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Old 06-10-2014, 10:39 PM
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PDC Coil Fuse Keeps Blowing, Jeep Dies

Hey all! I am a new Jeep owner, a 98 wrangler, and have had some trouble with it since I bought it a month ago. I went offroading at Gulches in upstate SC this past weekend and ended up being towed home by my buddy who has a Jeep. We are trying to tackle the problem and he suggested I post here for help. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Here is what has happened so far. My speedometer had been jumping around a lot recently, so I replaced the speed sensor and pulled the gear to see how the teeth looked. Everything looked good so I put it all back together and went offroading on Sunday. I also recently replaced the 9 yr old battery and the alternator.

I drove 45 minutes to Gulches with no problems. Once there I spent about 5 minutes driving over a few bumpy areas to meet up with my buddy. I was in 4low and put it in reverse and then the car suddenly died. I tried to start it but it would not turn over. There was a Jeep club there that my buddy was driving with so they headed over to help out. We pulled a ton of loose wires from under the hood, all related to led fog lights the previous owner put in really poorly, and they tried a few other things. They narrowed the issue down to the PDC Coil fuse (#11). It would blow every time we tried to start her up. We could figure out the cause there so my friend towed me home.

One of the guys there said there were some loose wires behind the radio. So today I pulled out the radio and found the loose wire. I put some electrical tape over the ends. I replaced the #11 fuse and tried to start it up. It briefly seemed as though it would start but didn't. I found a 15amp fuse laying around and noticed that #18 was empty and called for a 15amp fuse. So I replaced that and the newly blown #11 fuse and tried to start it again. It started right up. I thought I had it beat!

My buddy came over and we were going to take it around the block to see how it ran. It still started up with no issues. However, when I put it in reverse and gave it some gas it dies again. I had the headlights on, so we replaced the fuse, turned off the headlights and put it in reverse and pulled it out of my driveway. Then I stopped and revved the engine a little, put it back in reverse and gave it some gas, it died again. This time without the headlights off.

So, long story short, it appears that putting the Jeep in reverse is blowing the #11 fuse. The Jeep will start once I replace the #11 fuse. This is an improvement from before I messed with the radio cords that were a mess and exposed so perhaps something I did there helped.

Any ideas on how to fix this???? And should I put a 15amp fuse in #18, (ACC Batt). Not sure if there was one in there before the guys who helped me at gulches started working with the fuses.

Thanks so much for any help!!!

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Old 06-10-2014, 10:58 PM   #2
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It's possible that you have suffered some wire harness damage (abrasion) and the torque of the drivetrain in reverse is causing a short to occur. A hand-over-hand inspection of the wiring associated with the blown fuse is needed. I would pay extra attention to places where abrasion is more likely to occur and places where wiring moves with the engine.

I had a similar situation recently. Finally tracked it down to a wire that had rubbed against the a/c accumulator. It would only short out when there was condensation on the cold accumulator.

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Old 06-11-2014, 08:05 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=tangofox007;11247025]It's possible that you have suffered some wire harness damage (abrasion) and the torque of the drivetrain in reverse is causing a short to occur. A hand-over-hand inspection of the wiring associated with the blown fuse is needed. I would pay extra attention to places where abrasion is more likely to occur and places where wiring moves with the engine.

X2

Definitely a short.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:15 AM   #4
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Here's the wiring diagram for fuse 11 on a 97 TJ. Might be a little different on a 98, I'm not sure. A short to ground on any part of the circuit will cause fuse 11 to blow. Hope this helps!!

Roy

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Old 06-11-2014, 10:51 AM
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Thanks guys! I will begin looking for the short. That diagram will definitely help. I find it strange that pulling th radio and fixing the wires allowed it to start again, but there is still a short somewhere.

Any idea what the #18 fuse slot is for? Do I need to have a fuse there?
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:08 PM   #6
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According to the 97 fsm, there is nothing listed for fuse 18. It shows the fuse (20a) but no circuits. Don't know if it's the same for 98 though.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:50 PM   #7
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The most likely place for the short is the wire going to the torque converter clutch solenoid. It is a red/light green (same color as all wires for the fuse 11 circuit) wire that goes from off the main harness behind the engine down to the trans. Check under there especially that is didn’t get into the exhaust or damaged from hitting something from the trail. The next place to look is when the wire goes into the PDC or anywhere inside the PDC. It goes to the ASD & fuel pump relays under there as well as the a/c & rear window defrost relays if equipped. Besides those places it also goes up to the PCM & over to the EVAP solenoid & pump. As noted all wires are red/light green.

The ’98s are pretty much the same as the ‘97s for this circuit. Fuse 18 it to an auxiliary power wire that is behind the fuse block & not connected to anything so not likely related to this unless something has been added to it. It is red/black.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:38 PM
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Thanks! I plan to tackle finding the short tomorrow. I meant to pick up a bunch of 10a fuses tonight but ran out of time. My speedometer has been going nutso the last few weeks. Do you think it is related? I replaced the speed sensor and it did not fix it.

I will leave #18 empty. I also better test all the other fuses. I found a blown 15a fuse and want to know where it is from.

The advice has been great! Thanks all! I will be posting the outcome, hopefully positive.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:57 AM   #9
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OK to pick up some fuses but do a good inspection of the harnesses before popping in fuses & having them blow. Most of the time a short is the result of external damage to the wiring & a visual check will find it.

Can’t tell what the 15a fuse is for unless you give the #. I don’t see any 15a fuses for ‘98s in either the block behind the glove box or the PDC.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:23 PM
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Ok. I spent some time investigating the wiring and didn't find any obvious issues. The worst looking area was around the oil filter. Big oily mess. I attached a few pics. Do you see anything that could be causing a short?
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:27 PM
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Also, here is a pic from under the steering wheel. The previous owner had led fog lights installed and the wiring is a mess. Ripped most out but here is a switch and a mess of wires. I'd like to remove the switch and any unneeded wires. Any advice? Could this mess be causing the short?
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:14 PM
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I tried driving it again and the issue isn't putting in reverse. I was able to reverse just fine. Once I went over the small bump at the end of my driveway with the front end it shut off and blew the fuse again. Apparently it has to do with going over bumps. Still can't find any apparent damage to wires.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CackalackyJeep View Post
Still can't find any apparent damage to wires.
A casual glance might not be adequate. You need to trace every wire associated with the fuse that blows. You can also try shaking the associated harnesses by hand with the engine running. Pay extra attention to places where the harness moves, rubs or vibrates.
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:00 AM   #14
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Another item that is sometimes neglected and is just as important is checking all of your ground wires too. Computers rely on these even more so, and can give you all kinds of fits.
If you know how to use an electrical meter I would start with the battery first on both sides, positive and negative. After checking that then with the battery disconnected, I would work your way back from the fuse also checking for resistance to ground along the way. Try bouncing the vehicle while reading the ohmmeter checking for ground. If it changes reading when doing that then let us know too. You should be able to find it or get us more info to help you after performing this test. Good luck either way.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:19 AM   #15
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Hi all.
Thank you for helping my buddy out.
This is a great forum with a wealth of information.
I just do not have enough knowledge to fix this one.
By the way cackalaky it was a pleasure to tow you home.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:20 AM   #16
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Hi all.
Thank you for helping my buddy out.
This is a great forum with a wealth of information.
I just do not have enough knowledge to fix this one.
By the way cackalaky it was a pleasure to tow you home.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:09 AM   #17
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On 98 coil fuse also powers injectors and o2 sensors and and intermittent short is most Likely in harness to o2 sensor could be either one

Those wires live in a dangerous environment where it is easy to scrape off or burn off insulation and then a slight contact to metal blows the fuse and stops the engine

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