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Unread 10-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #1
CodeMoose
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1995 YJ Electrical problems

Long time lurker, first time poster. Sorry if this is supposed to go somewhere else, I'm happy to repost in the right place.

Having some electrical problems with my '95 YJ. Driving in this morning, there was a new high-pitched whine from the engine/dash - like an overworked servo, or a muffled buzzer. Consistent, didn't change with RPM, but seemed to get a bit louder as I went. Then she started choking. The lights on the dash dimmed more and more, and the engine choked harder and harder. Voltage slowly dropped. Right when it was about to stall, everything lit up and revved up again, and she drove the rest of the way without incident.

Now, trying to start her up, I get full power - lights, dash, even air. But she won't crank or click, completely unresponsive. A little bit on the low side for voltage, and I get a bit of a spike when I try to turn it over.

Has anyone run into this before? My first guess would be alternator, it's a few years old, but I don't have much experience - it's an educated guess at best. Thanks for helping out a newbie!

--------------------

A bit of history if it helps - had another elec problem a few weeks ago. One of the battery terminal connectors sheared off, and long story short I went through two sets of coated connectors, several failed jumps, and some engine smoke before fixing it with uncoated connectors. Since then the battery has been running a little high, halfway between center and red on the gauge.

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Unread 10-31-2013, 12:32 PM   #2
dancytron
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In the PDC there are two big fuses that are between the battery and the alternator. Could be that one of them is blown. The other possibility is bad battery cables.
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Unread 10-31-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
Siva283
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Whats the battery voltage at?
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1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

[QUOTE=Magnum;14117863] I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Luuca;16122017]diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Overhead;17658665]this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 10-31-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
CodeMoose
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Between 11 and 12 - just a notch under center
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Unread 10-31-2013, 02:05 PM   #5
Siva283
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When you turn the key to start it does all the dash go out while you have the key in the start position trying to turn it over. That voltage does seem low have you tried jump starting it.
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1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

[QUOTE=Magnum;14117863] I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Luuca;16122017]diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Overhead;17658665]this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 10-31-2013, 02:47 PM   #6
CodeMoose
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Dash has full power, doesn't dim or spike when trying to crank. Turning the key does nothing, no click no crank. Haven't tried jumping
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Unread 10-31-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
DirtKar
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Welcome to the forum.

Many electrical issues can be traced back to poor/faulty ground connections. Have you verified that your ends and cables are solid and secure at the battery, block and firewall? Check the easy and the obvious first. Also, you need to verify the voltage output from the alternator when she is running. Less than 14v and you've likely identified your issue. Please post your findings. Your comment regarding voltage '11-12 just a notch under center' leads me to believe that you are using the gauge to tell you actual voltage. You need to use a multimeter. If you don't have one, pick one up. Doesn't have to be expensive, a cheap one will suit your needs just fine. That servo sound you hear could be an overworked alternator trying fill a battery with a dead cell.
Good luck.
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Unread 11-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #8
CodeMoose
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@DirkKar that's good to know, thanks for the info. Family takes kind of a sink-or-swim approach to auto repair, so I'm learning a lot of this the hard way haha. Cables are all secure - first thing I checked was the terminal connections since I just replaced them, second was the cables coming off the terminals.

Could the battery have just been fried with all the jumping/revving/smoking? It ran 3 or 4 trips ungrounded during the terminal connector debacle. Would it take three weeks to die? Would I still get power to the dash if it had?
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Unread 11-01-2013, 08:27 AM   #9
Que89YJ
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Terminal connector debacle needs to be explained. You could have done damage that you are paying the price for now.
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Unread 11-01-2013, 08:58 AM   #10
CodeMoose
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That's what I was talking about originally with the terminal connector shearing off. Here's the whole story in detail:

Went to start the car one day and discovered the positive terminal was cracked in half. Clamp was still on the terminal, and anchor for the cables was loose. Bought coated terminals to replace them - jeep started acting like the battery was dead. I got a coworker to jump me - that took about 10 minutes to charge, and got some smoke in the engine when it was finally cranking enough to turn over. I drove it home, but the battery gauge was borderline red the entire drive (16-17v), and as soon as I turned it off, everything dropped dead. No dash, no headlights, wouldn't crank.

Jumped it again (without smoke this time) and drove it to advance auto to get everything tested - died again once I powered off in the lot. Jumped it to start it; battery checked out, alternator checked out. Bought new coated terminals and filed the coating off the cable anchor - jeep started up on its own, drove it home. The next morning it wouldn't start, jumped it again and drove it to advance auto again. Replaced the coated terminals with uncoated, and didn't have any issues after that. The battery has been running high (around 15v) for about three weeks until my current problems started.

Last edited by CodeMoose; 11-01-2013 at 09:25 AM..
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Unread 11-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #11
Que89YJ
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16-17 volts! How far did you drive it? You baked something. You will be lucky if its just the Engine controller, alternator, and a couple fuses.
Start with this. Its a way to check faults on the computer and post back what you get:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/h...codes-1257145/
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Unread 11-01-2013, 11:33 AM   #12
CodeMoose
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Drove it a little under 10 miles. Thanks for the tip on the error codes, here's what it gave me (ran it twice to be sure):

12: Memory Standby power lost (Battery or computer recently disconnected)
33: Air conditioning clutch relay circuit open or shorted (Also will show up for rigs without AC)
17: Engine stays cold too long (bad thermostat)
55: End of codes

33 makes sense since I don't have AC, not sure about the other two.
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Unread 11-01-2013, 11:36 AM   #13
DirtKar
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CodeMoose-
Fortunately Que jumped in. He is a wealth of knowledge here on the forum.
I still stand by you needing to pick up a meter so that you can get an accurate reading. The fact that you are reading 16-17 volts is way out of line. Either your dash gauge is in accurate or you have no alternater regulation to speak of. If that's the case, you may have cooked something.
I missed the description of the termin damage in the first go round. Are you saying that your battery POST was cracked or the cable end was cracked?
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What you see as not bad, and what I see as not bad, are two completely different not bads
YJOTM JULY 2014
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Unread 11-01-2013, 11:46 AM   #14
CodeMoose
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Thank you Que, I'm honored! The post is fine, the cable end was cracked - the horseshoe-shaped portion stayed clamped on, while the whole retainer for the cable nuts had separated from it.
spin_prod_809763012.jpeg

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Unread 11-01-2013, 12:01 PM   #15
Que89YJ
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Dirtkar, I was just wondering if he baked the ecu. I know there is more going on but 17 volts is full fielding the alternator and can cause a battery to explode. You may have an alternator that gave up from full fielding too if that voltage is right. I agree with Dirtkar and look at getting a meter. Trouble shooting an electrical problem without one is like trying to play baseball without a bat.

Take the battery out and get it checked and check all your fuses.

Check and clean all the power all the wires in the front both positive and negative. The grounds are just as important where they connect to the chasis and battery. If you have a set of jumper cables they would be a good thing to use to troubleshoot. You can bridge wires using the jumper cables to put power directly to the starter from the battery.
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