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Unread 01-27-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
antcg
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 72
Starter Problem

Hello all!

So I have what seems to me a unique situation that I have not heard any one else having so here it goes...

About a week after buying my 98 XJ, I pulled my jeep around to change my brakes and I went back to move it again and it would not crank, just one faint click and nothing else. I had it towed to Firestone where they determined it was the starter and got it replaced (and yes I know I should not have taken it to a shop). But anyways I got it replaced and all was well, Until it started not wanting to crank, it seems to only do it when I go and drive for a short distance and don't get it up to normal operating temp. It just clicks once and then nothing. Then my alt died and had it replaced at another shop. Yet the problem continues! I think its the starter because you can still get under and use a screwdriver on the starter and it will crank. I had taken it back to Firestone and they said it was just lose connections.

Has anyone had this happen to them? And what do you think could be causing it? Am I better off just not taking it back? Although I would like to take the starter off and have it tested so I know if they gave me a bad one.

Does the starter just have two bolts?

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Unread 01-27-2014, 06:04 PM   #2
CJ7-Tim
Real Jeeps have dents.
 
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 21,608
Typical symptoms of loose or poor quality connections.


Clicking and not starting is usually a low voltage issue from:

• leaving the lights on
• a failing battery
• a failing alternator
dirty, corroded, or loose wire connections
internally corroded battery wires

Perform routine maintenance 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. Copper wires should be copper color, not black or green. Do the same for the grounding wires from the starter to engine block, the ground wires at the coil, and the ground wires from the battery and engine to the Jeep's frame/body. You must remove, wire brush, and clean until shiny the cable/wire ends and whatever they bolt to.

Jeeps do not tolerate low voltage, bad connections, or poor grounds.

Place your DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Multi-Meter) on the 20 volt scale. First check battery voltage by placing your multi-meter's positive lead on the battery's positive post ( the actual post, not the clamp ) and the negative lead on the negative post. You need a minimum of 12 volts to continue testing. Next, leave your meter connected and take a reading while the engine is cranking. Record this voltage reading. Now connect your positive lead to the battery terminal stud on the starter and the negative lead to the starter housing. Again, crank the engine and record the voltage reading. If the voltage reading at the starter is not within 1 volt of battery voltage then you have excessive voltage drop in the starter circuit.

Typical voltage drop maximums:
• starter circuit (including starter solenoid) = 0.60 volt
• battery post to battery terminal end = zero volts
• battery main cable (measured end to end) 0.20 volt
• starter solenoid = 0.20 volt
• battery negative post to alternator metal frame = 0.20 volt
• negative main cable to engine block = 0.20 volt
• negative battery post to starter metal frame = 0.30
• battery positive post to alternator b+stud = 0.5 volt with maximum charging load applied (all accessories turned on)

Test the output at the alternator with your volts/ohms multi-meter. You should be measuring 13.8-14.4 volts. Load testing the alternator is still recommended.

Have the battery, starter, and the alternator Load Tested for proper function in a test machine that applies a simulated work load. Handheld testers are inaccurate and will often pass faulty parts.
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Unread 01-27-2014, 10:26 PM   #3
scottmphoto
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1991 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Russellville, Arkansas
Posts: 155
Clean ALL of the grounds. Make sure that the cables are good, the whole cable, not just the ends. Have your battery load tested to make sure that it's good. Double check the wire connections on the starter (I had this problem). Check the actual ignition switch (down on the column, not the key lock cylinder).
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Unread 01-28-2014, 02:15 PM   #4
antcg
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmphoto View Post
Clean ALL of the grounds. Make sure that the cables are good, the whole cable, not just the ends. Have your battery load tested to make sure that it's good. Double check the wire connections on the starter (I had this problem). Check the actual ignition switch (down on the column, not the key lock cylinder).
What I don't get is why if I leave it sit for a while like a few hours to overnight why it would crank then but if after I do that and start and it drive for a mile or less and turn it off that it won't crank? If I go drive a couple of miles like I did Sunday and turn it off (got gas) and try and crank it, it will.

I just drove it today and it is snowing, it took a second or two for it to turn over but low and behold it did and ran fine, then I drove it around the neighborhood in the snow (to see how it would handle) and got it to normal temp, and then came back home, turned it off and waited a few seconds then tried to turn it over and I got a single click that sounds like it comes from around the glove box.

And I bet if I wait two or three hours and try and crank it will or else wait until tomorrow and it will also? What would cause to crank after its sat for a while and not crank if I only drive a mile or less, could it be the wires that go to the starter? or something else more serious? I just need it to crank reliably.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 04:18 PM   #5
CJ7-Tim
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 21,608
Heat causes resistance, which cause more heat, which cause more resistance. Resistance reduces the flow of current. Low current = no-start.

Do what I said, and it should work right.
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