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Old 05-23-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Replaced starter - now won't start

Long story short: I was pretty sure my starter was going bad (wouldn't start in a parking lot), so I replaced it (this is one of the few replacements I've done on my jeep before, so I'm pretty sure I did it right). In the week between my deciding it was going bad, and my replacing it, it started a couple times.

After I replaced the starter and hooked the neg batt terminal back up, it started up once. Started beautifully that time. I drove five blocks, parked it for an hour or two, and now it won't start at all. Battery meter reads around 12 V, lights and stereo come on, and I get the same dead hum that I got when the old starter first failed me.

Any ideas?

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Old 05-23-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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Have someone tap the starter with a hammer while you attempt to turn it over. That's the first cheap idea that comes to mind. It's pretty rare but your new starter may have a dead spot.

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Old 05-23-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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Check the voltage going to your new starter. Might be a bad ground or loose wire between there and the battery.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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Possible I coulda run down the battery by leaving the neg terminal off for a day or two? I read just under 12 V when not trying to turn her over.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Possible I coulda run down the battery by leaving the neg terminal off for a day or two? I read just under 12 V when not trying to turn her over.
If anything that helped it from losing charge.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:11 PM   #6
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what year jeep?
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:26 PM   #7
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what year jeep?

1987
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:38 PM   #8
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there is a starter relay on the passenger side firewall by the battery. give it a look see. corroded terminal or may it just needs a swift kick. where in washington are you located?
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:58 PM   #9
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there is a starter relay on the passenger side firewall by the battery. give it a look see. corroded terminal or may it just needs a swift kick. where in washington are you located?
Can you describe how to find the starter relay exactly? N00b like I said.

I'm in Ravenna (N of U District). You?
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:59 AM   #10
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Found relay. Detached, cleaned, reattached everything. Still nothing. This has me weirded out.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:23 AM   #11
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ocean shores. keep looking, it's going to be something small. wiring diagrams at scribd.com
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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Possible I coulda run down the battery by leaving the neg terminal off for a day or two? I read just under 12 V when not trying to turn her over.
You can't run a battery down by leaving the negative terminal off, but your battery should be around 12.8V just sitting there. Put a meter on the battery and turn on the headlights and see what the battery drops to. Hopefully its still above 12V. If it drops much lower than that you may want to have your battery load tested to rule out a dead cell.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:00 PM   #13
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if your battery isn't dead, you need to test power at the starter when cranking. if power is there, the starter is no good.

i've seen waaaaaaaaayyyy to many bad rebuild starters.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #14
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I had the same problem on my 95. It turns out the small wire coming from the ignition went bad or the ignition itself went bad. I could not get the ignition switch out so I put a push button in the dash. It works like a champ. I also put an extra ground from the battery to the transmission. It drove me crazy trying to figure it out. Hope this helps. Its worth checking anyway.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:11 PM   #15
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Should I be able to start with a charge of just under 12 v? Drops to about 11 when I turn the key.

Found a blown and frayed wire at a fusible link coming off the relay (green on relay side of fuse, red on other side). Replaced link, now getting power through new link and at starter.

So I'm hoping maybe I ran the battery down when trying to start all those times, before diagnosing bad wire.

Battery should be good. Interstate, new last year.
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:25 PM   #16
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check your red wire on the alternator for a good connection. i think it goes there. something had to cause the link to blow.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:19 PM   #17
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check your red wire on the alternator for a good connection. i think it goes there. something had to cause the link to blow.

Checked all connections @ alternator. All good.

I wanna mention I appreciate everyone's help so far. If nothing else I'm getting a crash course in wiring
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:23 PM   #18
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your jeep should crank with 11 volts when key is in crank position. doesn't hurt to charge it up, or try jumpin it.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:01 AM   #19
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that's what it's all about.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:26 AM   #20
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i've been turning wrenches for a little over 30 years, im new to the Jeep thing but i never stop learning, this is the first place i look when i have issues..i've had the starter problem too and i thought it was the little firewall relay too...i hope you find it soon and tell us what the problem was
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:48 PM   #21
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Anyone know if there's a way to test the starter specifically? Someone mentioned that if I'm getting power there, and it still doesn't work, it might be a bad. It is a Schucks rebuild type.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:19 PM   #22
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Take it to autozone and the idiots there will load test it for ya. Did ya try having someone whack it with a hammer while you crank it yet???
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:40 PM   #23
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Take it to autozone and the idiots there will load test it for ya. Did ya try having someone whack it with a hammer while you crank it yet???
Not yet. At the moment I'm working alone, curbside. I might have someone to help me later.

Where on the starter should I whack it? Is there a chance the whack will result in a permanent fix :-)
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:11 PM   #24
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Anyone know if there's a way to test the starter specifically? Someone mentioned that if I'm getting power there, and it still doesn't work, it might be a bad. It is a Schucks rebuild type.
yes, you need a friend and a test light, if power is there while cranking, and starter isn't working its bad. if no power is there, then its not the starter.

idiot zone is a waste of time. they give false positive results on those parts more than they're accurate. then you go back, put the part back in cuz they said its fine, and after a few more days of banging your head, you replace the part they said was good, and now you're fixed.

but like i said, you gotta know if power is going to the starter motor, when the key is in the crank positoin, bottom line. everything else is just guessing.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:17 PM   #25
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I whacked my ex alabama wife with a hammer and it actually slowed her down. oh, i'm sorry should have used a bigger hammer. p.s. her neck was red.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:33 PM   #26
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yes, you need a friend and a test light, if power is there while cranking, and starter isn't working its bad. if no power is there, then its not the starter.

idiot zone is a waste of time. they give false positive results on those parts more than they're accurate. then you go back, put the part back in cuz they said its fine, and after a few more days of banging your head, you replace the part they said was good, and now you're fixed.

but like i said, you gotta know if power is going to the starter motor, when the key is in the crank positoin, bottom line. everything else is just guessing.
This is officially gonna be my first time using a multimeter. Kind of exciting. So when I'm underneath, and starter is hooked up . . . do I just touch the probes to pos and neg terminal on starter, while somebody turns the key? What voltage should I read?

I'm halfway hoping it's a bad starter, because the parts girl at schucks is fucken cute.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:36 PM   #27
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I whacked my ex alabama wife with a hammer and it actually slowed her down. oh, i'm sorry should have used a bigger hammer. p.s. her neck was red.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Right before I read that I was thinking about the last time I changed the starter in my Jeep, and my then girlfriend (who later became wife and ex-wife) thought it would be funny to sit on the bumper and bounce up and down. If I hadn't loved the girl so much, that would have been the definition of hammertime.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:38 PM   #28
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This is officially gonna be my first time using a multimeter. Kind of exciting. So when I'm underneath, and starter is hooked up . . . do I just touch the probes to pos and neg terminal on starter, while somebody turns the key? What voltage should I read?

I'm halfway hoping it's a bad starter, because the parts girl at schucks is fucken cute.
then take it back regardless.\

yes, with a multimeter, what you need to do is put the negative lead to a good ground. the positive lead to the lug on the starter motor that gets power switched to it when the key is in crank position. you should have 10-12 volts depending on your battery. even a little less you'll get something out of your starter.

now, don't fool yourself. i think you said your solinoid is seperate, but if not there is a constant 12 volts on the solenoid, and solenoids now days are on the starter. so if it is, make sure you're testing power being at the motor, not solenoid.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:21 PM   #29
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then take it back regardless.\

yes, with a multimeter, what you need to do is put the negative lead to a good ground. the positive lead to the lug on the starter motor that gets power switched to it when the key is in crank position. you should have 10-12 volts depending on your battery. even a little less you'll get something out of your starter.

now, don't fool yourself. i think you said your solinoid is seperate, but if not there is a constant 12 volts on the solenoid, and solenoids now days are on the starter. so if it is, make sure you're testing power being at the motor, not solenoid.
K here's where I look even more like a n00b: the motor is the part with the teeth that lock into the flywheel, right? That makes the solenoid the little drum to the upper left of the starter motor, which connects directly to the battery and has a pos and neg terminal?

Out of the box, the starter looked exactly like my old one . . . big pos terminal (I think on the solenoid), little neg terminal (I think on the solenoid), and a thick, short, single wire connecting the solenoid to the motor, already attached.

The only thing that was different from my old one, is there was a gold spade connector on the small, negative terminal. Instructions said it was the solenoid terminal, and I should use it if my solenoid is separate (weird that it came with that instruction, since my solenoid is attached). So I left the lonely spade terminal alone (my old starter didn't have an analogous terminal), and next time I was underneath messing around, I took it off and got rid of it.

Like I said at the beginning, this starter worked once, and gave me a beautiful start. Seems like that one start blew a wire from the starter relay, and I don't know what else it did.

Sorry to ramble, I'm at the point where I'm checking out everything. So just to be sure: that little gold spade terminal is probably useless? And I should always get power to the pos and neg terminals on the solenoid? Then when someone cranks the engine, I should have the positive multimeter post on the single, thick wire between the solenoid and the starter, negative post on the vehicle body somewhere?

This is really getting fun. I don't mean that sarcastically.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:47 PM   #30
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sounds like you're on the right track. i can't picture a useless wire though, there's a positive, a ground, and a signal wire to the solenoid.

but you are right, constant 12 volts at solenoid, and when the key is cranked, that power needs to go to the motor. if power goes to the motor, and no cranky cranky, then the starter is bad. if there's no power going to the starte motor, then obviously the starter can't turn and something else is going on.

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