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Unread 10-17-2013, 09:44 AM   #1
Muddblood
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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No Crank/No Start

So I have a 95 Cherokee, all stock, 4.0L MPI engine that will start fine 99% of the time, but it seems with VERY short run times (say 5 mins or less) and 1st thing in the morning (cold start), it won't crank. The radio, horn, turn signals, lights all work so it's not a battery/alternator. I've checked and the ASD relay does click when the key is turned to the start position. I've also moved the relays around to ensure its not an ASD relay issue. Yesterday, I replaced the starter with a reman'd Duralast one, during a no start condition and it started right up and started the rest of the day. Today, again, a 2 min drive to the gas station and now it won't start. I've checked and I see no sign of a security system or anti theft device like on the ZJ's. I also checked power at the solenoid with the key in the run position and nothing (however I had my kids helping and not sure on this). Anyone have any clue what could cause a no crank when cold?

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Unread 10-17-2013, 10:42 AM   #2
chris87xj
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Classic symptoms of a failing Neutral Safety Switch there.
I'm just going to link you to similar recent discussion rather than type it all again. Engine won't crank when key is turned...
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Unread 10-19-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
Muddblood
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Excellent, thanks! I figured it was something electrical, but in my attempts to trouble shoot, I was leaning toward the ignition switch...one time it wouldn't start, I unplugged it and plugged it back in and it started. I'll try the NSS jumper next time just to make sure.
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Unread 10-19-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
sAe23
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You can also try cleaning the NSS harness plug with electrical contact cleaner spray, followed by some dielectric grease to protect it...
Also, if you want to fool the system into thinking it's in PARK, look at this site: http://www.cherokee-jeep.com/1-2swremov.htm
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Unread 10-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #5
Muddblood
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Wow! These things ARE expensive!! What is the success rate of cleaning them and how long would it last? I know, these are loaded questions and really cannot be answered, but this is my daily driver and I need it to start 100% of the time. I'd almost just want to replace it for peace of mind.
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Unread 10-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #6
sAe23
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The biggest problem is getting the switch off of the shaft. The shaft (on mine at least) has ridges that the switch tends to grab on to, so you need to spread the collar that the lock nut screws onto out a bit while gently pulling on the switch.
Once it's off, cleaning it is easy. Here are a couple of other sites about cleaning it:
http://web.archive.org/web/200503070...echtippage.htm
http://www.bc4x4.com/tech/2010/jeep-...ty-switch-nss/

Good Luck! And don't forget to clean the harness connector.
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Unread 10-20-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
j_dynomite
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The success rate if you can actually break the switch free from the shaft is good, if the NSS is your problem. You confirmed the NSS was bad with the continuity test described in the link above? There are also a few other telltale signs that your NSS is not working properly. If you can start in Neutral but not in Park, if your backup lights don't light up when you're in reverse.

If the switch is the issue, patience is the key to pulling it off - it can be a real PITA...One of the links above describes it well. I cleaned my switch up and soaked the shaft in PB Blaster after I broke the nut free. It seemed to help. The back housing is plastic so you don't want to force the switch off the shaft.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 04:31 AM   #8
waterdowg
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The sucess rate I would say is very high. Have done mine a few times. The first time was the NSS. The others was trouble shooting a simular issue, but turned out to be the ignition actuator pin switch.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 06:01 AM   #9
cruiser54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sAe23 View Post
You can also try cleaning the NSS harness plug with electrical contact cleaner spray, followed by some dielectric grease to protect it...
Also, if you want to fool the system into thinking it's in PARK, look at this site: http://www.cherokee-jeep.com/1-2swremov.htm
Click on the link in my signature and go to Post 10. Pics included.
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If you own a Renix Jeep, you'll want to check this out. >

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Unread 10-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #10
Muddblood
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Execellent! Thanks for all the tips. I have not performed the continuity test as it is VERY intermittent. The last time it wouldn't start (the day I posted this) I jumped the starter solenoid with a screwdriver and it fired right up and has ever since. I am not able to start it in park or neutral when it happens, or even ever so slightly moving the shifter. Backup lights SEEM to work, but I've not paid much attention to them, especially since it has been getting dark so late (until recently). I'll see if I can't duplicate the problem this weekend and test the NSS.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 09:03 AM   #11
Muddblood
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Pulled off the NSS yesterday and (mostly) followed the procedures mention, and it was as everyone said...gummed up and the contacts in the wiper arm were not springy. Cleaned it all up, sanded the contacts and got it back on and so far so good.

A couple issues I ran into though and might help someone in the future:
1) Using the big nut on the NSS as a pry point, it only came off so far then the screw driver/prybar would get no leverage. I ended up using my ratchets length wise (parallel to the pan) with the socket against the trans pan as a leverage point. Sorry, phone was dead so no pics.
2) DO NOT pry AT ALL on the plastic back housing!!! It is VERY brittle and WILL crack, flake, and/or break. I was however able to GENTELY pry on the screws on the back once it was out far enough and wiggle it back and forth. Also, I had to push it back on to the shaft a few times, then pry and wiggle to get it to come off.
3) The 6 screws are VERY tight!!! Take care and a GOOD screwdriver to get them off
4) The last issue is I don't think I got the NSS seated all the way on the transmission...there was about an 1/8" gap between the adjusting bolt and trans I could see and now it's kinda hard to use the shifter. I may have to pull it again and reseat it. Again, slide it on and off a few times to get it to seat.

Also, I had FOUR wires ties. Thanks again for all the help! If it doesn't fix the issue, I'll let you know.
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Unread 12-02-2013, 07:51 PM   #12
waterdowg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddblood View Post
Pulled off the NSS yesterday and (mostly) followed the procedures mention, and it was as everyone said...gummed up and the contacts in the wiper arm were not springy. Cleaned it all up, sanded the contacts and got it back on and so far so good.

A couple issues I ran into though and might help someone in the future:
1) Using the big nut on the NSS as a pry point, it only came off so far then the screw driver/prybar would get no leverage. I ended up using my ratchets length wise (parallel to the pan) with the socket against the trans pan as a leverage point. Sorry, phone was dead so no pics.
2) DO NOT pry AT ALL on the plastic back housing!!! It is VERY brittle and WILL crack, flake, and/or break. I was however able to GENTELY pry on the screws on the back once it was out far enough and wiggle it back and forth. Also, I had to push it back on to the shaft a few times, then pry and wiggle to get it to come off.
3) The 6 screws are VERY tight!!! Take care and a GOOD screwdriver to get them off
4) The last issue is I don't think I got the NSS seated all the way on the transmission...there was about an 1/8" gap between the adjusting bolt and trans I could see and now it's kinda hard to use the shifter. I may have to pull it again and reseat it. Again, slide it on and off a few times to get it to seat.

Also, I had FOUR wires ties. Thanks again for all the help! If it doesn't fix the issue, I'll let you know.
Pull it back off and put some grease on it a nd reseat it. You do not have it on straight so it is binding a little. I had to tap mine on with a smail hammer. to get it right. I only did small light taps. Nothing hard.
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Unread 12-02-2013, 08:28 PM   #13
Muddblood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterdowg View Post
Pull it back off and put some grease on it a nd reseat it. You do not have it on straight so it is binding a little. I had to tap mine on with a smail hammer. to get it right. I only did small light taps. Nothing hard.
All my tools are in a storage unit maybe 1/4 mile from my apt and all I brought up a up was BFH...REALLY did not want to tap it with that! 1/2" ratchet was all I felt comfortable using and it was a bit too big to get up in there. I did lightly sand and grease the shaft. It's getting better as I drive it.
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Unread 01-06-2014, 06:16 PM   #14
Muddblood
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Just an update. A month or so later, and PLENTY of very short runs and stops and all is well. I'm back to having a reliable XJ again! Thanks for the help!!!
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Unread 01-06-2014, 07:31 PM   #15
cruiser54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddblood View Post
Just an update. A month or so later, and PLENTY of very short runs and stops and all is well. I'm back to having a reliable XJ again! Thanks for the help!!!
What do you think fixed it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
If you own a Renix Jeep, you'll want to check this out. >

An index to over 25 write-ups can be found in Post #1.

Cruiser's Mostly Renix Tips
Refresh*Connections*Before*Replacing*Components
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