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Old 08-31-2009, 09:30 AM   #1
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Starter or electrical???

I hop in my jeep and turn the key to start it. Nothing happens... no turn over or anything. Ill keep the key turned for a good 15-20 seconds then itll turn over. It never starts on the first time... but usually does on the second if no then its the third time. If I drive it for more than 5 minutes then it will start right up everytime. Sometimes if I slap the steering wheel good and hard itll turn over imediately but I still have to crank it a couple times. I have no idea what this is. Any suggestions? Once a week or so it will also just spin in place with no cranking going on. It just whines a little and then goes *clunk*.

Thanks in advance

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:41 PM   #2
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From the beginning of your post I would have said ignition switch, but then you added starter will spin not not engage the flywheel("Once a week or so it will also just spin in place with no cranking going on. It just whines a little and then goes *clunk*.")

After that comment I would say the solenoid on the starter is sticking. It does the job of connecting the high current 12v(heavy cable) to the motor and engaging the bendix(gear on starter) to the flywheel. if the banging you are doing is pretty hard that could explain why it jars it enough to start.

You can check this with a simple test light at the starter itself. the starter has a small and large wire going to it. the small wire comes from the ignition switch and the large from the battery. you are concerned with the small lead. If the vehicle is exibiting a no start, get someone to help you. climb under the vehicle with tour handy test light or multimeter and connect it to the small lead(you will probalbly have to hold it) with the other end grounded. Have your assistant try to crank the vehicle(observing all precautions to not get run over) if the vehicle doesn't crank but the test light lights, then its solenoid.
wow too much typing for now!
If it doesn't light we need more info on vehicle to troubleshoot further.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
Knows a couple things...

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Take care of the basics first. Go to an auto parts store and buy a battery cleaner wire brush. There will be a male and a female wire brush in any decent battery cleaner wire brush kit. Remove both battery connections and clean them thoroughly, both the battery posts and the battery connectors and then securely re-tighten the connectors once you reinstall them.

Bad/loose/corroded/dirty battery connections cause this type of problem ALL the time. No guarantees but do this first and odds are it'll fix your problem. As anal as I am on this on my Jeep, I let my Toyota's battery connections get bad and it died on me right in the middle of the street this past Friday and it wouldn't restart. It was caused by nothing more than a corroded battery connection. If anyone is thinking my bad battery connection couldn't have killed the engine, that only USED to be true. Most modern vehicles will not run if the alternator doesn't get its required 12 volts from the battery and this includes the TJ and my Toyota Solara.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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You guys are awesome. Thanks a ton. Ill run to the store for some brushes and a test light.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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A quick check for you

Hey buddy.... I had the same exact thing. Before you tear into everything, I would try this first:

Locate the ignition wire to the starter selenoid. There is a plastic connector that is prone to shorts, as it is subject to heat, oil, and dirt. Cut off the plastic connector, crimp on a large hoop, put back on starter. ( you'll have to take both halves of the connector off... the part on the starter just screws off with a phillips).

I had my starter bench tested, it tested fine...installed it on Jeep... no dice. Wasn't till I removed that stupid, pointless connector did it turn over right away. Good luck, let me know if you try it and how it worked out
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTabor View Post
Hey buddy.... I had the same exact thing. Before you tear into everything, I would try this first:

Locate the ignition wire to the starter selenoid. There is a plastic connector that is prone to shorts, as it is subject to heat, oil, and dirt. Cut off the plastic connector, crimp on a large hoop, put back on starter. ( you'll have to take both halves of the connector off... the part on the starter just screws off with a phillips).

I had my starter bench tested, it tested fine...installed it on Jeep... no dice. Wasn't till I removed that stupid, pointless connector did it turn over right away. Good luck, let me know if you try it and how it worked out
where is it located on a 98 TJ?
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:22 PM   #7
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should be the power wire going to the starter selenoid. If yours is the same as mine, there is a plastic electrical plug or connector at the selenoid. The connection itself is probably bad. Like I said, take the end off the selenoid, cut the plastic connector off, splice on a hoop, and reinstall on the selenoid. You might need to drop the starter. Good luck, let me know how it goes for you

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