Trying to fix up this neglected cherokee -
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-16-2017, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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fixing up a neglected and run down jewel

I originally bought this jeep for transportation purposes, but have always loved working on my own vehicles. This jeep had been neglected, but didn't seem to have any major issues at the time I bought it. However, 5 months later everything changed. I do not want to have to sell this jeep, and have decided to fix it myself. It is a 4.0 engine with automatic transmission. The guy I bought it from had wired in his own plow and lights with very little knowledge of what he was doing. This has become what i believe to be the main cause of the issues I am currently working on.
It started with the dashboard gauges only working occasionally. I found out that this was due to nothing in the dash being properly bolted back down. Most were just sitting in the right spot allowing every little bump to jostle them around. Since the problem with the dashboard gauges, I have had issues with the jeep starting due to bad wires connecting to the battery, and the right headlight being dull almost useless due to a bad ground wire. That was fixed, but apparently not as well as I had thought as the problem came right back. Now I am having issues with the jeep not wanting to shut off after starting. I have checked the starter and replaced the battery. However this has not made any change in the issue. I want the jeep to be the jewel it once was. It doesn't seem to have too many major problems, and to my knowledge has had no major work done on it to replace anything. Since buying the jeep I have replaced the fuel pump and filter and the battery. There have been no other replacements made by me to date. I have done other minor things to the jeep such as cleaning up the wires and connections. Any input on what I should do to bring this old run down jeep back into a jeweled state would be much appreciated.
Thanks all!

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post #2 of 7 Old 01-16-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Trying to fix up this neglected cherokee

Hi all.
I am doing my best to fix up this neglected 98 Cherokee. I am currently trying to figure out what could be causing it to start up, but not shut off. I have had the starter checked three times, and it has come back as fine each time. I also looked at the solenoids for corrosion, and there was none. It seems to be in working order. I also replaced the battery and checked the relays. All of which made no change in the problem. The starter is getting constant power so if I drive it anywhere I will strip the gears in the starter. Has anyone else run in to this issue with their jeep, and if so can you tell me what was causing it as well as how you were able to fix it? I have a suspicion it is an electrical issue, as I bought this jeep from someone with very little knowledge of electrical, and wired up a plow, push button to start it, and plow lights on their own. I have also already run into other electrical issues with the ground wire needing to be better grounded in order for the passenger side headlight to be brighter. I have cleaned the connections and am still unsure of what to do next to solve this problem.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-16-2017, 01:20 PM
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So the previous owner put in a push button to start it? You might look at what type of switch it is. See if it is a momentary switch or not. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably look at getting replacement wiring harnesses. If you don't have a Pick and Pull nearby, I'd try Car-Parts. Inc .com. Also look for Marshalls in OH. They usually have parts as cheap as Pick and Pulls. They will ship.
Still you might take pictures and post them. See how far the wiring has been hacked.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-16-2017, 07:47 PM
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Have you got the Factory Service Manual with the wiring diagrams?

That would be a good start because you can see quite quickly that the relay is operated by a simple circuit that has on one side 12V from the ignition switch and on the other side of the relay a ground.

The common problem is with the ground, whilst simple on a manual transmission on the automatic it involved the powertrain control module and neutral safety switch. As you do not have a problem with the ground it is likely you are feeding a constant 12V to the relay control circuit. You can test this by pulling out the relay and using a test bulb or meter check if you have 12V on two of the four contacts in the plug. You should only have one unless you are trying to start the engine.

I do not have a wiring diagram for your specific year but I would hazard a guess that there is a yellow wire between the ignition switch and the underside of the relay that has been interfered with. I suggest following that wire.

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-16-2017, 10:24 PM
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You're going to have to rip apart some of the dash and look at any wires that have been tampered with. It's my experience that if your previous owner didn't know what they were doing, and played electrician... There are countless ways they could have screwed up.

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-17-2017, 05:18 AM
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Probably the easiest is to take off the plugs or connectors to the button stitch that was hacked in. Then try and start it by touching the two connectors together. Take the connectors apart. If the starter disconnected, then you know its the switch. If not them wiring. I didn't have time to look at my manual last night. The others bring up good points. I was wondering if the previous owner messed with a relay, and that relay needs to be deenergized.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-20-2017, 03:31 PM
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There is also a relay undèr the hood for shut down (don't remember what its actual name is,I will check later), might try swapping it with one from a/c to see if that does the trick.
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