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Old 07-20-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
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Angry Electrical issue with my Jeep-grounding, where to start

First post here but been a longtimer on Diesel forums elsewhere…Also, please note this is my personal experience and this not a flame you’re a@#$ thread.
The Story about my Jeep:
1989 Sahara Wrangler: No offense, only two things that my Jeep has done well in past two years of my ownership is break down every month (quite literally) followed by quick fix for few hundred $ only to run for very short amount of time then break my pocket, AGAIN. For your reading pleasure, here is the list of things I have had to replace/fix:
Bought at 167K miles currently at 172K miles
Trans-clutch replacement, engine rebuilt, entire interior (seat, carpet etc parts only I did the labor), used thorn bird tires, new winch (never got to use it, cause it never runs long enough to do so), SMOG repairs –over $1600 total in this repair alone(remember that it was running Jeep and passed smog when I bought it), new carb, new top, new exhaust system, tune up( spark plug distributor etc), new battery, new radiator, new tow straps/hooks etc ( for the day that I dream of taking it off roading). Finally tow light so that I can tow it from the road side every time it breaks down in my F 350. In total I can count about 11K(plus minus) invested excluding the Jeep buy price, in cash. Not bad for some of us considering the age but still…I can rant for days, so let it be.
The good thing: zero rust and nobody damage, NorCal Jeep all it’s life.
Past is past, now for the present:
Apr 2009:
It was running fine until I stop for a quick bite on Sunday, then no start! It does not crank at all. The voltmeter read 10 volts, so I figured the new battery must have drained, well somehow. Tried jump starting, no show...
Tow the thing home.
May 2009:
No time, the Jeep remains parked in the lot.
Jun 2009:
No time, the Jeep remains the way it always remains, which is broke.
Jul 20009:
I removed the starter and got it tested at Pepboys and Autozone, runs like a champ. So, last weekend:
--> Got new Battery under warranty!!!!
--> Got the starter installed on another car at an automotive shop (just wire connected) and was able to verify that the starter is indeed working properly.
--> tore apart all the hose type covers around the wires leading to the starter from the battery. Was able to see that every wire was intact and is not cut or bruised.
--> Now, this leaves me in a sticky situation: that is checking all the grounds...Geez where do I start? The main ground wire bolted to the engine block seems pretty tight (I hope that is the main ground!).
Put it this way, I have no idea on how to trouble shoot electrical issues. And the alternative option of paying $108 an hour labor at mechanic’s here in NorCal isn’t attractive anymore. So, please help me fix it. It’s probably something very silly, like an old wire shorting somewhere but like anything new, I’m not sure where to start.

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Old 07-20-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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Hmm Have u checked the ground from the battery to the frame?

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Old 07-20-2009, 09:56 PM   #3
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tight is not necessarily enough. i just had a similar problem. remove the engine block ground and clean it. i used very fine sand paper.i also cleaned all alternator connectors. in front of the battery there are relays. all are interchangable. clean all legs and reinstall. fuses too. also, clean the ecm plug. you will not be alone.you are among fellow jeepers.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:40 AM   #4
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if you want to check the ground real quick just hook a jumper cable between the battery - and the starter
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:51 AM   #5
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Grounds......Battery to frame.......frame to block, check connections at starter......definatly check your ignition switch. Make sure wires have not come off or have been pushed back.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:53 AM   #6
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thanks guys, I will try these out asap.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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quick question, from the starter solenoid there is green wire going to the firewall, what is that wire for? Is that the fuse box? it's kinda open though!
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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Whats kinda open?
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:52 PM   #9
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Meaning is not like a fuse/box, but the green wire directly goes to the switch kinda thing on the firewall. that switch is bolted directly to the firewall.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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gotta picture?
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAVYCHIEF View Post
gotta picture?
I'll get some tonight...and post it back up
Thanks,
VJ
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:20 PM   #12
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Here are some pictures of the switch on the firewall.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:10 PM   #13
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that looks like a mc style starter solenoid all the wires going to it just look like accessories run off the hot side run a test lite to the terminal that the green wire gos to on the starter and have some one turn the key to start you should have power thare heres a quick pic i found http://www.oldengine.org/unfaq/FordSolenoid.jpgthe blue wire in this pic should be your green wire if you dont have power at the green wires terminal on the starter run the lite to the I post on the switch its pink on the pic i posted have some one turn the key to start if you have power at the I post the solenoid is shot.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:51 PM   #14
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That should be your signal wire.
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijay View Post
Here are some pictures of the switch on the firewall.
That is the starter relay, the stater solenoid is on the starter.

The green wire is what causes the starter to start cranking, when the key is turned all the way forward.

A remote starter button can be connected between the battery & the starter's green wire terminal. I recently did this to make putting the belt on my weldenator a one man job.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:17 AM   #16
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here thay are its about 15$ Starters and Solenoids for your Jeep CJ5
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #17
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You guys rock, new starter relay is in order.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:19 PM   #18
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I called Pepboys and they said it is $44.98 ( starter Relay) and it has to be order!
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:14 PM   #19
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:49 PM   #20
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AWesome...$10 it is...thanks for your help.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:50 PM   #21
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Sounds like a bad ground to me, but shoot, since you`re so unhappy and it seems like you`ve almost replaced everything on it, is it fior sale?..*lol* sorry bro, couldn`t help myself. I know when my cherokee with the 4.0 H.O.was giving me fits, (i.e crank sensor, throttle body, you name it) I probably would have sold it to the first person that offered me a dime or a ride,,heh-heh, but finally ALMOST got everything straightened out on it.
Still gives me grief when starting once in a while, I need to jump a little fuel down it`s throat but my 89 yj with a 2.5 hasn`t given me any problems.
But I know what you mean, you get friggin frustrated.
I always thought I was a pretty dang good backyard neighborhood mechanic till that cherokee destroyed my confidence,,heh-heh, those 4.0`s are a different kind of animal.
When I was trying to find a mech to help me fix it, once I said it`s a 4.0 some of them said ohhh, we don`t touch those.. I`m like what????
Then I got a 93 yj with the 4.0 and rebuilt the engine and tranny, damn thing ran great, restored my confidence,,*lol*
So now I have just my cherokee and my 89 yj as far as jeeps, think I`ll keep it that way for a spell.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yjwes View Post
You know how there are three (gold color) ground/signal wires. I bought one from Autozone exactly like that but my Jeep has four of those…geez what is the forth one for? The wire leading to the forth one is green and it right next to the main bolt.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:32 PM   #23
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Starter relay checked out....
Now, the only thing remaining....THE NEUTRAL switch,I think????

Back to problem: First off, I don’t know where the neutral switch is. I crawled underneath the Jeep last night and saw a wire thing coming from the body to the transmission. I think this is the neutral switch. It has two plugs like points and it is directly under the driver side.
Now, if that is what it is and if I remove it, do I need to change the trans oil? If so, is changing trans oil an easy job ( as easy as engine oil change)?
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:04 AM   #24
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Starter relay checked out....
Now, the only thing remaining....THE NEUTRAL switch
The wires coming from the trans are likely reverse switch wires.

There is an ignition switch on top of the steering column.

I,d try jumping the starter before going any further.

With the jeep in park or neutral & the E-brake set, chock a wheel or two.

Next connect a length of wire of equal gauge to the thin green wire terminal on the starter. (Alligator clip) Stand off to the passenger side of the jeep & tap the other end of that wire to the battery's positive (+) terminal. This should turn the starter.

If it does, then the ignition switch is what I'd check next.

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