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Unread 08-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #1
mattcofay
Registered User
1993 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 7
Problem with starter? Any help appreciated

Hey everyone,

I'm having an issue with my 1993 Grand Cherokee Limited. A few days ago, it began starting a little slowly--almost like the battery was going dead. *I checked the battery and it was fine, and then found that tapping on the starter while cranking the Jeep would cause it to turn over faster (no more dying battery sound) and start without a problem. So, I figured the starter was going out and ordered a new one online, but continue to drive the Jeep while waiting for the part to arrive. *I've been having to tap the starter basically every time I crank the car to get it to start.

Then, yesterday, tapping the starter didn't work. Now, the car tries to turn over rapidly, but never actually starts. My question is: does this still sound like the starter? Or has something else possibly gone wrong, like a clogged fuel filter? I guess I just expected that when the starter finally gave out, the car wouldn't try to turn over at all; but, instead, it just keeps trying to turn over at a really high rate. I wanted to make sure that a broken starter could cause this kind of issue--if not, I need to figure out what might be wrong secondarily with the car so that I can get started in fixing any additional problems while I wait for the starter to come in the mail.

Thanks in advance everyone for your help.

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Unread 08-06-2013, 09:42 AM   #2
JeepNicholson
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Burbank, OH
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattcofay View Post
Hey everyone,

I'm having an issue with my 1993 Grand Cherokee Limited. A few days ago, it began starting a little slowly--almost like the battery was going dead. *I checked the battery and it was fine, and then found that tapping on the starter while cranking the Jeep would cause it to turn over faster (no more dying battery sound) and start without a problem. So, I figured the starter was going out and ordered a new one online, but continue to drive the Jeep while waiting for the part to arrive. *I've been having to tap the starter basically every time I crank the car to get it to start.

Then, yesterday, tapping the starter didn't work. Now, the car tries to turn over rapidly, but never actually starts. My question is: does this still sound like the starter? Or has something else possibly gone wrong, like a clogged fuel filter? I guess I just expected that when the starter finally gave out, the car wouldn't try to turn over at all; but, instead, it just keeps trying to turn over at a really high rate. I wanted to make sure that a broken starter could cause this kind of issue--if not, I need to figure out what might be wrong secondarily with the car so that I can get started in fixing any additional problems while I wait for the starter to come in the mail.

Thanks in advance everyone for your help.
If your engine is turning over when you turn the key then your starter is working. Unless you mean the starter is making just awful screeching noises when you turn the key.
But if you have to tap on the starter solenoid, then your starter is likely on its way out. First make sure your battery connections are clean and tight, as well as the cables going to the starter, just to make sure enough current can get to the starter. You can also try jumping the starter with leads directly from your battery.

If it still doesn't work then you can pull the old one and check the gears on it and on the flywheel in the hole it came out of, make sure the gear teeth aren't broken or over worn. If the teeth are fine,

Then you have 3 options-

Try to rebuild the starter yourself with a kit
Pay a starter/alternator shop to rebuild it
Buy a new/rebuilt one

One word of advice I have is don't buy the cheapest starter they have - or you'll be returning it soon. Even so, the better ones aren't terribly expensive anyway.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 10:42 AM   #3
mattcofay
Registered User
1993 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 7
Thanks for your reply. As I said, I already have a starter coming to me in the mail. Mostly, I was wondering whether the starter could still be bad even if the jeep is now trying to turn over and failing to start--I.e. whether the starter could be locked, turning, but failing to function correctly. I just wanted to get a jump on anything else that might be wrong with the car if it's not just the starter, although clearly the starter is at least part of the problem (as I'd been having to tap on the solenoid).
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Unread 08-06-2013, 10:52 AM   #4
Robbie98zj
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 74
If the starter turns but the car doesn't crank your missing either fuel or spark if the starter was locked up it wouldn't spin at all. If u can figure out which one u can go from there in figuring out the other problem.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
JeepNicholson
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Burbank, OH
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattcofay View Post
Thanks for your reply. As I said, I already have a starter coming to me in the mail. Mostly, I was wondering whether the starter could still be bad even if the jeep is now trying to turn over and failing to start--I.e. whether the starter could be locked, turning, but failing to function correctly. I just wanted to get a jump on anything else that might be wrong with the car if it's not just the starter, although clearly the starter is at least part of the problem (as I'd been having to tap on the solenoid).
Sorry, missed that you had already ordered one.

Here, this is a pretty decent write up I just found about how the basic starting system works and what to look for, it's not Jeep specific, but the system works the same way, basically

http://www.nellump.net/peri/epi/gen7Techs/starters.html

Make sure your battery is providing enough amps (not just volts), make sure all your connections are clean and corrosion free.

I suppose it could be possible that your starter motor is running, but the plunger may be stuck sometimes, sometimes making it miss the flywheel gears, and possibly leaving it engaged too long or misaligned which is when a grinding sound happens and ruins your flywheel gears after a while.

To me, it totally sounds like the starter, though.

Dunno if you need it but here's a link to my Google drive with the zj fsm starting system section
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6y1...p=docslist_api
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