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1994 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 Engine Won't Crank

Old 09-25-2015, 04:38 PM
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Year: 1994
Model: Cherokee
Default 1994 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 Engine Won't Crank

Evening everyone. I could use any ideas you all could give me on this. Here is the scoop:

I have a '94 Cherokee with a history of having one problem after another. Most recently the water pump failed while I was driving and as, at the time, my temp gauge was not operating I did not realize it and the car overheated. I had it towed home, but there did not appear to be any damage from overheating. I replaced the water pump, somehow cracked the thermostat housing in the process, replaced that several times because it kept leaking after I would get it on, and then went to try and figure out why the temp gauge would not work.

I eventually determined that it was most likely because the coolant temperature sending unit was snapped in two (who knows when that happened). I spent a week in between work shifts trying to get the sending unit out (it was deformed and would not fit any of my wrenches) and finally managed it with a screw extractor. Then I decided to start it and see if the gauge was working.

When I turned the key everything came on like the lights and the AC, and the buzzing alarm. However, the engine would not crank even a little bit. It is acting just how it would if I had turned the key backward in the ignition to turn on all of the lights and accessories and such, but it will not crank the engine.

Before the water pump failed it was working fine in this regard (sometimes it would have a little trouble starting cold which I believe was due to a vacuum leak).

I made sure it was not a low battery, tried to jump it, but no luck. I then thought it could be that the neutral safety switch had been jostled and needed to be repositioned. I tried that. No luck. I tried bypassing the NSS just to be sure and still no luck.

So now I am flummoxed. I do not have a wealth of mechanic knowledge or experience, and I cannot come up with anything that could have happened to cause this. I know it is not much information to go on for a diagnosis, but if anyone has suggestions for what i should look for I would be much obliged.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:16 PM
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Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
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Year: 1990, 1999, 2000
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
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sounds like the typical NSS problem.
check to see if you have any reverse lights.

also, try starting it in neutral. you may have to hold the key in the start position and slightly move the shifter around the neutral area towards reverse and drive.

the other thing you can try is jumping the starter solenoid with a screwdriver.


oops, missed that part in your post...
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