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skyhawkap 05-01-2013 07:31 AM

Starting Problem '97 TJ
I have a '97 TJ 4.0 with automatic trans. new to me that has intermittent starting issues. Every couple of days (but seems like it is getting worse) when I turn the switch everything comes on (radio, instruments, etc.) but when I turn the key to start nothing happens. There is no clicking, the starter does not try to engage, I can't hear the relay click... just silence. I have read multiple posts about this and have tried a number of the fixes with no change. It starts very easy with a screw driver between the poles on the starter.

It used to start after turning it off and on a number of times but this morning never would start without the screw driver (I replaced the switch box...see below... last night) . I drove it to work turned it off and it cranked right up.

What I have done:
- Starter relay has been replaced
- Actuator switch replaced
- The switch module (black box behind the actuator which the wire harness plugs into) replaced
- Battery poles are clean and tight
- The battery has the march and 3 stickers removed (I think this means it was installed March 2013?)
- It looks like the previous owner replaced the starter solenoid because it is nice and shiny

The only thing I have not replaced is the neutral position switch which I will do tonight however, I have tried to move the shifter when it is not starting and this does not help. Does anyone have any other ideas?
Thanks in advance!

Jerry Bransford 05-01-2013 11:15 AM

So you replaced the ignition switch module?

If moving the shifter between Park & Neutral doesn't help, that only rules out the shift cable length adjustment being off but it doesn't rule out the NSS switch on the transmission itself.

skyhawkap 05-01-2013 12:21 PM

Yes, I replaced the module.

So if the NSS switch is bad it will not start in any position? For some reason I thought that if it were bad it would still start in Neutral. Thanks!

Jerry Bransford 05-01-2013 12:29 PM

The NSS is an interlock switch in the starter circuit. I'm not necessarily saying it's bad but if the switch is bad, it could prevent it from starting no matter where the gear shifter is. I would bypass the NSS to see if that helps. Caution that the NSS also serves as the Reverse light switch so make sure you jumper the right wires if you try bypassing it.

skyhawkap 05-01-2013 12:33 PM

Thanks, I will try to jump it tonight and post results.

skyhawkap 05-18-2013 09:19 PM

For anyone searching this...the nss pigtail had come loose and was rubbing against the front drive shaft...little elec. Tape and a zip tie and no more issues

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