4x4Wire TrailTalk

Not running right/Idiot Lights

Posted By: Rust_in_Peace

Not running right/Idiot Lights - 02/21/10 03:01 PM

Well, I haven't been here in a while because I gave my '89RS to my son a few years ago. He called me from Statesville, NC last night. Seems the 'Ol Troop will idle, but not accelerate (but, it will rev). The idiot lights stay on all the time.

He knows I used to rely on this forum for wisdom and asked me to dust off the keyboard and send out a call.

My first thought was the fuel pump, but he says he hears it running OK. He's changed the brain, the starter, checked the fuses and several other things I can't remember. Even though it starts well, the idiot lights staying on all the time make me think it might be a problem with the battery.

He runs one of those Big A$$ "thumper" stereos that suck a lot of juice, so I told him to disconnect that, swap in a good battery and call me back tonight. I'm 400 miles away, so is there anything else that I should tell him to check?

Thanks in advance...

(formerly known as '89 RS

1989 Trooper w/ 2.3 (yeah, I know it didn't come that way, but I swapped in a motor from a '95) I bought her new and put over 320,000 miles on her, but I still miss my Trooper.
Posted By: mlclark

Re: Not running right/Idiot Lights - 02/22/10 01:27 AM

It starts and idles? Then it is most likely not the battery (or the starter or the ECU). Is this carb'd or FI?

I would start with the fuel filter.

Then I would consider plugs, wires, cap and rotor.

These engines are relatively simple. If something is wrong, they usually will not start. Most of the time, addressing the simple things will fix the problem.

When he says it will not accelerate, does it stall if he tries or does it just putter along gaining speed slowly?

Good Luck,
Posted By: Rust_in_Peace

Re: Not running right/Idiot Lights - 02/22/10 05:07 PM


It starts and idles, but stalls on acceleration.

The Troop is FI. I hadn't thought of the fuel filter - I'm sure it's due to be replaced anyway. They've had record snow (surprise-surprise) so I've also considered moisture in the fuel or electronics, but the idiot lights (all of them) staying on has me baffled.

I'm due for an update from him tonight. We'll see what he says.
Posted By: Jim_Paget

Re: Not running right/Idiot Lights - 02/23/10 05:12 AM

The other thing to have checked is the alternator.
Posted By: lttlbddy

Re: Not running right/Idiot Lights - 02/25/10 05:50 AM

I had a plugged catalytic converter once. It started and idled fine but fell on it's face anytime you tried to put power down. I was able to sllooowwwllly get it up to about 15 mph to get it home.
Posted By: mlclark

Re: Not running right/Idiot Lights - 02/26/10 06:19 AM

I've been thinking about this one.

The running with the idiot lights on is strange.

I would suggest unhooking any and all aftermarket stereo stuff. Then double check all the ground wires. There are a couple behind the head at the firewall (One off the valve cover, one from the the head and one behind the bracket for the EGR pipe. They tie into the firewall at a little clip in about the middle.).

There is also a ground wire for the ECU. Since it has been replaced, I am wondering if it got missed.

The lights are somewhat suggestive of an electrical problem, somewhere.

Good Luck,

PS, the next option is to pull codes from the ECU an see if they might be helpful.
Posted By: Rust_in_Peace

Re: Not running right/Idiot Lights - 02/27/10 07:56 AM

He insists that he's checked all the wires for a good connection, but I'll let him know about the hidden grounds you mentioned. Later this morning, he's replacing the alternator, so we'll see what that does.

It's frustrating that I'm not there to help him troubleshoot this problem.

Will report back...
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