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Old 02-04-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
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I need a starter

2002 Wrangler 4.0L automatic would not crank. I didn't suspect the battery since it's new within the last year and all lights were plenty bright. But they didn't dim when I turned the key so I tried some hi-tech diagnostics that you shouldn't try at home. First I jiggled the shifter with the key in the start position which did nothing. Then I jiggled the crap out of the key, which also did nothing. Then, since I had just removed the back seat and all my tools to fit something in it, I used the last hard object I had, the tire iron, and tapped the starter which was in plain view from up top rather than having to crawl underneath to get to it. It started right up and has done so several times since then, but I'm sure it will do it again and I'll need a new starter. The worst luck I've had with aftermarket parts has been rebuilt starters so I plan to avoid them. All the parts chains sell new starters for not much more money. Are they any good or do I need to get an OEM? I normally love cheap parts because of all the practice I get replacing them five or six times but I'm short on time lately and would rather do this job one time only.

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Old 02-04-2014, 10:02 PM   #2
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For critical parts like starters, water pumps, fuel pumps, etc. I'd go OEM only. Most of the new store brand parts are shoddily made in China and simply don't have the quality to hold up for critical functions. A very good source for discounted Mopar parts is WeRMopar.com - OEM Parts For Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Vehicles and sometimes RockAuto Parts Catalog

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Old 02-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #3
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Second that OEM only for those parts. I bought life time Napa Alternator and failed twice. They just gave me new one in exchange but it should not have failed after two years. OEM alternator lasted over10 years. Just buy OEM.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:24 AM   #4
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My only other suggestion is to find a good local electric shop if you can and let them rebuild it for you. I have one local and he takes great care of me and does a good diagnosis.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:03 AM   #5
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Having a good local electrical shop rebuild OE starters and alternators is a really good way to go, unfortunately such shops are dying out due to the flood of cheap Chinese replacements that are cheaper than it cost to rebuild.

I just noticed my local automotive electrical shop has closed its doors and the other one I had as a backup now just wants to sell a replacement rather than rebuild it.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:52 AM   #6
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I am lucky we have 2 locally that have been around for years. One of the guys is approaching retirement but the other shop does generator and other electrical for several local utility companies and large equipment companies so they don't have to deal with the competition.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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Disagree for starter If you plan to keep jeep long term go autozone cheaper and lifetime no hassle no required packaging or receipt warranty

The starter is a wear item so why not pay less and get one with free replacement forever

It is not like it is that hard to remove and replace if it fails

For us manual guys it won't even leave you stranded as you can do a bump start

So with much less cost and free lifetime replacement (like when the key stuck in start position on my wife and fried the started) it is a no brainier to go autozone
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:25 PM   #8
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In my lifetime driving millions of miles in dozens of vehicles I have replaced starters on 3 vehicles and they were over 150k miles when replaced. Only one of those came from Autozone and I replaced it 3 more times over 50k miles until i got a decent rebuild. The other 2 were rebuilt locally one was still going at 400k when I sold the truck. The other has been trouble free for a year and 15k. The one with 400k was a work truck that was turned on and off a minimum of 10 times a day. I have another work truck that has 300k on it and the starter is still original.

Your statement is ridiculous and a starter is not a wear item. Brakes are a wear item. And my time must ibe worth more to me.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:32 PM   #9
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I wouldn't install an Autozone starter, water pump, alternator, etc. period. Look up "false economy" in the dictionary and you'll see a pic of an Autozone branded part.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:46 PM   #10
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These guys are free to burn money but the buy American union crap no matter the value is why we are in such a mess in this country

Autozone offers a valuable working piece at half the price with 100 times the warranty and without sending money to the union thugs corrupting the country and the demon-rats

In my life I have bought a few autozone dura last starters for different vehicles none that gave me any probs but it's your money speed it as you see fit

Some like protectionism and would like to reinstate the Smoot-Hawley tariff law that brought us the Great Depression but some have learned and don't cower before the world economy
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:57 PM   #11
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There ought to be a saying like 'If you can't win the argument on quality, shift it to politics'.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:01 PM   #12
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Vintage Jerry

I'll let your own past postings clarify you intolerance for any opinion but yours

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/fo...e-4-0l-640212/
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:10 PM   #13
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Hey man I had this same exact problem about a week ago. There is a wire in the steering column that simply goes bad, it's a pretty common issue. I wired my starter directly to a starter switch. And I second, third, fourth getting the Auto Zone parts. You can't beat their warranty. And they are in every corner it seems like. Turn the switch to the on position but not till it crank, next time it does that, and then take a screw driver and hook up the positive end to the small end and listen to it roar! Haha. I was going crazy diagnosing this! I replaced a ton of parts!!! And it ended up being some plastic part in the steering column that commonly fails. Hope this helps man.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:15 PM   #14
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In my lifetime driving millions of miles in dozens of vehicles I have replaced starters on 3 vehicles and they were over 150k miles when replaced. Only one of those came from Autozone and I replaced it 3 more times over 50k miles until i got a decent rebuild. The other 2 were rebuilt locally one was still going at 400k when I sold the truck. The other has been trouble free for a year and 15k. The one with 400k was a work truck that was turned on and off a minimum of 10 times a day. I have another work truck that has 300k on it and the starter is still original.

Your statement is ridiculous and a starter is not a wear item. Brakes are a wear item. And my time must ibe worth more to me.
Bears repeating... it's not just my opinion.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:17 PM   #15
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Okay guys, this is a good thread but lets please not turn this thread into a pro/con union agrument thread.

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Old 02-05-2014, 07:22 PM   #16
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OEM starters don't wear out and that is why we all have experienced replacement starters

Those fools at auto parts stores stock all those different starters because OEM starters never fail and they collect those cores for rebuilding because they are bored and like to waste money rebuilding cores to sell even though they know OEM starters never fail or wear out

Right you got it all figured out
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:28 PM   #17
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Five Jeeps since 1989 and have never needed to replace a Mopar starter, three of which had >200k miles on them.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:11 PM   #18
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I am not touting union I am merely stating a local shop owner looks you in the eye and sells a better made product most of the time. The Autozone warranty is fantastic but I prefer a 1 year warranty I never need for 10 years over a lifetime warranty I use multiple times.

I will finish this with one of the best quotes I have heard concerning warranties:

Tommy: Let's think about this for a sec, Ted. Why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.
Ted Nelson, Customer: Go on, I'm listening.
Tommy: Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.
Ted Nelson, Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.
Tommy: 'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?
[chuckles until he sees that Ted is not laughing]
Ted Nelson, Customer: [impatiently] What's your point?
Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy; well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser, and your daughter's knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.
Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?
Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.
Ted Nelson, Customer: [pause] Okay, I'll buy from you.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:19 PM   #19
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Apt and starters I like to take to a local rebuilder they last longer for me
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:19 PM   #20
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Apt dang auto correct
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:21 PM   #21
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I checked out the website Jerry recommended. The starter is listed. It's more expensive then the rebuilds, but only a little more then the new ones the parts stores offer. That could be the way to go. The idea of having a local shop rebuild the original is interesting. I've never tried it, but might look into it. I don't usually get rid of vehicles until I have to pay someone to tow them away so I plan on having this Jeep for several years. To give you an idea, my daily driver is a GMC pickup with 275,000 miles on it. I would rather spend my weekends on stuff I haven't done before like a mild lift or other mods than replacing a part multiple times.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:58 PM   #22
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The idea of having a local shop rebuild the original is interesting. I've never tried it, but might look into it.
If you investigate, you might find that all your starter needs is some new brushes. That's a cheap and easy DIY project. Plus, you get to keep that fine OE starter.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:26 PM   #23
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If you investigate, you might find that all your starter needs is some new brushes. That's a cheap and easy DIY project. Plus, you get to keep that fine OE starter.
Never knew this! Found these for mine. Good for a 4.0 up to 2000. Less than 9 bucks with free shipping! I want to order them and have on hand incase it goes out. Thanks for the knowledge. Omix-Ada 17228.06 Starter Brush Set http://amzn.com/B003KRBGT4

I used qudratec as a reference. They sell them too.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:45 PM   #24
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If you investigate, you might find that all your starter needs is some new brushes. That's a cheap and easy DIY project. Plus, you get to keep that fine OE starter.
I'm not familiar with starter anatomy. I guess I need to read up. The current starter was working fine, but last week I had to tap it with my lug wrench to get it to work. Is brushes what typically causes that? I'm pretty good with a wrench and would be open to repairing it myself.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:50 PM   #25
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I'm not familiar with starter anatomy. I guess I need to read up. The current starter was working fine, but last week I had to tap it with my lug wrench to get it to work. Is brushes what typically causes that? I'm pretty good with a wrench and would be open to repairing it myself.
That sounds like a solenoid.

Edit that is basically a light switch picture the small amount of electricity that comes from your ignition your finger. It flips the switch and that frees the high power to go through. So it's like an electrical switch. When it goes bad hammers can free it. That's all I know. Never fixed one. If they can be I want to know because if I can take it apart I can put it back together lol.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:59 PM   #26
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That can be a symptom of bad brushes which are what provide the electrical connection to rotating parts. Brushes are easily replaced in many electric motors but since I have never had to replace a Jeep starter motor, I can't say if its brushes are easily replaced or not. It'd be cool if they are. Actually finding the correct replacement brushes, if they are found to be replaceable, may be another story though.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:04 PM   #27
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Actually finding the correct replacement brushes, if they are found to be replaceable, may be another story though.
2 posts above
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:39 PM   #28
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The guides I could find said that p/n only fits Jeep starter motors from 1988 to 2000, do you know if that part number you gave will also fit the OP's 2002? I looked on that website (Amazon) for starter motor brushes for my 2004 & I didn't see any listed... just starter motors. I'd love to find brushes to carry as spares for my '04.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:40 PM   #29
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To add to the previous (mostly good) advice in this thread... Tapping the starter with a hard object is a good diagnostic and often keeps a dying starter doing long enough to get to get it replaced, but through the TOP of the engine bay with a conductive rod is not a fantastic way to go about it if you're not sure exactly what's wrong with the system. If a bad solenoid fuses the relay closed, the red starter wire is hot, and nearly everything else you might hit in the bay is ground. Short them and you're going to have a bad day.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:51 PM   #30
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The guides I could find said that p/n only fits Jeep starter motors from 1988 to 2000, do you know if that part number you gave will also fit the OP's 2002? I looked on that website (Amazon) for starter motor brushes for my 2004 & I didn't see any listed... just starter motors. I'd love to find brushes to carry as spares for my '04.
No I referenced them at quadratec site then went to amazon with part number. They have them all easy to find. Pay a little more at quadratec but I'm almost considering it due to the quality of the info. Sometimes a dollar or two extra is worth it for the research they give.

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