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WJ starting stumper and ABS...BS

Johann

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
477
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1,146
Loc
Triangle area NC
Trying to get my 2000 WJ back on the road. Having a problem diagnosing these two problems that will have to be solved before it is inspectable.

Will not crank/turn over at all by turning the key. New starter and battery, thought that solved it but noooooo. But starts right up with a remote trigger switch clamped to the Starter terminals and the key switched to run. All relays good. All fuses checked as well. Ignition module perhaps? Any suggestions on testing that or is there something else I should check? Otherwise I am just running the remote into the cabin. :laughing:

ABS light is on. Just did a rear brake job on the WJ and the sensors and tone rings were incrusted with junk, so I thought I might have an easy fix. Cleaned them off and put it back together. Did that solve it? Nooooooooo. Cleaned the front sensors too. All appeared intact. Checked all relays and fuses. All fine. Disconnected the batt for a bit and then went on a test drive...and the light is still on.
First time I have dealt with the Demon ABS. Any suggestions on the next step of diagnostics for this? Wish I could just delete it's complicating ass. Brakes work just fine without it. :grinpimp:
 
This is the Chilton's diagram for the starting circuit. Time to bust out the mulimeter and do some voltage checking.

photo35771.jpg
 
Jam the key in harder in the cylinder.
I had a 2000 XJ that did that shit intermittently. The little plunger at the end of the ignition switch was worn or something. Jam the key in hard, works.
changing the ignition switch is easy.
 
Long shot at ignition, but if it’s anything like what I went through with 2006 Liberty check the ignition actuator pin.
While one on Liberty wasn’t broken there are many that do break, it is quick and easy to get to overall.
You said you checked your fuses, did you put multimeter on them or just visual?
 
It's a 20 year old jeep. Trade it at the scrap yard for a bicycle and realize a clapped out huffy is a massive upgrade.
 
This is the Chilton's diagram for the starting circuit. Time to bust out the mulimeter and do some voltage checking.

Thanks, that will be very helpful for tracking with the tester! Are the Chilton's diagrams on line or is it subscription based?
 
Thanks, that will be very helpful for tracking with the tester! Are the Chilton's diagrams on line or is it subscription based?

I can access them through the local library with my card number. Check yours out to see if they have something similar.
 
Jam the key in harder in the cylinder.
I had a 2000 XJ that did that shit intermittently. The little plunger at the end of the ignition switch was worn or something. Jam the key in hard, works.
changing the ignition switch is easy.

I've done the jamming and played rough with it. Been in there to work on the tumblers of the lock before so may pop that out and see if it will start with a screwdriver. Would not be surprised if the switch is worn out. It's been a workhorse!
 
Long shot at ignition, but if it’s anything like what I went through with 2006 Liberty check the ignition actuator pin.
While one on Liberty wasn’t broken there are many that do break, it is quick and easy to get to overall.
You said you checked your fuses, did you put multimeter on them or just visual?

Did continuity check on all via the outside pins and a multi tester. Checked them all to be sure. Even the hidden fuse box under the dash. Why did they put that there? Did the relay swap to check that one.

Anyone have a clue on the ABS issue? That is still voodoo to me.


Oh, and who the fawk moved my thread to a TECH section? Used to get flamed for this level of daily driver stuff in the old days. You all are hard up for tech if this counts! :flipoff2:
 
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It's a 20 year old jeep. Trade it at the scrap yard for a bicycle and realize a clapped out huffy is a massive upgrade.

Productive answer... not :flipoff2:

Anyway, Johann : For the starting issues, It might have something to do with the neutral safety switch so I would try pressing the shifter stick forward while trying to start or shift it to neutral before starting. If that works, then the shifter cable is most likely out of alignment or you may need a new neutral safety switch.

As for the ABS, check the brake fluid level. Some cars/trucks/Jeeps will show the ABS light when fluid is low. Other than that, get a scanner that will read ABS codes. Generally a parts store will scan for free if you don't have one.

Good luck and hope this helps... 😉
 
It's a 20 year old jeep. Trade it at the scrap yard for a bicycle and realize a clapped out huffy is a massive upgrade.

Most of my junk is 20 years old or older and paid for. I'm monthly payment adverse but there are times when I wish I just leased things like everyone else. Too much electronics on new stuff for it's own good.
 
Productive answer... not :flipoff2:

Anyway, Johann : For the starting issues, It might have something to do with the neutral safety switch so I would try pressing the shifter stick forward while trying to start or shift it to neutral before starting. If that works, then the shifter cable is most likely out of alignment or you may need a new neutral safety switch.

As for the ABS, check the brake fluid level. Some cars/trucks/Jeeps will show the ABS light when fluid is low. Other than that, get a scanner that will read ABS codes. Generally a parts store will scan for free if you don't have one.

Good luck and hope this helps... 😉

I forgot to mention that I did play with the shifter. Resetting it into Park, pushing and pulling it in park while trying to get it to crank and trying Neutral. Got nothing. If other avenues don't pan out I may crack it open and clean it like I did with my 98 XJ when that had a starting prob.

Fluid level is topped off. It may have been low before I did the brake job but not now. My cheapo scanner says it does ABS codes but does not read these for some reason nor will it clear them. WJ may be too old to talk to in that way, at least with that machine. Good idea on the parts store. I'll give that a shot.

Disconnecting the batt did not clear the code but I am not sure if those are held in memory unlike engine codes that you can wipe disco'ing the batt. Either that or it immediately faulted again on restart. I'm going to drive it to work on Tuesday and see if a drive might cycle the memory and reset it.
 
Thanks, that will be very helpful for tracking with the tester! Are the Chilton's diagrams on line or is it subscription based?

a bunch of that sit is actually on the autozone webpage, you have to login, it's under "repair help"
 
On the ABS issue.

I chased an ABS light on one I had for a very long time after a 4 wheel brake job. Everything checked out fine but here's the strange part. When I did the brake job I just did the pads so no need to bleed it right? Wrong. It did need bleeding but not in the way you think. I had to bleed it at the module itself. It was quite awhile ago but IIRC that module doesn't like the brake fluid going backwards through it.

I ended up just cracking the fittings one at a time just enough to pass fluid around them, never got any air just fluid but from what I understand it allows some sort of valve (switch) to reset it's self. It might be your problem or maybe not but it's free to try anyway.
 
a bunch of that sit is actually on the autozone webpage, you have to login, it's under "repair help"

Huh, I had no idea. I usually just buy in the store and barely use the sites as their inventories are made of LIES. All the usual suspects are in a row in town. If the first one doesn't have it... on to number 2!
 
On the ABS issue.

I chased an ABS light on one I had for a very long time after a 4 wheel brake job. Everything checked out fine but here's the strange part. When I did the brake job I just did the pads so no need to bleed it right? Wrong. It did need bleeding but not in the way you think. I had to bleed it at the module itself. It was quite awhile ago but IIRC that module doesn't like the brake fluid going backwards through it.

I ended up just cracking the fittings one at a time just enough to pass fluid around them, never got any air just fluid but from what I understand it allows some sort of valve (switch) to reset it's self. It might be your problem or maybe not but it's free to try anyway.

Hmmm, that gives me one more thing to check out in daylight. Thanks!
 
Huh, I had no idea. I usually just buy in the store and barely use the sites as their inventories are made of LIES. All the usual suspects are in a row in town. If the first one doesn't have it... on to number 2!

yeah, you have to create an account and add the vehicle in your garage, but a ton of older stuff has diagrams and shit from all data on the autozone page for free.

I usually just use the website to find part numbers and call the store so I don't hve to answer twenty questions while they use the exact same fucking site I can use at home.
 
The ignition module is non-existent on a WJ, the PCM controls all the functions. Unlikely cause of a no crank. If the theft was activated, it would not start and run jumping the starter solenoid.

A test light to the proper wire in the ignition switch connector will quickly check to see if the ignition switch is supplying the crank signal. The shroud on the column will need to be removed to test it with a test light.

If you have a 6 cylinder, it will have the 42RE trans. The neutral safety switch can be tested by grounding the center pin in the three wire connector If the starter now cranks, replace the switch. The switch is at the driver's side rear corner of the transmission main case, just above the pan. Might cost about $15 for a new switch.

If you have a 8 cylinder, the 545RFE transmission uses a range sensor built into the transmission solenoid pack. Use a scan tool to check the transmission input/outputs to see if it sees neutral and park. I can't remember, but if the instrument cluster will show the transmission range, and you can see it shift between the gears, it's probably OK. If the trans is shifting properly and there are no check engine lights, a failed range sensor is unlikely.

Check the starter relay inside the Junction box under the hood, there's a chance the relay is bad. Try swapping it with the Horn relay or some other relay that's the same as the starter relay.

You are pissing in the wind without scanning the abs module for the code/s. A hard fault that sets without you moving the jeep after disconnecting the battery and clearing the codes is usually a circuit issue. Check each of the wheel sensor wires to make sure they haven't been chewed by some varmint or rubbed through on something. Unplug each sensor connector and look for corrosion. It's not uncommon for the ABS control module to develop an internal issue, usual fault code will be for the main pump/motor relay circuit, the main relay is internal to the controller. There are two heavy wires into the ABS module, verify they have battery power and ground b using a spare headlight and some wire, the lamp should draw about the same current as the ABS motor, and should light up bright if the wires are good. You can buy a reman ABS controller or get another one with the same part number at the junk yard. Wouldn't hurt to check all ABS related fuses and swap any relays marked for ABS with one of the other similar relays in the junction block.

Air in the ABS controller will not set any codes, the base brakes will be spongy, though.

ABS module replacement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GABK3l1W6JM
 
The ignition module is non-existent on a WJ, the PCM controls all the functions. Unlikely cause of a no crank. If the theft was activated, it would not start and run jumping the starter solenoid.

A test light to the proper wire in the ignition switch connector will quickly check to see if the ignition switch is supplying the crank signal. The shroud on the column will need to be removed to test it with a test light.

If you have a 6 cylinder, it will have the 42RE trans. The neutral safety switch can be tested by grounding the center pin in the three wire connector If the starter now cranks, replace the switch. The switch is at the driver's side rear corner of the transmission main case, just above the pan. Might cost about $15 for a new switch.

If you have a 8 cylinder, the 545RFE transmission uses a range sensor built into the transmission solenoid pack. Use a scan tool to check the transmission input/outputs to see if it sees neutral and park. I can't remember, but if the instrument cluster will show the transmission range, and you can see it shift between the gears, it's probably OK. If the trans is shifting properly and there are no check engine lights, a failed range sensor is unlikely.

Check the starter relay inside the Junction box under the hood, there's a chance the relay is bad. Try swapping it with the Horn relay or some other relay that's the same as the starter relay.

You are pissing in the wind without scanning the abs module for the code/s. A hard fault that sets without you moving the jeep after disconnecting the battery and clearing the codes is usually a circuit issue. Check each of the wheel sensor wires to make sure they haven't been chewed by some varmint or rubbed through on something. Unplug each sensor connector and look for corrosion. It's not uncommon for the ABS control module to develop an internal issue, usual fault code will be for the main pump/motor relay circuit, the main relay is internal to the controller. There are two heavy wires into the ABS module, verify they have battery power and ground b using a spare headlight and some wire, the lamp should draw about the same current as the ABS motor, and should light up bright if the wires are good. You can buy a reman ABS controller or get another one with the same part number at the junk yard. Wouldn't hurt to check all ABS related fuses and swap any relays marked for ABS with one of the other similar relays in the junction block.

Air in the ABS controller will not set any codes, the base brakes will be spongy, though.

ABS module replacement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GABK3l1W6JM

Thanks for writing up all those details Marty!

When it dries out a bit Ill roll around under there and check the connectors. For the ignition and the ABS. I do have a fair about of oil/crud mix from somewhere coating some of them. Wonder if that has compromised something. Starter relay has already been swapped. Same with the ABS relay. I will see if the parts shop has a ABS code reader too.

Its a 6 cyl so I still need to check the NSS.

I like the headlight trick. I think I have an extra kicking around.
 
One other thought, if you have a smart phone / tablet are you able to record no start and what you typically check for?

Perhaps one of us can spot something / visual always provides more info.
 
One other thought, if you have a smart phone / tablet are you able to record no start and what you typically check for?

Perhaps one of us can spot something / visual always provides more info.

Neat idea for problem solving but in this instance pretty boring. Picture if you will- put key in... CLICK. :laughing:


Went through all the connections on the ABS and they were sound. Cleaned and dielectric greased them while I was there. Rather than throwing stuff at it I went to a local shop run by good Jeep guys. Code came back for Drivers side sensor being bad. Have one of those on order. Hopefully that will solve that and I can focus on the ignition problem this weekend.

If this jeep had any theft popularity I'd be tempted to run my temp starter jumper wire under the dash to a switch permanently. But should probably just figure it out...
 
Welp... no joy. Swapped out the sensor the shop said was asking for it. It was still cruddy after my brake job but no cracks. Punt the new one in and ABS light is still showing. I disconnected the batt in the hopes of clearing the memory. Left it off for a couple min. Am I missing something else to reset the ABS system? Do I need to drive it to find itself?

Guess my next step is to check continuity from the sensor connector to the ABS controller connector? I wonder if the controller can go bad in a way that it points to a sensor like this?

About ready to set fire to this thing...
 
Ok, fire is not needed, at least yet.

Doing a test drive got the light out. Makes sense that the sensor needs the tone ring moving to sense the sensor:homer: So victory on one front, off to the next!

Did the NSS center pin ground and no dice. Going dig into the ignition switch tomorrow once I get in there
 
Double victory!

It was the ignition module as someone suggested here. Actuator pin was fine so I have to return that.

This youtube links does a good job showing all the parts involved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3vbCZIxjoU

The last minute or so of the vid shows you how to "hotwire" the jeep by bypassing the ignition module. I did that as a test and it fired so I wen't parts shopping. You need a tamperproof torx head. Small but not sure what #. Ended up having to buy a complete set. In retrospect I should have just chiseled out the tamperproof center pin inside the torx screw but hey, new tools! :homer:

So now I can get the damn thing inspected.

Thanks all!
 
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