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Old 12-16-2011, 04:01 AM   #1
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1991 Jeep cherokee won't start

My wife has a 1991 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 Litre (manual) which she loves. It's got over 230k miles on it and is still running. Recently though we have had some issues with it. I am not the most technical type of guy in regards to this kind of stuff so I thought I would post and see if we can narrow the problem down.

The other day the jeep wouldn't start, it was making the ticking noise as if it was trying to start. We tapped the starter with a hammer and it started up no problem.

So fast forward a week and we had a friend take the starter out and we took it to the autoparts store as it was still under warranty. They checked it and said it was fine. We put the starter back in and just put it down to one of those things.

Now however a few days later the jeep won't start at all, no clicking noise like it's trying to, it's dead. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to go from here, we have a friend coming over to give it a jump just incase it's the battery which is less than a year old.

Apart from that, what else could it be. We have asked around and gotten all kinds of suggestions including: alternator, crankshaft pickup, battery.

What would be the best place to start here.

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:09 AM   #2
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Seems the problem is centralized around the starter.. check and make sure the nuts holding the leads down are tight.. check to make sure the wires aren't corroded out from the battery to the starter.. you might see if your friend has a multimeter to see if the starter is getting the appropriate power.. its possible it could be the solenoid on the starter since hitting it worked before.. see if your friend knows how to jump the solenoid with a screwdriver..

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:22 AM   #3
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Updated: So we had a friend jump it and it started fine, the battery was already at halfway charge. We then took the negative battery cable off and it still ran.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:42 AM   #4
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Like the last guy said, hit the battery with a multimeter. You should see 12.5v You should also take the same meter shut the jeep down and test the battery for a current draw. Something could be faulted out and draining your battery. Also if you've had the starter in and out a few times. Make sure the wiring is good and tight and nothing is cut lose or shorting.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
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And it's not a wise idea to pull the negative cable off while the engine is running.

The alternator requires battery voltage to operate properly.

And the biggie, you can spike the ECM and fry it.


Yours sounds like a poor connection, check both the negative and positive cables at both ends. All connections need to be squeaky clean and shiny, and tight.

Most of the big auto parts stores can run a full system check (alternator/starter/battery) on the jeep, and do it for free.
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