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Unread 08-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #1
MMHPAO
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Jeep Started on its own when connecting battery

I've been having intermittent trouble starting the Jeep. I have been having the one click and everything dies problem (same as this one: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/t...-dies-1463682/)

Last week I swapped out the ground wires, and it still didn't start. Then I changed the starter relay and viola, it starts!

Fast forward to this morning (out in the middle of the desert), I get the dreaded one click. Luckily we were able to push start it.

When we got home, I was working on replacing the positive cables, pep boys did not have any, so I cleaned all the connections and replaced all the wires. As I was reconnecting the ground wire to the battery it arced, the started engaged and the Jeep lept forward (scared the crap out of me).

The key was in the LOCKED position. I put it in neutral and tried to connect it again. It still arced and engaged the starter.

I rechecked all my connections, and there are no crossed wires, everything is back where it came from.

Any ideas?

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Unread 08-04-2013, 11:38 PM   #2
jred
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Sounds like the ignition switch is jacked up. First thing I'd do is try cycling the key a few times (with battery disconnected) and test it again. If that didn't work, I'd try disconnecting the ign switch. If that isn't it... good luck
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Unread 08-05-2013, 12:06 AM   #3
102joe
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What he Said , its probably the switch sticking

Reminds me of a funny story , my sons Cherokee did the same thing !! We had the battery out to weld spring perches on a Jeep that was broke up the trail . I was parked at the top of a rock obstacle . My son was parked at the bottom . I was sitting in my Jeep waiting for the trail to clear while my son hooked up his batterie . As he connected the pos cable the starter engaged , his Jeep started climbing the rock ,with him scrambling across the engine bay to get to the drivers side . Funnest thing I have ever seen . I had nowhere to go all I could think was hes gonna hit me ! He got in and turned the key just in time . Now I tell him his jeep wheels better without him in it !
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Unread 08-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
MMHPAO
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That is a good story after everyone walks away, but while it is happening everyone is scared sh*tless.


As far as the starting problem, cycling the ignition a few times didn't change a thing, it still arcs and tries to start as soon as the cable gets close to the terminal.

I'll get the positive cables tomorrow, but I was hoping not to have to do the ignition; it sounds like a real PITA.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 08:49 PM   #5
87wrongler
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its the jeep telling you its time to go wheeling =)
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Unread 08-07-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
XJ93
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The ignition switch is on the column behind the dash. Drop the column down and its held in place with two small bolts. Pretty easy to change really. I have done them without dropping the column, but it's a bit more difficult.
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Unread 08-07-2013, 04:11 PM   #7
Luuca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMHPAO View Post
That is a good story after everyone walks away, but while it is happening everyone is scared sh*tless.


As far as the starting problem, cycling the ignition a few times didn't change a thing, it still arcs and tries to start as soon as the cable gets close to the terminal.

I'll get the positive cables tomorrow, but I was hoping not to have to do the ignition; it sounds like a real PITA.
I'm no expert on electrical BUT I read somewhere on here that the ignition lead being shorted out to a hot lead where it comes through the firewall can cause this. Check the ignition lead wire and trace it back to the firewall. If it's sitting next to a live hot, and it's casing is rubbed through, when you plug in the battery, you're going to get crank.

I'd search the YJ tech forums.. this has been resolved before. Plus it's a lot cheaper than throwing parts at it.
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Unread 08-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
XJ93
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Ding! I just had a thought.. Have you checked the wires down at the starter?
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Unread 08-07-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
Rproject
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luuca View Post
I'm no expert on electrical BUT I read somewhere on here that the ignition lead being shorted out to a hot lead where it comes through the firewall can cause this. Check the ignition lead wire and trace it back to the firewall. If it's sitting next to a live hot, and it's casing is rubbed through, when you plug in the battery, you're going to get crank.

I'd search the YJ tech forums.. this has been resolved before. Plus it's a lot cheaper than throwing parts at it.
This was a known issue on the early YJ's. There is a hot wire next to the ignition wire where they pass through the firewall on driver's side, high on the firewall. The contacts can corrode and cause the power to arc across. Pull the bulkhead connectors, clean all the contacts, lube with dielectric grease, close it all back up, then check for more ominous problems.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
MMHPAO
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I my first thought was the wires at the starer, they are really close and if you don't have the positive turned just right, it may touch (or be close enough to arc). That was good.

Thanks, it looks like I have a few things to check out this weekend, and I'll start with the firewall.

I've been searching the forum quite a bit, and there are so many starter issues it is hard to make heads or tails of them all .

I don't mind throwing parts at it too much, I figure if I replace it now it is less likely to fail on me later and it is still less than a shop.
She is 22 years old and most of her is stock and original.
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