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Ohenry34 09-19-2012 07:39 AM

Burning up starter
I am having an electrical issue and I really need some help. '99 Cherokee with 4.0 straight 6. I have burnt up 3 starters in a matter of about a week. First voltage gauge dropped dash and headlights went dim for few seconds then everything returned to normal. Smelled electrical burning and parked, starter was completely dead when I investigated. I put new altenator on (assuming it was diode and alt was weak anyway). Fixed that problem (sorta) but when I parked the other day I turned Jeep off and starter was still spinning. Now starter is completely dead again. Do not know if starter was spinning will running because i didn't hear grinding or anything. Also ignition had lag of bout .5-1 sec between key turn and starter engage. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.


CJ7-Tim 09-19-2012 06:04 PM

Where did you buy the starter ? Tested or replaced the starter relay ? Any troubles with the ignition cylinder ?

Ohenry34 09-19-2012 07:48 PM

I bought the starter from OReiley's. It is a reman (Mitsu i think). Have not tested the starter relay. How do i do so? As far as ignition, there is some lag between key turn and starter engage. I was thinking maybe ignition switch could be an area to address.

CJ7-Tim 09-20-2012 06:17 PM

Sounds like a sloppy rebuild. Do yourself a favor and buy a good quality rebuilt starter or even a new starter. Cheap crappy "Lifetime Warranty" parts are often out of specification or even failed right out of the box. Many times they have a short service life before they fail. Buy good quality replacement parts and genuine Jeep sensors.

Carl48 09-20-2012 06:57 PM

Sounds as if the starter is staying engaged when the key switch is returned to the "run" position. This will destroy the starter in short order. There should be no voltage present on the small terminal on the starter solenoid when the key is returned to the "run" position.

Ohenry34 09-20-2012 07:55 PM

i unfortunately didn't ask when i bought the starter just told them what i need and bought the one the guy gave me. I agree though i think that i will see if i can warranty and get credit on actual new starter


gonna check that out tomorrow after work cause i have the same suspicion. but when burnt up last one ignition was actually switched off and starter was still spinning. I dont know how the excite wire would get voltage with key off, unless there was internal short between B+ and excite wire in the starter. what do you guys think?

no5son1962 09-20-2012 08:10 PM

I had a similar problem with my ZJ 4.0. Strange intermittent electrical problems to include the starter not shutting off. After much trouble shooting to include ignition switch replacement I found the ground wire from the battery to the fender was fried. I replaced the wire with a heavy cable and haven't had a problem since.

Carl48 09-21-2012 02:47 AM


Originally Posted by Ohenry34 (Post 14196343)
when burnt up last one ignition was actually switched off and starter was still spinning. I dont know how the excite wire would get voltage with key off

If the contacts in the starter relay (in the fuse box under the hood) were welded closed, the condition you describe would exist.

Ohenry34 09-23-2012 08:03 PM

Well I replaced starter relay and got the starter warrantied. Lag between ignition and starter gone now so I think that is a good sign. On a side note O'Reilley's does even offer a brand new starter, reman is only thing available. Guess I might be going somewhere else for parts from now on...I will update soon but hopefully I got the problem solved. Appreciate the input from everyone.

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