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Unread 09-13-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
Nocturnal
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93 Grand Wagoneer alarm/electrical issues

I have a í93 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with some alarm issues. Itís an extensive problem and Iíve already tried all the solutions I can find. Iíll try to describe it as thoroughly as I can to avoid rehashing old ideas.

If I lock the doors with the power locks as I get out of the Jeep, the alarm goes off when I unlock and open the drivers door. I donít have the keyless entry remotes for it so I canít disable the alarm that way. I have to turn the key in the hatch to turn off the alarm. The alarm doesnít always trigger, but it usually does so I just never lock the doors.

That isnít too big of a problem for me. I had a í92 Cherokee that did the same thing so I chalked it up to shoddy wiring and components in the Jeeps.

Yesterday when I went to start the Jeep, then engine turned over but wouldnít fire. The gas gauge was on empty and I was parked on a hill so my first thought was that the fuel pickup was above the fuel line. I put 5 gallons of gas in the tank and it didnít remedy the problem.

After some fiddling around and reading, I determined that the problem is related to the factory alarm system. I disconnected the battery and let it sit overnight. When I went out this morning, the Jeep fired right up. Apparently the alarm system reset itself when the battery was unhooked for a period of time.

After I turned the Jeep off, it refused to start again, with the same symptoms as described above. I unplugged the VTSS module but it made no difference. I removed the alarm system fuses in different combinations with the VTSS plugged and unplugged. Nothing made a difference other than preventing the lights from flashing when the battery was hooked back up. The engine still wouldnít fire.

I grounded the purple/yellow wire in the drivers door and that disabled the flashing lights. The Jeep still wouldnít start. I tried grounding the purple/white wire but that had no effect at all.

I canít find any other things to try. I know a lot of other people have had problems identical or similar to mine but I canít find many solutions for it. Iím on a tight budget here so I donít want to have to resort to a dealer or using dealer methods myself (in other words, replacing random parts until something works.)

There is a small black plastic piece loose in the drivers door with a green wire and a black wire running into it. Itís not connected to anything so I donít know what it is. I don't know if it's related to the alarm or not.

Can anyone provide me with a schematic of the alarm system or another way to try to disable the system?

Iíve seen some references to only being able to turn off the no-start security feature with a keyless entry remote. I probably have one laying around that I can program, but can I program a remote with the VTSS in lockdown mode? If the remote will work, I can wait until the VTSS has reset itself, then program the remote to hopefully avoid the problem in the future.

Sorry about the length. At this point, any ideas or info will be greatly appreciated.

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Unread 09-13-2008, 03:53 PM   #2
elmer_fud
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rotating the lock cylinders with the keys should disable the system the same as the remote. So you shouldn't need the remote. From the sounds of it though, the only lock cylinder with a working sensor is the back one. I have heard you have to disconnect the alarm after the engine has been started, something with the security system giving the PCM the code to start. Other than that I am not sure, sounds like you have tried all the common fixes.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 03:58 PM   #3
AEagle326
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sounds like whats going on with my 95 GC. i'm curious to see whats wrong as well.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 04:08 PM   #4
Nocturnal
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In the time I've spent researching this problem, I've found probably 20 other instances of Grand Cherokees with similar or identical issues. I've found no fix other than what I've already tried.

When the system resets itself, I will start the Jeep and disconnect the alarm while the engine is running. It makes sense that it might work that way. It's certainly worth a try.

For that matter, the ground wire in the door panel may work after the system has been reset. If I can find a solution, I will certainly update this thread to help out the other people with the same issue.

Does anybody know how long the battery has to be disconnected to reset the system?

Edit: I read someplace that the flashing lights and horn are a seperate system from the no-start part of the alarm. Supposedly the lock cylinder switch shuts down the lights and horn but not the engine lockdown. The keyless entry remote is supposedly required for that. Then again, this is the internet so I don't believe 90% of what I read.

I know I can start the engine after the alarm resets itself so I will wait for that and start from there unless somebody suggests something else I can try in the meantime.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 04:15 PM   #5
BransJeep
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This happeneto my 2000 wj i soon found out that my remote was wet inside and was sending the alarm signal to my car! maybe pull apart the remote and check that!
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Unread 09-13-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
Nocturnal
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I don't have the remote....
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Unread 09-13-2008, 04:59 PM   #7
colinzj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturnal View Post
If I lock the doors with the power locks as I get out of the Jeep, the alarm goes off when I unlock and open the drivers door. I don’t have the keyless entry remotes for it so I can’t disable the alarm that way. I have to turn the key in the hatch to turn off the alarm. The alarm doesn’t always trigger, but it usually does so I just never lock the doors.
Lock cylinder switch is probably worn out or disconnected. Easy fix if you care to get the factory alarm working again. Want to say the part's around $20 at the dealer. Otherwise you can use the liftgate or passenger door cylinders instead. Or just don't use the power locks; the system only arms with the vehicle off and the power locks used to lock the doors.

Quote:
After I turned the Jeep off, it refused to start again, with the same symptoms as described above. I unplugged the VTSS module but it made no difference.
Correct. The PCM knows there should be a VTSS, and no VTSS = no start. Otherwise everyone would just run around disconnecting VTSS modules to steal vehicles.

Quote:
I removed the alarm system fuses in different combinations with the VTSS plugged and unplugged. Nothing made a difference.
See above.

Quote:
I’ve seen some references to only being able to turn off the no-start security feature with a keyless entry remote.
Quote:
I read someplace that the flashing lights and horn are a seperate system from the no-start part of the alarm. Supposedly the lock cylinder switch shuts down the lights and horn but not the engine lockdown. The keyless entry remote is supposedly required for that.
Nope. Unlocking any lock cylinder with a working cylinder disarm switch will completely disarm the system. The only case in which that would be true is an aftermarket alarm with its own keyfobs.


You can put the VTSS into diagnostic mode by turning the key to accessory three times. You can then test each of the lock cylinders to verify which ones are and aren't sending the disarm signal.

Exit the vehicle, shut the door. Wait a few seconds. Insert the key into the cylinder, turn to unlock, hold it one second. If the VTSS is getting the disarm signal, horn will honk. Lather, rinse, and repeat for remaining two cylinders. Turning key to run or start will exit diagnostic mode.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 05:02 PM   #8
Virmagicus
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If my security is activated on my Jeep it will start but then shut off within 2 seconds. Does yours start and shut off or just turnover.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 05:04 PM   #9
colinzj
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Originally Posted by virmagicus View Post
If my security is activated on my Jeep it will start but then shut off within 2 seconds. Does yours start and shut off or just turnover.
Yeah, I was going to hit that next. If it won't start at all, it's probably a more innocent fuel delivery or spark problem. The VTSS teases the thief.
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Unread 09-13-2008, 09:36 PM   #10
Nocturnal
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I'll check the diagnostic in the morning.

Sometimes it runs for a couple seconds, sometimes it won't start at all. This morning, after sitting with the battery disconnected all night it ran for a few minutes before I turned it off. It doesn't seem to have fuel system problems. It ran perfectly the last time I drove it, and perfectly this morning. No sputtering or anything of that sort.

If I disconnect the VTSS module and plug it back up, it will usually run for a couple seconds before quitting. After doing that once or twice, it goes back to not running.

I suppose it could possibly be a fuel system issue, but it feels more like the alarm system to me. I've had enough problems with it before and it seems to be a common enough problem that it's at least a good starting place. If the diagnostic turns up nothing, I'll move on to other possibilities.

On the subject of fixing or disabling the VTSS, if I remove the module while the engine is running, will that leave the computer thinking that it's getting an okay signal from the VTSS? I'm not sure how it works, if it only sends a signal when it detects a problem or if there is an all-clear signal that will cause a problem if the VTSS is missing. Some people have claimed that removing the VTSS when the alarm has not been triggered will effectively disable the system. Can anyone verify that?

A faulty switch in the door would make sense for the initial problem of the lights flashing when I unlock and open the doors but would that also cause the no-start? I would think that disarming the alarm from another door would shut down the system. Or does the VTSS recognize the bad switch as a possible problem and keep the system locked down even after the lights are off?

Sorry, I know it's a lot of questions. Once I get started in something I want to learn how everything works inside and out. I appreciate the good input thus far.

Update: It started up just fine this morning. I let it run a while then unplugged the VTSS module. It kept running but wouldn't restart after I turned it off. It would run a couple seconds then quit. So that option is ruled out.

I will run the diagnostic test in a few minutes and go from there.

Last edited by Nocturnal; 09-14-2008 at 08:51 AM.. Reason: Update
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Unread 09-14-2008, 10:38 AM   #11
Nocturnal
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The alarm diagnostic doesn't seem to be working for me at all. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I'll keep trying.

In the mean time, would a bad relay cause the problems? I'll try switching the alarm relays with ones that I know work.

Update: I switched the fuel pump relay with the ABS relay and the ASD relay with the AC relay. The engine will start and run for a few seconds then die. Sometimes it will idle at low RPMs until I touch the gas pedal before it dies. Switching the relays appears to have made some difference.

I'm not sure what the relays under the glove compartment do so I'm not sure what to check for with those.

I did get the diagnostic to work. Here's my results.

Inputs
Hood Ajar Switch - Pass
Door Ajar Switch - Driver side pass, Passenger side fail
Liftgate Key Cylinder Switch - Pass
Liftgate Ajar Switch - Fail
Ignition Switch - Pass
Power Door Lock Switch - Pass
Power Door Unlock Switch - Pass
Door Key Cylinder Switch - Fail
RKE arm/disarm - N/A

Outputs
Horn - Pass
Headlamps - Pass
Park Lamps - Pass
VTSS Indicator Lamp - Pass

From this I know I have A: bad switches, B: bad wiring, or C: Bad VTSS module. I can check continuity in the switches and wiring to determine the problem there. If they check out fine, the problem will be in the module.

Is my reasoning correct? I will continue to try to determine if a relay or fuse could be contributing to the problem.

Last edited by Nocturnal; 09-14-2008 at 11:44 AM.. Reason: Update
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Unread 09-15-2008, 10:27 AM   #12
Nocturnal
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After all that focus on the alarm system, I finally determined that the apparent relation to the alarm system was coincidental.

Now I'm getting a consistent start after I let it sit for an hour or more. If I shut it down and restart right away, it will run a few seconds then sputter out. It dies faster after each consecutive restart.

I checked the codes and got 12 and 55. Battery disconnect and end of codes.

I established that the fuel pump is working. I haven't verified the pressure, but since it is outputting enough to start the engine and run it a few minutes, it should at least be enough to keep it running.

I checked the plugs and distributor cap. The center electrode is burned almost completely off the plugs. The cap and rotor are worn and fairly corroded. That is definitely part of the problem, but it doesn't seem to explain all of it.

I know vacuum leaks can cause all kinds of problems so I checked the hoses. One of the hoses that attaches to the air cleaner is broken off and missing completely. I can't find where it is supposed to attach to and I can't find it in the hose diagram. The hose is on the passenger side of the air cleaner lid, about in the middle from front to back. It points at a 45 degree angle toward the back passenger side of the engine compartment.

Can anyone tell me where that hose is supposed to go and what purpose it serves? I'll pick up a replacement when I get the plugs and distributor. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

Last edited by Nocturnal; 09-15-2008 at 10:56 AM..
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Unread 09-15-2008, 10:53 AM   #13
micifus
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On the issue of the alarm.

Do you really care if you have the alarm or not?

You can dig into the wire cluster coming from the driver side door and grouning the Purlpe wire with yellow stripe should disable your alarm system.

This is easiest way and only way(that I found) that will disable the alarm.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #14
Nocturnal
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As mentioned in the first post, I already disabled the alarm system by grounding the purple/yellow wire in the door. I live in a low car theft area and I'm sure my insurance company would pay me more than I paid for the Jeep so I'm not concerned about the function of the alarm.

I'm 95% sure now that the alarm isn't the problem. It may have been part of the problem at first but I believe I've successfully disabled the alarm as it no longer seems to have any bearing on whether the engine will run or not.

I'm now trying to solve the mystery of the missing vacuum hose on the air cleaner box while I replace the plugs, wires, and distributor.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 11:54 AM   #15
twin63
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1993 grand wagoner wont start getting fuel but no fire changed ecm steel no fire
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