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Unread 08-14-2007, 04:13 AM   #1
Mike in IL
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Starter or Starter Solenoid problem?

Went to move our 2004 Wrangler(4.0 with 21,000+miles) yesterday. Turned the key, nothing. Turned on headlights, nice and bright. Turned off headlights, turned on wipers, worked good. Ok. Son stopped by, so I had him tap starter with hammer while I turned key. Viola!! Jeep started. Ok, turned off engine and tried to re-start, nope. Tapped starter with hammer again while turning key, Jeep started. So, my question, is this a Starter Solenoid problem, or Starter. I had Jeep out mudding and in water about a month and a half back. Could I be having a problem from this now showing up? I'll probably replace the Solenoid first and see if problem clears up. Just thought I'd ask and see if anyone ever had this problem after getting in water and mud. (I'm keeping the Hammer in the Jeep for now) Ha... Thanks for any replies. Oh, before we tapped the starter, I had raised the hood and had son listen for starter relay clicking when I turned the key. It clicked. I couldn't hear it, but hey, at 57 I don't hear a lot of things anymore. Wife calls it selective hearing. Might be, but it works, sometimes!!

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Unread 08-14-2007, 07:42 AM   #2
92blazn
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I would just buy a new starter. I bought a used one from LKQ Nationwide salvage yard, real good about parts. got mine for $24 off a 04 Grand Cherokee with 35K miles or so had it over a year now .
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Unread 08-14-2007, 03:30 PM   #3
subzeroedj
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Like blazin said replace the starter. Most places like autozone will test it for free. I bought a new starter 3 weeks ago and on the 2nd day i got my tj stuck in some really bad mud that was mostly beach sand and the next day it wouldnt start.......clicked real good and loud but wouldnt turn over. Sure enough when i brought it back they tested it and it was bad.
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Unread 08-15-2007, 05:05 AM   #4
Jerky bump
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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One condition I have seen with older starters is the brushes and armature bushing wears until one of the brushes barely make contact-- no start. Give it a tap-- the brush touches and away you go. Probably not your problem-unless the sand is razing the componets. The other is simply a poor connection. Look at all the electrical connections. You can also open the back and do a visual of the stuff in there- maybe something simple you can fix on the spot. Don't run the starter with the back off it. Your Jeep is not that old- you shouldn't be having trouble with it yet--unless the sand is bumming it up.
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Unread 08-18-2007, 10:12 PM   #5
Mike in IL
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I went by Car Quest and priced a starter, Wow, 180.00, 68.00 core fee. Sooo,,I went home and removed all wiring from starter. Cleaned contacts. The small black plug, that goes onto a male plug-in had mud inside of it. Used Contact Cleaner and brass wire brush. After getting things cleaned up, hooked back up wiring. Jeep started ok, and has for the past three days(knock on wood). Thanks for the replies. I did find a Salvage Yard not too far away in case I need to replace the starter at a later date, much later I hope. As mentioned, 21973 miles on Jeep at present.
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Unread 08-18-2007, 11:35 PM   #6
andy02
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Oh yeah, starters hate water and mud. Long story short, I got in some deep water at Lake Mohave. Woujnd up getting water in the front diff and transmission. My starter would not turn over. I used a hammer on it to get it to turn for a day or two and finally sprayed WD-40 into the drain hole in the bottom of the starter. Been almost a year since then and no problems with the starter at all.

On a side note, if any of ya'll have a NV3550 tranny, some of them (like mine) have paper bushings similar to that found in an oil filter. Water causes those bushings to break down and changing the fluid does nothing to help. I needed a complete rebuild 3000 miles after dunking my Jeep.
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