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Unread 03-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #1
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CT
Posts: 96
Electrical questions

I'm starting to tackle some of the electrical issues on my '97 Cherokee Sport.

1) I have power windows, and the switch stops working when you open the door. I'm thinking loose connection, but the switch ALWAYS works when the door is closed, and NEVER works when the door is open. Pass. side works great. Is it a bad ground in the harness i.e. the connection gets grounded through the latch striker when its closed? Any ideas where to start?

2) Looked at the fuses for some of the problem areas, like power mirrors and rear defroster that doesn't function. I replaced the missing fuse and now the defroster works, but still no power mirrors. Could this be related to the drivers door switch issues?

3) The courtesy lights all work with the headlight switch, and the dome lights work with the rear doors. BUT they do not work when the hatch is open, or when either of the front doors are open. Don't even know where to begin there.


Current: 1997 XJ Sport 4x4 - 4.0/AW4/231
Previous: 1987 YJ - 4.2/BA10/207; 2005 WK - 5.7/545RFE/245
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Unread 03-04-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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CJ7-Tim's Avatar
2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 24,058
Take the trim panel off the drivers door and inspect the wires. Issues with door wires are common. Look for chafed insulation, pinched or damaged wires, and failed wire splices. If the wires check OK consider that the master switch assembly on the door has failed.

Also check the pin switch in the door opening. If it is failed the dome light may not work. Inspect the switch on the cargo are dome lamp. Look for signs of burned or melted plastic.

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Unread 03-04-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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98muddyjeep's Avatar
1998 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hatboro PA
Posts: 1,275
check the wires in between the door and body in the rubber boot,they tend to break and may not make contact when open but touch when closed.
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Unread 03-04-2012, 09:30 PM   #4
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 224
yeah, I'm thinking that it has something to do with a broken wire in the boot. It might be a busted ground wire - there is supposed to be a ground wire running through there but maybe that one is busted? There's a multi-pin connector behind the driver's side kick panel, if you disconnect that that'll give you more slack to work on it. I was actually just in there earlier today fixing a busted speaker wire... for some reason the wiring that Jeep used from the factory is a lot less flexible (fewer, bigger strands) than my roll of generic 16AWG speaker wire - so I expect my fix to be semi-permanent (until a different wire decides to give up.)
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Unread 03-05-2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 581
Sounds like it could be a ground wiring problem. The latch will do a lot better job of grounding the door than the hinges will, which would fit your symptoms pretty well. A quick way to test this would be to connect a voltmeter between the chassis and the door frame, while pushing the window button. There should be almost no voltage showing up, but if you do get more than a fraction of a volt with the door open and the window button engaged, you'll know that the ground wire to your door has gone bad. The good news is, this will be one of the easiest electrical fixes you'll ever do on your XJ.
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