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Unread 01-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #1
Mdeez415
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1988 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 31
Troubleshooting 1988 xj fusebox

Ok so I put a new stereo head unit in my car and plan to put an amp and some subs. I upgraded the alternator to 100a, so i wouldnt run into any problems.

I think I am having problems with the fusebox. One or two of the fuseholder slots are just slightly melted. But when I put in the stereo in, there was only 3 volts coming from power cord. So I ran a new wire and landed it into the old spot.

My question is : How do I check the fusebox to make sure all is in correct order?

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Unread 01-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
Elexwiz
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 219
I ran into a problem with my 87 fuse block that I chased for a week and a half! I wasn't getting any dash lights and my tail lights wouldn't work. That's a tell-tale sign of a blown fuse for the rear lights. When I checked the fuse block I found that 5 fuse terminals, for various fuses, had at least one broken side too them. This had to be fixed before I could continue. I went to the Pick-n-Pull and cut out an entire fuse block from an 89. From the donor fuse block I carefully removed the identical fuse terminal that needed to be replaced. I removed the broken ones from my block and spliced in the new ones. I tested continuity as I worked. I put everything back together, fired it up, and it still didn't work....

I checked every relay and every ground after I checked every fuse. After another night of troubleshooting I was at a loss so I stepped back and tried to figure out what I was missing. I realized that when I checked the fuses I didn't do continuity checks, just visual checks with a flashlight to make sure they weren't blown. Well the problem ended up being a fuse that was so dirty and caked with crap (how they get that way I'll never know) that it wasn't allowing for a good connection. I took the fuses out and cleaned them, one by one. I held the fuse so the metal terminals were laying on the edge of some scrap wood. I used just a squirt or electrical contact cleaner and a small metal-bristle brush to clean the terminals until they shined. Flip it over and do the other side the same way, wipe off the crap and you'll have nice pretty fuses. Re-install and you're on your way.

The moral here is that your jeep is as old as mine. Check the condition of your fuses before you assume the fuse block is bad. 3 volts coming from the 12 volt line means you have a bad connection (or a bad meter) or a dirty fuse. It's quick and easy to do. And make sure you have the correct size fuses in the correct slots.
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1987 XJ 4.0 I6, Peugeot tranny, NP231, AA SYE, 8.25" 29 spline, Dana 30 (HP), Rusty’s 4.5 inch coils, BDS 5500 4.5" shocks, 5" junkyard bastard pack, Rusty’s Adj LCAs, RC Quick Discos, JKS BPEs (front and rear), Aussie Lockers (front and rear), Durango steering box, and Removable Doors!
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Unread 01-12-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
keepishop
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1989 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,372
Voltmeter should show 12v on half of the contacts, and nothing on the other half. I took all my fuses out and cleaned them and the contacts recently to make sure it was ship shape.

Elexwiz: How did you remove your fuse panel? I couldn't get the one at the junkyard I had my eye on. I removed the screws and the clips on the screw posts, but it was still stuck on something.
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Unread 01-12-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
Elexwiz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keepishop View Post
Voltmeter should show 12v on half of the contacts, and nothing on the other half. I took all my fuses out and cleaned them and the contacts recently to make sure it was ship shape.

Elexwiz: How did you remove your fuse panel? I couldn't get the one at the junkyard I had my eye on. I removed the screws and the clips on the screw posts, but it was still stuck on something.
That's all there is, just those 2 screws and those 2 clips. I pulled the block out as far as I could and cut the wires as long as I could.
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1987 XJ 4.0 I6, Peugeot tranny, NP231, AA SYE, 8.25" 29 spline, Dana 30 (HP), Rusty’s 4.5 inch coils, BDS 5500 4.5" shocks, 5" junkyard bastard pack, Rusty’s Adj LCAs, RC Quick Discos, JKS BPEs (front and rear), Aussie Lockers (front and rear), Durango steering box, and Removable Doors!
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Unread 01-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #5
keepishop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elexwiz View Post
That's all there is, just those 2 screws and those 2 clips. I pulled the block out as far as I could and cut the wires as long as I could.
Hmm. Maybe I should have beaten on it a bit to loosen up the rust then.
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Current: Black 89 limited, dakota bastard pack, zj coils, 1.5" lift, open cooling swap, bronco 2 carrier, rad fan switch
Rest in Pieces: Red 1990 cherokee dana30/8.25 - v8 zj coils & s10 bastard pack 2.5" lift - 31x10.5r15 tires - v8 zj tierod

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Unread 01-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
Mdeez415
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So I went out and checked all the fuses ,actually replaced them and some of them were a little messed up but not really that bad.

The fuse block looks like it has been melted in some spots so im gonna see if i can just try to get a new one from the junkyard. but i am gonna test them all first just for fun.lol
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Unread 01-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #7
Elexwiz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdeez415 View Post
So I went out and checked all the fuses ,actually replaced them and some of them were a little messed up but not really that bad.

The fuse block looks like it has been melted in some spots so im gonna see if i can just try to get a new one from the junkyard. but i am gonna test them all first just for fun.lol
How badly was it "melted"? Does the plastic look like it just got a little soft in spots or do you have little plastic stalactites hanging from the box? If the box is still in the same general shape and the fuses can seat properly then the box is not your problem. A new fuse box is still going to have the same electrical problem. Also, you run the chance of introducing more problems just by swapping boxes. It's a real PITA.

If you've cleaned all the fuses and checked them with a meter then your next step should be to carefully clean the fuse terminals. Make absolutely sure you disconnect the battery first. You can search the forum for cleaning techniques but I use a sacrificial feeler gauge (trimmed to the width of a fuse terminal) with strips of emery paper and very little electronic contact cleaner per terminal. Cut your emery paper into little strips, fold them around the end of a feeler gauge, and use that to "sand" in between the terminals. Your fuse block is old.

Remember, you're getting 3 volts where you should be getting 12. This means there's resistance in the circuit. This is caused by a crappy connection which is caused by dirt, frayed wiring, loose terminals/connection. It's much easier to clean the fuse block than it is to dissect the dash and trace your wires.

FWIW, as a 20+ year Electronics Technician, this is where I would start.
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1987 XJ 4.0 I6, Peugeot tranny, NP231, AA SYE, 8.25" 29 spline, Dana 30 (HP), Rusty’s 4.5 inch coils, BDS 5500 4.5" shocks, 5" junkyard bastard pack, Rusty’s Adj LCAs, RC Quick Discos, JKS BPEs (front and rear), Aussie Lockers (front and rear), Durango steering box, and Removable Doors!
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Unread 01-20-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
ozarkcat
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1989 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Stotts City, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keepishop View Post
Voltmeter should show 12v on half of the contacts, and nothing on the other half. I took all my fuses out and cleaned them and the contacts recently to make sure it was ship shape.
OOooooohh, that sounds familiar & not fun - hit a bump in a construction site on the way to St. Louis on a road trip last fall, and the lights all went out (this was about midnight) - headlamps, turn signals, brakes, hazards, interior & dash. Troubleshot it until about 4 AM in the dark (at about 40 degrees), finally dragged it back to town the next morning (after spending the night in a parking lot with a cold husband and VERY cranky 6-year-old), replaced relays, checked fuses, changed out the ignition lock, headlight switch, etc. - took it into the dealership since we were so far from home, and it turned out my idea around 1 AM was right on the money - the fuse block was failing, and the circuits on one side of the harness were not connecting anymore. On the brighter side, we ended up having to stay overnight in a pretty decent hotel with a great little Chinese restaurant next door
Cat
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electrical , fuse holder , stereo , troubleshooting

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