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Old 06-12-2012, 08:51 AM   #1
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Jeep won't start, need some troubleshooting help

Ok so.. 03' TJ 4.0V6 manual trans wont start. Here's what I've done so far:

Check battery cables - tight, wires appear to be in good shape.
Tested battery - it shows 12V
Tried jump starting off wife's truck, no luck.
Replaced the starter - no luck.
Jumped the new starter soleniod - starter spins but flywheel doesn't engage.
Swapped starter relay - relay clicks but engine won't turn over.

After searching past threads I've narrowed it down to:

Broken ignition actuator pin?
Clutch safety switch?

Any help would be much appreciated!!

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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What method did you use when you jumped the new starter? Did it grind at all or did it just spin?

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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also verify your battery isnt toast... 12v aint all that good... (about 45% is all at 12v) maybe take it up for a load test.

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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A TJ does not have a V6...

Since it spins and doesn't engage..did you check the flywheel for missing or damaged teeth?
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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What method did you use when you jumped the new starter? Did it grind at all or did it just spin?
It did not grind, just spun..
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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Ok, I'll have it load tested tonight.

The starter is brand new, the flywheel looks fine.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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FWIW, under the dash, on the rod that goes into the clutch master cylinder is the clutch safety switch. If it's not working properly, that could explain the problem you're describing. But you should be able to bypass it by adding a 20 amp fuse to the #20 slot in the fusebox that's behind the glovebox.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #8
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FWIW, under the dash, on the rod that goes into the clutch master cylinder is the clutch safety switch. If it's not working properly, that could explain the problem you're describing. But you should be able to bypass it by adding a 20 amp fuse to the #20 slot in the fusebox that's behind the glovebox.
Thanks, I'll add that to my "try this" list for this evening!
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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Might want to try your wife's battery first, just to rule that out.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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If battery is good & cables clean & tight proceed.If you’re sure it’s the starter relay that is clicking then the actuator pin & clutch switch are OK. Otherwise the relay won’t click. Make sure (not just look at) the #6 (30A) fuse in the PDC is good. If good pull the relay & test the #30 slot in the relay socket for battery voltage. If good make a short jumper wire & with the jeep in neutral jump across the #30 & # 87 slots. That should engage the starter & with the key on start it. If that works the relay is bad. If the jumper won’t engage the starter (at least click the solenoid) then the (small) wire to the solenoid (from 87) is bad or the starter is bad. (New, I know)
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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If battery is good & cables clean & tight proceed.If youíre sure itís the starter relay that is clicking then the actuator pin & clutch switch are OK. Otherwise the relay wonít click. Make sure (not just look at) the #6 (30A) fuse in the PDC is good. If good pull the relay & test the #30 slot in the relay socket for battery voltage. If good make a short jumper wire & with the jeep in neutral jump across the #30 & # 87 slots. That should engage the starter & with the key on start it. If that works the relay is bad. If the jumper wonít engage the starter (at least click the solenoid) then the (small) wire to the solenoid (from 87) is bad or the starter is bad. (New, I know)
Where is the #87 slot?
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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I had a similar problem last summer. I replaced the battery and alternator, and still had absolutely no power and it wouldn't start, I eventually found the problem it was a fusible link that had broke. If u haven't figured out the problem yet make sure u check all ur wires it's a really simple fix it that happens to be your problem
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:11 AM   #13
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The socket slots should be numbered but here is a diagram
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:05 AM   #14
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If battery is good & cables clean & tight proceed.If youíre sure itís the starter relay that is clicking then the actuator pin & clutch switch are OK. Otherwise the relay wonít click. Make sure (not just look at) the #6 (30A) fuse in the PDC is good. If good pull the relay & test the #30 slot in the relay socket for battery voltage. If good make a short jumper wire & with the jeep in neutral jump across the #30 & # 87 slots. That should engage the starter & with the key on start it. If that works the relay is bad. If the jumper wonít engage the starter (at least click the solenoid) then the (small) wire to the solenoid (from 87) is bad or the starter is bad. (New, I know)
Cables are clean & tight.
Starter relay is clicking.
I have voltage in the #30 slot.
Tried the jumper test across #30 & #87, nothing happened..

So it's the wire to the starter or the new starter itself??
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:35 AM   #15
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When you jump your starter it should do two things at once.

It spins, and the gear jumps out at the same time in order to engage with the flywheel.

If your starter is spinning and not jumping out to engage then thats your problem.

I have had this problem on many marine generators in the past... Take your starter off the jeep and test it on the bench...

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:47 AM   #16
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Sounds like their is a problem with the Bendix on the starter
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:41 AM   #17
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So it's the wire to the starter or the new starter itself??
I'm still not sure, remember when I asked you what method you used to jump the starter? In your first post you said that you jumped the new starter solenoid and it spun but did not engage. That would happen if you jumped between the battery terminal (on the starter solenoid) and the starter brushes terminal. However, to test the starter and the starter solenoid together, you need to place the jumper (a wire or screwdriver etc.) between the battery terminal (on the starter solenoid) and the ignition switch terminal (the small spade connection on the starter solenoid) Then you will know if the starter is working properly or not.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:21 AM   #18
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When you jump your starter it should do two things at once.

It spins, and the gear jumps out at the same time in order to engage with the flywheel.

If your starter is spinning and not jumping out to engage then thats your problem.

I have had this problem on many marine generators in the past... Take your starter off the jeep and test it on the bench...

Good luck!
I took the starter off last night and had it tested at the local parts store. It passed their test twice.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:12 PM   #19
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It is exactly as Johnbob says. Now test if the end of the small wire at the starter gets power when you jump the relay. 87 connects to that wire so the starter end should have power if 30 does when jumped (or key turned with relay in place).

And make sure the ground cable to the engine block is clean & tight at the block.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:19 PM   #20
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I took the starter off last night and had it tested at the local parts store. It passed their test twice.
The starter is good, OK, now you need to find out why you're not getting a 12v signal to the small wire on the starter solenoid.
The usual suspects are,
the clutch safety switch
the ignition switch
the starter relay
or a damaged wire
or a loose connection related to any of the above mentioned parts

When you get the starter installed (again) jump the starter at the solenoid with a screwdriver or something, that should tell you if the battery and battery cables are OK
Good Luck
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:02 PM   #21
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The starter is good, OK, now you need to find out why you're not getting a 12v signal to the small wire on the starter solenoid.
The usual suspects are,
the clutch safety switch
the ignition switch
the starter relay
or a damaged wire
or a loose connection related to any of the above mentioned parts

When you get the starter installed (again) jump the starter at the solenoid with a screwdriver or something, that should tell you if the battery and battery cables are OK
Good Luck
Starter is reinstalled. Used a screwdriver to jump start at the starter. The starter turned over but did not throw the gear onto the flywheel???
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:16 PM   #22
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When you jumped it with a screwdriver, did you jump between the battery terminal on the solenoid and the small ignition switch terminal only?
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:33 AM   #23
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When you jumped it with a screwdriver, did you jump between the battery terminal on the solenoid and the small ignition switch terminal only?
Yes
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #24
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This is just not making sense to me because,
With this type of starter, when you apply 12v to the small terminal on the solenoid, several things happen in rapid succession.
1. The electromagnetic coil inside the solenoid is energized which causes,
2. The plunger inside the solenoid to be pulled toward the terminal end of
the solenoid and
3. The mechanical lever attached to the plunger pushes the bendix/gear
out to engage the flywheel and then
4. The plunger completes this process by closing the contacts between
the two larger terminals (inside) the solenoid causing the starter to
spin.

So when you say that the starter is spinning but not engaging, it just does not add up
If the starter was tested and working properly, this is how it should work.
I'm not trying to 'rag' on you, I'm just trying to help
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #25
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This is just not making sense to me because,
With this type of starter, when you apply 12v to the small terminal on the solenoid, several things happen in rapid succession.
1. The electromagnetic coil inside the solenoid is energized which causes,
2. The plunger inside the solenoid to be pulled toward the terminal end of
the solenoid and
3. The mechanical lever attached to the plunger pushes the bendix/gear
out to engage the flywheel and then
4. The plunger completes this process by closing the contacts between
the two larger terminals (inside) the solenoid causing the starter to
spin.

So when you say that the starter is spinning but not engaging, it just does not add up
If the starter was tested and working properly, this is how it should work.
I'm not trying to 'rag' on you, I'm just trying to help
No, I understand the your confusion. That's where I'm at too!! I'm about ready give up
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:00 AM   #26
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Well guys after 2 nights of troubleshooting and your help I narrowed it down to ignition. Got it all apart last night and sure enough the actuator pin in the ignition cylinder was broke!

Came out with no problems.

Big thanks to "50Johnbob" for all your help!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:37 AM   #27
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Well guys after 2 nights of troubleshooting and your help I narrowed it down to ignition. Got it all apart last night and sure enough the actuator pin in the ignition cylinder was broke!

Came out with no problems.

Big thanks to "50Johnbob" for all your help!!
I just bought a used 98 and had the same exact issue after driving it for only a week. Cost me $230 at the local shop to get it troubleshot and fixed.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:42 PM   #28
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I just bought a used 98 and had the same exact issue after driving it for only a week. Cost me $230 at the local shop to get it troubleshot and fixed.
couple of nights of my time, some help from this bb, and $38.99 in parts and I should be back on the road!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:26 AM   #29
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couple of nights of my time, some help from this bb, and $38.99 in parts and I should be back on the road!!
did this work for you? I am having the exact same symptoms only my pin looks fine on inspection and I turned the ignition switch with a screwdriver to the start/crank position and still nothing my battery is reading just below 12 which I am reading in this thread is not great but it didnt start by jumping it either. I have my clutch switch bypassed so not that either. I also have no power to the small wire, relay works. i changed the ignition swith out with no luck. also pulled my starter and it bench tested fine. sorry to hijack your thread but mine is doing the exact same thing. my engine did start by push starting to get it home and ran fine until I turned it off
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:55 PM   #30
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Pull the starter relay. Test for power at the #30 terminal in the socket. Then test for power when you turn the key to the start position at either the 85 or 86 terminal. Whichever of those 2 doesn’t have power should be grounded. If neither of those 2 have power with key to start then no power getting there from the ignition switch. Make sure the clutch switch is bypassed. If you bypassed by putting a fuse in #20, check that fuse. If you jumped the clutch switch, check the jumper connections.

As long as you have power at #30 (from fuse 2 in the PDC) you can make a short jumper wire & jump across from 30 to 87 in the socket & the starter should crank, with the key on it should start. OF COURSE MAKE SURE IT IS IN NEUTRAL when jumping the relay.

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