1998 Jeep Wrangler • 75 miles

Hi My name is John and I own a 98' Jeep Wrangler (4.0L manual with aobut 75K) over the last two weeks the car has been slow to start (felt like the battery was about to die) Finally one day after driving it twice that morning I got in and it wouldn't fire up. I was on a hill so I popped the cluch and headed home. I put the Battery on my charger and it showed it at 90%. I let it charge and then the car still wouldn't start (tried to turn over once and then had no power, as if the battery was dead). I then Tried to jump the car with my battery charger "jump start" setting and still got nothing. I then took out my Volt meeter and I was reading 12.6 volts. Still, I pulled my battey and and put one in from a friends Jeep and still I get nothing (also, my battery works fine in his jeep). I am handy when it comes to cars but I am stumped. Also, I replaced my alternator maybe six months ago so I didn't thak that was the issue and I thought it might be that starter but from what I have read online it seems I would have been hearing some bad noised from it before that would die. Any Ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
February 22, 2012.

Is everything else dead too like head lights and dash? If so, check the smaller positive battery cable where it bolts to the under-hood fuse box. Be sure it's clean and tight. You'll need a test light or voltmeter if more testing is required.

Feb 22, 2012.
I do have power to everything else (lights, dash, etc). And when I was doing my initial check I did check continuity from the positive terminal to the fuse box and it was fine.

Feb 24, 2012.
Based on your original observation of slow cranking, I'd suspect a frayed battery cable to the starter or engine block, or worn contacts inside the starter solenoid. With worn contacts, you should still get a single nice loud clunk when the starter engages, each time you turn the ignition switch to "crank". Testing will show whether the positive battery cable to the starter or the solenoid contacts are at fault.

A frayed or loose negative cable to the engine block can prevent the solenoid from engaging, and since it doesn't turn on to let the starter try to draw heavy current, that could be a little trickier to find with voltmeter tests. You might have to go right to the starter and jump the solenoid terminal to the large battery terminal to get it to try to turn on.

Here's a photo of your starter motor from rockauto. Com. Start by using an inexpensive digital voltmeter to measure between a paint free surface on the engine or starter motor, (green arrow), and the battery terminal on the starter, (red arrow), while a helper turns the ignition switch to "crank". If you find full battery voltage there, near 12.6 volts, all the time, move the voltmeter probe from the battery terminal to the solenoid terminal. You should find battery voltage there in the "crank" position. Check on both of the smaller terminals; I'm not sure which one is the solenoid terminal.

Holler back with what you find for voltages at those points and any sounds you hear from the starter solenoid and starter relay.

Feb 24, 2012.