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    Jeep Wagoneer/Commando/Cherokee 1984-1998

    Starter

    Print

    TESTING



    Testing Preparation

    Before commencing with the starting system diagnostics, verify:



    The battery top posts, and terminals are clean.
     
    The alternator drive belt tension and condition is correct.
     
    The battery state-of-charge is correct.
     
    The battery cable connections at the starter and engine block are clean and free from corrosion.
     
    The wiring harness connectors and terminals are clean and free from corrosion.
     
    Proper circuit grounding.
     

    Starter Feed Circuit

    CAUTION
    The ignition system must be disabled to prevent engine start while performing the following tests.

    1. Connect a volt-ampere tester (multimeter) to the battery terminals.
    2.  
    3. Disable the ignition system.
    4.  
    5. Verify that all lights and accessories are Off, and the transaxle shift selector is in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual). Set the parking brake.
    6.  
    7. Rotate and hold the ignition switch in the START position. Observe the volt-ampere tester:

      If the voltage reads above 9.6 volts, and the amperage draw reads above 250 amps, go to the starter feed circuit resistance test (following this test).
       
      If the voltage reads 12.4 volts or greater and the amperage reads 0-10 amps, refer to the starter solenoid and relay tests.
       

    8.  


    WARNING
    Do not overheat the starter motor or draw the battery voltage below 9.6 volts during cranking operations.

    1. After the starting system problems have been corrected, verify the battery state of charge and charge the battery if necessary. Disconnect all of the testing equipment and connect the ignition coil cable or ignition coil connector. Start the vehicle several times to assure the problem was corrected.
    2.  

    Starter Feed Circuit Resistance

    Before proceeding with this test, refer to the battery tests and starter feed circuit test. The following test will require a voltmeter, which is capable of accuracy to 0.1 volt.


    CAUTION
    The ignition system must be disabled to prevent engine start while performing the following tests.

    1. Disable the ignition system.
    2.  
    3. With all wiring harnesses and components (except for the coils) properly connected, perform the following:
      1. Connect the negative (-) lead of the voltmeter to the negative battery post, and the positive (+) lead to the negative (-) battery cable clamp. Rotate and hold the ignition switch in the START position. Observe the voltmeter. If the voltage is detected, correct the poor contact between the cable clamp and post.
      2.  
      3. Connect the positive (+) lead of the voltmeter to the positive battery post, and the negative (-) to the positive battery cable clamp. Rotate and hold the ignition switch key in the START position. Observe the voltmeter. If voltage is detected, correct the poor contact between the cable clamp and post.
      4.  
      5. Connect the negative lead of the voltmeter to the negative (-) battery terminal, and positive lead to the engine block near the battery cable attaching point. Rotate and hold the ignition switch in the START position. If the voltage reads above 0.2 volt, correct the poor contact at ground cable attaching point. If the voltage reading is still above 0.2 volt after correcting the poor contact, replace the negative ground cable with a new one.
      6.  

    4.  
    5. Remove the heater shield. Refer to removal and installation procedures to gain access to the starter motor and solenoid connections. Perform the following steps:
      1. Connect the positive (+) voltmeter lead to the starter motor housing and the negative (-) lead to the negative battery terminal. Hold the ignition switch key in the START position. If the voltage reads above 0.2 volt, correct the poor starter to engine ground.
      2.  
      3. Connect the positive (+) voltmeter lead to the positive battery terminal, and the negative lead to the battery cable terminal on the starter solenoid. Rotate and hold the ignition key in the START position. If the voltage reads above 0.2 volt, correct poor contact at the battery cable to the solenoid connection. If the reading is still above 0.2 volt after correcting the poor contacts, replace the positive battery cable with a new one.
      4.  
      5. If the resistance tests did not detect feed circuit failures, refer to the starter solenoid test.
      6.  

    6.  

    Starter Solenoid
    ON VEHICLE
    1. Before testing, assure the parking brake is set, the transmission is in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual), and the battery is fully charged and in good condition.
    2.  
    3. Connect a voltmeter from the (S) terminal on the solenoid to ground. Turn the ignition switch to the START position and test for battery voltage. If battery voltage is not found, inspect the ignition switch circuit. If battery voltage is found, proceed to next step.
    4.  
    5. Connect an ohmmeter between the battery negative post and the starter solenoid mounting plate (manual) or the ground terminal (automatic). Turn the ignition switch to the START position. The ohmmeter should read zero (0). If not, repair the faulty ground.
    6.  
    7. If both tests are performed and the solenoid still does not energize, replace the solenoid.
    8.  

    BENCH TEST

    See Figures 1 and 2

    1. Remove the starter from the vehicle.
    2.  
    3. Disconnect the field coil wire from the field coil terminal.
    4.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 1: Continuity test between the starter solenoid and field coil terminals

    1. Check for continuity between the solenoid terminal and field coil terminal with a continuity tester. Continuity (resistance) should be present.
    2.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 2: Continuity test between the starter solenoid terminal and solenoid housing

    1. Check for continuity between the solenoid terminal and solenoid housing. Continuity should be detected. If continuity is detected, the solenoid is good.
    2.  
    3. If continuity is not detected in either test, the solenoid has an open circuit and is defective and must be replaced.
    4.  

    Starter/Ground Cable Test

    When performing these tests, it is important that the voltmeter be connected to the terminals, not the cables themselves.

    Before testing, assure that the ignition control module (if equipped) is disconnected, the parking brake is set, the transmission is in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual), and the battery is fully charged and in good condition.

    1. Check voltage between the positive battery post and the center of the B + terminal on the starter solenoid stud.
    2.  
    3. Check voltage between the negative battery post and the engine block.
    4.  
    5. Disconnect the ignition coil wire from the distributor cap and connect a suitable jumper wire between the coil cable and a good body ground.
    6.  
    7. Have an assistant crank the engine and measure voltage again. Voltage drop should not exceed 0.5 volts.
    8.  
    9. If voltage drop is greater than 0.5 volts, clean metal surfaces. Apply a thick layer of silicone grease. Install a new cadmium plated bolt and star washer on the battery terminal and a new brass nut on the starter solenoid. Retest and replace cable not within specifications.
    10.  

    Starter Relay
    1984-90 VEHICLES

    See Figure 3



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 3: Starter relay connections

    1. Insure that the transmission is in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual) and that the parking brake is applied.
    2.  
    3. Turn the ignition switch to the START position and listen for the starter relay to click. If a click is heard, the relay functioning correctly. If not, go to next step.
    4.  
    5. Connect a jumper wire from pin G on the relay to ground. Turn the ignition switch to START and listen for a click. If a click is heard, repair the short to ground. If not, go to next step.
    6.  
    7. With starter solenoid terminal (S) disconnected (prevent terminal from touching metal parts), test for battery voltage. If battery voltage is found, replace the relay. If battery voltage is not found, repair the short to the relay terminal (SOL).
    8.  

    1991-98 VEHICLES

    See Figures 4 and 5



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 4: Starter relay terminal identifications-Grand Cherokee



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 5: Starter relay terminal identifications-except Grand Cherokee

    1. Remove the relay from the power distribution center, located near the coolant overflow tank in the engine compartment.
    2.  
    3. Check continuity between terminals 87A and 30. If an open circuit is found, replace the relay.
    4.  
    5. Check resistance between terminals 85 and 86. If resistance is not 70-80 ohms, replace the relay.
    6.  
    7. Check continuity between terminals 30 and 87 with a battery connected between terminals 85 and 86. If an open circuit is found, replace the relay.
    8.  

    Removal & Installation



    Except 2.1L Diesel

    See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

    1. Disconnect the battery ground.
    2.  
    3. Raise and support the vehicle on jackstands.
    4.  
    5. On 1989-91 models equipped with a 2.5L engine, it is necessary to remove the exhaust clamp and bracket, and the transmission brace rod before removing the starter.
    6.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 6: Disengage the 2 wires from the starter motor solenoid



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 7: Remove the lower starter motor mounting bolt



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 8: Remove the upper starter motor mounting bolt located behind the starter

    1. Remove all wires from the starter and tag them for installation.
    2.  

    It may be easier to remove the solenoid wires after lowering the starter. Support the starter before removing the wires. DO NOT LET THE STARTER HANG BY THE WIRES.

    1. On 4.0L, 5.2L and 5.9L engines, it may be necessary to remove the oil cooler line bracket and the exhaust brace.
    2.  
    3. Remove all but one attaching bolt, support the starter (it's heavier than it looks) and remove the last bolt.
    4.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 9: Removing the starter motor from below the vehicle



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the starter-5.2L and 5.9L model shown

    1. Lower the starter from the engine.
    2.  
    3. If installing the original starter, inspect the pinion gear for damage or excessive wear.
    4.  
    5. Inspect the flywheel gear teeth for damage through the starter mounting hole.
    6.  

    To install:


    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 11: If installing the original starter, inspect the pinion gear of the motor for damage to the teeth



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 12: Inspect the flywheel gear teeth for any damage after removing the starter motor

    1. Install the starter in the engine and hand-tighten the retaining bolts.
    2.  
    3. Engage any electrical connections that were removed from the starter.
    4.  
    5. Tighten the retaining bolts and engage any cooler lines, braces and brackets that were removed. Lower the vehicle.
    6.  
    7. Connect the negative battery cable and check for proper starter operation.
    8.  

    2.1L Diesel

    See Figures 11 and 12

    1. Disconnect the battery ground.
    2.  
    3. Remove all wires from the starter and tag them for installation.
    4.  
    5. Raise and support the vehicle on jackstands.
    6.  
    7. Remove the starter upper bracket.
    8.  
    9. Take up the weight of the engine with a floor jack and remove the left side engine mount.
    10.  
    11. Remove the starter lower support bracket.
    12.  
    13. Support the starter (it's heavier than it looks) and remove the attaching bolts. Remove the starter.
    14.  
    15. If installing the original starter, inspect the pinion gear for damage or excessive wear.
    16.  
    17. Inspect the flywheel gear teeth for damage through the starter mounting hole.
    18.  

    To install:
    1. Install the starter and HAND-TIGHTEN ONLY, the attaching bolts. Insure locating dowel is properly seated in hole.
    2.  
    3. Install the upper and lower support bracket, hand tighten only.
    4.  
    5. Tighten the starter attaching bolts to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm). Tighten the upper bracket bolts to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm), and then the lower bracket bolts to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
    6.  
    7. Install the engine mount. Tighten the engine mount-to-block bolt to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm), the engine mount-to-frame bolt to 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm), the engine mount-to-bell housing bolt to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
    8.  
    9. Connect all wires and lower the vehicle.
    10.  

     
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