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timh141 09-16-2013 08:58 AM

1994 YJ Electrical Problem
 
I have a 1994 YJ, I drove it to the gas station and it wouldn't start afterward. We tried jumping it with no luck. My son towed me home with his Jeep. I had the battery and starter tested at Autozone. I pulled the steering wheel thinking there may be a problem with the ignition, but haven't been able to remove the lock cylinder as yet. Here is where it gets weird. There are more electrical problems, when I turn the key, it doesn't buzz, no warning lights are on the dash. Also, I can't turn the parking or headlights on! Current draw on the battery is .019 amps. I took the ground off the battery, pulled a fuse from the fuse holder under the hood near the battery and then did an ohm test across the fuse contacts. It seems to me this should be open, but i am measuring resistance. Just looking for some ideas, thank you.

Que89YJ 09-16-2013 09:23 AM

You cant measure resistance on a circuit that has voltage. It sounds like you blew a fuse in the box at the drivers feet.

timh141 09-16-2013 08:50 PM

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I just unhooked the battery completely, negative and positive. Then I pulled all the fuses out from under the dash, they were all ok. All the under hood fuses were OK. I pulled one fuse, and then checked for continuity across the fuse receptacle. There shouldn't have been any, but there was. I then pulled all of the fuses, then there was an open across the fuse receptacle. I started putting them back one at a time and checking. Until I got to the IOD fuse. I checked for continuity across that receptacle, and there was. That means I have a short somewhere in the IOD circuit. Next step....wiring diagram....let me know if you have any ideas....Oh, almost forgot. With the IOD fuse pulled, now it cranks, I have headlights...etc. I don't understand why a shorted 10 amp circuit can have that much effect but it does

Que89YJ 09-16-2013 09:51 PM

Pull.the bulkhead connector on the firewall and check it.

timh141 09-27-2013 10:47 AM

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I ended up cleaning the bulkhead connector with some electrical contact cleaner and dielectric grease from Autozone. With the IOD fuse in place, I have headlights, warning lights on the dash with the key on, etc. When I try to start, I just get the clicking noise. I'm going to put my other starter back in this weekend which I know is good. I've had the battery and that starter both tested. The other thing that happened was the key buzzer switch inside the steering column was broken, both the plastic part and the metal clip. I removed it, but I'm certain there is a little piece of metal still loose inside. This picture is of what it is supposed to look like. SteeringColumnServices.com has the plastic piece, but not the metal surround bracket. My metal bracket is broken at the bottom where it forms a "J". The plastic at the bottom is broken as well. These are expensive/tough/impossible to find, and I'm going to try running without it. The same part is cheaper and more plentiful for a GM tilt column. I guess that's what mine is GM/Saginaw, but the non-tilt style.

timh141 09-27-2013 10:48 AM

also going to clean all the ground connections I can find....

timh141 10-06-2013 01:04 PM

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Well, I'm stumped. Engine still won't turn over. Autozone said my starter is good, and they load tested my battery and said that is good. It is a 3 year old battery that hasn't had a lot of use. I have 12.6 volts at the battery, and at the starter. I have the steering wheel off, and I have removed the broken key buzzer. When I turn the key nothing happens. I had someone else turn the key, and the battery voltage at the starter drops to 2 volts! I can turn the key on, and try to jump it with a screwdriver, and nothing happens, no sparks or anything. In desperation I dropped the steering column a little and replaced the ignition switch, $14 at Autozone. This didn't help. I've removed the bulkhead connector on the firewall and cleaned it with a spray electrical contact cleaner. I then put dielectric grease on it and shoved it back together. There are no blown fuses. I've been cleaning the ground connections, and the ohmmeter shows 0.0 resistance everywhere I've checked. Same with the power cable from the battery to the starter. 0.0 ohms. What am I missing? Thanks to anyone who has read or contributed to this thread. This is (was) my daily driver. It was working fine, drove to the gas station and then decided not to start. Here are some pictures of what it took to drop the column and install the ignitions switch. The little stud on the floor holds in the ignition switch, and then the dimmer switch goes on top of that, with another nut. I had to remove and loosen bolts at the firewall to allow the column to drop, after removing some trim on the dash, and the two bolts that held it up.

timh141 10-06-2013 01:08 PM

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Sorry I had to resize this picture of the stud that attaches the ignition switch before it would upload.

scraper 10-07-2013 12:56 PM

If I were you I would start at the ignition switch on the steering column and work my way all the way to the starter, checking for voltage and continuous wiring. It's not unheard of for the wires to break or a connection to come loose in there. You may have already answered this too, but did you check the ignition fuse in the PDC?

Bottom line is if your starter and battery are good, then the problem lies in the ignition wiring (it's usually 1 yellow wire), the fuse, or the ignition switch (Which you already replaced). There isn't much else to the starting system.

In fact trace the yellow ignition wire coming out of the PDC all the way to the firewall and then up to the ignition switch on the column, make sure it is solid all the way.

timh141 10-07-2013 11:25 PM

Its running again finally! I put the known good starter back in, still had troubles, until my son suggested I tighten the battery cables. This is embarrasing...:o I put the dielectric grease on the battery cables but didn't tighten them, it usually doesn't matter that much, without the grease that is. So to recap, my initial problem may have been the bulkhead connector or the ignition switch, but then I created an additional problem with the battery cables. At least its all been gone through. Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions.

timh141 01-13-2014 11:32 AM

There is a bit more to this story, because after a month went by, I had the same problems come back. It was after a hard freeze, and the battery seemed a bit weak after a charge, like it had lost a cell, plus it was 4 years old, so I replaced it with a new Die Hard. It started and ran great for about a week, and then the same problems again. Starter wouldn't turn over, headlights and other accessories not working. I went to the local Knecht's auto parts store, and ended up buying a relay for the starter circuit, which didn't help. I researched online and found someone who had had the same kinds of problems and replaced the battery positive cable to fix them. I went back to the parts store, and someone that worked there also drove a 1994 Wrangler and suggested replacing the cables also. I did this, and haven't had any problems since. Is it fixed? I think so, but guardedly. This was difficult to diagnose, and the only indication that the cables were a problem was after I removed the old ones and checked the resistance, it seemed to vary. While the old ones were installed, I couldn't detect a voltage drop. Well it runs, and at least all my electrical connections are cleaned up!

Que89YJ 01-13-2014 12:24 PM

It sounds right. The cables are problematic but it is usually where it connects and cleaning them usually takes care of the problem. Did you replace the power and ground? The ground is just as important as the power. When you read across the IOD you are checking through any lights, radio, etc. The IOD is a shipping fuse to stop the batteries from draining when storing or shipping. Weird that you pulled it and it started. That is weird. Keep the thread updated if anything changes.

timh141 01-17-2014 12:22 PM

Que89J, I only replaced the power cables, not the ground. My old cable had two wires coming from the battery connector. I'm assuming it was an original part because I wasn't able to buy one like it at the parts store. One of the wires went to the starter, and the other went to the main fuse box under the hood. I replaced it with two wires or cables, one that goes from the battery to the starter, and the other bolts on to the battery clamp and then goes to the under hood fuse box. I haven't been driving it every day, but it has been starting every time for the last couple of weeks with no problems.

Que89YJ 01-17-2014 12:40 PM

Thanks for posting back the fix. It sounds like you got it fixed if it hasnt messed up yet.

timh141 03-12-2014 01:36 PM

Its still starting/driving with no problems. It has other problems though, but none that keep it in the yard. My heater fan quit working for the second time, I could smell the insulation burning this time so hopefully that will make it easy to find. My floorboards are wet all the time in rainy weather, so I cleaned the cowl drain out, still wet so I am looking at replacing the windshield to cowl gasket seal. I really need to rebuild the AX15, reverse gear must have a tooth missing because you can sure hear it. I just but a 2005 for my DD that had only 52,000 on it. That means I can build up the 1994. Have all kinds of ideas and plans for it, but on somewhat of a budget...


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