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Unread 09-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #1
Kasia
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Yardville NJ
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Ignition problem, battery, or other electrical problem?...

Went to get in the truck tonight, lights and electrical worked, until I turned the key to start it, then everything shut off. Got a jump and drove it home, turned it off, tried starting it again and it didn't work. Got a knock on the door from my neighbor 10 min later and it turns out my lights are on; I figured maybe it had power so I'd try to start it again; same thing happens, everything shuts off. I just replaced the battery because of something like this back in April or March, and had no problems with it until today. I'm assuming it's not the battery... unless it's just defective. Again. Could it have anything to do with the ignition or battery wiring? my terminals are a bit worn, but they still work.. Has anyone else had this issue?

Thanks.

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Unread 09-19-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
CJ7-Tim
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Begin with basic trouble shooting 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.

The battery, starter, and alternator can be Load Tested at the auto parts store.
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Unread 09-19-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
RacerX
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Almost sounds like it is tripping a breaker. Could be a fuse-able link

1st clean all battery connections, terminals, start-relay (metallic, near battery), then charge the battery.

This may fix it, if not you may want to check the fuse-able links at the start-relay (if they are partially burned may give some power, then stop under greater load), also the under-dash wires esp Headlight wires, they tend to get hot and melt together, shorting the system.
p1050665-batt-comp-relay.jpg  
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Unread 09-20-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
Kasia
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Battery is ok, Starter is ok, Alternator is ok, got them tested out. Gonna check the wires tomorrow for the battery and starter, clean and re-connect them, and check out that start-relay now that you mentioned it.

I do know I have some kind of short if i keep the fuse for the electric fan in ( i dont think my electric fan ever ran until I bought a new one and got a new fuse for it), but that's been out for over a year since i tried it. The regulator for the wipers was temporarily "fixed" about 2 years ago by taking out the regulator and directly connecting them... which I forgot about up until a couple months ago. That could be an issue.

Thanks guys, I appreciate the help.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 07:23 PM   #5
CJ7-Tim
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There aren't any Cherokee circuit breakers, and a fusible link is a fuse, once blown, it is replaced. It could be a relay, but the symptoms you describe point to a poor connection or a faulty wire.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 11:21 PM   #6
Reptile
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How did you determine the battery was okay? You need to check with a digital voltmeter. A healthy battery should give you a steady 12.6-12.7V at rest. Anything below that is not okay. Agree with Tim, poor battery connections can contribute to your relays and electrical acting up (electrical arcing). Your battery posts should be spotless and you should see no sign of corrosion. Check your grounds, including the one from the negative battery post to the frame.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 01:32 AM   #7
RacerX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
There aren't any Cherokee circuit breakers, and a fusible link is a fuse, once blown, it is replaced. It could be a relay, but the symptoms you describe point to a poor connection or a faulty wire.
Mine does!
..at least 1 is in the above pic.
Like I said I hate fusible links, fuses too for that matter. - I had a bad fusible link, you couldn't tell just by looking at it, replaced with a breaker as with my fuses.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 09:13 AM   #8
Kasia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptile View Post
How did you determine the battery was okay? You need to check with a digital voltmeter. A healthy battery should give you a steady 12.6-12.7V at rest. Anything below that is not okay. Agree with Tim, poor battery connections can contribute to your relays and electrical acting up (electrical arcing). Your battery posts should be spotless and you should see no sign of corrosion. Check your grounds, including the one from the negative battery post to the frame.
The battery was measured at 12.9V. I know the negative wire that's grounded out to the side of the truck is covered in dirt or mud, but it's been like that for a few years. guess now's a good time to clean it. that and the oil on the starter.

At least it's not an ignition problem, I don't know too much about ignition and that's what I was most worried about...
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Unread 09-24-2011, 12:06 AM   #9
JWELK
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Since the lights go out, I would concentrate on the battery to PDC cable. Then go after the black ground cables under the hood.
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Unread 09-24-2011, 12:09 AM   #10
JWELK
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As the lights go out, I would check the battery to PDC cable, then go after the black ground cables.
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