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Unread 09-13-2014, 04:03 PM   #1
jdmitchjr
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dead after battery reconnection -- HELP

I have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0l recently purchased for my son. I am in the process of going through it to make it all good before handing it over him. Of course, the initial blown head gasket prompted more attention than I originally intended.

The last item on the list was a rubbing and noise seemingly from the back of the steering wheel. I checked all the steering issues under the hood after reading some posts and TSBs. The power steering hoses had good separation, no unusual noise from the pump, and the linkages all good.

So I disconnected the battery, both terminals, in an abundance of caution, and let it sit for a half hour. I then took out the steering wheel air bag module to see if I could identify some bit of trim or other gear causing the sound. I also removed the bottom trim panel off the column. Other than some dirt, nothing seemed to be the culprit. Not wanting to go so far as to pull the wheel, I put it all back together. No issues with reassembly. I reconnected the battery. All in all, the project probably took about an hour and a half. Battery is in good shape and the terminals and connectors are clean.

When I went to start it, I turned the key and the dash lit up like normal and then went black. No starter. The only thing that seemed to work was the hazard lights.

Tried disconnecting the battery, waiting, and reconnecting. Nothing. All dead.

When the ignition switch is in the run position, there is some light clicking noise and the ac button light flickers, but otherwise no activity.

I took off the airbag again, and did not find anything I messed up.

I checked all the connections for the harness that run from the battery to the main under hood fuse box an firewall mounted connectors. All good.

Some posts suggests some factory alarm or kill system, but none of the steps seem applicable to this jeep. The power door locks and fob operations are also dead.

PLEASE HELP with any suggestions you may have.

Thanks.


Last edited by jdmitchjr; 09-13-2014 at 04:49 PM..
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Unread 09-13-2014, 05:06 PM   #2
coopdc78
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Battery connection nice and tight and clean? That sounds like the first step
. The connections on wj's are finicky
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Unread 09-13-2014, 06:30 PM   #3
narnwv
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Battery dead?
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Unread 09-13-2014, 07:28 PM   #4
jdmitchjr
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Thanks for the replies.

Battery is good and connections are clean.

Out of curiosity, I stuck a continuity tester between ground and the cable that connects to the positive terminal (while the cable was off the battery) and no key in the ignition. It shows continuity. That seems to indicate a short someplace. I don't think anything I did at the steering wheel created a short -- all pretty simple and limited connectors. One post I found in the forum said they found a short in the wrapped bundle just off the battery so tomorrow I will start looking there. I did move that bundle around when disconnecting and then reconnecting the battery, so disturbing it could have exposed an issue. Plus a short further along in the system should have blown a fuse whereas a short in that bundle off the battery might not be behind a fuse.

Please keep the replies coming.

Might it be a SKIM or other oem antitheft system?

Thanks.
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Unread 09-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #5
narnwv
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no, if it were the SKIM it would run for two seconds then shut off.
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Unread 09-13-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
rep-tile
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First things first. Get a voltage reading off of your battery with a digital voltmeter and post here.
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Unread 09-14-2014, 02:40 PM   #7
jdmitchjr
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I think I figured it out.

I had pulled the clock spring out to examine it because I thought it was the source of the rubbing and noise. Given the dried up lubricant and rub marks on it, I am pretty sure it was. I added some silicon grease to it and put it back in, planning to order a replacement in due time.

In diagnosing the issue today, I started disconnecting the stuff I had reconnected thinking that it must be something I did that caused the problem. When I pulled the wheel to clock spring connector from the clock spring and tried it, all was good. So I pulled the clock spring to examine it again. When I pulled one of the connectors for the wires from the column to the bottom of the clock spring, I noticed that a part of the clock spring contacts was loose and out of place and lying across multiple contacts. I am almost certain this was the problem. I did not want to chance trying to get the contact tab back in place, so I placed the order for the replacement clock spring. I will post again once that part is in. And I will take a photo of the contact piece issue. It is a pretty bad design or manufacture if the contacts in a connector fall out after one disconnect and reconnect.
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Unread 09-14-2014, 07:50 PM   #8
jdmitchjr
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Here is a photo of the broken contact and the connector receptacle it is supposed to be in.
dsc03813d.jpg  
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Unread 09-15-2014, 03:48 AM   #9
MadderThanMax
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A Blob of Araldite or Plastic weld would have cured that.. held the item in place..
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Unread 09-15-2014, 09:40 AM   #10
jdmitchjr
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Yes, I considered fitting the contact back in and also adhering it somehow, but if it involves the airbag and given that I think that the clock spring cartridge was responsible for the rubbing and noise I was trying to track down, I figured better to replace the unit. The mopar part was quite expensive but the aftermarket replacements if shopped around were not as expensive.
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Unread 09-17-2014, 07:56 PM   #11
jdmitchjr
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Received the replacement clock spring, Dorman brand. It matched up perfectly and went right in. No more issues (for now) with the electrical system.

But the rubbing and groaning noise persists. I went further along the steering shaft and determined that the rub and noise was either at the engine bay side of the firewall or the entry to the steering box. As a start, I sprayed wd40 in both locations and the rubbing and noise seemed to fade and eventually disappeared. When if comes back, I will have to figure out exactly what the issue is, but for now it is good.

Thanks to those who read the post and provided responses.
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