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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I lowered the motor to do some manifold work. I had to jumper the starter relay bypass to turn it over. Now she won't start. The Bendix spins up but won't engage the fly wheel. It's all original MOPAR. Im at wits end? What would cause a starter to not engage? I've installed a new battery, cables etc......
 

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2001 WJ/WG, 3.1TD VM Motori.
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Solenoid unit?
My 2001 is on its 3rd starter in the 9 years I've owned her- 1st was original and it just lumped out- clicking itself into Davy Jones' locker.
The second was a used one off Ebay that lasted 2 years and I wanted to test it when it buggered up with the symptoms you describe- it would spin but not engage the flywheel, which I think was down to the solenoid unit attached to it, as when I tested it the part that shoots forward to engage the starter wouldn't engage.
I found this video useful when testing the starter:


I didn't have a bench though, so I took the starter out and rigged up jump leads from the engine battery to do the testing on the car park. Use a decent grade wire if you don't have crocodile clipped ones and just make the necessary contacts to see what works or is faulty. Disconnect the pos/neg from battery to car first though, in case you accidentally spark the starter.
In the past, I've found a spare battery and a battery charger have also sufficed for testing starter motors, but I prefer not to fart arse about if I can help it and I don't have a garage, so roadside is my tick.
Another old trick is to smack the starter/solenoid with a piece of wood when someone is trying to turn it over, which might un-jam a sticking starter or solenoid. If this works however, I can bet you a dollar that it means the starter motor will eventually have to be removed and inspected, as it usually means it's on the way out and is telling you before you're really caught out in the middle of nowhere.
 

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Just another thought- if there were no issues before you did the manifold work, then could it be a wiring issue to the solenoid when plugging it back in, or oil between the body and the housing that has created bad earth? Mine has an awkward connector that has to be shoved in and clicked in place on that solenoid. However, if its the original WJ starter motor, then maybe it's given up the ghost?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Solenoid unit?
My 2001 is on its 3rd starter in the 9 years I've owned her- 1st was original and it just lumped out- clicking itself into Davy Jones' locker.
The second was a used one off Ebay that lasted 2 years and I wanted to test it when it buggered up with the symptoms you describe- it would spin but not engage the flywheel, which I think was down to the solenoid unit attached to it, as when I tested it the part that shoots forward to engage the starter wouldn't engage.
I found this video useful when testing the starter:


I didn't have a bench though, so I took the starter out and rigged up jump leads from the engine battery to do the testing on the car park. Use a decent grade wire if you don't have crocodile clipped ones and just make the necessary contacts to see what works or is faulty. Disconnect the pos/neg from battery to car first though, in case you accidentally spark the starter.
In the past, I've found a spare battery and a battery charger have also sufficed for testing starter motors, but I prefer not to fart arse about if I can help it and I don't have a garage, so roadside is my tick.
Another old trick is to smack the starter/solenoid with a piece of wood when someone is trying to turn it over, which might un-jam a sticking starter or solenoid. If this works however, I can bet you a dollar that it means the starter motor will eventually have to be removed and inspected, as it usually means it's on the way out and is telling you before you're really caught out in the middle of nowhere.
It's my wiring which is an unmitigated tangle of shorts and grounds. I ordered a 2014 JGC 5.7 battery positive and alternator cable $80 and Neg (-) cable. Anything connected to the block was stiff as month old jeans. I trimmed it off and installed copper strand 14ga. Left side ground to block is my 02 sensors right side starter and PCM. 2008 cables work too Dodge 4.7 in particular. I suspect others have had similar notions as evident by the scarcit
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y of inventory. That's OK Keep marching up the ladder. I used a Weller 400kw solder gun to augment all connectors already punched down on an old US Navy ferrule punch. Thanks for all you input!
 

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Cool beans and thanks for update.
Like you say, it might help other folk out. Glad the motor itself is okay, and the brittleness- wrap the wires in heat proof wrap? I tried insulating tape many years ago and it decayed into sticky mess, so heat resistant ftw 🙌 😎
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your advice. You know I'm foregoing any further or is it farther? Patchwork to my wiring harnesses. For my 2001 as a workaround to the patches and endless plugs of 14 gauge, I purchased a 2014 Grand Cherokee wiring harness readily available and cheap. They are wrapped in illuminized adhesive foil. And I have lots of it as I relined my doors with it after spending 10 grand on a paint job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Other mods now finished. 230k miles on the body. I was just going to install a matched throttle body and 2008 intake manifold and then while I was at it one thing led to another and I wound up changing out the stock cams for a set of high output cams and one thing led to another and I wound up freshening up the head. S. With competition cams, honeycomb springs and brother it needed them. The old springs only have 100,000 mi on them but they are spongy. I don't even want to imagine the valve float. I would get. So in addition to pulling more R's wanted to make sure valve float was not going to be an issue and given the condition of the old springs, most certainly would negated any increases the manifold would have provided. I never want to change valve springs again with the engine in the car. A freaking nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Other mods now finished. 230k miles on the body. I was just going to install a matched throttle body and 2008 intake manifold and then while I was at it one thing led to another and I wound up changing out the stock cams for a set of high output cams and one thing led to another and I wound up freshening up the head. S. With competition cams, honeycomb springs and brother it needed them. The old springs only have 100,000 mi on them but they are spongy. I don't even want to imagine the valve float. I would get. So in addition to pulling more R's wanted to make sure valve float was not going to be an issue and given the condition of the old springs, most certainly would negated any increases the manifold would have provided. I never want to change valve springs again with the engine in the car. A freaking nightmare.
Among the hijinks encountered while replacing the valve springs was a very very close encounter. Almost dropping a valve into a cylinder. My fat ass was standing on the airline and I noticed hey it's getting awful quiet, no center had I finished that thought when I heard that. Clink that was the valve slipping into the cylinder. Okay remove the heads or see if I could back the engine out and risk losing timing when the chains jumped off at the timing gear. Long story short, I got the valve out and hit it with a magnet and pulled it the rest of the way out. However and so doing. I lost timing and had to go in and change all my timing chains fucking nightmare. It's done. It started it ran like shit and then the starter conked out before I had a chance to clean up the transmission fault, which was related to having the TCM ground wire unearthed connecting that or reconnecting that solve that fault and now the only issue was the starter and that is most certainly the wiring. Wiring so I'm just waiting for my 2014 wiring to come and I'm going to get it all installed and I'm I'm fairly confident it'll start after all. Also, I had a few vacuum lines misrouted I was wondering why the RPMs just started going nuts. Well I had the vacuum booster brake line mixed up with the PCV side so I was drawing vacuum through the Tree V. I'm not sure what that would would have done for a minute. I thought I was. The vacuum I was creating was causing the motor to run faster but I don't know what would have happened. Hopefully I don't encounter it again. I need to buy the proper plug boots as well because the '08 manifold doesn't have screw down coils coil packs
 

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Looks a fun -yet PITA- project.
I've had that nightmare scenario of dropping stuff into holes and thinking oh fkery!.
For this Jeep variant I have, when I first changed the glow plugs I found one had snapped and about an inch was left inside the plug hole. I kind of crapped my pants, thinking how the hell do I get that out? I have a broken bolt extractor kit that has left hand thread, so I popped the thinnest one into the hole and managed to extract it out that way.
Sometimes, those reverse thread gizmos can be a god-send, just like magnets, needle pliers and anything else that can save our butts in times of crisis.
 

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Looks a fun -yet PITA- project.
I've had that nightmare scenario of dropping stuff into holes and thinking oh fkery!.
For this Jeep variant I have, when I first changed the glow plugs I found one had snapped and about an inch was left inside the plug hole. I kind of crapped my pants, thinking how the hell do I get that out? I have a broken bolt extractor kit that has left hand thread, so I popped the thinnest one into the hole and managed to extract it out that way.
Sometimes, those reverse thread gizmos can be a god-send, just like magnets, needle pliers and anything else that can save our butts in times of crisis.
Hey Seakir, i'll add to your list a six pack of one's fav brew followed by intense meditation to the upper realms of cosmic knowledge in order to save our butts in times of crisis. :LOL:
 
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Brave soul doing all that surgery. You say 230K on the body, how many miles on the engine? Did you also do the timing set, looks like new chaing guides. Heads look clean, not a sludged up mess.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Brave soul doing all that surgery. You say 230K on the body, how many miles on the engine? Did you also do the timing set, looks like new chaing guides. Heads look clean, not a sludged up mess.
Yes, it was the starter. Can you believe it? Oreillys gave me a $200 starter that wasn't the right part. It had on the end bell an exposed bearing. That is incorrect as the end bell for the 4.7 has a fully enclosed bearing race. This after installing the battery harness from a 2014 GC, She cranks but no start. I worked on it all day. Fuse #6 a 30 amp motherhubber , kept popping. Well after I reviewed the wiring diagram it's clear that the dang fuel injector wiring is shorted to ground. I discardged the capacitors in the Injector circuit and consolidated all the Injector grounds right to the block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brave soul doing all that surgery. You say 230K on the body, how many miles on the engine? Did you also do the timing set, looks like new chaing guides. Heads look clean, not a sludged up mess.
96,000 on a crate motor. I repined the entire suspension. New urethane bushings for all. Upper lower axle struts, same out back with the 7/8" roll bar. Wheel alignment to boot.
 

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So original engine lasted 140K, what happened to it or did you buy the WJ after?
 

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96,000 on a crate motor. I repined the entire suspension. New urethane bushings for all. Upper lower axle struts, same out back with the 7/8" roll bar. Wheel alignment to boot.
$96,000 for a crate motor?o_O
Is that a typo or was that crate motor gold plated?
 
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