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Unread 09-05-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
jeepdude101
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Ignition Woes - Please Help!

Ok, I'm at my wits end on this one and need assistance please.

When I turn the ignition key, sometimes the starter engages right away, and sometimes there is a couple second delay between the time the key is turned to when the starter begins to engage. Sometimes it takes 2 or three turns of ignition key for starter to engage.

Troubleshooting steps thus far:

Lights and instrument panel come on fine when key is turned - no dimming on lights. All connections to alternator, starter and battery are clean and tight.

Starter was replaced yesterday - I thought the solenoid was bad - not so.

Alternator was replaced 5 months ago and is currently outputting about 13.64v (is this too low?)

I did notice some battery drain when the jeep is powered down. So today I replaced my Optima Red-Top to a new Yellow-Top today. Problem still exists.

I tested for battery drain by removing negative battery cable and putting multimeter on neg. terminal / neg lead testing - result is no draw.

Not sure what else to test or replace. Is my alternator the culprit by not putting out enough juice? Any assistance is appreciated.

R.

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Unread 09-05-2010, 05:14 PM   #2
grignac79
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Could be ignition switch. As my jeep has gotten older I find I have to be real careful as to the position as I can now remove the key in more than one position. I have had it started and check engine lights come on. I wiggle the key and the lights finally clear off. They do wear and could possibly be an issue. Try experimenting with the key and see what you find. I have a 2000 TJ with this issue.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
Curly5759
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Check the connections at the Park Neutral Safety switch (auto) or Clutch switch. The switches could be getting worn.

Curly
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Unread 09-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
fishinjeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly5759 View Post
Check the connections at the Park Neutral Safety switch (auto) or Clutch switch. The switches could be getting worn.

Curly
I would take a look at that also. however, if it is the neutral safety switch, then try starting it in neutral instead of park
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Unread 09-05-2010, 06:22 PM   #5
fishinjeeper
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it should start no problem in neutral if it is the switch
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Unread 09-06-2010, 07:58 AM   #6
jeepdude101
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Amazing - I took a 20 amp fuse from slot 18 (spare) and dropped it into slot 20, which deactivated my neutral safety switch and problem solved! I cannot believe a simple fuse solved the issue. I never cared for having to push the clutch to start the motor anyway.

Grignac - my ignition switch is acting the same way, replacing it was going to be my next step if bypassing the neutral safety switch didn't solve the problem.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!
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Unread 09-20-2010, 01:38 PM   #7
cadeucsb
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jeepdude..your PM box is full fyi. Quick question...

I am curious why this would deactivate your neutral safety switch. Wouldn't installing a new fuse just ensure proper operation?

I am curious because I am going to try the same. Every couple starts my tj takes a couple chugs to get going, even if i prime the fuel pump. Never multiple key turns though...figure a fuse is a cheap try at a fix.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 01:47 PM   #8
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadeucsb View Post
Quick question...

I am curious why this would deactivate your neutral safety switch. Wouldn't installing a new fuse just ensure proper operation?
He has a manual transmission, only automatics use neutral safety switches. His issue was his clutch interlock switch was not working properly when he stepped down on the clutch. Inserting the #20 fuse bypasses the defective clutch safety interlock switch that few except the mentally challenged need anyway. The #20 fuse circuit was added by Jeep engineering to allow the Jeep to be started without stepping on the clutch by inserting a fuse. A fuse is not normally in that slot.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 01:51 PM   #9
cadeucsb
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
He has a manual transmission, only automatics use neutral safety switches. His issue was his clutch interlock switch was not working properly when he stepped down on the clutch. Inserting the #20 fuse bypasses the defective clutch safety interlock switch that few except the mentally challenged need anyway. The #20 fuse circuit was added by Jeep engineering to allow the Jeep to be started without stepping on the clutch by inserting a fuse. A fuse is not normally in that slot.
Got it, re-read it after your clarification and I see that now. On my auto I have a similar Park/Neutral Position switch on the same F20 fuse...worth a shot at the same test or am I in a different ballgame with the auto tranny?
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