Join Date: Apr 2010
86 CJ7 Won't Crank - Ideas? Short?
Hello All, I'm new to this site, and I've also posted to JeepAholics, so I'm pasting this to here as well, any help would be appreciated, hopefully I'll be able to help someone back after this, though some of the posts I've seen from others WELL exceed my knowledge. I've had 3 CJ7s over time, an 80, and 83, and now an 86. It's my summer car, I don't do any wild wheeling, I just love to enjoy the sun knowing I can take it city or around doing light off road things. And, its the time of year to start my baby up.
I did NOT have the chance to enjoy it last summer due to the economy. So the CJ7 has been sitting idle for a year and a half. When I went to jump start it off my 01 Cherokee - nothing, zero, not even an attempt to turn over, and so I let it sit for a few min, and the damn jumper cables (admittedly too low a gauge) started to melt!
I bought it used, it has an alarm system which I have never activated, and I have installed a Motorola two-way radio and a cell phone (yes, I've had it so long, that there is a phone actually installed in it). But while those things certainly drain the battery slowly over a few months, they all work when the key is 'on' and they wouldn't draw enough to stop the starter from turning over.
But now, it won't turn over, at all, dead the instant the key hits the 'start' position...
I have replaced the battery, I have replaced the old 3 post solenoid with a 4 post from auto-zone, I have replaced the starter...
Nothing, I even feared that maybe the engine somehow magically was seized, but there's no click when I turn the key to start, the whole electrical system just dies. In the 'on' position I see voltage on the dash, but the instant I hit the starter, it drops to zero and nothing happens.
So - it's a short, right? But like I said, battery, solenoid, starter, all replaced...
My dad is old school - an original WWII Jeep user when he was in the Navy, and he's also an engineer, so I've been talking to him a lot - but he's at a loss as well. His view is that it should be that simple, battery, solenoid, starter, connect the dots, the starter turns. I even took the brand new starter in an had it tested - nothing wrong with it.
BUT - when I (somewhat foolishly) decided to involve nothing and touch the positive battery cable right to the starter's POS post, all I got was sparks, no turn - of course, this was after 2 days, the battery isn't showing 13v anymore - but I'm not even hearing it click or try.
I'm dying for ideas here... I sat and stared at it all and wished I could pull half the 'Laredo' options out of the engine compartment to make things simple - but this is a CJ7! It IS simple, isn't it? WHAT am I overlooking?
So fellow Jeepaholics - I'm calling out to you, especially those of you who've slaved over the CJ's electrical chasis - I'd love some ideas. It's going to rain the next few days so I'm taking a break, but I'm online, I have both the Haynes and Chilton manuals, so any ideas or suggestions I look forward to.