My 1991 Wrangler won't start - HELP? -

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post #1 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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My 1991 Wrangler won't start - HELP?

Hello all, I am new to this community and looking for some advice. It might be hard to get over a forum without seeing/hearing the vehicle, but I figured I'd try. My Jeep won't start.
I have a '91 Wrangler, 6 cylinder 4.0 liter, that my family has owned from the factory. For the last couple months it has been a bit sluggish turning over when I start it up. A couple days ago it wouldn't start, there was no turn over at all. I thought it was the battery, so I added alittle water to the cells and it fired up. However, after letting it run awhile and then driving it about 5 miles to a shopping center, it wouldn't start again. As luck would have it, that shopping center had a battery load checker thingy (I like to use very technical terms, lol) and new batteries. The one in the jeep was totally dead, so thinking that was the problem, I bought a new one and installed it. The jeep still wouldn't start. The new battery shows 100% charge, the buzzer in the jeep/all gauges/lights/etc work, and there is a very soft clicking sound when I turn the ignition, but no turnover at all. Also, a few times when I was trying to start it, the ingnition itself got very sluggish and the key didn't even want to turn. Am I dealing with a bad ignition, bad starter, bad alternator, something totally different, or something that is impossible to tell from the very lengthy (but still no visual/audio) description I just gave? Thanks for any ideas/help/advice!!

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post #2 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 08:13 AM
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As the first step, I would inspect and clean the battery cables and terminal ends. A little crud on them can stop the juice you need to start!
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks EABiker, great advice, but I've already done that. The terminal ends and the cables aren't perfect, but they are as clean as I could get them.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 08:29 AM
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just make sure the terminals are tight that was m problem had one of those stupid terminal ends with different accessoery holes and i replaced two starters before i realized that was the problem but it could be your starter it doesnt sound like the solenoid because you here the clicking

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post #5 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 08:35 AM
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i had same problem once on my 95, the starter had a rubber drain on it to let moisture and what not get out but was baffled to not let it in ( looks like a rubber tube sticking out of the bottom of the starter) it had come off at some point and the road gunk had contaminated my starter commutator. I dismantled the starter and cleaned the commutator between the groove and 1000 grit sand paper on the segment bars. when cleaning out the grooves though, don't get carried away, there's insulating material between the segments. I thinks its some sort of epoxy or something. after I did that is fired right up. or your starter brushes could be worn away too much and not contacting the commutator bars with enought pressure therefore poor electrical contact.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 02:44 PM
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
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In case you haven't done it already, run through your relays and fuses under the hood, make sure they're good.

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post #7 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 02:46 PM
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It sounds like a bad starter.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-24-2011, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the tips everyone! I'm going to take it into my local garage and look at the starter with them. Hopefully it is an easy fix!
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-24-2011, 02:17 AM
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Yeah I would have to agree with everyone that said it was a bad starter. If you have to get one, just make sure you get one with a lifetime warranty on it!!

I'm growing rather fond of driving a vehicle with the aerodynamic qualities of a brick.
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alternator problem , ignition problem , repairs , start-up , starter issue

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