Same symptoms my starter had before it failed all together. Sounds like the motor on it is going out.
Run a volt-meter check from the positive and negative nodes of the starter. That will tell you if it's a bad ground/cable or a bad starter.
With the key on, if your getting 12 volts at the starter then your starter is on it's way out the door....
It's very easy to replace. Be sure to take it off first before going to the parts store so you get the core discount. I paid 60 bucks for mine at Autozone. But the Autozone rebuilds are pretty crappy. If you can let the jeep sit for a few days maybe order a good one from Napa or something.
You will need a 3/8 in. drive star socket to remove the bolts. I purchased a small set at Autozone and it had the correct size. You have to remove one of the bellhousing inspection plate bolts also but that one is a standard. Tap your socket driver up nice and tight with a rubber mallet before you losen the 2 starter bolts. You do NOT want to strip those or you will turn a easy starter swap into a nightmare...lol
Last edited by sloan74; 08-03-2010 at 07:05 AM.