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Unread 05-02-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
Deacon
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Slow to turn over on start, not the battery

One of the list of little things I'm tracking down with the new '99 XJ acquisition is how the engine seems reluctant to turn over and start. I assumed it was the tiny little Valuecraft (i.e. AutoZone bottom of the line) battery that just wasn't quite delivering the cold cranking amps required, because the engine runs great for as long as you want it to, it seems to be getting fuel just fine, the gauge in the dash is reading at or just barely under 14V when in operation, and it would happen no matter if you left it for a couple of minutes or a couple of days, meaning it doesn't appear to be a slow battery drain.

However, I just dropped a brand new Duralast Gold in it with 800 CCA (1000 normal) that's way more than enough, and it still starts slowly. I don't mean it turns over and over and over and then catches. I mean the initial turn over is sluggish. Could this be the starter, or something? It starts every time, just not bright and chipper like I'd expect (as does the 4.0 in my TJ). The only starter I've had go bad was really the solenoid, not the starter, so I'm not really sure where to look. Maybe a bad/corroded ground on the starter?

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Unread 05-02-2011, 01:04 PM   #2
93gc40
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If it were me I'd try the TJ starter in the XJ. If only to eliminate the starter as the issue. If they are not compatable pull starter and get it tested..... Check all grounds and wires.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 01:30 PM   #3
avbcon12
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Swap the starter with the TJ, check all wiring from the battery to the starter because a weak connection wont transfer the current needed to spin the starter efficiently.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 01:31 PM   #4
Deacon
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Yeah, the bad/insufficient ground didn't actually occur to me till I was posting. I'll try to take some time to give it a once over in the next couple of days.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
Dead_End
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I had a similar problem. I put on a new starter, new battery, even a new ignition switch on the steering column. Turned out to be the starter relay. It was working enough to turn the starter over, but not enough to really run it properly. That might be a good place to start
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
RussellZJ98
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I'm having the same issue with my ZJ right now. Switched around relays, nothing. Problem started when my battery died, and I couldn't jump start it. Had to let the cables charge it for a while. The battery itself is fine. It sounds like it slowly winds up for the first turn over then it cranks and fires. I cleaned up and tightened down the battery clamps to gorilla tight and the problem magically went away. But now its back. My buddy is convinced the alternator isn't charging the battery. I think the battery cables themselves need replacing, but that could cause the alternator not to charge the battery correctly. I'm curious to see what you come up with
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:06 PM   #7
Deacon
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Hey, that's pretty interesting. Definitely rousing have occurred to me. Can you tell me where that relay is? Under the hood in the fuse/relay box? I'm guessing this is a special part, not just a generic automotive relay?
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:08 PM   #8
Deacon
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Yeah Russell I'll definitely post up if I find a solution (or if all the suggestions have been exhausted).
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:14 PM   #9
franko98
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Deacon, sounds like a starter. Pull it and take and have it bench tested. If you have a meter you can check the battery drain before, during, and after( 1 hour after) you crank the engine.Check all connections and be sure they are clean with good grounding. make sure the battery is secure in the vehicle, (held down). Could be the bendix getting into a bind when engaging the flywheel due to a bad starter bearing?
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
Dead_End
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
Hey, that's pretty interesting. Definitely rousing have occurred to me. Can you tell me where that relay is? Under the hood in the fuse/relay box? I'm guessing this is a special part, not just a generic automotive relay?
I dont know where it would be on a '99 (I have a '90). But, I just used a regular 30 amp relay from Orieleys and wired it in.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:26 PM   #11
Millermagic
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We've had a bunch of 4.0 TJs and then I bought an XJ. Each and every one of them turned over VERY SLOWLY. The slowest was the 04 Rubicon.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 05:39 PM   #12
jdumont
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I just had starter issues this past weekend. Ended up being the battery terminals/cables needed refreshing. Of course I didnt find that out until after I had already purchased and installed the new starter...

I cut off the old terminals and about 1" of wire and clamped on the new terminals to the fresh wire ends. I also cut out the crappy 12ish gauge wire that went from the stock terminal to the fender and put on a 6ish gauge wire in its place. Started right up after that.

You may want to troubleshoot like I did. Use jumper cables to go from battery positive to the positive terminal on the starter motor (not center solenoid and not the terminal that goes into the starter motor case) and one from battery negative to engine block. If it starts then your battery cables/connections are crappy. Mine would only fire up when I added these paths. I had lots of frayed and corroded wires that I didnt think could prevent a start but it was definitely my issue...
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Unread 05-02-2011, 09:11 PM   #13
Deacon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdumont
Use jumper cables to go from battery positive to the positive terminal on the starter motor (not center solenoid and not the terminal that goes into the starter motor case)
I'll give that a shot. Can you clarify where exactly you're talking about?
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Unread 05-03-2011, 04:05 AM   #14
jdumont
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Your starter has three terminals on it. One is a small gauge wire from the ignition switch. This should have 12v on it while you have the key to START. Another terminal is a heavy gauge wire right from the battery positive. Another goes from the outside of the starter to the inside of the starter motor case. This is the motor power cable that spins the starter when V is allowed to pass through.

You need to take your jumper cables and run from the battery + to the starter where the positive cable goes. Just follow it down from the battery. The negative on the jumper cable from battery - to a good ground point somewhere. I used the intake manifold cause it was easy to clip to.

All you are doing here is providing more cabling for the current to flow through. My cables were corroded and had some strands broken where they exited the terminals (+) and where it fastened to the inner fender (-) which limited current flow.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 07:24 AM   #15
polizi212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
Hey, that's pretty interesting. Definitely rousing have occurred to me. Can you tell me where that relay is? Under the hood in the fuse/relay box? I'm guessing this is a special part, not just a generic automotive relay?

Look at your power distribution box under your hood and look for this small relay you can try swapping with the others to see if that changes any thing.
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