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-   -   New NSS - No Start, No Reverse Lights. HELP! (

bluejunior 02-07-2014 05:58 AM

New NSS - No Start, No Reverse Lights. HELP!
My DD (01 XJ Sport 4x4 w/AW4) is stranded at my apartment (after tow), I had the classic no crank no start that I had been able to work around once or twice by jiggling the shifter. So I decided to pull off the NSS to clean and reinstall it. Well, my jeep has some rust issues so it disintegrated rather than coming off and I was forced to buy a new one at O'Reilly's for 300 bucks because I needed to get rolling again.

After hours of fidgeting with the adjustment of the new unit last night, all I've been able to do is get the reverse lights to come on while I hold the shifter between N and R, slightly more towards R.

How do I adjust the damned thing properly? It seems to have very little give, and I'm not completely sure how to figure out which way to move it based on the symptoms I see. I'm also not sure if it could improperly mounted?

I've tried putting the jeep in R (with the e-brake on of course) and fidgeting with it in hopes of seeing the reverse lights come on to place it properly, but to no avail. I only have the borrowed pickup through tonight.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

bluejunior 02-07-2014 10:27 AM

Sorry to bump my own post, I know I can jump the harness and cut out the sensor entirely, but for a variety of reasons I REALLY don't want to do that long-term.
Any ideas on how to tell if the sensor is attached properly? I can see the manual shaft turning as I place it in different gears, so that seems to be working.
Should I drill out the slot for the adjustment bolt on the new sensor to allow more play?
What about advice on how to tell which way to adjust based on the behavior?
The harnesses look to be mating correctly, but is there anything I should check farther from the basic connection by the dipsticks?

I've read through a number of threads and a number of forums, but it seems like everyone else pops the new/cleaned NSS on, adjusts it once or twice (I've seen no notes as to how they know which way to adjust it or how sensitive it is about placement) and drives off happily down the road...

CJ7-Tim 02-07-2014 11:28 AM

Park the Jeep so the reverse lights shine where you can see them from underneath, or grab a helper. Block the tires so the Jeep cannot move. Place the shifter in REVERSE and turn the ignition key to RUN (no need to start the engine).

To adjust the NSS, loosen the smaller lock down bolt enough so you can move the NSS. Slowly pivot the NSS, taking note its position when the reverse lights turn ON and OFF. Put the NSS in the center of these two locations you noted. Gently snug the lock down bolt and test by shifting the transmission lever. Once you have the NSS adjusted to your liking, attempt to start in Park-Neutral-Drive. If all is well you are done, if it starts in gear, try again.

bluejunior 02-07-2014 11:56 AM

Thanks again Tim. I'll try again tomorrow when it's warmer, but I spent two hours last night using that exact method...

bluejunior 02-07-2014 05:11 PM

Not sure how to deal with this.... but on a whim I removed the adjustment bolt entirely. The sensor works perfectly....if I rotate it much further than the adjustment bolt would ever allow. Can the shifter be adjusted ti compensate?

CJ7-Tim 02-07-2014 05:24 PM

I thought about that earlier and forgot to add it to my last post. Yes, you should check the alignment of the floor shifter mechanism and see if you can change anything.

A genuine Jeep factory Service Manual will help a whole bunch. Diagrams, removal/repair/testing/adjusting instructions for everything at Pacific Coast Manuals for $8.

bluejunior 02-07-2014 07:30 PM

Thanks Tim, I feel like any time I'm truly stuck you have a useful bit of advice, even if you don't have the exact answer. If nothing else I'll definitely have the lady get me that for valentines lol.

I think I see how it's put together, I'm going to try to adjust it tomorrow in the daylight, although I'm not sure how much room I have before I pull the car away from staying in the right gear (it never seemed to have any issue staying in the right one). If it is off, I'm afraid I may have destroyed the old NSS and shelled out 300 for the new one for nothing.

Is there any chance I might have ended up with a grand cherokee or wrangler part that might have been clocked slightly differently? It seems like an AW-4 would be an AW-4 within the same year model given the way jeep operated at the time, but I have to ask. I suppose the NSS might be a faulty example of the right year/model too, with the arm clocked poorly on the clamping nut (or whatever you call one of those).

Paradise XJ 02-08-2014 08:15 AM


Originally Posted by bluejunior (Post 20156121)
Is there any chance I might have ended up with a grand cherokee or wrangler part that might have been clocked slightly differently?

FWIW, my son's Toyota Camry was having NSS problems. When I removed it I was amazed that it was IDENTCAL to my XJ's NSS. The Camry tranny may be an AW4 or some type of AW. I don't think AW would make different NSS models if they didn't have to. Just speculation on my part.

bluejunior 02-08-2014 08:21 AM

That was my thinking, qnd is the reason I've yet to take the unit back to the parts store

My concern is that the housing is the same but the angle of the arm inside, relative to the shaft coming out of the tranny, is different. That could be due to poor manufacture or being designed fir a different version of the tranny

bluejunior 02-08-2014 03:12 PM

Whelp, I got the reverse lights to work, still no crank. So I gave up and jumped the sensor harness. STILL no crank (good 12 volts going through the jumped terminals).

I'm at a loss. Maybe it was the starter all along? I have no idea how to diagnose/test that or even how to jump it to try and get the car running...

sean883 02-08-2014 03:59 PM

I had an NSS that was giving me intermittent problems. When the jeep wouldn't start one day I thought it was the NSS, turns out the starter motor relay in the under hood power distribution center had went bad. You can swap the relay with a matching one from the distribution center to see if that's your problem.

bluejunior 02-08-2014 04:10 PM

Already swapped the relay with the one for the ac clutch and checked all related fuses with a multimeter. Now I'm pulling the starter to have it tested

chris87xj 02-08-2014 09:25 PM

You can jumper terminals B&C in the harness side of the NSS socket for a quick easy verification of whether or not your NSS is holding you back.
Or if you've got a meter handy you can test terminals B&C on the switch side connector to verify they have continuity when in park.


bluejunior 02-08-2014 09:31 PM

Yeah, I figured out a lot of that as I worked. Turns out it was the starter. Fired right up after I replaced that. Although the first drive it wouldn't shift into overdrive. Seems to be working now

chris87xj 02-08-2014 09:36 PM


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