Starter or Solenoid? -
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-07-2007, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
tony dz
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1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Grand Haven, MI
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Starter or Solenoid?

Pretty sure it's one or the other. What do you think?

Go to start the jeep and I'm showing 12v in the dash. Turn the key and get one click (at the solenoid I think) and then everything dies. No start and no volts showing in the dash gauge. I just checked voltage at the solenoid and found when I'm seeing 12v in the dash, I'll see 12 volts at the battery side of the solenoid and about 0.2 volts on the starter side. AFter I attempt to start and am seeing zero volts in the dash, I checked the starter side of the solenoid and now I'm seeing 12volts on the starter side. What do you think?

'79 CJ7 that will never be done - 258 I-6, T150, Dana20, Narrow Track AMC20/Dana 30 3.54 w/Trac-Lok, 31 BFG's, Team Rushed
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-07-2007, 08:46 AM
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At the solenoid, with the jeep in neutral and key in the off position, take a jumper and go from battery to start post on the solenoid, your meter should read 12v on the starter side, if so check all cables for good connection, especially your ground cable, if power is getting to the starter and you have a good ground, then it's your starter, if you can't get it through the solenoid, then there's your problem. Solenoids are cheap, as well as starters, I just replaced bolth when doing my frame up rebuild, worth the 50 buck it costed me. Make sure the battery cable to the starter isn't melted to the header or manifold if you have a v-8 setup, that happened to me once.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-07-2007, 08:49 AM
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My first instant thought is bad battery or ground.
Claen your battery cables and ensure that they are tight.
Try jumping the Jeep off or take the battery to autozone and have them test it.
My next thought is to bypass the solenoid. I usually do this
by putting the ignition in the Run position and running a battery cable sized (Jumper cable) wire from the Starter to + on the Battery. You can also put a cable or pliers across the heavy lugs on the Solenoid. You will get some sparks with either method.

Safety note: Vehicle in Neutral. Parking prake on and Wheels chocked.

You just have to touch the jumper cable to the + battery terminal don't hook it on. The jeep should start if the starter is good and the solenoid is bad. You should also check the voltage at the battery when you try to crank it. A battery can show a good voltage potential and then drop to 0 when a load is applied to it.

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post #4 of 5 Old 10-07-2007, 04:02 PM
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Had the same problem this spring. It was a bad battery cable (negative).

Have someone turn the ignition to "start" while you move the battery cables around.

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post #5 of 5 Old 10-07-2007, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
tony dz
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Location: Grand Haven, MI
Posts: 178
Yep, think it was the ground. As a test I used a jumper cable from the battery (-) to the block and it worked. Replaced the cables and haven't had a problem yet. It had been sporadic so I'll keep an eye on to confirm it's fixed.

'79 CJ7 that will never be done - 258 I-6, T150, Dana20, Narrow Track AMC20/Dana 30 3.54 w/Trac-Lok, 31 BFG's, Team Rushed
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