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Thread: Sick CJ-5

  1. #1

    Sick CJ-5

    Got a 1961 CJ-5 that has a problem. For a couple of months, the Willys will suddenly start lurching while being driven; usually for just a couple of seconds. But got worse the other day -- started lurching at about 35 mph, amp light went on and then engine cut out, with Jeep coasting to a stop. Restarted, drove a half mile, and same thing happened. Made it home, and pulled the battery to have it checked -- it was OK. Generator was rebuilt about 15 years ago; probably 10,000 miles on it since then. Anyone have any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Sounds like maybe you have a loose connection in your ignition wire. When it wiggles loose, you lose ignition, then gets it again. When the engine quit running, the amp light would come on. Check the wire going to the switch and then the wire going from the switch to the coil. It could also be internal to the switch as well.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    I think okiemark is on it, it sounds like you are losing the ignition.

  4. #4
    OK; thanks much for the suggestion. Had the starter re-built about 6 weeks ago. Although this newest problem was going on before the starter was fixed, do you think the work on the starter has anything to do with it?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    It is possible. I would start by making sure the wire from the ignition switch to the coil is in good shape. Hook up a volt meter to the coil positive. Turn on the key and make sure you have full battery voltage there. Jiggle the wires and make sure the connections are good. Move the key around in the ignition switch and watch for voltage loss there. t would not be the first time an ignition switch went bad in that manner. Don't leave the key in the "Run" position for too long, it will burn the points. A few minutes is OK.

    If you don't feel comfortable with a meter, just try wiggling the key in the ignition switch while the motor is running and see if it cuts out.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 04-27-2020 at 11:57 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Splutter and die

    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotawillys View Post
    OK; thanks much for the suggestion. Had the starter re-built about 6 weeks ago. Although this newest problem was going on before the starter was fixed, do you think the work on the starter has anything to do with it?
    Not unless some wire got jiggled or loosened somewhere. Once the starter has spun the engine over, it's really out of the electrical system until the solenoid energizes it again.

    I like BMorgil's approach, get it running and just jiggle wires to try to get it to sputter. It works on airplanes a lot more than aviation electricians want to admit.

  7. #7
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    Intermittent electrical problems can be hard to find sometimes, but if you can get it to quit, that is the time to find the problem.

  8. #8
    Great suggestions; keeping my fingers crossed and heading on out to give it a try. Thanks everyone.

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