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Cruise Control

Old 10-24-2015, 05:09 PM
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I was growing miserable since losing my '99 XJ, couldn't stand being Jeepless anymore and then a terrific opportunity happened. A well kept 2000 Grand Cherokee Ltd 4.7L with 104K miles came to me, via a long-ago promise made by a family friend, to sell it to me when it was her time to part with it. It was her "baby". An absolute "creampuff" that most of us only read about. I could not let the opportunity slip despite my limited cash flow. It is especially rare as it is a rust-free New England Jeep from a seacoast community. My "snowbird" friend stored it in her heated garage every winter, for the entire winter, since new. It will now do winter service with me.

Surprisingly, everything works (or worked) until today. I've logged only about 100 road miles in it so-far. I took it for inspection today as it was registered only a couple days ago and must inspect within 7 days of receiving a new RMV registration.

I use cruise control a lot. The cruise control worked fine on the drive to the inspection station. After passing the MA state inspection, going about my errands, the cruise control would not turn ON (at speed >45mph). Normally I would see a "cruise" indication in the odometer window, but no more, until I came to a complete stop later down the road. When I throttled up to speed again the "cruise" indication was extinguished. Several more attempts to engage cruise control resulted in similar response/behavior.

My fear is that the clock-spring failed (intermittent open and/or short circuit) and that it could get worse. Can anyone offer a tip or two from the knowledge-base on what else to check before performing surgery?
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:31 PM
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Yeah, I got one of those. A one-owner cream puff from PA. It's only a 4.0 but I love it.

Did you check the fuse? The clockspring went on mine but effected the airbag. The part is $300 and installation is not for amateurs. The dealer diagnosis cost me $100 and replacement cost a total of $625. I needed it to pass inspection in 15 days.

Have them do a diagnostic check before you commit to replacing the clockspring. It might be something simple. You should see an indication whenever the cruise is "armed" even when sitting still. It won't "set" below 45 mph, however. I sometimes bump my button and the light comes on even when I have no intention of using it. When on the highway with it set and stopping for a toll, braking disengages it, but the light stays on and hitting "resume" afterwards returns it to set speed. It will kick you in the butt when it accelerates.

Last edited by dave1123; 10-24-2015 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:27 PM
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Dave1123, I'm glad you answered, hoped actually. I'm a DIY-er and I've been through it with the airbag/clock-spring thing before on my XJ. No. I did not check fuses or relays, yet. Tomorrow morning I'll spend a few minutes doing a little debug and will let you know if/what I find. Today's agenda was about getting my inspection sticker, buying/installing new hood & lift-glass pistons, front/rear wipers and windshield washer and blinker fluids. Staying "on-plan" today was necessary due to other home-based stuff so I could not put on my troubleshooting hat (but I wanted to). NOTE: The 14" Rain-X "Latitude" wiper doesn't work for the rear wiper (park-block interference) but the "WeatherBeater" blade does.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:43 AM
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OK.I have to ask. What is this "clockspring" I keep reading about? My 2000 WJ is far from being the cream puff I thought it was when I bought it, but I have everything working BUT the cruz control. The CC indicator comes on the dash, but the speed doesn't set. The indicator light just goes on and off. Dave: Since you went through the expense of getting this clock spring fixed. It must be important. Since it mentioned in context of the air bag, is it a safety issue?
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:59 PM
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The clockspring is a coiled circuit strip that connects all the buttons and controls on the steering wheel to the dash circuits. It also contains the firing circuit for the airbag. It constantly winds up and unwinds as you turn the wheel. In my case the connection to the airbag firing squib was intermittent and in an accident, may or may not fire the bag. Important? Yes!

In your case, if the cruise indicator light comes on, it shows a complete circuit thru the clockspring and the problem lies elsewhere. It may be as simple as my cruise problem was. When we replaced the cylinder head, I didn't make sure the control cable was "snapped" onto the throttle linkage properly and it came off. Other things can be vacuum supply, blown actuator diaphragm, or electrical controls. BTW, the brake pedal switch gets involved here.

The cruise control is not considered an essential function so the PCM or BCM doesn't monitor it. In other words, you won't get a trouble code for it.

Cherryoke, you can always PM me. I welcome personal questions. You may get a more rapid response that way. Oh,oh....maybe I started something here. Just remember my responses are my opinions only. They should NOT be taken as fact. If I really don't have a clue, I'll say so. BTW, what is "blinker fluid" or are you joshin' me?

Last edited by dave1123; 10-25-2015 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:17 PM
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Good stuff all. Glad to see that talking of such an issue has helped another. It was this very kind of thread that helped me solve mine many moons ago. And then I did my very first clock-spring replacement at home in one afternoon.

This time, and it is only a suspicion at this point, there is a potentially different failure mode at-play.

I checked fuses and relays but found nothing directly labeled as having anything to do with cruise control. All I did was lightly tap each and every fuse and relay. After starting the engine, I placed the shift in neutral then turned the Cruise ON and OFF again, repeated this a couple times and the indicator showed as it should every time, unlike yesterday. I repeated this cycle once more but with the shift in drive, okay so-far. Tomorrow's commute will tell...stay tuned.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:34 PM
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Not to burst your bubble, but try turning the steering wheel lock-to-lock a couple of times while sitting there and make sure the light stays on.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:51 AM
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I looked "clockspring" up and i found a video on Utube that walks you through the installation/replacement. Doesn't look that tough. It's not heavy , like you don't have to jack anything up and you don't get greasy and it doesn't look like you'll bust any knuckles doing it. I'd would try and do it before i'd give a dealer $700.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:50 PM
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HA! Blinker Fluid! Gotcha!

Cruise worked without issue today. I wasn't imagining what it did - or didn't do on Saturday.

BlueSeasons - If it ain't broke don't fix it. Measure twice, cut once. Do your diagnostics first and re-read what Dave1123 said.
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by blueseasons View Post
I looked "clockspring" up and i found a video on Utube that walks you through the installation/replacement. Doesn't look that tough. It's not heavy , like you don't have to jack anything up and you don't get greasy and it doesn't look like you'll bust any knuckles doing it. I'd would try and do it before i'd give a dealer $700.
I was under time pressure to get it fixed because I use the jeep for my business. That's why I took it to the dealer. My main concern was finding out if that was the problem before I went and bought the clockspring, then as long as it was there, I told them to do it. That's the reason I carry a Visa card!
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:19 PM
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It failed again (completely - would not turn on) on my Monday morning commute and (partially - turned on, would not set but ultimately did, then could not cancel) on the return commute home. This failure followed a day of heavy windblown rains and a chilly cold overnight. Maybe the fact that it's always been stored in a nice cozy place every winter is actually working against me, instead of in my favor. The Cruise Control failed even better this time, on the evening trip. The Cruise indicator illuminated, delayed by minutes after I hit the power button, then on the highway it would not set so I pushed the power button to switch it off, it set at 69mph. Other button pushes were meaningless. It would not cancel, accelerate or coast. I took advantage of it and used it in the right lane as much as I could, accelerating by pedal when needed and timing my passes so I would not need to brake (thus canceling cruise - yes that would work if needed, right?). Ultimately returning to manual throttle control for the remainder of the trip home. Now, in the driveway, leave it running, cruise indicator is on so I popped the hood intent on disconnecting/reconnecting the servo. Where is the damn speed control servo in this model? At this point I realized just how little I know my way around the 4.7L and engine bay. I really need one of two things - either a 4.0L or a FSM. If you've read my sob story through to this point then will one of you fine folks please tell or show me the mounting location of the speed control servo in a 2000 WJ with the V8?
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:32 AM
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It's on the other end of the cable....lol! On my 4.0, it's like under the battery, or almost. Really, just follow the cable from the throttle body. You may have a vacuum leak in a hose supplying it or the diaphragm is leaking. I still think the problem is electrical. It all leads back to that stupid clockspring. What I don't understand is on the Dodge Caravan, the buttons on the steering wheel light up. Mine don't and I don't think they do on any jeep. It would only require one more wire in that spring.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:58 PM
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All cruise control function returned. It began working normally again all by itself as-of today. More and more, this intermittent condition seems to follow periods of exposure to dampness. We could theorize all day but, thinking out loud here, it seems that the best approach is to cycle through accessible electrical links, check grounds, clean connectors/contacts, apply dielectric grease to connectors, inspect and and flex a few harnesses (might find one holding water (?), reducing insulation resistance)...
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:30 PM
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If you have cruise, you have tiltwheel. On the bottom of the column, there is one Phillips screw holding the cover on. The 2 halves clip together on the sides. Under the cover is a large electrical harness connector where the clockspring connects. Separate the connector, spray it with plastic safe cleaner, blow it out with canned air, and reconnect.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:09 AM
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To the OP you my friend have a one up on me for sure I would not even attempt to find an electrical issue on my 04 WJ Overland with every option made lol. My hat is off to you and if you proceed much further a FSM from pacificcoastmanuals.com for one for your exact year and model only $7.95 in pdf. format and printable.


Hope your problem is a cheaper one and simple.
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