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Unread 11-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
stierwalt
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1988 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 4
oops, electrical issues - where do I start?

'88 Wagoneer Limited 4.0
168k miles
daily driver

I left my headlights on overnight. my car cranked fine this morning, but the elec guage was in the red. I suppose I didn't drive it enough to charge the battery back up, because when I tried to crank it in the grocery store parking lot all I got was clicking. I asked a stranger for a jump. He connected his end (I wasn't watching). when made the final connection (which was correct on my end) it sparked and smoke came from the relay box area (right behind the battery, also above the starter and alternator). to my understanding, this means he probably connected it incorrectly on his end. Unfortunately he kinda packed up shop and left before i could get to the bottom of that.

so, after a couple more tries to crank it, the clicking has faded and gone away. I just get nothing now. the stereo won't turn on, the headlights won't turn on, the interior lights are fading but still recieving power, and my door locks aren't getting quite enough power to flip the actuators.

my question is, where do i go from here? is my assessment on the source of the problem correct? what should be my first step in diagnostics? should i just take it in to an electrical shop and pay a diagnostic fee?

as of now, i'm taking the battery out tohave it tested.
thanks so much. i'll be checking in to answer any questions.

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Unread 11-26-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
cruiser54
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1990 MJ Comanche 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Posts: 10,179
That "relay box" has fusible links (look just like regualr wire) connected to it which are there to melt in case of an electrical short. Check them out.
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