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Unread 06-22-2013, 02:51 PM   #1
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1978 CJ5 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 32
CJ no start

I have a '78 CJ5 that has a no crank, no start condition. I happened to have a good solenoid laying here so i replaced that just to check and that wasn't the problem. I took the starter and had it tested and it tested good. So now I am figuring it is the ignition switch. Anybody have any experience diagnosing this kind of problem? Just looking for any tips before I dig in.

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Unread 06-22-2013, 06:09 PM   #2
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
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Bagus is the king at electrical diagnosis, so he'll probably chime in, but my redneck self would say you are on the right track. The rod from the key tumbler will insert into the switch on the top side of the steering column (under the dash). It may be that it is out if adjustment or the switch (12.00 part iirc) needs to be replaced. There should be a couple of small bolts that hold it to the column.

Check your fuses and wiring at the bulkhead. May be something loose. Someone who scored higher on their SAT will hopefully reply with a more thorough response.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 09:43 AM   #3
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1979 CJ7 
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Location: Schenectady, NY
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Battery terminals and grounds.

Mine was the ground at the block. Wire corroded inside the terminal.

I couldn't find the problem for an hr until the wire fell out of terminal and was hanging there bare.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 05:26 PM   #4
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1978 CJ5 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 32
Considering the ignition cylinder and ignition switch are original, I think I am just going to replace them both. I am pretty confident the ignition switch is the culprit though. There is a jeep shop just down the road from my work, so i am going to stop in and order both tomorrow at lunch.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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1977 CJ5 
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A quick test would be to jump from the "+" battery terminal to the solenoid start terminal. Make sure it's in neutral first.
If it cranks its in the harness, or ignition switch, if not look at grounds .
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Unread 06-24-2013, 04:20 AM   #6
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1981 CJ7 
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Location: Bali, Indonesia
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Ah yes, the strategy of replacing stuff without finding out the problem. Sounds like more profits for the local shops.

This could be as simple as the light blue wire having fallen off the solenoid S tab.

Before you get too far you may care to test what you have and find out what is working.

The best tool is a 12V test bulb and long leads. Costs about $5 but is soo easy to use.

Hook one end to the battery negative and go looking for voltage.

Youw ant to find a Bright bulb when you connect to a light blue wire and turn the key to Start. This wire goes to the solenoid S tab to start the engine.

If you do not have voltage here go back to the under column connector. There is a light blue wire coming out of it. Try here for voltage in Start. There is possibly a neutral safety switch somewhere in the harness just before this so it i simportant to check the light blue wire at several locations up to the switch before concluding it is a duff switch.

If you still do not find any check the Red wire going in to the connector, are you finding a Bright bulb here? If so then the switch and/or harness above the connector is not doing its job.

Here is a diagram which may give you afew clues about how the swicth itself operates. It is for a 1984 but very similair.
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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
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