Starting/electrical problems in 95 zj -

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post #1 of 6 Old 01-15-2014, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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1995 ZJ 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: habersham, georgia
Posts: 25
Starting/electrical problems in 95 zj

First off, sorry if there is already a thread for this. But here's the problem

I'm having some electrical issues with my 1995 jeep grand cherokee 4.0. And this is what it's doing:

When I turn the switch to the on position everything is working (lights, windows, locks, radio etc) then when I try to start the jeep the engine makes a single clicking noise and then everything mentioned above shuts off. And will not come back on until I disconnect and reconnect either the positive or negative battery wire.

I have replaced the battery ground wire and made sure that connection is good. Also replaced both terminal clamps. Also pulled the wiring from the starter and made sure it was clean and had a good connection.

The battery is only a month old and the starter is about a year old.

At this point I have no clue what it could be. I've read that it could be a starter or bad cables or bad connections but I don't know where to start

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-15-2014, 10:39 PM
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2004 WJ 
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Location: Dingmans Ferry
Posts: 2,286
Make sure you battery is fully charged. An over night slow charge is the best.
Your battery can only take being totally discharged so many times before the battery is wasted no matter how new it is. You might have a problem so where if the battery is draining over night.
Try going through this thread ..., it will go through the system for starting even though it is written up for stalling.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-16-2014, 01:23 AM
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1996 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Sacramento
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I would say you either have a bad ignition switch that is sticking somewhere between run and start, or more likely you have a short in the starter circuit. I would start be disconnecting the big red cable on the starter and try turning the key again, if it acts the same way rule out the starter but not the wiring going to it. If the lights and stuff work after turning the key replace the starter and/or solenoid. This is just a place to start, it sounds like a circuit breaker is tripping killing everything and the time its taking to disconnect the battery cable or the act of doing so is allowing it to reset. I dont know enough about the ZJ to know if it has fusible links or a master circuit breaker though. To test the ignition switch place the key in run (dont twist to start based on your symptoms) and rig up a remote start switch to turn the starter over and start the jeep (Im sure you can get one at HF if you dont have the stuff). This will bypass the factory wiring from the ignition switch to the solenoid, if the remote start switch works the problem is in the factory wiring for that circuit.

More than anything I would check all the wiring for the starter near anything that gets hot (exhaust). Many times when a starter is replaced the wiring doesnt get put back where it should go (out of harms way) and if it has melted on hot exhaust it will short out when the key is turned (small solenoid wire) or cause a massive melt down (big red wire)

also, see post #4 here

Last edited by Timer96; 01-16-2014 at 02:19 AM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-16-2014, 07:29 AM
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1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East Texas
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I would have your battery load tested to eliminate it as a problem. A weak battery can cause the starter to stick on. It may be the starter is sticking and zapping all the electrical energy causing electrical items not to function. When you remove a cable the circuit ends and the starter releases. I would check the battery, the battery cable to starter and the starter. If this is not the problem them you have a short somewhere causing the problem. A short however would be blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers. There is no main fuse or circuit breaker. After a fuse blows or a breaker trips you have to replace or manually reset. I don't think there are any self resetting circuit breakers on the Jeep. I could be wrong but I think it is all fuses.

The single click that you hear may be the starter solenoid energizing. You can have a helper try to start while you listen near the starter. Troubleshoot with a good fully charged battery.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-16-2014, 07:55 PM
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1995 ZJ 
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Location: St Pete
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as others said, you should test the battery, battery cables, cable ends and starter as a first point. chances are, it's somewhere in there that's giving you grief. If all of that checks out clear and is tested good, we can try to go on. It sounds like possibly a bad power booster(?) on the starter motor, a bad relay or bad cables/ends probably on the battery end.

1995 ZJ ltd, 4.0 i6, *cough stock cough* 253,xxx and still pumping strong
1998 Chevy Cheyenne K1500, 5.7L Vortec, mostly stock
*In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons. - Herodotus
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We can call it the Whoosh King Catalog System. :D
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-16-2014, 12:24 PM
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
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Location: saratoga springs
Posts: 41

Just curious if you got this resolved and if so , what the problem ended up being? My YJ is doing the exact same thing you described. Got the battery tested and re-charged first, but when I threw it back in I still have the same problem.
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battery , battery connection , electrical issue , jeep grand cherokee zj , start problems

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