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Unread 10-10-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
sandman_rides
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1977 FSJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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1977 Cherokee Chief shorted under dash, lost lights. Help!

SO, I bought this 77 Chief, and as I was driving it home, it started running badly, and I started fiddling with knobs. All of a sudden, it dies completely. I was under the dash trying to look at the fuse box, and heard a short (sizzling sound) as I was moving wires around. I pulled the wires away from the fuse box and e-brake, and it started back up, but now I have no headlights, tail lights, and brake lights. Parking (marker) lights seem to work... Any ideas where I should start?

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Unread 10-11-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
super98lsc
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1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Austin, TX
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check all the wiring coming off the front of the fuse box. It sounds like someone might have tapped off the fuses to power "add ons" or whatever. Find what the cause of that short was, likely you blew the head/tailight fuses out when it shorted.

Schematics can be found here. just scroll to you year.

http://oljeep.com/gw/elec/GW_wiring.html
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96 Cherokee Country 4dr/2x2 White/Tan 3" Lift Sahara 18" Wheels 32.5"'s 99up head and intake- for sale soon!
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Unread 10-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
sandman_rides
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1977 FSJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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Got it. Thanks! Started looking at bulbs, and a bunch of them were dead. Guess the load on twenty-some year-old bulbs was just too much, 'cuz they didn't survive the trip home. Got them all replaced and am taking it down to the DMV in an hour. Still gotta find that short, but I'm pretty sure I know where it is...
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Unread 10-11-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
sandman_rides
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1977 FSJ Cherokee 
 
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Vehicle search done, inspection done, now to send the certified letter to the dead guy and wait for a response... Bonded titles are a pain, but the old beast looks like she'll be worth it eventually... She ran all the way there and back, at least.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
sandman_rides
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1977 FSJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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Lord help me. I enlisted the kids to help in the restoration, and my daughter wants to paint it purple! What kind of zombie apocalypse bugout vehicle is purple?
chief.jpg

chief-2.jpg

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Unread 10-13-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
BJ's Off-Road
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1979 FSJ Cherokee 
 
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I had a similar issue with my 79 Cherokee. Sizzle, a bit of smoke and it died. Turns out is was a wire coming off of the ignition switch, I replaced that wire and all has been well since.

And purple???
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Unread 10-14-2013, 01:44 PM   #7
super98lsc
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Nice rig appears to be rust free from the small photos and in good shape overall.

_RM
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www.mangierisrc.com
06-Corvette z51-6spd,b&b,K&N low miles.
77-Corvette Stingray 496 BBC/TH400 built 667hp+
===================================
00 WJ 4x4, 4.7 stroker, turbocharged,..lots more..
01 WJ 4x2 4.7v8 Limited (needs valve job)
90 Grand Wagoneer 401 Edelbrock Heads, Lunati .510/.527 FT Cam, Edelbrock RPM Air Gap, Holley HP 750, Thorley Headers, HEI, Electric Fan w Digital controller,4" lift 31x10.50 Goodyear Duratrac's on Pro-Comp Wheels,new interior, seats,seals,Alpine and JL full system, Remote HEI, Clifford 2 way with remote start,windows,tailgate.
96 Cherokee Country 4dr/2x2 White/Tan 3" Lift Sahara 18" Wheels 32.5"'s 99up head and intake- for sale soon!
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Unread 10-15-2013, 11:02 AM   #8
sandman_rides
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Will look into the ignition wiring. There's a shorting sound when I move this one little module, so maybe not the wire. She starts up now, but seems to have a bit of trouble pulling fuel. Dropped the gas tank, ran a line into a gas can, and the fuel filter filled up with gas, but plug in a new fuel pickup and put the tank back on, and it's almost empty again. Gonna shorten the line, see if that helps, and if not we'll look at flushing or replacing tank.

Back fender flares are a little rough, and there's rust on the inside of the hood and roof, no idea how that happened...

Evil daughter still wants to paint her purple. Had the girls looking at seat covers in Autozone yesterday, and one wants Cheetah-skin pattern in black and white with pink trim, and the other wants Hello Kitty. Heaven help me. I should have gotten them a Civic.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 11:21 PM   #9
carnuck
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Just call it the "Bruise"
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Unread 11-13-2013, 09:03 AM   #10
sandman_rides
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1977 FSJ Cherokee 
 
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Got the short again the other day. Was under the dash re-attaching the speedo cable (engine running and lights on. I know, I'm a *******), and the dome lights came on then blew, panel lights got really bright and killed a bunch of the bulbs, ran rough, and when I shut it off it was dead. Got under the dash the next day, and it came back to life. I'm wondering if there's an after-fuse short that pushes a bunch of juice into the system. I can't find any frayed wires or anything under the dash. Maybe inside the headlight switch?

By the way, she's now camo khaki and brown, with flat black on the bottom and the original yellow "Cherokee Chief" letters. Looks pretty cool. I'll post pictures soon.
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Unread 11-20-2013, 10:55 AM   #11
sandman_rides
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Finally gave up on doing the wiring repair myself, took it to an automotive electrician, and he wound up rewiring under the hood. Running great now, but I didn't do it. On to what I can do. Gonna have to beef up my alternator to run extra lights (Christmas lights. I got drafted to pull the float for our gym in the Christmas Parade.) and an electric fan. How heavy should I go, and should I go with the Ford style or the GM style? Seems like Ford...
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Unread 11-28-2013, 09:45 AM   #12
sandman_rides
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Finally made time to take a pic. Here she is. Still a long ways to go...
cherokee-progress-2.jpg

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