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Unread 05-09-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
bills79jeep
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Starter? Starter Relay?

My Jeep is DEAD as of this morning. The battery gauge shows 12v and when I turn the key absolutely nothing happens. At Autozone, a starter relay is only $8.99 while a starter is like $70. Previous to today I have had zero problems with starting. When other starters have died, they have had slow deaths. That's why I'm thinking possibly the relay.

Any ideas? Also, is the relay in the engine compartent fuse box or the one on the passenger side by the door?

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Unread 05-09-2007, 08:35 AM   #2
jfiscus
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You can jump the starter relay with a piece of wire around 3' long. Just touch it to the positive terminal on the battery & to the wire going to the starter solenoid on the relay (thick green wire?). If it starts that way, then you know your starter is good & it's probably the starter relay or the box on the column. (Put your key in "run" & jump it to have it start the motor.)

Have you had any problems with your reverse lights?
It could also be your NSS, try starting it in neutral & moving the shifter while turning the key.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 10:21 AM   #3
96yeepster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfiscus
You can jump the starter relay with a piece of wire around 3' long. Just touch it to the positive terminal on the battery & to the wire going to the starter solenoid on the relay (thick green wire?). If it starts that way, then you know your starter is good & it's probably the starter relay or the box on the column. (Put your key in "run" & jump it to have it start the motor.)

Have you had any problems with your reverse lights?
It could also be your NSS, try starting it in neutral & moving the shifter while turning the key.
or swap it for another relay that is in the same area... IE A/C, fan...
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Unread 05-09-2007, 10:55 AM   #4
jfiscus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96yeepster
or swap it for another relay that is in the same area... IE A/C, fan...
That is not the starter relay I am speaking of, I mean the one with all the wires attached to posts on it. You are speaking of the fuse panel, correct?
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Unread 05-09-2007, 11:56 AM   #5
bills79jeep
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The one in the fuse panel, which fuse panel are you refering to? Also, could I bypass it with some wires with alligator clips? Or does it need to be pretty heavy gauge?

Thanks guys.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 12:10 PM   #6
TwoOne
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Mine did this to me, which I think was a result of bad wiring, in the end after replacing the starter solenoid and doing a whole bunch of messing around I ended up just wiring a pushbutton starter switch to where I just turn the key on, push the button and it cranks. Pretty good theft deturrent as well because you can't plainly see where the button is
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Unread 05-09-2007, 01:34 PM   #7
96yeepster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfiscus
That is not the starter relay I am speaking of, I mean the one with all the wires attached to posts on it. You are speaking of the fuse panel, correct?
there is only one starter relay.
It (depending on year) like on my 96 is under the hood in the power distribution block.
It is a compact rectangular 5 pin type.
What I think you are referring to is the starter selinoid, which is actually mounted on the starter. If that goes bad it will also create a no start situation, however, you might want to check to make sure the selinoid is getting voltage reference from the ignition wire.

I would only install a bypass if you cannot find an obvious cause for the problem.
I have seen alot of people do it wrong and it ends up causing a fire that destroys the car.

I am not dissing anyone here who has done one, but I hate it when I get a vehicle and have to fix stupid crap like that that someone has done instead of actually fixing the problem correctly.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 01:54 PM   #8
jfiscus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96yeepster
there is only one starter relay.
It (depending on year) like on my 96 is under the hood in the power distribution block.
It is a compact rectangular 5 pin type.
What I think you are referring to is the starter selinoid, which is actually mounted on the starter. If that goes bad it will also create a no start situation, however, you might want to check to make sure the selinoid is getting voltage reference from the ignition wire.

I would only install a bypass if you cannot find an obvious cause for the problem.
I have seen alot of people do it wrong and it ends up causing a fire that destroys the car.

I am not dissing anyone here who has done one, but I hate it when I get a vehicle and have to fix stupid crap like that that someone has done instead of actually fixing the problem correctly.
I know this photo is of an 89, but I have one on my 93 XJ in the same location:
http://autorepair.about.com/library/images/bl347lib.htm
Check for one, it's kind of hidden right behind the battery. I know it's there and a common problem, as I've had a couple go bad on a couple different XJs.
The starter solenoid is down on the starter on every year of XJ, besides possibly diesels - I never replaced my diesel's starter.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 04:14 PM   #9
bills79jeep
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Thanks guys, you have all been a big help, I am going to go to autozone and get some parts. I have a Haynes manual that will hopefully help, though it is crappy and usually doesn't.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 05:34 PM   #10
bills79jeep
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Which realy is it on a '98. Mine doesn't look like the picture.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 06:47 PM   #11
XJdamyankee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bills79jeep
Which realy is it on a '98. Mine doesn't look like the picture.
Look in your haynes or try your owners manual. One of the 2 should have a pic of it. Before you go buy something you dont need just figure out which one it is and switch it with another one thats in there. I believe thier are 3 in there that use the same kind.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 07:11 PM   #12
red96jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bills79jeep
My Jeep is DEAD as of this morning. The battery gauge shows 12v and when I turn the key absolutely nothing happens. At Autozone, a starter relay is only $8.99 while a starter is like $70. Previous to today I have had zero problems with starting. When other starters have died, they have had slow deaths. That's why I'm thinking possibly the relay.

Any ideas? Also, is the relay in the engine compartent fuse box or the one on the passenger side by the door?

sounds like the same thing that was happing to my jeep not to long ago. is their power going into the relay box from the ignition? mine didnt have any so i just bought a new ignition piece and put it in. that seemed to fix it. but every now and then it happen's again so i assume it's an eletrical gremlin that i will never fix.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 07:57 PM   #13
bills79jeep
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Ok, so I installed the new starter after the new relay did nothing. It didn't work either, so I gave it a few taps with a hammer and it started up. My friend that works at a Jeep dealership said that this means that it is a faulty starter and I should exchange it for another new one.

Anyone have any advice on this?
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Unread 05-09-2007, 08:30 PM   #14
KamekLocked
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Yeah sticking starter could be the brushes, etc. Does it go 'click' when you try to start it??? That means the solenoid is engadging but the starter motor is faulty (or not enough voltage rom the battery, bad batter terminals, bad wiring to starter, or bad ground).

All you really had to do is check for power at the start terminal of the solenoid when they key is in the crank position and that will either tell you the starting cirucit (ignition, nss, starter relay and wiring) is operating fine to that point or not. 10 seconds would save you hours of useless troubleshooting.
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Last edited by KamekLocked; 05-09-2007 at 09:08 PM..
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Unread 05-09-2007, 09:00 PM   #15
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I had the same problem a few weeks ago.. I ended up replacing my ground cable from battery to engine block and that was my problem... everything else worked, just the engine wouldn't turn over or click or anything, only click I had was ignition relay. check your battery cables to engine block and to starter to see if they are damaged or loose.
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