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Old 08-20-2008, 09:13 AM   #1
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Default 94 xj wont start, has power no crank, nss ok? not sure what to do

So last night my jeep would not start randomly, it had power but would not crank at all, my brother stopped by, we checkd the relays, fuses etc and everything looked good. Then out of the blue it just started when he was going to get some tools. I drove it home and found some stuff about the neutral safety switch and how to test it, one was just moving the shifter while trying to start it and seeing if it cranks anywhere, well that didn't work at all, then I found how to test it at the electronic connection to see if it is functioning right. Well I tested the hell out of it and it works perfectly except for reverse, which when I googled that it said if it doesn't work in reverse the reverse lights wont turn on which I don't know or care if they do, but it works in park and neutral so that shouldn't be an issue. So im thinking it's the starter, so I thought b4 I go to bed I would try to clean up the connections at the starter andtried to wiggle some wires around, well of course when I tried to start it after that nothing. Well I went in to get cleaned up and came out to put everything away and though I would try one last time just for the hell of it and it starts, then I turned it on and off like 3 times started every time. This morning it started right up so I drove it to work, I was gonna just drive it by the carwash on the way home and spray all the grime off the starter so I don't have to mess with it at home but I got here, turned it off and now it wont start again? I have no idea, I think it could be the starter I guess but I don't know why it would just start randomly. I get it home im gonna test the starter, I will have to look it up but I heard you can just run a wire from the starter direct to the battery when disconnected and it should turn, I donít know what to do, it starts though, just randomly, the starter doesnít cut out, it isnít weak? Any ideas???
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:51 AM   #2
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put it in neutral. And try starting it. Right now my park neutral switch is bad and it wont start in park. I have to put it in neutral to start it. If it starts in neutral than replace the park neutral switch.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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clean and rebuild the NSS instead of replacing it.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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http://www.jeepin.com/features/nss/
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:02 AM   #5
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Another link...Little more info

http://go.jeep-xj.info/HowtoNSSrebuild.htm
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:08 AM   #6
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Isolate the problem to the NSS first before pulling and disassembling it. Sounds more like gus has a bad or loose connection somewhere than a bad or malfunctioning NSS. JMHO.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:36 AM   #7
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The ignition switch feeds power thru the neutral safety switch to the starter relay that is mounted on the inner fender behind your battery, first find out with a test light if power is getting to the starter relay.

I'll see if I can get you a picture of what terminal needs to be getting power.

If it is getting power to there, the NSS is o/k and then it's either a bad starter relay or starter.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:41 AM   #8
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This may sound a little strange, but first check your battery terminals and connections. This type of thing has happened to more than one person. If your Jeep won't start, turn on the head lights and try to start it. If the lights dim when you do, it is the connection, or the battery is low on charge.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:43 AM   #9
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I had the same problem with my 92, but a friend told me put in neutral and it did start everytime. She was wrecked a month later and didn't find out what the problem was, I'm guessing a switch going bad or gremlins.

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Old 08-20-2008, 11:05 AM   #10
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Yep bad battery connections will sometimes give enough of a connection to power lighs and accesories, but not provide the high amperage needed to engage the starter.

Here's a pic of the relay on my 88, I believe later models are very similar, The terminal with the testlight probe in it, is the one that should get power to it, try it in park and neutral. If it's not getting power, you have a problem in wiring, NSS, or the ignition switch or even a fusible link could be blown. You can feed that terminal direct from the battery to try and start the vehicle, but make double sure you are in park or neutral.
Click the image to open in full size.

If it does have power there, either the relay is bad and not sending power to the starter, or the starter is bad. Next step you can feed power direct to the starter by sending battery power direct to the small terminal on the starter, once again make triple sure you are in park or neutral!
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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Last night i tried starting it in neutral, that does not make a difference, i have run it through the gears back to park and no difference. I tested the nss through that website, bc continuity in park and neutral, all works well, i also cleand and checked all fuses and took of the cables, put a new surface on post and clamps and it wouldnt start after any of that, it did just start out of the blue after it sat for a while?? im guessing bad connection somewhere, im not sure, it started out of the blue again at work and we drove it home, so now when i get off i will go home and clean connections on the starter? i am almost positive it is not the saftey switch, unless it could pass continuity and still not work right?
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:37 PM   #12
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Next time it's not starting, I'd try rapping the starter with a hammer a few times... After that if it starts, most likely the starter. I havn't had a jeep for very long, but with any old vehicle, that's what I'd try first.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:46 PM   #13
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I have had ignition switches start going out before and would the same thing. I have never had to replace one on a Cherokee before but by looking at the pictures on AutoZone it looks just like the GM ones I have replaced which are mounted on the top of the steering column.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:34 PM   #14
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so i rapped the starter with a hammer and it starts every time after that. I took the starter off and had autozone test it and they said it passed, we tried about 5 times and it passed every time? i got the jeep home, cleaned every electrical connection going to the starter, cleaned the starter up the best i could without taking it apart, and put it all back together and it started fine, i drove it for a little parked and same symptoms happened?? took out the hammer, rapped it, it starts. so i think it has to be the starter but i dont know how it could pass 5 times in a row and not work on my jeep? i guess i am going to get a new starter tomorrow morning, any ideas to try b4 i get this thing? when it first didnt start we tried jumping it and that had no effect, the batter seems to be strong so i dont think thats it, the nss tested fine, all the connections are clean, i think it would have to be the starter
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:44 PM   #15
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If the hammer trick worked it sounds like you have a starter issue, thats all I can think of anyways.
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