!important I'm wondering if the vacuum went bad, or if it could be anything else? !PULL THE METAL LEVER UNDER THE VACUUM WHILE THE CAR IS ENGAGED [STARTING] TO TEST. I think the vacuum doesn't require a fuse.

I clearly remember the car overheating, but the owner does not seem to; so, I'm not even sure if it's a heating problem, now. I just know we're having intermittent non-start and frequent stalling issues: it rarely starts (see update).

I'm not sure what to look at. I replaced the thermostat and gasket, already. There's a pin-size leak in the radiator-reserve-tank itself/'the coolant reserve bottle itself'.

A heating problem is causing the car to stall and not start. Some of the head gaskets must have been broken, by now, because the owner will not stop "risking it" and "taking a quick trip"; so, ! I'm afraid the engine will crack if he continues. Any emergency help would be greatly appreciated.

Update 0

  • The spark plugs are burned at the tip;
  • The rotor is burnt up (looks like a serrated knife edge when pulled).
  • I found the reserve-coolant vacuum, I think (if so, it's called an idle air control). It has a lever under it, where the power cables come on: pulling the lever does nothing.

The car started after pulling a spark plug (). I did cranked and released the key several times to get it to start, rather than holding the key down; so, I wonder if it's not getting too much power somehow?

Cherokee "89" firing order Found out the timing order is 1-5-3-6-2-4 on 99% of 6-cylnders. There's an extruded cylinder the housing between 1 and 5.

proof of spark plug gap sizeThe spark plug gap is 0.035 (thirty-five thousandths [of an inch]). Thank you for reading.

Update 1

Issue: it shuts down when it starts to warm up. No fluid under the thermal sensor.

Suspected culprits: a !"electronic coil" (the wire on the distributor goes to it; on the passenger side, mounted on the wall of the engine enclosure). How should the resistance read on the volt meter?

!It's probably the control module

  • What is a reserve cooling system?
    – HandyHowie
    Mar 2, 2016 at 20:19
  • 1
    I think he meant the coolant reservoir bottle
    – kasey
    Mar 2, 2016 at 20:34
  • @Wolfpack'08 Can you make the question a little more clear, so we can help you better. the vacuum has nothing to do with the car over heating in your case and neither does the vacuum has a fuse. You said that there is a pin sized hole in the radiator reservoir tank, seal it up using some bondo or some other sealant. Please mention some more symptoms of the car. Open the radiator cap when its cool and check if you have coolant at all, see if it has any traces of oil. If the car is over heating do not drive it until you get it fixed.
    – kasey
    Mar 2, 2016 at 20:44
  • @Kasey there's no radiator cap. Drained all the coolant into a plastic bucket. no-radiator-cap. I think there's no cooling issue. The engine shuts down, although the car does not overheats. The car dies while it's running. Mar 2, 2016 at 21:39
  • @Wolfpack'08 Did you find any traces of oil in the coolant?
    – kasey
    Mar 2, 2016 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


This may assist in diagnosis

May not be an answer for you but you mentioned;

The spark plugs are burned at the tip.

The definition of burned is important to your diagnosis. If burned means the electrodes are eaten up a beat you could be suffering from a lean condition from a vacuum leak or a sensor not reporting properly to the ECU.

IF you have a CEL (check engine light) on you will want to pull the codes via ODBII to see if you have some system faults.

Here is a sparkplug chart so you can have some breadcrumbs regarding the issue you are experiencing.

I am basing this around the comment regarding your sparkplugs. You may want start by replacing the sparkplugs, wires and distributor cap, a standard thing to do, then see what issues you have remaining.

Hope this is helpful to you in your troubleshooting.

Sparkplug Identification Chart

sparkplug chart

  • It's an 89 it's OBD1 the best he can do is getting the C/E light to flash if he doesn't have an EOBD scanner.
    – Ben
    Mar 3, 2016 at 20:54

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