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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello first time writer here, i am hoping yall can help me out. let me start by introducing my self.
My name is Lotus Campbell i am 18y/o and i love to tinker with motors. i have a 1990 jeep xj Laredo and i lover her to bits. though i don't know if our relationship is consensual considering she breaks down on me about once a week to month.

i got in ol gal this morning to go hang out with some people and i go to crank and nothing. no sounds no clicks no lights no buzzes no nothing! i thought i had a dead battery so i grabbed my multimeter to check it and its putting out 12.5v! so i go back in the cab and turn the interior lights on. they are as bright as normally. i try the headlights they work fine! but still no lights or sounds or anything from the key.
i have read all over and people love to say its the neutral safety switch. but i have that bypassed. oh it must be the starter.. just put a new one in less than a month ago. i also have a push button going directly to the starter because sometimes it stalls and wont start with the key but it will if the ignition is on and in the run position and i give the starter a tap it fires back to life. yes it is an automatic and i am aware its weird it stalls but this method has been working for me for years. this is relevant because as of right now with no key no nothin i can still push the button and the starter turns the engine over fine. but with out ignition from the key i will get no spark . i know i could hotwire the coil. but i would rather not.

im starting to think it may be a bad wiring issue because i was fiddling with it last night and the same thing i got nothing so i went and took my dog for a walk when i got back i saw my radio was on. i had let the key on accessory and the radio and lights were on. i proceeded to turn it off and walk back inside thinking that's really weird. today i woke up and i am getting nothing from the key again. upon further inspection the only thing that happens i mean the ONLY thing that i can see hear feel or touch happening when i turn the key is ONLY the temp gauge goes up.

would love to here anyone's opinion on if maybe it is a bad ignition switch or a wire shorting out somewhere. if it is a wire shorting out are there any that are prone to do so?

thank you all for reading and any bits of advice to a young kid trying to never let my jeep go into the mechanics.
-Lotus Campbell
 

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Welcome to the forum Lotus. First thing to check is your battery terminal connection. They can corrode and not pass enough current to make a starter work. Next thing to check is the starter relay in the power distribution center, if you have it wired that way still. Then use a screw driver to touch the two large terminals on the starter solenoid and transmit current that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you for replying so fast! i dont find it relevent to bypass the starter solenoid when i can use the starter just fine with my push button. maybe i am reading your instructions wrong?
-Lotus Campbell
 

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You have done some wiring and I cannot see what you did. So these instructions would be for a stock rig. But all the principles are the same. When you bypassed the NSS did you just ground the wire?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the previous owner bypassed the NSS i am unfortunately not sure how he did it.i have started the jeep in gear many times tough. to do this i have to use the push button going directly to the starter and have the ignition on. right now when i turn the key nothing happens no dash lights no nothing. i really genuinely am so thankful for you answering my questions and trying to help me so please don't take this as being rude because i don't want it to sound that way. but i don't understand how the NSS comes into play when i don't even have accessors come on from my key. if i turned my key and all the dash lights came on and all the accessories came on but when i went to crank it i would get nothing then i would definitely suspect the NSS but in this case i am finding it hard to be relevant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i am starting to suspect i have a bad ground somewhere or a faulty ground i am going to be doing more tests as the day goes on and will keep yall updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE. it was a bad ground. i am not positive where or wich one. i didnt realize XJs had so many dam grounds! i was messing with some wires underneath the passenger side dash and all my lights flicked on on my dash for a second pulled off the passenger kick panel and somewhere in that mess the problem. not sure where or what but hopefully i can find out. hopefully someone els may find this helpful.
 

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XJ's can have enough of their own gremlins with factory wiring. Yes, they have a lot of grounds and when they fail can cause all sorts of problems. When someone starts hacking and bypassing things, It becomes very difficult to troubleshoot because you (and us) have no idea what the PO did. Bypassing the NSS is a very bad idea. The push button works because it is probably running directly to the starter relay. You may have a bad ignition switch. check the connector in the column, unplug it and replug it. this will clean the contacts and may solve your current issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i believe i found the short that was making none of my ignition work. i have unplugged the button the tells the jeep when the door is open to turn on the lights. i had unplugged it so i could take my doors off and water got on the prong and i think was jumping the gap. now im troubleshooting why when ever i turn my turn signal it instantly kills the jeep. i replaced all my blinker bulbs but i think its more than that.. well i know it is. i checked the wiring harness in the back quarter panel and i checked the one near the air box. the one near the air box is getting warm so i cleaned all the prongs and holes and slapped some dielectric grease on it. only the black wire coming off it is still getting hot so today im going to try and trace where that goes and maybe its grounding out somewhere its not supposed to be. of course my water pump decided to explode threw out this.
 

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I guess when it rains, it pours :D You are doing it right on the wiring. Just something I would do, pull the fuse on the signals and see if it does it
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i had the same thought! when i pulled the turn signal fuse it no longer did it so now im working on tracing all the turn signal wires and see if there are any frays or anywhere that i could be loosing electricity.
luckily my water pump is an Oriley special so it has lifetime warranty.
 
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