit.....thats less than I paid!!

  8. Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Many of the local chain auto part supply houses would be able to check the ICM for you, if it is found to be bad don't settle for the least expensive brand.

  9. #9

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    that ignition switch fits alot of chevies too, looks like the one for my brother's 93 pick up.
    99 xj with 350k miles on it. Still runs great

  10. #10

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelHeadz View Post
    Welcome to Jeepz. Although the ECU could be a good candidate, when it stalls, does all the power with the key on die as well like the radio gauges etc.? or just the engine?.
    All the lights, radio, ect work, just the engine dies and the tach drops immediately to zero. I don't think its the ignition switch, it was replaced, unless the mechanic who did it messed some wiring up. There is for sure some wiring issues, because when you push on the brake pedal, the instrument lights all come on, and when the left signal light is on and you hit the brakes, both signal lights come on, like you have your hazard lights on. Getting a carb rebuild kit for it tonight....maybe it has something to do with the float. Changed the spark plugs last night, and it looks like it is running really lean. Thanks everyone. Keep the suggestions coming....I am running out of ideas!!!!

  11. #11

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoyt4elk View Post
    All the lights, radio, ect work, just the engine dies and the tach drops immediately to zero. I don't think its the ignition switch, it was replaced, unless the mechanic who did it messed some wiring up. There is for sure some wiring issues, because when you push on the brake pedal, the instrument lights all come on, and when the left signal light is on and you hit the brakes, both signal lights come on, like you have your hazard lights on. Getting a carb rebuild kit for it tonight....maybe it has something to do with the float. Changed the spark plugs last night, and it looks like it is running really lean. Thanks everyone. Keep the suggestions coming....I am running out of ideas!!!!
    would it be possible to take a few pics of the "suspected" area under the dash and post them here? maybe that would speed the resolve?

  12. #12

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rubn1out View Post
    would it be possible to take a few pics of the "suspected" area under the dash and post them here? maybe that would speed the resolve?
    well....thats kind of the problem...not sure where its coming from. I think I am going to start with the carb, then replace the ignition switch, (even though its new, I am pretty sure it was not replaced right). Also....not sure if this would have anything to do with the wiring, but most of the 85,000 miles on the Jeep are from being towed behind a motorhome, so it had all the wiring set up for towing. I guess one good thing about all this is everything will be new on it.....

  13. #13

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    One way to isolate electrical short to ground is to have the engine at idle and e-brake on. Perform a wiggle test by gently inducing vibration or gently moving wiring harnesses back and forth where it usually lays on and see if the symptom could be duplicated.
    Confucious says: Don't eat the snow where the huskies go!

  14. #14

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoyt4elk View Post
    well....thats kind of the problem...not sure where its coming from. I think I am going to start with the carb, then replace the ignition switch, (even though its new, I am pretty sure it was not replaced right). Also....not sure if this would have anything to do with the wiring, but most of the 85,000 miles on the Jeep are from being towed behind a motorhome, so it had all the wiring set up for towing. I guess one good thing about all this is everything will be new on it.....
    I do agree with the wiggle test

    all things considered here I would bank on this problem stemming from an electrical issue....i had this very same problem less than a month ago..
    need to narrow it down to:
    inside the vehicle? ign switch, relays, loose fuses
    outside the vehicle? relays, loose fuses

    judging from everything i've read so far...you are all over this thing without some form of logical direction, but what you did mention that perked my ears was the suspicion of a poorly installed ign switch. I'm curious as to why you think this? that was the point of the pics.

  15. #15

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rubn1out View Post
    I do agree with the wiggle test

    all things considered here I would bank on this problem stemming from an electrical issue....i had this very same problem less than a month ago..
    need to narrow it down to:
    inside the vehicle? ign switch, relays, loose fuses
    outside the vehicle? relays, loose fuses

    judging from everything i've read so far...you are all over this thing without some form of logical direction, but what you did mention that perked my ears was the suspicion of a poorly installed ign switch. I'm curious as to why you think this? that was the point of the pics.
    because you have to wiggle the ignition to get the key out. You have to mess with it and get it just right to remove the key, and same with turning it to acc. Also the steering wheel is not straight, and the horn cover is really loose, and if you wiggle it, the horn honks randomly.... hmmmm....no wonder my mom gave me this Jeep. I had a 75 Blazer once that had similiar problems with an incorrectly installed ignition, and it would stall at random, but it would not restart right away, and it eventually caught fire under the dash, and it turned out that the wiring was messed up in the steering column. I can get pics of the ignition, and the steering wheel later....I know it seems like I am all over with no logic....yeah...sorry 'bout that, I am just confused where to start, since I have ruled out some of the easier things.
    Last edited by hoyt4elk; 04-27-2011 at 02:16 PM.

  16. #16

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoyt4elk View Post
    because you have to wiggle the ignition to get the key out. You have to mess with it and get it just right to remove the key, and same with turning it to acc. Also the steering wheel is not straight, and the horn cover is really loose, and if you wiggle it, the horn honks randomly.... hmmmm....no wonder my mom gave me this Jeep. I had a 75 Blazer once that had similiar problems with an incorrectly installed ignition, and it would stall at random, but it would not restart right away, and it eventually caught fire under the dash, and it turned out that the wiring was messed up in the steering column. I can get pics of the ignition, and the steering wheel later....

    no no...i'm not talking about where you put the key in....im talking about where the actual electrical tranfer switching takes place (see part i showed you earlier) this piece is on top of the steering column (you'll need to drop the column to gain access to it)

  17. #17

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rubn1out View Post
    no no...i'm not talking about where you put the key in....im talking about where the actual electrical tranfer switching takes place (see part i showed you earlier) this piece is on top of the steering column (you'll need to drop the column to gain access to it)
    ohhhh.... sorry. Okay, I'll check that. Going to rebuild the carb anyhow, cuz it sat for a year and a half without being ran, so it needs it anyways, but I will check that part too. Thanks! $24 is way better than $150 for the ICM, so thats a good starting point.

  18. #18

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoyt4elk View Post
    ohhhh.... sorry. Okay, I'll check that. Going to rebuild the carb anyhow, cuz it sat for a year and a half without being ran, so it needs it anyways, but I will check that part too. Thanks! $24 is way better than $150 for the ICM, so thats a good starting point.


  19. #19

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    MY 89 with 4.2 did same thing would just stall start right back up and stall again and then would not do it for days, I found it to be the icm and after i found out how much they were i went with the hei cost me a bit more but worth it.

  20. #20

    Re: 1988 Wrangler stalling--FRUSTRATED!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by matchbox145 View Post
    MY 89 with 4.2 did same thing would just stall start right back up and stall again and then would not do it for days, I found it to be the icm and after i found out how much they were i went with the hei cost me a bit more but worth it.
    When your Jeep stalled, would your tach drop right to zero? Hoping it will be something a little less $$$$$!!!

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