WJ/2002 Battery Cable Assembly - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-28-2010, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Wj WJ/2002 Battery Cable Assembly

I’ve had a ton of corrosion problems at the battery posts on my 2002 JGC. This is a 4.7L. I have experienced this ever since I bought it used in 2004. I got used to every 4 or 5 months having to get in there and clean things up real well. This has happened over multiple new batteries (pretty sure I’ve replaced the battery twice since I’ve owned it). With all that removing/brushing/replacing of the lead lugs, they are getting pretty wore out. Over the past year this problem has ramped up in frequency, forcing me to clean the connections every month or so.

I’m currently at one of those times when I need to clean it up real good…. Have been having to wiggle the connection (or tap it with a wrench) about every other time I turn off the engine now to restore the connection (yes very lazy, but have been busy with work and the holidays). Have looked at the cables some and I think it’s safe to say I have corrosion moving well up the cables (inside/under the insulation).

So I’ve been procrastinating all day about having to get in and mess with that corrosion (been tooling around with a broken window regulator as my excuse not to clean corrosion). I think I at least need to replace the lugs at the end of the cables, but probably need to replace the entire cable assembly.

Have done a lot of searching this site and other similar ones for how to get my hands on a complete cable/wiring assembly. Really difficult to find OEM replacement.

Finally found the “2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WJ) Parts Catalog”. In there, in the “Battery Tray & Cables” section (Figure 008-1010) it looks like Item number 1 is what I am looking for. That is Part Number “#56041 908AA”.

The legend says the “#” in the part number means it is new this model year.

I have searched google for that part number and only get hits for sites with the Parts Catalog. So just moving in circles there.

Is my only hope for pricing and potentially acquiring this to go to the stealership?

I’m not completely opposed to upgrading cables with an aftermarket solution and/or making up cables of my own (seen some write ups about using welding cables), but I really like the clean look of the factory assembly/harness. Haven’t been able to find a writeup about replacing the whole cable assembly on a WJ yet either so that makes me a little leery about running separate/new cables (non OEM cable assembly).


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post #2 of 13 Old 12-28-2010, 08:37 PM
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I know there are some wholesale mopar sites and whatnot, but I don't know offhand what they are; hopefully someone else can contribute that.

I will just suggest when you take the time to put all new cables in there, prevent the problem from occurring in the future by switching to a dry cell battery like an optima. Dry cells don't suffer from the corrosion problems that wet cells do.

2003 WJ in Jeep Green Metallic, 4.0/242/4.10's. 4" Teraflex springs w/ RE monotube shocks and IRO short arms, cheap intake w/ amsoil filter, 2.5" hi flow cat and back exhaust, lots of lights and other misc crap.

Check out my build thread here:
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-28-2010, 08:44 PM
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After cleaning it do you spray it real good with battery terminal protectant? Even a petroleum jelly rubbed on the posts would work good. The most common cause of corrosion is hydrogen gas. But that still wouldn't explain why you would get build up on your starter/battery to frame ground or what not. As far as replacing them goes, try taking off the old one and visiting a Implement/Ag equipment dealer, as they might be able to make you one up at a pretty reasonable cost. (I worked for a John Deere Dealer). I looked on rockauto.com and couldn't find any.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-28-2010, 08:48 PM
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2002 WJ Ltd. 4.7 V8, QuadraDrive
1973 Mercury Cougar Xr7 convertible 351CJ, C6, 9" rear
1970 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 W/OW 6x6 Multifuel D-Turbo.

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-30-2010, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks merc1973! I'm going to go the same route you did. Got the copper lugs and marine terminals. For clarification, did you use the existing battery cables to attach the copper lugs to, or did you cut off the electrical wrapping of the harness, put in new cables and then put the copper lugs on. The insulation on your cables looks really new.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-30-2010, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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As feared.... just cut off the old lugs and stripped back about 1/4" of the insulation and the copper underneath has got corrosion all over it. I don't think I have enough slack to cut back further to find good clean copper... so I think its time to unwrap that big bundle of wires and replace the actual cable.

More soon... have the laptop right beside me here in the garage so I'll update as I go.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-30-2010, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wrorrer View Post
As feared.... just cut off the old lugs and stripped back about 1/4" of the insulation and the copper underneath has got corrosion all over it. I don't think I have enough slack to cut back further to find good clean copper... so I think its time to unwrap that big bundle of wires and replace the actual cable.

More soon... have the laptop right beside me here in the garage so I'll update as I go.
You are going to have to find battery terminals that will accept two cables each. It might be easier to just cut back the old cables to where they go into the bundle and tape new cables to the outside of the original bundle.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-30-2010, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Understood on the two cables each part... check out the link that merc posted above. I'm going for the same setup he has. Two lugs sitting over the post of a marine terminal.

Already cut open the big bundle and extracted the neg to frame ground wire. Making its replacement now. The original is 'crispy' with corrosion on the inside. Cut off about 1.5 inches back and stripped it (just to see how far back the corrosion went) and the copper was green and fuzzy with white corrosion on the inside. Looks like it has crept waaay up inside in the insulation.

I think the only two I'm actually going to be able to replace entirely is the one I'm working on (neg term to frame ground cable) and then pos to distribution box red cable.

Got under the jeep and looked at the connection to the starter (pos term to starter) and I don't think I will easily be able to get it off of the starter or a new one fished back through. But now that I have un-bundled everything it looks like I might be able to gain about 3 inches of slack without stretching this one tight. Hopefully it has clean copper that far up the insulation.

The other one I think I'll leave is the neg to engine (I think that's where it goes...). Same deal with too hard to get it off the underside. But also same deal with the slack... I think I have enough slack now that its unbundled to get back to good copper under the insulation.

I'll know soon.... really hope I don't have to mess around with those connections on the underside (I don't have air tools and those spaces are cramped).

Snapping pictures as I go... I'll post when done.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-30-2010, 04:30 PM
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yea its a tight in there with the 4.7 under the hood.

this might work for you if you find good copper http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ma...rectly-691172/
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-31-2010, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Update time.... 4 connections to the battery:

#1 - Negative to frame
#2 - Negative to engine
#3 - Positive to power distribution box
#4 - Positive to starter

For numbers 1 and 3 I replaced the cable entirely with 4 gauge black/red cable with copper lugs soldered on both ends. Yes I had rework the connection to the power distribution box a little, but its a firm connection.

For numbers 2 and 4, I left the connections to the starter and engine block untouched. The battery ends of the cables, I replaced the old terminals with copper lugs. Was able to get enough slack after unbundling the entire main cable assembly.

All connections are solder.

During all of the cable and connection work, I had the battery out, as well as the battery tray. I work in a kind of a dim garage so at times I had a 12V shop light attached to my battery sitting on the floor and the light hanging from my hood. Well.... of course I neglected to turn it off on one of my runs back into the house to handle my 1 year old... and the battery drained completely. Read 3.4V when putting a voltmeter across the unloaded terminals.

I pressed on, getting all the cables and connections done using a flashlight. When I finished the cables, I reconnected the ground connection to the frame, reconnected the connector that I disco'd under the battery tray and right behind the headlight (maybe it is the headlight cable?), I reconnected the battery tray drain tube, I reinstalled the battery tray, reconnected the sensor in/under/thru the battery tray, reconnected power distribution unit, put the battery back in the tray and clamped it down, connected the two positive cables to the new marine terminal on the positive battery post, connected the two negative cables to the new marine terminal on the negative battery post.

Then I pulled my wife's car up to mine, and ran jumper cables between the two to give the dead battery enough to get the jeep started. after about 10-15 minutes, i turned the key in the jeep and it fired right up....

BUT!!!,,,, it dies immediately if you let off the gas. It starts but won't idle. Thoughts on this?

I poked around the forum and have seen possible causes of this:

-Battery connections (I am confident these are the best connections that have existed on this particular jeep... been at some level of horrible corrosion ever since I bought it).

-Alternator - was good before doing the recabling

-IAC (intake air control?) valve - no idea on this one; don't even know where it is, but will look into it some more

-Needs to relearn how to idle - maybe this is a possibility since I had the battery disco'd for about a full day

-Low battery charge on WJ will not let it idle - would this also happen while I have jumper cables connected? It wouldn't idle even with the jumper cables still connected.

-What else?

Have till Sunday evening to get this running.
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-31-2010, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like it was just the weak battery or it forgot how to idle. Jumped back in it this morning and tried starting it without jumper cables to see if the battery had soaked up enough last night. It did and fired right up. Still wanted to die if I let my foot off the gas, but I rev'd it up to about 3.5K for 30 seconds or so and then let go and it dropped down to its normal idle and has been running fine since.

I'll have to remember this experience... never seen it happen before and I have had a lot of dead batteries and needed to jump the car. I guess it was just a combination of weak/dead battery plus the jeep had been battery-less for a day clearing the computer.

Anyways... now it remembers how to idle again and life is good. Pictures later this weekend after I finish rebundling my cables, but it basically looks just like what Merc1973 did.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-06-2013, 12:48 PM
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Wj Corrosion

I have all exactly the same issues on my 2000 Grand. It's nice to know I was right about the corrosion. But I thought it was from my Stereo system. I'm going to replace it with an aftermarket Mopar set. Thanks for the help
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-09-2014, 02:04 PM
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stalls after cable change -

I had similar problem on 4.0L ZJ after battery died. Jeep "forgot" how to idle (technically the "fuel trim" in memory is reset.

There are 2 fixes.

1) short term: keep it running long enough to relearn the fuel trim. It takes a little while (30 minutes) but it worked for me.

2) fix what is really broken: The default setting should be able to start the car and have it idle. If not, something else is wrong. I'm my case it was a bad fuel pressure regulator (on top of fuel pump in the tank). Fuel pressure was wrong so default fuel trim was whacked. When i fixed that the truck started and idled with no more problems.

Good Luck.

For cables I use the set from CustomBatteryCables.com see http://custombatterycables.com/appli...kee_cables.htm yes, they are overkill but they work and they work well. Sure they cost some money but what's your time worth? do you want to be driving around buying parts and soldering or on the trail?
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