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Unread 10-23-2009, 07:17 PM   #1
Cda55
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Elecrical problem!

Hi everybody. This is my first post on the forum. The problem I have is with my dads 91 sahara. It is stock with a 6 cylinder. It seems the keyed power is going away at random. It will not let anything work except the lights. Then without doing anything, not even being around it, the power comes back. Radio plays, buzzer sounds, everything. Most of the time it will turn over and start. At times it will die completly the second you put it in gear. Other times it wont die. When it dies everything goes dead again. You can wait 10 minutes or maybe an hour and it is back again. I am an electrician so I backfed the keyed power on the fuse block. Everything works fine. Starts with the key and everything is fine. You cant shut it off with the key since it is going around the key switch. What is there that would cause the keyed power to come and go? Any ideas?

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Unread 10-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
Apollo12227
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I dunno man, you've got an ignition switch built into the dash that are notourious for going bad, its like 11-13 bucks to replace I hear... its on the column, then there's the ignition switch cyllender which is like 40 bucks (what your key goes into)... As for the ignition switch on the back of the column, i've had friends who have had theirs short out and literally melt on them, some go out slow, working until it heats up, cuting off until it cools some, then right back on, I guess have a look at that and the ignition cyllender first... It's where I would start.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
BLACKWOLF
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I am not sure on this but when I bought my 89 YJ the dealer told me to watch when starting it as the key will stick in the start position and you have to turn it back to the run, well I noticed that when it does this I have no air, radio or any other acc's until I put it into the run position.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
UnFocused
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Basics first I guess. Check your battery terminals and cables for corrosion and contact; if they're corroded clean them up with a mixture of baking soda and water, heavy on the soda. Immerse the cable clamps and let them fizz for a while, then use the sand paper on the clamps and terminals to get them spiffy.

Next, trace the hot and ground battery cables. You'll find the main hot cable runs to the starter solinoid. A secondary feed comes off the main cable and runs to the starter relay which also provides the positive power to the rest of the jeep. Make sure everything is clean, corrosion and rust free, and tightly connected.

The battery ground cable runs to the engine block; again clean and tight. On the back end of the block you'll find a braided wire cable about a half inch wide which runs from the valve cover to the firewall; again clean and tight.

As to the keyed ignition swich, there is no wiring associated with it. It's a simple mechanical switch to which a steel rod, running down the top of the steering column, is connected. The rod actuates the true electrical ignition switch which is on top of the steering column under the dash. If you feel up in there, you can feel the rod move when you twist the key. Could be that the ignition switch is fouled or the wiring is loose. It isn't fun to get to, but you can service it with basic tools and WD40.

That's my guess anyway. One question though: does the clock keep time or is it stopping like everything else?
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Unread 10-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #5
speepdaedeesi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnFocused View Post
One question though: does the clock keep time or is it stopping like everything else?
thats the question.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
noodle9
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forget the basics and go straight to the problem. it is your ignition switch. mine did the same thing about 6 months ago. when it does it, reach under the dash and carefully touch the switch. if it is hot, you found the problem. just fix it before you set it on fire.it is a cheap fix, just a little hard to reach.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 08:33 PM   #7
Apollo12227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodle9 View Post
forget the basics and go straight to the problem. it is your ignition switch. mine did the same thing about 6 months ago. when it does it, reach under the dash and carefully touch the switch. if it is hot, you found the problem. just fix it before you set it on fire.it is a cheap fix, just a little hard to reach.
Exactly... like I said in my first post, some of my friends had theirs completely melt on them, definatly a fire hazard, i wish there was a way to relocate it on the side of the damn column lol!
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Unread 10-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
Cda55
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Thanks for the info guys! Looks like I found a great bunch of people here! I am unsure if the clock keeps time. I will check all of the info you guys mentioned. Thanks a lot!
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Unread 10-24-2009, 07:48 AM   #9
Alfons
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I agree with the key switch being the problem. The headlights and clock don't have the key switch in their circuits, they're on "always hot" circuits.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #10
Cda55
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OK guys. Replaced the igintion switch and no change. Where does the power come to the key switch? Any ideas?
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Unread 10-24-2009, 06:26 PM   #11
Alfons
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Here's the ignition switch associated wiring around the steering column. With a multi-meter, you should be able to see where the "feed" problem is. Right up at the top left of this schematic, you see the feed from the Power Distribution Center (PDC) all the way to the switch - next time it dies, do a continuity check on each piece of that line & if that's all continuous, check out the fuse F6 and it's seating in the PDC, then you can lift the PDC and check the connections in it all the way to where the positive battery terminal is connected to the PDC:

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Unread 10-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #12
Que89YJ
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To take down everything it is before the feed to the ignition switch. If it is able to stall the Jeep then it has to be at your PDC under the hood. Pull it lose and check all the fuses and turn it over and check all the wiring from the battery to the PDC and the wires underneath.
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Unread 08-12-2011, 08:02 PM   #13
UMDJesse
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ok wait...so I just cleaned tightened checked everything and when I buttoned it all back up, I went to try again...put the key in turned on the ignition and wham! I have power! Lights, I hear the fuel pump, everything. I go to turn the motor over then I hear a CLICK! and everything dies again. What gives????? fuseable link perhaps? What should I check???
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Unread 08-12-2011, 08:20 PM   #14
Que89YJ
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Use a jumper cable hook one end to the battery and start jumping the leads where they connect.
Keep doing different wires until you get power. You can do the same for ground. Use the cables as a temporary lead to find the bad cable.
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Unread 08-12-2011, 08:22 PM   #15
johnny27030
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It sounds like a weak battery to me. It has enough power to run all of the accys but when its time to crank it draws a large load and kills the battery. Ive had this happen on multiple cars and motorcycles. Try to start the Jeep and turn your high beams on. If they are dim. Its the battery or corrosion.
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