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Old 04-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
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Emergency help please

I have been having trouble starting my jeep I replaced my battery so I defiantly have volts and I had the starter tested and it works fine. I tested all the points on the starter and they are getting juice too. Anyone think of anything else I can check I have a 5 speed so my dad thinks it could be the clutch switch but I don't know where that would be. Thanks to anyone that helps

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Old 04-20-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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So are you saying nothing happens when you turn the ignition switch to the Start position? The starter motor doesn't work to crank the engine?

If the starter motor isn't cranking, there are three test points on the starter you can measure for voltage to isolate the problem,

On the starter motor in the photo below, the big top copper bolt always has +12v on it, it is connected directly to the battery. The bottom big copper bolt is what provides power to the starter motor itself. The skinny wires that connect via push-on connector come from the starter relay inside the Power Distribution Center. When there is 12v on the wiring from the starter relay inside PDC, that energizes a relay inside the smaller cylinder on top of the starter motor. That is what connects the +12v on the top bolt that connects to the battery to the bottom bolt that powers the starter motor itself.

So see if you're getting 12v at the lower big copper bolt when the key is in the Start position. If you are seeing 12v at the lower copper bolt when the ignition switch is in the Start position and the starter motor is not working, the solenoid is bad & the starter needs to be replaced. If the starter solenoid isn't getting 12v from the small starter relay inside the PDC, it could be a bad ignition switch, bad starter relay, or bad wiring, or the clutch interlock safety switch is defective. Depending on your TJ's model year, you can disable the clutch interlock safety switch by either inserting a fuse into the fuse panel behind the glove compartment, or moving a cable connector above the driver's side footwell. Which method works for your particular model year will be explained in your Owners Manual.

This pic is very similar to your starter but isn't exactly the right model... but it's close enough for this purpose.

You can also jumper the two big copper bolts with a screwdriver to see if that energizes the starter. MAKE SURE THE JEEP IS IN NEUTRAL & THE PARKING BRAKE IS ON IF YOU DO THAT.


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Old 04-20-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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No when I go to start the car it doesn't do anything
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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Do you get power to your Gages ect? Or no power at all. Any sounds when key turned? The more details you can list. The better the prognosis.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jesfusco03 View Post
No when I go to start the car it doesn't do anything
Ok time to troubleshoot the starter circuit as explained above.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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I have power to all the gauges and everything looks normal when I turn the key on you can hear it "prime" itself then I push the clutch down and nothing no clicks no nothing.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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I put a volt meter on the starter itself and on that little tab and I'm getting power to both of them 12v just like i should
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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In a quiet area, place your finger on the starter relay inside the PDC & place your ear next to it as a helper quietly turns the ignition switch to Start. That little relay should click when the key is turned to the Start position. If it does, the clutch bypass safety interlock switch is ok. If it doesn't click, that means the starter relay, ignition switch, wiring between the starter relay switch & ignition switch, or the clutch interlock switch is defective.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:58 PM   #9
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I put a volt meter on the starter itself and on that little tab and I'm getting power to both of them 12v just like i should
When the ignition switch is in the start position? Remember, one of the two big lugs always has 12v on it because it connects directly to the battery. The other big lug that passes voltage down into the starter and the small wiring connector should only have 12v on it when the key is in the start position.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #10
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Your talking about the little black fuse in the fuse box above the battery? When u go to start the car I can feel and hear it click
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:04 PM   #11
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The PDC is the enclosure in front of the battery which contains fuses and relays like the starter relay.

It sounds like the problem is at the starter then. Re-read how I described how to measure volts at the starter in post #2 which will tell you if the starter is getting the volts it should when the key is in the Start position. If it is, remove the starter & take it down to your local auto parts store for a quick test. If it tests bad, I would try to avoid the cheapy starters they sell though. Mopar (OE) starters are much better quality.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:09 PM   #12
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I had the same problem on my 98. I found that the brass connector at the starter was covered in oxides and was not longer proving an electrical connection. Cleaned up the brass connector and its been fine ever since.

Disconnect the battery BEFORE doing this!
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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I had the starter tested twice at auto zone and they said it passed twice I tested the copper bolt with the direct feed from the battery 12v I tested the little alligator clip thing and that had 12 volts but when I tested the third bolt with the wire from the fuse box (i guess) and no volts
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:14 PM   #14
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I checked all of the connections still can't find anything wrong. Any other suggestions

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