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Ricardo Hohl
Ricardo Hohl, Master Certified Tech
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 4243
Experience:  Automotive instructor at Porter and Chester institute
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1989 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4wd 4.0 6cyl. Wiring problem. Would

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1989 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4wd 4.0 6cyl. Wiring problem. Would not start in parking lot 30 miles from home on Sunday. Acted like a dead battery. AAA jumped battery,everything dead. Had to flatbed home. I am home mechanic. Yellow Optima battery tests good! Battery cable connections were worse than I should have allowed. Cleaned everything. Replaced starter and solenoid. Old starter/solenoid combo bench tested OK; newer spare one bench-tests OK also. Next,I replaced the starter relay with a spare. (4 terminals on back plus battery stud) some have only 3 terminals. Turn key to ON, and there is power to everything, headlights ok. Turn to START and one click is heard and everything goes dead. Have to take a battery cable off the battery and replace,then it has power again until turning key to start. I have not looked at the ignition switch yet. I will change that tomorrow. I have restored this vehicle for some unknown reason (poverty?)and it has a rebuilt engine but some of the wiring connections look a little corroded. Is this no-start condition because of a bad wire from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid? (green wire) HELP! DAN
hi, yes this can be a ignition switch problem but also a bad positive wire connected and not making good contact, can you turn your head lights on and crank to see if the head lights go out also?when this problem occurs
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


The original positive battery cable has corrosion at the last two inches at the starter end. I tried to clean this up with a wire brush as best as possible. When I reattached everything, I touched a screwdriver from battery terminal at the starter to the solenoid terminal at the starter. There was good spark there, but it clicked only and then there was no power. If the headlights were on at this time they would go out. I emailed to a Jeep dealer (parts dept) for an original positive battery cable but have not received a response. I may try to shorten this cable two inches and reattach the flat sheet metal terminal at the end. I have a battery tester which loads the battery and it checks out OK.

I feel like there is a short somewhere. Please understand,this engine does not crank. HELP!!!!

hi, this cable you can by at the regular auto parts the cable comes complete from the battery to the starter maybe you should try that i have a filling the problem is on the cables positive or negative and perhaps you should try replacing both.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


OK- I will work with this information this morning and then I will get back to you. Dan

ok, Dan, let me know the results.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ricardo- I replaced both battery cables with new. I thought we had it because the first time I tried,the engine turned over but not enough to start even though the battery reads fully charged. Then it would not do that again,one click and there is no more power. I notice now that with the key off and the positive terminal connected at the battery, if you touch the negative terminal to the post,there is a spark. It is drawing current. I can see no burned wires and never did smell any smoke. How am I ever going to find this short? Please help, I am getting desparate here! DAN
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok -This might be fixed. You (Ricardo) were certainly right to focus on the battery cables. The positive cable was the original from 1989,so that's asking a lot to think that it's not going to have too much resistance. Also the replacement ground cable was not a perfect fit clamping at the negative battery post. After double tightening everything, it started strong on the battery and was the same condition on second start-up two hours later. If it starts tomorrow morning I will consider that it is repaired. It sure did a lot of funny stuff that I had never seen before. Where can I buy a full wiring diagram for this vehicle? DAN
you can go to a library and make copies from the book or download the wiring out of the dealers connect .com website. let me know how it works out in the morning.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK- I'm done. It's fixed! How do I finish the payment? Thanks for your help. DAN