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Thread: Electrical Help Needed

  1. #1
    I am a chapter of one sincitycj's Avatar
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    Default Electrical Help Needed

    This morning on my way to work my radio cut out and then came back on a few seconds later. This didn't concern me too much until it happened again. This time I noticed that my headlights and heater blower also went out, which probably happened the first time too I just didn't notice, and my voltage gauge dropped off to zero, and once again it came back on. It did this off and on thing all the way to work. When I got to work I popped the hood to check the alt. connections, as best I could by flashlight, which were all good. I also found that I have a slight coolant leak from somewhere which has sprayed some, not too much, onto the alt. I'm thinking one may have something to do with the other, but not positive since it wasn't all that wet. Any other ideas where I should start looking?
    Quote Originally Posted by usnavymitchells View Post
    went to google to see if I too was a dumb ass!!! Well actually I am.

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  2. #2
    Bobble Head Jeeper trailsnail's Avatar
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    My thought is that there may be a problem with one or some of your grounds. This is take from off-road.com. My other thought is that there could be a problem with the voltage regulator. Since it is intermitent, it makes me lean more towards a ground, but your regulator could be going out (I could be way off on that though). I would also check the battery terminals and make sure they are spotless. They may look not bad, but be just bad enough.

    Going to Ground

    Are your headlights flickering? Do your gauges sometimes work and then not?
    Dave Mellow has some great tips about grounding and your Jeep's electrical system.

    Remember that you are actually driving three separate Jeeps around: the FRAME; the ENGINE/TRANNY GROUP; and the BODY. The three groups are separated by insulating bushings, rust (lots of that), grease, and just plain looseness.
    When your Jeep was new and rust free, the factory thought enough about grounds to have little cables here and there going from the battery to these component groups, but when you and cousin Leroy jerked the engine in '89, you broke the cables and they never got put back.
    Do your Jeep a favor, and run dedicated cables to EACH COMPONENT GROUP.
    Go from the battery to the starter housing bolt for the ENGINE/TRANNY group; from the battery (or the engine) to the FRAME GROUP; and from the battery (or the engine) to the BODY GROUP.
    Work hard to get good clean spots; ground the tub and front end body material separately; be diligent about this, and you will be AMAZED at what a difference it will make (gee, the gas gauge started working'!), and maybe now that measly twelve volts can actually find it's way to the headlights!

    Sven
    Colorado Springs Chapter Calendar and News

    '04 Wrangler Rubi, 5.5" Extreme Duty LA, 35" Goodyear Duratrac's, Warn RC 9.0 (Sold - My life sucks)

  3. #3
    I am a chapter of one sincitycj's Avatar
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    I was leaning towards a ground issue. I figure the alt. was a long shot since those things were the only thing that seemed to be affected, other dash light never went out.
    Quote Originally Posted by usnavymitchells View Post
    went to google to see if I too was a dumb ass!!! Well actually I am.

    http://www.sincityrubs.com/

  4. #4
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Which rig Sin?

    Usually, if the Alt goes out, the battery will keep things going, and if the batt is dead, the alt will keep the rig running. (except for some newer rigs, where the ECU needs a certain amount of Voltage to work)

    Along with the grounds, I'd check all the wiring harness's for shorts/rubbing on metal.

    Sounds like a major short occuring in the electrical system, like when the "+" of the battery hits the hood

    Damn ECU's on the newer Jeeps are finicky!


    As long as the people remain armed,
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  5. #5
    I am a chapter of one sincitycj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillBillE View Post
    Which rig Sin?

    Usually, if the Alt goes out, the battery will keep things going, and if the batt is dead, the alt will keep the rig running. (except for some newer rigs, where the ECU needs a certain amount of Voltage to work)

    Along with the grounds, I'd check all the wiring harness's for shorts/rubbing on metal.

    Sounds like a major short occuring in the electrical system, like when the "+" of the battery hits the hood

    Damn ECU's on the newer Jeeps are finicky!
    Definitely not new, 86 CJ7. I guess I'll have to utilize my limited electrical skills and do some digging. I know there are a couple of bare spots on the wiring coming off the alt that I'll have to fix. Start with that and try to find the coolant leak at the same time.
    Quote Originally Posted by usnavymitchells View Post
    went to google to see if I too was a dumb ass!!! Well actually I am.

    http://www.sincityrubs.com/

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    As with any CJ, I'd check under the dash for a ground wire that is loose, or almost broken. The only reason I say that is, if there was a short, the electrical items wouldn't have come back on without changing a fuse. CJ's are notorious for grounding problems.

    Later, T.J.

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    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaTee View Post
    CJ's are notorious for grounding problems.

    Later, T.J.
    That is an understatement

    I had to redo all my grounds, and add some new ones. That thing trailsnail posted is dead on.

    Also, CJ's, YJ's and some early XJ's had problems sometimes with brake fluid getting into the bulkhead connector, where the wiring harness goes through the firewall.

    Brake fluid gets in there and wreaks havoc.

    Luckily CJ's are pretty simple beasts, compared to what the newer rigs have for electronics.


    As long as the people remain armed,
    government knows that it cannot rule over the people by force.
    Those who stand in defiance of unconstitutional laws
    do so out of duty, honor, oath and love of country.


    "Certified Jeep Junky!"


  8. #8
    I am a chapter of one sincitycj's Avatar
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    Grounds are where I'll be starting at. I've redone most of them, but not quite all. Also going to go thru the engine compartment and look for any bare spots. I'm sure after 20+ years there may be one or two
    Quote Originally Posted by usnavymitchells View Post
    went to google to see if I too was a dumb ass!!! Well actually I am.

    http://www.sincityrubs.com/

  9. #9
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sincitycj View Post
    Grounds are where I'll be starting at. I've redone most of them, but not quite all. Also going to go thru the engine compartment and look for any bare spots. I'm sure after 20+ years there may be one or two
    Maybe a couple

    I was thinking about this earlier. The solenoid is on the fenderwell, right?

    And the "+" batt cable and alt sensing wire attatch to the solenoid (I think) So a bad ground with the front clip, could cuase the problems?

    Make sure the front clip is grounded, either to the battery, to the tub, to the frame, or all 3. (Should be grouned at 2 of these spots, at minimum)

    I had problems with my CJ after rebuilding it. Mainly becuase of paint, and not getting good ground.

    But I redid all the grounds, and the front clip to the tub was the one with the best 'improvement' of electrical stuff.

    Vehicle electronics is my worst field! It's hard enough when the Jeep is in front of me, it's even harder trying to do it 'virtually'!


    As long as the people remain armed,
    government knows that it cannot rule over the people by force.
    Those who stand in defiance of unconstitutional laws
    do so out of duty, honor, oath and love of country.


    "Certified Jeep Junky!"


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillBillE View Post
    And the "+" batt cable and alt sensing wire attatch to the solenoid (I think) So a bad ground with the front clip, could cuase the problems?
    I moved my alt sensing wire to read the (I know it sounds stupid) horn positive "+" wire. (It sits under the drivers side dash, it's a yellow #10 gauge wire.) My volt meter now reads 13.5 to 14 volts constantly. This changes the natural output of your alt, and it's free.

    Later, T.J.
    Last edited by JavaTee; 01-09-2010 at 06:41.

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