No power to anything

Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
  • 1984 JEEP CJ7
  • 2.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 73,000 MILES
Looking for help with my vehicle listed above.

Everything was fine until I went to start it one day and the starter solenoid clicked. The battery was showing low voltage and I replaced it as AutoZone said it was bad. After I installed the new battery, I still got a low voltage reading in the voltmeter that is in the interior gauges. After that, I got 0 volts and no power to anything. No clicks or any reading.

I tried replacing the starter solenoid after some research, but it did not help. I have rewired the solenoid just as it was before. There is a fusible link between the two posts of the starter and I opened it to see a glass fuse had blown. I replaced that. Still no crank or headlights or anything. There is power to the starter solenoid because I tested it using a test light.

There is no power to the fuse box underneath the dash panel on the drivers side if I turn the key to the "on" position.

I do not know if this means the ignition switch or the key cylinder is bad.

I have done a ton of reading on other fusible links, but can't find where they may be.

Can anyone help where I should look next?
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Sunday, December 16th, 2018 AT 10:24 AM

17 Replies

Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Can you list any modifications that have been done to your Jeep?

I'm going to send you a couple of solenoid pictures.

The big posts do not care which side is used for the positive battery cable and what goes stacked with it (all 12 volt accessories).

The remaining big post is used only for the starter cable, yes, all by itself!

Re-cap

The solenoid does not care!

One big post is the constant 12 volt side, Positive battery cable and all 12 volt accessories (like the fuse box and the alternator)

The other big post is for the starter cable only!

"S" and "I" (little posts) remain in their same place.

The solenoid body (its housing) must be grounded to the fender.

In my pictures, for my two Jeeps (1977 and a 1946) you will see I have chosen the left big post to be my battery feed and the right side is only the one starter cable to the starter!

I'll show you why I chose this way, as the original way is just opposite (I'll show your soon)

How about a picture of your solenoid set-up?

I know CJs well and will help as long as you respond.

Last two pictures.

Using a remote starter

Using a screwdriver as a remote starter (the reason I use the left lug for positive, it gets me right beside "S"

Picture 1- pink 3 and 4 are fusible links-meaning everything 12 volt original on the Jeep is fusible link protected (except for the starter- and anything "added on" to the solenoid later).

I have many pictures and diagrams, a dumb question is the one that was never asked.

The Medic
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Sunday, December 16th, 2018 AT 5:21 PM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
Hello CJ MEDEVAC. I have seen your responses to several posts and would like to thank you for the help you provide to people trying to troubleshoot Jeep issues like myself.

I have not made any modifications to the Jeep. I bought it around four years back and only drive it occasionally. This is the first electrical issue I have had, and I can say I'm only a beginner at fixing these things. So please bare with me if you have to educate me on the basics.

I have added a picture of my solenoid setup. The left side has all the cables from the positive side of the battery and accessories. The right side has a cable that goes into a harness (presuming this is the starter) and one cable to ground at the base of the engine block. This setup was exactly how it was when the Jeep was running.

The picture shows the two cables removed from the two small posts. The left side is I and right side is S. I have put back the cables just as they were. I believe the plastic holder is a fusible link. It had a glass fuse that had blown which I have replaced. I cannot locate another fusible link. I actually put back my old starter because the new one didn't fix it. I tried to short the solenoid with a screwdriver from the positive post to the I and S sides one at a time. The starter did not crank. The tester lights up when I check, but no voltage reading inside the vehicle.

Please let me know if you would like any additional pictures to help me diagnose my issue.
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Sunday, December 16th, 2018 AT 5:51 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
I'm looking for where your fusible links are/should be. See my picture, answer it's questions too.

Are you good at tracing out wires if given a simple wire diagram?

Since you have no power, we'll stay with the solenoid and around it till we find it.

Insure your positive battery clamp is so tight you cannot move it with your hand. Same with the negative.

Insure the negative battery cable connects to the engine.

The Medic
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Monday, December 17th, 2018 AT 3:40 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Pictures did not make it with last response.

I hope that in some of my other posts that you checked out that I explained things simple enough for anyone to understand.

Looks like maybe yours has had some tinkering over the years, we will prevail!

The Medic
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Monday, December 17th, 2018 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
There has definitely been tinkering before I bought it. There are cables that lead to nowhere under the dash. I have a hunch that the plastic fuse holder is for the fog lamps that were added. I will follow your wiring set up and get rid of some of the wires that don't make sense. My dilemma is that I have rewired the solenoid as it was when the Jeep was working. My other dilemma is that the headlamps and tail lamps should switch on without the key, which could mean that the problem is not with the solenoid, but something else that controls the master power. Trying to figure this out in my head with some reasoning, but there are things I definitely do not understand.

I should be able to trace some of the stuff with simple wire diagrams. I'm in the mid-west, so I can't work on it on really cold days. I will try to get to it this week if there are warmer (40's) days and get back with answers to the image you marked up. I will respond when I am able to work on it. Thank you.
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Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 AT 7:11 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
I'm going to give you a bunch of information.

Don't overload on me!

The diagram I've chopped stuff out of is for a 1979 258 (that's a 4.2 liter for any of those drink bottle oriented fellers out there)

Much of the basic things are the same from 1976-1986. Things that changed over the years are the ignition, the fuse box, and the primitive computer and the monster bundle of wires used just to move the stepper in the carburetor.

To me, the 1979 six cylinder was the purest, sweetest, most effective, and the simplest wired AMC Jeep CJ ever! (I had two of them in the past) I have upgraded my present 1977 to copycat the 1979.

I love the diagram for it, as it is basically a map.

Later year diagrams make it easy to trace a wire, it's just not in a map type format.

There's nothing wrong with having a different Jeep!

If you are going to keep it, you may want to jump into Microsoft Paint and do as I did to "your" diagram, it'll make tracing so easy, now and in the future.

The first three diagrams I'm posting is for a 1979. (Scanned from a paper manual, then I colored each wire with MS Paint)

I even had the office store blow up both halves. I connected them where they overlapped and then they laminated it for me. If I recall right, about $25.00. You just can't beat a giant colored diagram!

Buying a "Real" AMC service manual for your year is the very best info you can get, and it's "simple written" (it's almost as good as me!)

The next four diagrams are specific to your year and engine. Sorry! This is where "you" coloring them will make things easier for you!

I know you will need time to soak this in and start applying it.

Let me know if this helps with your wiring!

Don't forget about us, I'll be here for the long run, keep us posted.

A nice pretty picture of your Jeep would be nice too!

The Medic

P.S. Make sure your solenoid is grounded well to the fender.
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Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 AT 5:07 PM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
Thank you for all the pictures. It will definitely take me some time to get to it in between the holidays, waiting for warmer days, free time etc. I bought it a few years ago to learn how to wrench properly. I never found the motivation or real time, so I drove it around as is, except getting the brake booster replaced and carburetor fixed.

It's got leaky seals all over the place and I really hope to find time in the next few months. But first, got to fix this electrical issue. Here is a picture of my Jeep. I love it, and want it to be on the road again.
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Thursday, December 20th, 2018 AT 8:30 AM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
Made some progress. I reinstalled the new starter solenoid in a way that the S terminal is closer to the positive battery post. I was able to crank the engine using a screwdriver to touch the positive battery post to the S terminal.

My issue seems similar to the one in this post.

https://www.2carpros.com/questions/1985-jeep-cj7-electrical-issue

The guy says he found no power at the master fuse. How do I locate that? Tracing the wire (not sure which one to trace) back from the solenoid to the fuse would mean tearing in as there are many wires that are bunched together. I'm not committed to doing that yet if the fix may be as simple as locating a fuse. However, my wires are firmly connected to the starter solenoid and nothing falls off like the issue in the link.

Any help will be appreciated.
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Thursday, December 20th, 2018 AT 9:25 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Go ahead and rule out the fuse block as having a "master fuse". The fuses in there are for individual circuits and are independent of each other.

Unless someone added something on, I'm not familiar with a "master"

There are "fusible links" in the system, they are the last line of defense for your electrical stuff.

You could describe them as a "wire fuse". They look like a wire. They have specific amp ratings just like a fuse. You must replace them with a fusible link with the same amp rating. If not, your Jeep could possibly burn to the ground if the right short occurred.

Normally, I see one burned into, melted and bubbly insulation, or sometimes looking normal, but with a good tug, the insulation will stretch out like a rubber band (as the wire within it has disintegrated).

Sometimes it might seem difficult to spot one. Usually they are the beginning of the wire. They start out at the connection (like at the solenoid) and may run a few inches before they are soldered onto a regular stranded copper wire. Heat shrink or tape might camouflage the joint of the two.

I went into "Prodemand" and grabbed the first diagram which shows the beginnings of the electrical system.

I had to blow it up in order to read the text. In doing this I had to make three screenshots to get the whole diagram. I insured there was ample overlap so nothing was left out.

The first diagram stacks onto the second diagram, those two stack on top of the third.

The Medic
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Friday, December 21st, 2018 AT 11:03 PM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
The fusible links on the solenoid S and I posts seemed to be tight when I pulled on them, but I will try again. I see there in the pictures that there are fusible links on the battery and starter sides of the solenoid. Unfortunately I will not be able to get to it before mid-January. :(

I will do some more checking and respond then. Thank you again, and Merry Christmas.
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Monday, December 24th, 2018 AT 5:11 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Really need to get him going!

I'd go bonkers if mine were down that long!

I'll be right here when you respond.

You have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year too!

The present you sent me must have gotten lost!

The Medic
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Monday, December 24th, 2018 AT 3:30 PM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
I'm back. Wiggled the wires and found that the S and I cables appeared loose. Both made a crackling sound when I moved them around. The S wire has now broken off and the I wire will break if I wiggle it around more. It's interesting that the weak spots are on the opposite side of the "bridge" for the S and I wires. Not sure if my wiggling broke the wires or if they were weak to start with, but I guess I have to replace them now. The other wires seem to be strong.

Please see the pictures. Are these considered to be fusible links? How do I replace both cables? Do I need a soldering gun?
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Sunday, January 6th, 2019 AT 2:08 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
It's about time you showed back up!

How can you drive your Jeep if we don't fix it?

"S" should not be "alive" unless you are cranking.

"I" should only be alive with the key on.

Unless someone "added" fusible links to "S" and "I" there should not be one in either of those wires.

Maybe it's just regular old wire extensions butt spliced to the wires.

The run of the mill OEM solenoid did not have the spade connections as yours does (nothing wrong with that).

So maybe the butt splices were just to convert from the push on connectors to the spade type.

Do you know how to butt splice? If so, re-do both poor connections.

Got you another diagram below.

One more thing-your solenoid is upside down on your pictures. My diagram shows it right side up ("S" and "I" are found nearer to the bottom) Just want to keep any confusion from starting!

The Medic
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Sunday, January 6th, 2019 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
My Jeep does not have the hard top (or any top) on right now, so most likely won't be driven until it is warmer. I want it to be in good shape by then, so I'm working on it now.

If I remember correctly, the I side of the solenoid was alive even when the key was not on. Is that a problem?

I installed the solenoid upside down so I could get the S post closer to the battery side to test with the screwdriver. The cable from the battery is not long enough to reach the other side if I left the solenoid upright.

I looked up how to butt-splice and will give it a shot in the next week. But I'm guessing I don't have to use a butt-connector if I can just crimp the existing wires into a spade connector provided they are sufficiently long to reach the posts. Is that right?

Please bear with me, I try to find time when I can. :)
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Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 AT 10:01 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
If I'm reading you right, you are going to eliminate the butt splices by putting a female spade on each wire if they will then reach to the spade on the solenoid.

That would be the best thing to do, eliminating unnecessary connections will keep the current flowing better in the long run.

Keep us posted on progress,

We always like to hear happy endings! (Or we'll just continue on until we get one)

The Medic
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Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 AT 7:16 PM
Tiny
ARUN NAYAK
  • MEMBER
Hello. It was a slightly warmer day today where I had free time. I figured I had wired up the solenoid wrong and took your advice. The Jeep is starting now!

Lots more work to do. It has a leaky power steering and I also probably need to change the valve cover gasket. Less worried now.

Thank you for your replies!
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Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 AT 3:20 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
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Glad to hear that it is alive!

This is how I relax after work, I really like hearing that something I presented was useful in helping another Jeep person getting their baby back on the road.

Should you need me more on this fix, just reply here again.

If you jump to another fix, create a new question, ask for me if you wish in the submission.

The big guys like "different" repairs isolated from the others so that someone "searching" can easily find information they need quickly without having to sift through an entire Jeep restoration.

When you get to a "Happy Place" in your fixing, Let's see another picture of your Jeep.

The Medic
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Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 AT 7:03 PM

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