starter relay, solenoid problems -
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-25-2002, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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starter relay, solenoid problems

I'll try to make this simple. I have an '88 YJ that's havng starting problems. When I go to start, seatbelt buzzer is loud and clear, and I have all internal and external lights/electcrical working fine. I'll turn the key and get a single click, then the car is dead. Seatbelt buzzer is very quiet and electrical is barely existant. Give it a little while and the power comes back, though I'm sure the battery is lower. Jumping it does nothing.

I have the starter relay that's located on the firewall. Do you suppose this is the culprit?

A little more back story...

A couple months back, I was cruising along on a back highway when the jeep simply cut out while driving. Again, all elctronics were working totally fine, but no starting, or even turning over. After digging around for a while on the side of the road, I discovered that one of the wires connected to the threaded part of the relay had eroded and came apart. So I simply desheathed some wire and crudely reconnected it.

Then, on the next startup, I smelled smoke. An inspection showed that one of the wires to the connector located below and to the right of the oil pressure sending unit. The sheath was completely fried off.

Unplugging the connector (I don't know what it is or what it's for) has allowed the jeep to run fine. Oil pressure gauge works fine.

The jeep has been running fine till now. I've been meaning to get it taken care of, but it's been on the backburner. It's a royal pain following wires in the big bundles. Anyone know any tricks for following or getting wires in/out of the super-stiff sheath?

So I've pulled the relay, or what Haynes calls the Motorcraft Solenoid off the firewall and will be trying to get another installed as that seems to be near the source of the problem and is a cheap swap.

But is this correct? What are all the wires coming off the mounting post that the battery is connected to on the relay/solenoid?

I'm a bumbling fool with this electrical system. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Sorry for the big post. I just wanted to be clear.

-=Jeff Merkel=-

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post #2 of 2 Old 07-25-2002, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Austin, TX
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With the jeep in neutral and parking brake on and key in run position, test the starter and the battery positive (hot) cable by crossing the solenoid terminal where the battery cable connects to the terminal that has a skinny wire attached to it, using a big screwdriver that has a plastic or wood handle.

If the start spins and starts the engine, good.

If the starter won't spin the enigine, the check the battery terminal connections by removing the cables, cleaing cables and terminals with wire brush and water baking soda mixture. Re-install cables and tighten securely.

Try the screwdriver test again. If the starter still does not spin the engine, the battery cable is probably bad. Verify that the problem is not your battery by connecting another car battery with jumper cables, and trying the screwdriver test.

If the two batteries spin the starter, then have your battery load tested. It may be bad, or it just may need a good charge.

Post the results of the tests and we'll try some other tests. Do not try to solve the problem by randomly throwing money at it. electrical problems are best solved with logic.
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