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Unread 03-07-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
bossgator
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98 Cherokee Sport Won't start

I've wrestled with this for a while. Son's Cherokee won't start, we thought it was the starter, but it starts when we use the screwdriver trick on the solenoid. We next thought it might be the NSS, took it off and cleaned it, put it back on, no joy. Battery is good, continuity checks are good on the battery cables. When you turn the key you hear a click, not like a dead battery click, more like a relay is trying to engage, sounds like it is coming from passenger side under the dash or around the firewall. Any suggestions?

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Unread 03-08-2012, 12:10 AM   #2
CJ7-Tim
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Only starts when you jump the starter solenoid ?

Clicking and not starting is usually a low voltage issue from:
  • leaving the lights on (or a short circuit)
  • a failing battery
  • a failing alternator
  • dirty or loose wire connections
  • internally corroded wires

Perform routine maintenance of the start and charge systems. Remove, clean, and firmly reconnect all the wires and cables to the battery, starter, and alternator. Look for corroded or damaged cables or connectors and replace as needed. Do the same for the grounding wires from the starter to engine block, and from the battery and engine to the Jeep's frame/body. You must remove, scrape, and clean until shiny, the cable/wire ends, and whatever they bolt to. Jeeps do not tolerate low voltage, bad connections, or poor grounds.

Have the battery, starter, and the alternator Load Tested for proper function in a machine that applies a simulated work load. Handheld testers are often inaccurate and will pass faulty parts.

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Unread 03-09-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
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Its not really a clicking, like I have a low voltage situation. Battery test good, wires from battery to starter are good. When you turn the key, there is a sound like a relay kicking in (electrical sound) not full on clicking like a dead battery sound. We took the NSS out, cleaned and replaced, won't start in neutral, even after cleaning and replacing NSS. How do I test to see if the ignition switch is bad, before I go easter egging anymore?
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Unread 03-09-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
CJ7-Tim
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There are lots of JF members glad to help, but you need to provide some additional input.

Have you located the source of the click ? Have you inspected all the fuses and relays for failure or corroded contacts ? Why do you think the ignition switch is the cause ? Did you inspect all the wires and clean all the wire connections ? Did you have the battery Load Tested and the starter bench tested ?
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Unread 03-13-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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Well I finally got this old Jeep fixed! I went back and started at square one, bench test the battery and starter, both checked good. Went back and looked at the power distribution center and noticed I had a cracked starter relay, that still didn't do the trick. I had check and rechecked every connection we could find. We had cleaned up the NSS earlier, still nothing. So the only thing I had left was the ignition switch. Replaced that, still nothing! I put all the panels and plastic collar on the steering wheel back together and prepared to come back and ask more questions of the forum. My Son jumps in a starts the dang Jeep! He's screaming it works!, it works! So my question now is, is there some sort of safety switch incorporated into the steering column collar or something. Why did it suddenly work once the collar was back together?
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Unread 03-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
CJ7-Tim
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No secret safety switches. Most likely a dirty or corroded wire connection.

There was an optional chip-in-key security system, and they can get funky and act up.
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Unread 03-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #7
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Or just FM!
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Unread 09-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #8
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I hate to revive an old thread but im having some of these exact issues. My scenario is, 2000 xj just put a new engine in it (4.6 stroker) The engine will not start from the key, there are no reverse lights ( i know that points to NSS but bear with me) It will shut off from the key however, the key will pull out of the ignition when in the on position and running, when trying to start it with the key from inside the jeep there is nothing from the starter, no clicks nothing, the only noise when turning the key is a sound of a relay clicking on the lower passenger block. Gauges work fine (battery,oil pressure,rpm, etc) I thought if a NSS went bad the engine would still crank or click from the starter. I dont think that i missed any grounds but i may be wrong.
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Unread 09-05-2012, 05:14 AM   #9
tjwalker
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[QUOTE=Showtime3492;14121532 I thought if a NSS went bad the engine would still crank or click from the starter.[/QUOTE]

No. If the NSS is bad, no juice goes to the starter so you will have no crank and no click.

Because of that and because your reverse lights don't work, I'd suspect the NSS is a primary suspect here.
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Unread 09-05-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
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you can test to see if it is the NSS without even taking it off, search on this forum how to bypass the NSS and see if that works for you
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Unread 09-05-2012, 11:44 AM   #11
tjwalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graysonh View Post
you can test to see if it is the NSS without even taking it off, search on this forum how to bypass the NSS and see if that works for you
Here is a link to an article on "refurbishing" and also bypassing the neutral safety switch. Bypassing is recommended for testing only as the NSS does have a number of useful purposes.

http://go.jeep-xj.info/HowtoNSSrebuild.htm
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Unread 09-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #12
Showtime3492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwalker View Post
Here is a link to an article on "refurbishing" and also bypassing the neutral safety switch. Bypassing is recommended for testing only as the NSS does have a number of useful purposes.

http://go.jeep-xj.info/HowtoNSSrebuild.htm
Thanks guys! plugged a "new" to me NSS in and got it to start with the key but in neutral. Also still have a tranny code. Gonna unplug it again and dissasemble and clean.
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