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1998 xj elec bug. Noob to jeeps.

Old 02-03-2019, 01:47 PM
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Default 1998 xj elec bug. Noob to jeeps.

Hello,
just joined.
my oldest son (24) has bought a stock engine wise 1998 xj. 4.0. It has 132xxx original miles (hopefully) 4" lift with BFG kos?
i think he got a great deal. But. .. we had to do the exhaust manifold and heater core. His uncle who is a mechanic did the labor for free.
The problem. .. since the repairs it has been having a hard time starting from time to time and after searching online he was thinking it may be the crank sensor. I thought it seemed more like an electrical bug.
He got stranded last night and i went with him today to tow it home. He tried it again before we towed it with no luck. I jumped in and shook the steering wheel up and down and then tried and boom it was running. After we changed spots, I reached in and hit the top of the steering wheel towards the dash and it quit again. He had said that he noticed when all the lights don't come on (idiot lights etc) it will not start. Also his wipers are not working. It seems possible that when his uncle stretched the dash open something happened? I don't believe he took the entire dash out for the heater core swap since he sent pics.
since the labor was free i hate going back to him with the problem.
i an recently coming back from a knee surgery so I'm limited.
my hobbies are the mk1 vw diesels.
just wanted to hear opinions before i tear into the steering column and dash.
ignition replacement?
much thanks.
BTW we are in Utah ✌

Last edited by Vw2L; 02-03-2019 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Vw2L View Post
Hello,
just joined.
my oldest son (24) has bought a stock engine wise 1998 xj. 4.0. It has 132xxx original miles (hopefully) 4" lift with BFG kos?
i think he got a great deal. But. .. we had to do the exhaust manifold and heater core. His uncle who is a mechanic did the labor for free.
The problem. .. since the repairs it has been having a hard time starting from time to time and after searching online he was thinking it may be the crank sensor. I thought it seemed more like an electrical bug.
He got stranded last night and i went with him today to tow it home. He tried it again before we towed it with no luck. I jumped in and shook the steering wheel up and down and then tried and boom it was running. After we changed spots, I reached in and hit the top of the steering wheel towards the dash and it quit again. He had said that he noticed when all the lights don't come on (idiot lights etc) it will not start. Also his wipers are not working. It seems possible that when his uncle stretched the dash open something happened? I don't believe he took the entire dash out for the heater core swap since he sent pics.
since the labor was free i hate going back to him with the problem.
i an recently coming back from a knee surgery so I'm limited.
my hobbies are the mk1 vw diesels.
just wanted to hear opinions before i tear into the steering column and dash.
ignition replacement?
much thanks.
BTW we are in Utah ✌
Definitely a poor electrical connection and I'd start with the ignition switch. I'd turn the key to the On position, just before the cranking detent, and if the usual cluster lights do not appear I'd hit the steering wheel (as you mentioned doing) and see what affect it has. If that makes/breaks the On position of the ignition the steering column electrical plug needs to be located and checked for security. If it looks properly assembled I'd separate it and reassemble it a couple times to "wipe" the individual contacts clean. Some electrical cleaner couldn't hurt, either.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:09 PM
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Welcome to the site Vw2L !
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for the tips.
I think the uncle was a little rushed putting it back together. The tilt steering seems doggy as well. We'll check as suggested.
thanks again!
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