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1988 jeep cherokee electrical problem please help me!!

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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:04 am    Post subject: 1988 jeep cherokee electrical problem please help me!! Reply with quote

i have a problem when i start driving i`ll go for a bit and then i`ll lose power i put a new altanator in it but i`m still having the same problem i`ll press the gas but it wont go just sits there and my battery gage will read low my lights will go dime and if i turn it off i would need to get a boost , or if i just sit there in park i`ll start my jeep and it runs no problem battery reads good its just when i start to drive it!! I have a book from haynes and did everything it asked so i`m stumped !!! can anybody help me? this is my first jeep !!!! Sad please!!!!
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hows the Battery?

Make for sure its good before you go on.

I can tell you how to check it yourself if you have a voltmeter...
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: 1988 jeep cherokee electrical problem please help me!! Reply with quote

alexkbee wrote:
i have a problem when i start driving i`ll go for a bit and then i`ll lose power i put a new altanator in it but i`m still having the same problem i`ll press the gas but it wont go just sits there and my battery gage will read low my lights will go dime and if i turn it off i would need to get a boost , or if i just sit there in park i`ll start my jeep and it runs no problem battery reads good its just when i start to drive it!! I have a book from haynes and did everything it asked so i`m stumped !!! can anybody help me? this is my first jeep !!!! Sad please!!!!
yeah my battery is good I find that i have to unhook my battery or in the moring i`ll tri and start it and nothing so there has to be a short somewhere i`m just not sure where to look for this?
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm i curious where this tread will go.....

Cause if theres a short you should find a draw on your battery with an ameter when the ignition is off right? Well i was doing some things under the hood the other day on my 96 GCL and i noticed that with the key off there was almost a 5 amp draw on the battery. I was like WTF??? But I never had the battery go dead on me ??? My Jeep sits all night, probibly about 8 hours before its started again so 5 x 8 = 40 amp/hours... thats not good, I dont know what the battery in it is rated, it came in the Jeep when i bought it .
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey you say that it looses power, im assuming you mean engine power to the wheels right, well does it only do it once or mabey twice when you start to accelerate the first start up of the day? Cause my 96GCL does that every once in a while.

When you press the accelator, does the engine rev or studder?

Does it do it while your cruzing steady speed or when you accelerate?
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeep'n'John wrote:
Hmmm i curious where this tread will go.....

Cause if theres a short you should find a draw on your battery with an ameter when the ignition is off right? Well i was doing some things under the hood the other day on my 96 GCL and i noticed that with the key off there was almost a 5 amp draw on the battery. I was like WTF??? But I never had the battery go dead on me ??? My Jeep sits all night, probibly about 8 hours before its started again so 5 x 8 = 40 amp/hours... thats not good, I dont know what the battery in it is rated, it came in the Jeep when i bought it .


hmmmm well last time i left the battery hooked up was in the winter, and it was pretty dame cold out. so maybe the weather had something to do with the battery going dead? but in the book it says i shouldn`t have and juice going through it if the key is turned off? and when i unhook the nagative from the battery an put a light tester from the nagative batt clamp to the nagative post on the batt. the light goes on so then i tried to pull out all the fuses on the drivers side, and still the light is on so maybe there isn`t a proper ground some where or a fuse somewhere else ? everyday i`m triing something !! i hate electrical it can be such a pain there is just too many wires!!!! i know the last person who had it, they had a stereo system hooked up amp and subs so maybe the crossed a wire somewhere??
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeep'n'John wrote:
Hey you say that it looses power, im assuming you mean engine power to the wheels right, well does it only do it once or mabey twice when you start to accelerate the first start up of the day? Cause my 96GCL does that every once in a while.

When you press the accelator, does the engine rev or studder?

Does it do it while your cruzing steady speed or when you accelerate?


yeah i lose power to the wheels and my lights get dime and radio shuts off
this only happens when i`m driving?
but if i sit in my driveway and have it running no problems it will rev she wants to go i could leave it running all day and have no problems with her, but its as soon as i start driving down the street like 15 minutes later it will slowly start to give i`ll press the gas and she rev`s but no juice...
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First thing first

Throw away your test light and get a multimeter!!!
Even a cheap one as long as it reads DC VOLTS up to 20 Volts and DC AMPS up to 10 Amps. A test light will light up with 6 volts though it would be very dim but if your looking for 12 volts and only have 10 it will be real hard to tell the difference with a test light.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN IF YOUR BATTERY ISNT A MANTAINANCE FREE BATTERY MAKE SURE ITS FULL OF DISTILLED WATER

Second, you will have a slight draw on the battery even with the key off. All new cars do with there ECMs and stuff. But it shouldnt have much. when you use your test light all your testing is voltage and since the draw is gonna be 12volt anyway your light will light up. Thats why you want an ammeter so you can test for the amout of current draw not voltage to decide if its an excessive amount.

What you do is set your meter up for "10 Amp DC". Youll usually turn the dial to that setting and when testing Amperage you usually have to change the red lead on the meter over to a different socket marked "DC AMPS"

Disconnect the POS battery cable and touch one Lead to the POS BATTERY TERMINAL and the other Lead to the POS BATTERY CABLE (the cable you took off the battery). Doesnt matter which Lead goes on the battery or cable. If the polarity is backwards the meter will display a - sign but the reading is just the same. Just dont let anything touch ground and double check your meter settings before you connect it, when doing this test if your meter is in the wrong setting it will fry it.

If you get a reading around .5 or so its probibly ok. (thats only 1/2 an amp)

Like i said, I was getting almost 5.0 on my 96GCL and that scares me. Im gonna be doin some troubleshooting as soon as the weather gets better.

So anyway that will tell you if there is an excessive amount of draw on the battery when there shouldnt be.

Next, Hook your battey battery back up and set your meter to "20 Volt DC", make sure you move that red lead back to the main position also.

Check the voltage of the battery with the key off by putting the RED lead on the POS BATTERY TERMINAL and the BLACK lead on the NEG BATTERY TERMINAL. AGAIN double check your meter settings before you make the connections.
You should have MORE than 12.0 on this test, we like to see about 12.5 volts. If its less then take the battery out of the car and put it on a 2 amp charge for the night and test it again tomarrow after its been off the charger for an hour or so.

If your battery tests good on voltage then, with it properly connected back in the vehicle we can load test it. Load testing is testing the voltage of the battery under a high Current Draw..... Now you can buy a load tester, they are pricey specially compared to how often you will use it. But with your voltmeter we can load test the battery on the car using the starter. Which really is a good test because your starter will pull as much current as the battery can supply.

Heres what you do. Youll need a helper to turn the engine with the key. Unplug the coil wire at the Dist. Cap so the engine wont start. Make sure your meter is in the 20 volt DC position and put the red lead on pos battery terminal and black lead on neg battery cable just like your testing the voltage of the battery.
It should be above 12.0. Keep the leads on the battery and have your helper turn the engine over with the key switch. Let it turn a few times and watch your voltage reading. If it drops much below 12.0 then you need a new battery.

Also you can check the alternator by checking the voltage of the battery with the engine running. Just check the voltage like you did before but you should get about 13.5 volts at the battery with the engine running.
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HHMMMM........Does it get better if?

Does it eventually stop going all together? and just sit and rev?
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alexkbee
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeep'n'John wrote:
HHMMMM........Does it get better if?

Does it eventually stop going all together? and just sit and rev?

ummm no it just sits there running last time i had to put it in 3rd gear automatic though and rev it hard to get it across a busy street and in to my driveway !!! but my lights were really dime and my radio was turning on and off lol!!! ooh and the engine was studdering like it wanted to shut down.. but yeah i`m going to tri that volt meter out tommorow and i`ll come back with the results!! thank you for your time i really appreciate it!!
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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check your ground wires for your battery and look for your engine ground...
If there is corrosion on your ground from battery to fender it could cause this..

IF the battery cable looks fat right where it goes into the clamp its broken..

I had a similar problem where everytime I would turn left I would loose power ..It turned out to be a bad ground wire....
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Jeep'n'John
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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O man, i bet you had fun findin that one Swampboy....

He's right though and i appoligize for not telling you that in the first place. Before you get playing with the electrical system make sure you have checked all your main wires and connections. By "main" i mean battery, alternator, starter wires and connections. It would take you weeks to check every wire and connection under your hood....LOL

Make sure those wires are good and the cable ends and connections are clean.
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swamp boy
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Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took me 3 weeks of driving around and almost stalling at every left turn.. Neutral
I couldnt figure it out.. Then one day I raised my hood and saw a bulge in the battery cable right near the clamp and I pulled the cable it broke right off in my hand... Shocked

So I got a new one and it solved the problem..

Carl
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamp boy wrote:
Took me 3 weeks of driving around and almost stalling at every left turn.. Neutral
I couldnt figure it out.. Then one day I raised my hood and saw a bulge in the battery cable right near the clamp and I pulled the cable it broke right off in my hand... Shocked

So I got a new one and it solved the problem..

Carl

ok i checked all my main wires and they check out fine i put new battery clamps on a while ago cause they looked in ruff shape the conections for my altenator, starter , and battery there all good!! i`m just waiting for a friend to come over and bring a voltmeter 20 volts 10 amps Wink but there was something i come across, i noticed this went i was changing the sparkplug wires theres a green wire rapped around one of the wires for the spakplug with black tape around not sure what its for though? and today i was checking all the main wires like you said and there is this little steel box right by the battery and theres a bunch of stuff hooked up to it like the altenator, battery, starter, stereo, ect.. theres five connections to it. i unhooked everything that was on it and cleaned all of them put all the connections back on but the box it self looks in really bad shape rusty!! maybe that has something to do with it?
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alexkbee
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkbee wrote:
swamp boy wrote:
Took me 3 weeks of driving around and almost stalling at every left turn.. Neutral
I couldnt figure it out.. Then one day I raised my hood and saw a bulge in the battery cable right near the clamp and I pulled the cable it broke right off in my hand... Shocked

So I got a new one and it solved the problem..

Carl

ok i checked all my main wires and they check out fine i put new battery clamps on a while ago cause they looked in ruff shape the conections for my altenator, starter , and battery there all good!! i`m just waiting for a friend to come over and bring a voltmeter 20 volts 10 amps Wink but there was something i come across, i noticed this went i was changing the sparkplug wires theres a green wire rapped around one of the wires for the spakplug with black tape around not sure what its for though? and today i was checking all the main wires like you said and there is this little steel box right by the battery and theres a bunch of stuff hooked up to it like the altenator, battery, starter, stereo, ect.. theres five connections to it. i unhooked everything that was on it and cleaned all of them put all the connections back on but the box it self looks in really bad shape rusty!! maybe that has something to do with it?
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