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Old 04-08-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
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Won't turn over after dash removal (4.2)

Just so you guys have an idea what I'm working with:
1989 with a 4.2 I6 recently set up with a Howell TBI kit.

Here's what happened:

Everything was working great for the last week, turned over instantly, ran wonderfully. Yesterday I dropped a screw down my defroster vent above my dash, so I took apart the dash to try and get it out. After I got the screw out I put the dash back together (basically just screwed it back in place). When I went to start up my Jeep a little later, it wouldn't turn over. The starter doesn't even try. The gauge on my dash shows in the red by the "8" volts however I got my battery tested (it's a week old) and they said its fully charged and perfectly fine.


Is there anything I may have touched while taking apart my dash that would have caused this? The lights on my dash are very dim when I turn the key, but my headlights seem to be at normal brightness...

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Old 04-08-2014, 01:01 PM   #2
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It sounds like you are missing a ground from the dash to the chassis.

Not sure why it won't crank, but wiring on the YJ seems to be strange!

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Old 04-08-2014, 01:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffs92yj View Post
It sounds like you are missing a ground from the dash to the chassis.

Not sure why it won't crank, but wiring on the YJ seems to be strange!
That was my guess, I was fairly confident that I checked all the wires. Worst case I'll tear it apart again but I was hoping not.

I even tried jumping it last night with no luck (same thing happened).

I'll have access to a multimeter later today, does anyone know where I could check with this to maybe diagnose my problem further?
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:14 PM   #4
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Exactly what part of the dash did you remove?

With a multimeter on the resistance scale, measure between a ground point on the dash to the chassis.

You should read close to zero. A few ohms is ok.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:19 PM   #5
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Also on DC volts measure between + post on battery to engine. Should read full battery voltage.

Also since battery is new, recheck battery cable clamp tightness.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Exactly what part of the dash did you remove?

With a multimeter on the resistance scale, measure between a ground point on the dash to the chassis.

You should read close to zero. A few ohms is ok.
I removed all the coverings (instrument cluster, middle [radio, a/c controls, etc], and glove box.




Strange though, there was a ground wire where the radio would be, I don't have one installed, that the splice had become disconnected. I connected this and the Jeep started. I put that part of the dash back on and it would NOT start again. So I removed the cover checked that the ground was still connected, but now not won't turn over again even with that ground connected...
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:19 PM   #7
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Ground in photo
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffs92yj View Post
Exactly what part of the dash did you remove?

With a multimeter on the resistance scale, measure between a ground point on the dash to the chassis.

You should read close to zero. A few ohms is ok.
Got that on my ground near the radio and under the steering wheel. Anywhere else?
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:03 PM   #9
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Good news! I let it sit over the weekend and it started just now... But now my gauges don't work, including tach.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:38 PM   #10
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Yeah got some GREMLINS in there time for some Voodoo or something.

Your chasing a bad ground or moisture.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:52 PM   #11
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Clean metal up where grounds are.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:40 AM   #12
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Yep I agree. Clean up all leads. Where I would start. Just fixed volt meter by doing just that. Cleaning connections
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:19 AM   #13
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Okay, update! My Jeep randomly started after letting it sit for the weekend, before any work was done today, but the dash was still dead.

So today...

Cleaned every ground I could find (I had done this last week, but I went over everything again), I took out my dash/ignition fuse (tested it again with a multimeter to confirm it's usefulness) and cleaned up the ends of it since they had some residue on them. Then, I swapped fuses with another 15 amp fuse just for kicks (at this point I was willing to try anything). Also, I had taken out all my gauges and had the leads cleaned. After that, I tried to find any wire connectors and tried to make sure they were connected firmly.

Not sure what fixed it (probably the fuse cleaning and gauge cleaning, again) but it starts up and my dash seems to be brighter (normal) again.

So fingers crossed that we're good to go. Gotta thank my awesome girlfriend for the help (she probably won't see this, but you never know...)

Thank you everyone for the advice and help. It's been incredibly helpful.

TL;DR More cleaning, swapped fuses, success!
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:34 AM   #14
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I guess the only thing that doesn't work is the dash/gauge backlights, but that's the least of my concerns right now. I'll tackle that sometime later...

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