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1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've got a 1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic 4x4 4.0. I literally bought it a week ago knowing it had these problems but I didn't care too much for what I got it for, it runs and drives like new with no rust.

Here are the issues I need help with before I tear into it. Any advice will be appreciated before I go ripping it apart this weekend.

-Power locks don't work on any level, whether it's the switches or key fob.
-Power Windows, only the drivers side works, the passenger and both rears don't move.
-The radio works but only in AM. In FM it's static across the board, all 4 of the speakers work.
-The rear wiper and spray don't work

On all of these the switches and radio and everything light up fine so they should have power.

Also I deep cleaned the entire truck today, under the seat it seemed there was something missing like there was something was bolted down under the drivers seat and now there's nothing there.

I don't know what these could be, I was going to look for loose wires and do some tracing and test the panels/wires, check the fuses and go through that. But I was wondering if anyone had any common things or similar issues and had a fix. I've dealt with electrical before on things and it is fixable but takes lots and lots of time. I have time to mess with it all winter as a winter project so I'm not to worried about it, but would like to figure it out before I start the off road build.

Thanks for any input and advice!
 

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The easy one. Am works and fm doesn't, sounds like the antennae is unplugged. The lights work cause they get power from the parking lights, or they are always on when the radio is on.
Power windows and locks could be the wiring between the body and the door. The wires are small and break over time. It's usually in the rubber boot or just where they enter the cab. Or the power widow module in the door.
Rear wiper may be in the wiring at the hatch. Or the wiring behind the spare tire. There is a ground attached to the body and it corrodes and brakes.
 

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1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic
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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome thank you for the help, I will look into that this weekend and let the forum know if I find anything. The wiring on this Jeep was definitely messed with at some point pretty sure it was an undercover police cruiser or something it has holes where radios and equipment were drilled in though the dash and a couple other panels plastic. So I was also wondering if it could be something is just disconnected or a wire was cut or broken when they took out the equipment which could be adding or creating one or more of the issues but we’ll see. Thank you for the advice.
 

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Ex emergency/police jeeps have some nice extras. What is left will remain to be seen.
XJ' are notorious for wiring issues. Grounds are a regular maintenance item. Dash wiring will corrode and become loose over time. It should have an idle up switch near the fog light switch. Also should have an upgraded alternator to handle all the electrics and lights.
 

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Gluck, if it was an undercover rig, it probably doesn't have any of the cool bonus features. Chances are it was impounded and then used by a detective for awhile before being rotated out for another vehicle. Many departments keep rotating fleets so the public doesn't catch on.
 

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1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic
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Discussion Starter #6
It is not an official police one sadly but literally has every option to make it heavy duty, cooling wise, suspension, tow package, skids all of those goodies that’s why I bought it. It was a police one or government one it was probably one that was just a “grocery getter” for the department, but still had all the radios and stuff based on the holes. It could have been impounded when almost new or something but I am just the 3rd owner. I also bought it from the government so that also kind of proved that and they were honest about its electronic problems which was good (I sniped it at auction). This one was a government vehicle for a water plant from 2012 until now, and before then it was a police vehicle because the water plant didn’t drill anything in it. Idk the full story but it has all of the goodies I wanted factory and is lower miles, clean, no accident, and runs and drives perfect, heck even the ac works which I’ve never had or seen in any of my buddies or my old xj. But yeah tomorrow I’m going to start checking out the wiring maybe taking off the trim sanding all the grounds I can and seeing if I can revive some of the stuff.
 

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As was said, the windows are the easy ones. There is a little area in the circuit board that fails for the child lock safety switch. Most people just cut the wires to the switch and put them together, thus completing the circuit.

The lock issue might be simple too. The grease in the lock/latch mechanism gets stiff over time. If the actuators work, they cannot overcome the stiffness. A little penetrating oil or spray lubricant 9not WD40) can rejuvenate the grease
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As was said, the windows are the easy ones. There is a little area in the circuit board that fails for the child lock safety switch. Most people just cut the wires to the switch and put them together, thus completing the circuit.

The lock issue might be simple too. The grease in the lock/latch mechanism gets stiff over time. If the actuators work, they cannot overcome the stiffness. A little penetrating oil or spray lubricant 9not WD40) can rejuvenate the grease
Thanks for the info. I’ll try that with the locks but they don’t even try no noise or anything at all on all 4 doors. But it’s worth a shot before I dig into the wiring. Where is the child safety lock switch? I didn’t know there was any electronics to do with that (although I never have used them on any vehicle). Would the child safety lock switch be in the rear door panels? And if it’s just hard wiring them and bypassing the switch that would be a good idea since I won’t ever use the child lock.
 

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Check the switch cluster for the windows. Will disable windows too for all except driver
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just wanted to update, I have been extremely busy lately but I did some digging one of the fuses was loose for the door locks and plugged that in better and it now makes noise but does locks so I'm thinking those are sticky. Also when it would make noise it would only make any with the passenger side switch which tells me the drivers side switch cluster is probably bad. The power steering pump was pissing everywhere so I'm currently in the process of replacing that so that'll come first. I'll keep this updated as I go through and fix the truck.
 

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Glad that's fixed. The power steering pump can actually bee upgraded to a ZJ, I think pump. You can drill out a fitting and get more flow and power, I did this to mine several year's ago, but can't remember all the specifics.
 

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Just wanted to update, I have been extremely busy lately but I did some digging one of the fuses was loose for the door locks and plugged that in better and it now makes noise but does locks so I'm thinking those are sticky. Also when it would make noise it would only make any with the passenger side switch which tells me the drivers side switch cluster is probably bad. The power steering pump was pissing everywhere so I'm currently in the process of replacing that so that'll come first. I'll keep this updated as I go through and fix the truck.
Little confused here.
Do the locks work or not?
Why do you think your driver's side switch is bad?
And what kind of noise do you hear from the passenger side?
Any chance could be a relay click from there?
Here is the thing. The passenger control is where the locks are controlled from.
I know it sounds weird, you would think driver's control, but that appears to be the case.
Locks in my '00. Worked 98% of the time. When they did not I would hear a click from the passengers side.
When they did not it would literally not work for 15 minutes. Go into a store, don't work, come out and they do.
One time they did not work for 3 days though. This went on for years.
I did not really think it was wiring cause it was so infrequent.
So one day I having tons of extra parts I put in another used passenger switch. Went about a month before they would not work.
Put in another used switch I had lying around. Thinking it might almost be 2 years now without a problem.
Oh and I say all this knowing that I will probably jinx myself. LOL.
 

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1998 Jeep Cherokee Classic
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Discussion Starter #14
Little confused here.
Do the locks work or not?
Why do you think your driver's side switch is bad?
And what kind of noise do you hear from the passenger side?
Any chance could be a relay click from there?
Here is the thing. The passenger control is where the locks are controlled from.
I know it sounds weird, you would think driver's control, but that appears to be the case.
Locks in my '00. Worked 98% of the time. When they did not I would hear a click from the passengers side.
When they did not it would literally not work for 15 minutes. Go into a store, don't work, come out and they do.
One time they did not work for 3 days though. This went on for years.
I did not really think it was wiring cause it was so infrequent.
So one day I having tons of extra parts I put in another used passenger switch. Went about a month before they would not work.
Put in another used switch I had lying around. Thinking it might almost be 2 years now without a problem.
Oh and I say all this knowing that I will probably jinx myself. LOL.
The locks will not work electronically from the drivers side but the passengers side seems to make probably a relay click. I will probably end up replacing both switches. Picking up another project xj to sell that has working locks and windows so I’m going to take the switches from that one and put them on mine to see if they’re the problem for sure before I replace either of them.
 

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Instead of throwing some parts at this, I would check the wiring that goes from the body to the door on both rigs. I bet you find a break on the driver side
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Instead of throwing some parts at this, I would check the wiring that goes from the body to the door on both rigs. I bet you find a break on the driver side
Yup I’m gunna do that today probably too as I’m messing with it, putting a new steering wheel on today too my old one was melted by a steering wheel cover.
 

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Melted by a cover .... not sure I want to ask
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It lived in the south and I’ve had it happen before on used cars. Someone put a steering wheel cover on it and as it got baked by the sun it literally melted the steering wheel. I just got a new one off of eBay and replaced it.
 

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Haven't had that happen in CA yet, and it gets hot here. But I will beware because I was thinking of getting one for my XJ
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Haven't had that happen in CA yet, and it gets hot here. But I will beware because I was thinking of getting one for my XJ
Yeah I hate steering wheel covers personally. They are good for covering up a bad steering wheel, but bad (from my experiences) on a good one as they’ll melt it in even Michigan where I am. I’ve never had trouble with one without a cover I prefer one without, but if you put one on and never plan to take it off it’s fine.
 
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