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Old 01-16-2009, 05:22 PM   #1
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Starting problem

I installed a pair of piaa 520's but the next morning my car wouldn't start, i figured that i had drained the battery. The next day I started the car to check my wiring job and the jeep started fine. The next morning my jeep wouldn't start again, jumped it and had my battery tested at sears and they said i needed a new battery. The next morning it wouldn't start again but my batt was good. The starter was making a loud click every time i turned the key and even when I tapped the starter while cranking it didn't work. For laughs i held a hair dryer under it for ten minutes amazingly my jeep started. Since i drove around in the slush and then it froze solid i wondered if i go water in the starter. The shop said a new starter would be between 360 to 430 dollars. Has anyone had this happen, should i get a new starter? Could it be that it was above freezing during the day so it started but at night it was like ten degrees and the water froze if there was any inside the starter? please give me any info at all, thanks.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #2
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that shops ripping you off.. i bought my new started for $100 ... and installed it for free thanks to my hands...

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:59 PM   #3
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Wow $430 for a starter??? What year is your Jeep??? I just replaced mine on my 97 for $89 for a new starter.Mine was doing the same thing as yours so I pulled it and took it to a shop I always use to rebuild.Then I put it back on and it only worked for about 3 days and started the same thing.I pulled it back off and took it to them again for them to tell me it was good.I tested it myself and the bendix would kick out but the starter would only spin real slow sometimes and would not turn at all other times so I pulled it apart myself to find a worn out(flat spot) on the armature.So I put the new one on and it even started yesterday and it was -23 with the windchill.I can not say the same for my Nissan had the use the jump box on it.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
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yeah thats what i was thinking. i checked autozone and they had one for 95 with a core charge of 45 which is not bad. i'm comfortable with installing some things but i have never tackled a starter. i actually laughed when the shop said 429, seeing the dealership was only 359 which is usually the most expensive option, but the girl was serious and said that there was a huge price difference between the auto and the manual price. i would tackle it but its damn cold outside and i don't have access to a garage but i found a friend who just came back from iraq and was in the motor pool so he said he can help me install it. I'm wondering if i need one seeing the jeep is starting now? I only have 74,000 miles and the starter has never even flinched before the last couple mornings so i'm wondering if water would cause my starter to act up and if the small plastic nub on the bottom of my starter should be loose(its about a quarter of an inch), could water have gotten in that way? and do you think that the moisture will ever work its self out? thank guys
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
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Dude a starter in a TJ does not seem like such a tough job, last night I had to swap a starter on Freightliner with a cummins outside in 18degree temp. The Jeep is no big deal.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:07 PM   #6
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I had not had any trouble with mine until I sank it in a huge water hole and the starter was just a small part of my problems.I got water in the tranny also anyway the starter is a 20 minute job.Disconnect the battery cable crawl under it and take the two wire nuts off,one is 5/16s the other is 13mm then the two starter bolts ,the bottom will run from the front into the tranny and the other will run from the back through the tranny into the starter.the bottom is 14mm and the top is 15mm.That is if yours is a 4.0L w/auto.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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before you go buy a starter and bang it up installing it, making it unreturnable....


i just had the SAME problem on my 97 literally last week. it would usually start, but there were two or three times where for a whole day it wouldnt start.

when i turned the key it would give ONE loud click. that was it.

i just let it sit that night, went out the next morning, and it would start again.

i didnt think it was my battery either, as it was showing good on the dash meter, and i even took it completely out and checked for acid leaks with this spray i have, cleaned the terminals and connections super good, and reinstalled it super tight.

few days later it did it again.


the one thing i did that someone here mentioned, that i never thought of...



turn the headlight on before you turn the key at all. then start it. while its starting if the headlights/dashlights dim a noticable amount, its the battery. even if your guage is showing its good.

i didnt believe it, so i took my battery out and took it up to autozone. they charged it all the way up, then tested it. yep, it failed the test.

i even had them test it in front of me so i could make sure they werent just trying to sell me a battery.

so you didnt mention that you actually had the battery load tested, you just said it was good, which is exactly what i said in my post about it too.

if you havent done it, do it. its free.

hope it helps.

also, cant say it enough, go with the duralast gold if you get a new one. 90 bucks for a tj, comes with a 3 year replacement warranty. that means if you kill the battery 2 years from now, and leave it dead for 6 months and REALLY kill it, just take it back and get your free replacement.

800 cold cranking amps

also comes with 3 year free 24/hr jump start. if it dies at your house, or at the mall, or whever the hell you might be, call the number on the card that comes with the battery, and they send out a tow truck to jump you. i carry cables but i still thought it was a cool deal. they will pay for it up to twice a year, for 3 years.

ok my rant is over lol
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:57 PM   #8
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sweet, thanks for the info. my jeep started at six when it was about 30 degrees and then i just tried it now when its like 25 degrees and i got the single click like you described. I bought the large suv battery from sears which is like 880 cca or something like that and it cost 119.00$ for it so i hope that its good, can't hurt to have it tested like you said
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:00 PM   #9
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oh yeah, thanks for the info about changing the starter, if it turns out i need one, which it most likely will then if its that simple, why would i pay someone 160$ to do it.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:32 PM   #10
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start it again, but turn the lights on first.

watch the headlights if they are shining on something in front of you, and watch the dash lights.

if they get real dim or even go out while its starting.. battery
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #11
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It really is that simple to change.It isn't like some that you have to use a pry bar to get it out even after spending an hour unbolting it because you can only get 1.4 turn at a time.The Jeep is wide open and easy to get to.
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:07 PM   #12
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a started consists of two bolts connecting it to i believe the flywheel .. and 2 smaller bolts for the battery wires.. i did my started outside in the rain because it died in a parking lot.. its very simple and requires little to no mechanical intelligence
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:10 PM   #13
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Jeep Horizons :: Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Starter Replacement


thats pretty much all you need to know
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:48 PM   #14
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Thanks guy, I got it fixed this morning since I had to work at 9:00 am I woke up early and after searching I found a starter for $160 at the dealership and rushed the jeep over to a local shop. I didn't fix it myself because I was working until 6:00 pm and wanted to hit a trail after work. I took my little bro's camary and had the starter installed for $80 after telling the shop that it was'nt a two hour job like they were saying. It ended up taking them an hour because the bolts had to be broken off which was worth the money seeing it was 15 degrees out. I do have one remaining problem that was not fixed which I thought was from the solenoid was a noise that developed around the same time the the starting problems. When i let off my gas and coast there is a real high frequency whine that almost sounds electrical, its a ultra high pitch squeal. Then noise also occurs once in a while stopped. Touch the gas and the sound is gone, i let of and it screams. The worst part about it is the sound is not constant and the shop said it sounded like the solenoid, but when i picked it up the noise occurred after a mile.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:56 PM   #15
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You never mentioned if yours is stick or auto but what you are describing sounds like it may be a standard and your throw out bearing is making the noise but hard to say with out more info...
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giancarlo View Post
a started consists of two bolts connecting it to i believe the flywheel .. and 2 smaller bolts for the battery wires.. i did my started outside in the rain because it died in a parking lot.. its very simple and requires little to no mechanical intelligence
i wonder what would happen if the starter was actually bolted to the flywheel....i think that would be a problem....9 times out of 10 a starter problem is a battery problem......if you every cross the bridge again and are gonna spend 119 on a battery then spend 30 more and get an optima....they might not come with more than a 1 or 2 year warranty but that is b/c they dont need them.....the last one i had i ran down to nuthing over 30 times and with a little jump and a charge it was like new again...
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by flattietj View Post
i wonder what would happen if the starter was actually bolted to the flywheel....i think that would be a problem....9 times out of 10 a starter problem is a battery problem......if you every cross the bridge again and are gonna spend 119 on a battery then spend 30 more and get an optima....they might not come with more than a 1 or 2 year warranty but that is b/c they dont need them.....the last one i had i ran down to nuthing over 30 times and with a little jump and a charge it was like new again...
Yeah that would not work to well.The starter in the 4.0 automatic case is bolted to the transmission and on most others are bolted from the bottom up into the engine block but not the flywheel.Oh and that Jeep Horizon link is not for the 4.0L.Neither picture and mine for sure does not have torx head bolts holding the starter just an FYI.

BTW a starter solenoid will not make that kind of noise.Come to think of it a starter solenoid does not make any noises except a clicking noise when the battery is dead.That is just the solenoid energizing to kick the bendix out but as soon as it does the battery is dead enough the solenoid de-energizes cause the starter motor robs what current is left,but anyway the noise is more than likely not the solenoid.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:05 PM   #18
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thanks again guys, it sounds electrical and the noise does not sound like a bearing and the engine makes the noise when in park and i've listened all over the engine compartment and it sounds like it is coming from around the left lower side frequency. its sounds like a tweeter is playing a ultra high frequency test tone in my engine compartment, and as soon as i touch the gas it stops, let of the gas and it screams. my jeep is a 4.0 auto and this may sound super crazy but the noise is still there once i had the starter changed but it is a lot quieter now.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:16 PM   #19
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I have another thread out titled "annoying front end noise" that i just diagnosed a few minutes ago. The tapping or knocking noise that i described came from the transfer case shifting lever. There is about a half inch of side to side play and when i shake it, it makes the noise that I've been complaining about ever since i have lifted the jeep. It has had that noise and there has always has aways been play. What could i do to remedy this situation and could the transfer case be tied in with the high pitch squeal seeing they seem to be originating from the same area.

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