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Old 05-15-2002, 02:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4.0 Liter Starter

The starter in my wife's Cherokee is dragging (cranking very slowly). I haven't taken a look at it yet, but what kind of life do these things normally have? It has about 60K on it and it's a '98. When I get a chance, I'll check the usual - battery, cables and connections. Could be the battery is on it's way out, but the voltage gauge is reading the normal 14 volts. Just wondered what experience you guys have had with 'em. Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2002, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My vote is battery.

Check the voltage at the battery with the engine off. With the engine running you will only see what the alternator is doing.

That starter should live well into 100k miles
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Old 05-15-2002, 07:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply. Tonight, I checked voltage with a Fluke meter with the engine off - 12.8 volts. Checked at the other ends of the cables - 12.8 volts. Just to experiment, I pulled the battery, put in the Optima from my Jeep (13 volts). Still drags.

I was voting for the battery too. Figured it was an excuse to get an Optima for her Jeep too. I'll call around tomorrow to price starters and also the rebuild shop. I've heard these starters are not cheap like the older Chevy starters I'm used to buying. Could end up cheaper to have it rebuilt??
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Old 05-16-2002, 07:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If it's just cranking slowly, and not grinding, my bet is on a dirty connection someplace.

I just had my starter out (94 XJ with 170k) and the cables on the battery weren't tight. After tightening, the starter spun over MUCH better. BTW, the starter is fine, I lost the top bolt. Put in a helicoil and bolted it back in.

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Old 05-16-2002, 07:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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took ack 3 batteries until i realized it was the started in my 89 XJ, also replaced (and upgraded) battery cables and rerouted the ground from that strap (from block to firewall) to a tap directly from battery (-) to the body.

I just grabbed a $10 junkyard starter, got lucky though. had a may 2000 date code on it (was 6 months old when i got it)

Jeep never cranked better

also found an 87 wagoneer with a d44 (bought that complete for about $60) and all the factory skids w/ hardware and a drawtite class III hitch, all together about $110. was a pretty good day. . .
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Old 05-16-2002, 08:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd have a motor electric shop rebuild the starter rather than buy a re-man or new one from an auto parts store even if it's more expensive. You'll end up with a better starter that way. Also, less chance off a stranded wife!
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Old 06-12-2002, 06:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Just thought I'd let you guys know it turned out to be the starter itself. A friend had a starter on the shelf that was only used a couple months before a V8 went in the Jeep. $200 starter for $100 with the 3 year warranty. The starter had never cranked this well, even when I got the XJ with ~30K miles.

Thanks for the input.
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