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Old 04-12-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
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Unhappy HELP! New Jeep owner with Electrical Issues, 1997 Wrangler

I bought my first Wrangler a few days ago. A 1997 TJ, 2.4, 5 speed. I need help figuring out an electrical issue that is causing my blinkers, odometer, radio, and windshield wipers to work fine sometimes and not work others. I have noticed that if they are not working, I have found that if I turn the key off and then back on again, they usually work. When they are working I notice the odometer blinks when I turn on the right turn signal at the exact same pace as the turn signal. Has anyone else had this issue? What is the common thread causing this and how do I fix it?

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:21 AM   #2
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Those symptoms are classic signs of a weak, bad, or missing electrical ground connection somewhere. If anyone has done any wiring modifications to your TJ, it's possible they forgot to reconnect a ground connection somewhere. Check that the black wires that go to various grounds around the Jeep are solidly connected to whatever they're grounded to. Double-check all of the grounds on the turn signals, marker lights, and headlights.

And your '97 TJ has the old nearly bulletproof 2.5L engine, not the 2.4L which is used on much newer TJs.

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Old 04-12-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Thanks

Thanks, I will go take a look. Should I buy a Chiltons manual? Will they tell me where to look for the grounds? The only electrical modifications are the previous owner took out the stock steering wheel and put in an aftermarket one.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:36 AM   #4
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Chiltons and Haynes manuals are not worth the paper they're printed on unless you're brand-new to doing basic maintenance. Wiring and schematic-wise, they are next to useless because they don't cover the wiring details like that. The wiring section inside the FSM (factory service manual) has as many pages as an entire Chiltons or Haynes has.

A basic thing you might try is looking more closely at the ignition switch itself. From your symptoms, it might be going bad inside and creating an intermittent connection.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:32 PM   #5
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Smile Problem solved

I checked all of the grounds and could not find the problem. I took it to the shop across the street and found out it was the wrong type of light bulb in the tail-light causing all of my problems. Paying $72 for a light bulb sucks, but now I can start enjoying my Jeep!!! I dont remember if it was a one prong bulb and should have been a two, or vice versa, but all seems fine now.
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