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Unread 10-03-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
Grims
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1983 CJ7 
 
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Jeep died on the road, wouldn't start, then wouldn't turn off

So, on my lunch break I went to run an errand (for the jeep ironically) and a block before I got there it just cut off. When trying to start it it would die as soon as I let off the key, and seemed to be an ignition issue.

After a lot of troublehsooting, and a tip from a friend (Kastraelie on the forum) I followed the alternator wires to this junction box.



I wiggled the wires around a little bit and the radiator fan powered up...which is usually always powered up when the key is in the on position. So I gave it a shot and sure enough it fired right up.

But, here is where it got really strange...now it WONT TURN OFF. I have to stall it to get it to cut off...but then the fan keeps running still. I had to pull the fuse for the fan by the batteries...which bTW....this doesn't seem like the proper way to wire up a two battery system does it?



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Unread 10-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
DanStew
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I would look at the ignition switch. it looks to me that there may be a problem there if you have both of those conditions and they are both controlled by that switch
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Unread 10-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #3
arkiemurph
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That junction box is your solenoid for your starter. When you turn the key to "start" the solenoid sends power to your starter. I don't know, but I'd guess the problem is in your ignition switch in your steering column.

Murph
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Unread 10-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
Grims
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Hmm...but why would it be the ignition switch if messing with the solenoid half fixed the issue? Or do you think that was just a coincidence? Turning the key to the on position does still turn on the radio, and battery voltage gauge, and turning it off powers them down.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
MoneypitCJ5
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It does sound like you ignition switch (the electrical portion anyway) has either come loose or gotten moved. If not adjusted properly it will act like you describe.

When the switch on mine went out, it would only power the coil in the "ON" position but not "START" even though everything else worked fine.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
LumpyGrits
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I sure hope that is not a metal hold down strap that is so close to your POS(+)battery terminals.
I would also move that blue wire away from your fuel pump.

BTW, when one battery goes bad-It will, pull the other down with it.
LG
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Unread 10-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
Grims
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Well, I replaced the ignition switch and the starter solenoid. No change. Except, now it is back to cranking but not starting up...and making a horrible starter noise. The engine fan is also not turning on anymore like it usually does in the key on position. Either that, or I'm adjust it wrong. Fairly certain it was wrong before hand because I never had a backwards accessory position, now I do.

Thanks LG, it is a plastic strap. I will probably look into a more advanced battery management system later on
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Unread 10-03-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
Grims
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So to make sure it wasn't a crazy hard adjustment issue, I took the new ignition switch back out and manually played with the start feature, and ran it through each mode. The coil only gets power in the start position, not the run position. The engine fan is also not turning on anymore, and it usually always did in the run position.

A friend came out and helped me go through it. We could get it to start by manually bridging each end of the starter solenoid, and running a jump wire to the coil, it actually starts up far better than it ever did while it was running before. The starter sounded clean, where as when you just turn the key it sounds like it is grinding..almost like it isn't getting enough power or something.

The wiring is a mess, there are cut wires all over the place under the hood and the dash. I even found an an ICM looking thing that appears to be wired up to the coil, but I can't tell for sure. It was installed under the radiator over flow tank, and I pulled it out for a picture.



I really feel I'm missing a hint to what's wrong, so to recap.
  • The engine died while driving it
  • It wouldn't start from no ignition, starter made a raspy grinding noise, engine fan wouldn't come on, coil did get power in start position, but when key was released jeep would die
  • Messing around with the wires near the start solenoid appeared to of turned the engine fan on, it then started right up, but would not turn off
  • Drove it home, stalled it to turn it off, replaced starter solenoid. Now it is back to not turning on, and no engine fan.
  • Replaced Ignition switch, no improvement.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
MoneypitCJ5
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I had that same problem, no voltage to the coil in anything but start. Replacing the switch in mine fixed that....maybe you got a bad/wrong one?

In my case however, I had to wire the engine from scratch. I had a cut-in-half harness.

Before you go untangling the wiring mess, hotwire the coil AT the ignition switch connector.

There should be a large gauge wire at the switch that is probably red or red with a tracer. It will be constant battery power. Then find the coil wire, it will have a connector in it a few inches from the switch. Jump these two together and then attempt to start it with the key. If it cranks and runs, you got a bad switch.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 08:22 PM   #10
Grims
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Thanks Moneypit, I'll give that a shot, but we did check continuity on the switch in the run and start positions.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #11
MoneypitCJ5
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I know these things can be a headache! I spent hours trying to get mine to start the first time, only to figure out the coil didn't get power in run :/

Good luck!
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Unread 10-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
Grims
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Yeh, a friend of mine is trying to convince me to pull all the wiring out and run a new kit. The thought of that terrifies me though.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
DanStew
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Are you running electric fan? Did you look at fuses? If it is electric fan maybe the previous owner ran that hot to the same circuit as the coil and a fuse blew. Could you chase the distributer wire and the electric fan wires (if you have one) to where they terminate?
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Unread 10-04-2013, 11:47 AM   #14
MoneypitCJ5
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I'm about to tackle that same job on mine. It might help though to spend some time with a meter and map out all the wiring that the previous owner did. Not only to fix this problem, but in the future as well.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 11:54 AM   #15
Grims
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanStew View Post
Are you running electric fan? Did you look at fuses? If it is electric fan maybe the previous owner ran that hot to the same circuit as the coil and a fuse blew. Could you chase the distributer wire and the electric fan wires (if you have one) to where they terminate?
yes, electric fan. I mapped out all the wiring for it. It has a fuse which looks good on the positive battery terminal, and it terminates at the starter solenoid. It's like nothing on the battery side of the starter solenoid gets power.
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