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Unread 07-17-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
Riley/MN
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Electrical issues - No start condition now.

So I was driving home yesterday in '94 Cherokee.

I had the defrost blower on high (trying to dry out the headliner) and noticed that the fan speed seemed to be quite variable. Whenever it slowed down, my Vdc guage was lowering as well.

About 15 miles into my 25 mile ride home, all gauges spiked to the negative side about 3 times. I turned the blower off and continued home with the Jeep running fine. The alternator seemed to be charging again, though not as high as normal.

My wife went to move my Jeep today and said it would not start. I tried it when I got home and I have voltage, I have the normal dash lights & buzzers that I get when I start the Jeep, but when I turn the ignition to the start position, I get nothing else - no click, no chatter, no buzz, no indication that I hit the start position at all.

The only time I have seen the gauges spike like that was when I lost an alternator. Anybody have an idea what happened to my Jeep?

Thanks

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Unread 07-17-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
moonshinefuel
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Weird. An electrical short somewhere? You mentioned drying the headliner.
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Unread 07-17-2010, 08:52 PM   #3
Riley/MN
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Won't rule it out, but the leak was from a rainstorm Mon or Tues, and it ran fine 'til Friday night... There is no fuel pump kicking in, and I tried swapping the relays around.... Might have to visit my mechanic buddy and have him pull up the schematics on his computer... (will probably see him in church in the morning)
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Unread 07-17-2010, 11:11 PM   #4
Holder350
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Check to see if there are any codes in the computer.
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Unread 07-17-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
89mackcherokee
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Just a thought but I would start by cleaning the battery terminals and making sure they are tight as can be when put back on. Sounds like a possible dirty connection, you said after you turned the blower off it was still charging (lower but still charging) so I would *think* the alternator is still good.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 12:30 AM   #6
oderalxjlaredo
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Check the voltage (and age) on your battery.

It sounds like your blower fan was going bad. I've heard the resistance increases when they go bad, which would explain the excess current draw. Not that it's impossible, I've never heard of one killing an alternator before.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
Riley/MN
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Voltage is good ~ 13V.

I got Dave's shop manual after church & made some jumpers.... I was going to see if I could force it to kick in...

Figured I would try it again first, turned to to "run" position, all my dash lights & buzzers come on.... Turn to "start" and everything goes dead.

As I was going from "start" back to "run", the fuel pump cycled...Tried again, same thing....

Was going to try again, but held the key in the "start" position for about 10 seconds.... all of a sudden the starter kicked in & the Jeep started right up.

Okay... let it run for about 5 minutes and turned it off. Tried it again and nothing happened in "start" position until I held it there for about 10 seconds again....

Turned it off again, tried it again, and it started normally. Several more tries since then, and several more normal starts.

I think I just need to keep Dave's shop manual in the front seat and everything will be fine...
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Unread 07-18-2010, 02:11 PM   #8
oderalxjlaredo
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Hmm. I'm thinking you could have a bad battery connection or cable somewhere. If not that, I would probably check your starter to see if there's a problem with the solenoid.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
Holder350
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Sounds like the starter relay has burned contacts in it
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98' XJ Classic - D30/C8.25 - 4.5" RC Lift - 33x12.50R15 - 4.0 HO - AW4 - NP231
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Unread 07-18-2010, 02:23 PM   #10
Riley/MN
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I tried swapping relays around too, but I suppose it could be a wire in the relay box. I seem to remember having an issue with this once before when it got real wet, but that was several years ago. Does anyone ever have issues with the relay box getting wet?
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Unread 07-18-2010, 09:44 PM   #11
89mackcherokee
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Another thing it could be is your ignition tumbler (forgot the name but it's what the key goes into), anyway after a lot of mileage they tend to wear out and cause the some of the symptoms you explain. I've changed out 2 on mine, good luck.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 10:33 PM   #12
Riley/MN
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Well, this one has 412K on it. I guess that could be considered a lot of mileage.... Is there any way to check it, or do you just swap it out to see if it works better?
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Unread 07-19-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
89mackcherokee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley/MN View Post
Well, this one has 412K on it. I guess that could be considered a lot of mileage.... Is there any way to check it, or do you just swap it out to see if it works better?

I just went through my electrical system and used process of elimination. I had made my own bypass to the starter motor and it started everytime with the key in the "ON" position, so I figured out that the tumbler was too worn and replaced it. It's a bit of a PITA because you have to take off the steering wheel and some of the steering column "guts", but if you have the right tools (wheel puller and lock ring compressor) it goes pretty quick.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 12:15 PM   #14
Riley/MN
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I think it is a wire connection between the switch & relay box... Here's an update - got out to my Jeep to go home last night, and it would not start AT ALL - Period. With the help of a friend, a little wire and some head scratchin, we got her running.



I just need to plug & unplug wires to start (or stop) the Jeep. At least until I run a couple of wires and a toggle switch...
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electrical issue , starter , voltage drop , xj

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