Alright I'm sorry to post another issue like this, but I'm not finding the answer I need with searches.
I have a stock 2000 TJ sport with the 4.0L and manual transmission. 186,000 miles and have owned it since new. Never had to replace anything in the starting system.
A couple weeks ago I started having an intermittent starting problem. About every 10-15 starts it would not crank. The instrument cluster would light up when the key was put to run, but would not crank when put to start. No matter what it did (twist the key harder, yell, curse, etc.) it would not crank.
So, I could push start it or get pissed off and go away. If I came back hours later it would start just fine. I installed a 20 amp fuse in fuse block behind glove box to defeat clutch interlock switch. So the damn thing starts fine for two weeks and then wont crank again. So...
Cleaned my battery cables and checked the connections to the PDU, ground, and starter. I replaced the starter relay in the PDU, still every 10-15 starts it wont crank. So I replaced the starter and still intermittent starts. So I replaced the starting switch in the steering column and I checked that nylon/plastic part that links the lock tumbler to the starting switch, which seemed fine. At this point it starts great for a couple days and then today nothing.
So as I'm yelling and cursing I'm slamming the clutch up and down and twisting the key and it starts. I had tested the clutch interlock defeat last week and it would start with the clutch out.
Does a manual transmission have Neutral Safety Switch? Can my clutch interlock switch break and the defeat not work? After my experience today I think this has something to do with the clutch interlock switch, but I'm a lame mechanic so I don't know. What have I missed? Keep me from kicking my dog and crying myself to sleep in the corner.