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Thread: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Glendale
    Posts
    22

    Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    Folks,
    some weeks back, I pulled the dash on my '85 CJ7 in order to replace the push/pull cables for my heater/vent assembly, and replace a defective 3-way switch for my heater fan. Upon completion, I tried to start the old girl...rolled over smoothly, and kept rolling, and rolling...no start. Tried twice more, checked for fuel; no good. I have a factory manual, so I began an ignition troubleshoot. Found that my Duralast module had apparently failed. Puzzling. No apparent cause, so, bought another module. Plugged everything in, went to reconnect my negative cable to the battery - with the ignition switch off - bzzt. Aaaaand, the other. Module. Fried. I spent the next four weeks trying to figure out what I did. No good. Finally, admitting I was clueless, I turned it over to a local auto electric shop I've had good results with in the past. That was three weeks ago. I called today to see how it was going. The fella on the other end said something to the effect of my having the wrong module, and when I affirmed it as being the module that was called for, he negated that...and said that they were very busy and didn't want to spend that much time on it... I was surprised, and not in a nice way. Was he trying to tell me that they couldn't fix it? Couldn't say.. But now I think I need to move on. So, who in town is good with electrical repairs on older CJs? Or, have any of you ever run into this kind of problem? Normally I can handle this kind of thing - I put a new Painless harness in 5 years ago - but this one has me stumped. No fuses blown, all my electrical goodies work - except it keeps frying modules. The shop has already fried at least one that I know of, two weeks ago(the first week they had it).

    Here's an update. Thanks everyone for your input! There is a shiny new section of harness on my firewall, apparently holding the ignition/run wiring from the module, some of the related wires from the dash, and tied to the coil/distributor/computer interface. about a week after I first posted I talked to the shop owner/tech, and he indicated that he himself was now dealing with the old girl, as the problem had stumped two of his best guys. A week later they called to let me know it was ready. Fired up, drove home. A little later that evening - last Friday - I went out; on the way back home, close to home, the engine began running rough, RPMs dropping off and surging up again, and a stall at a stop light! Fired right back up, but now I hear the RPMs modulating, and running rough, not like before all this. Got home and stalled out/parked. Next day, I pop the hood and start poking around(which is when I saw the shiny new harness). Right away I saw that the ignition module that was in her when I dropped her off was still there; no big thing, as I was only charged labor. Took care of a vac line that needed help, and could see nothing else. I had to leave it at that and go about my weekend business. Drove her to work yesterday, and the rough, modulating operation continued. Later, I was loading up getting ready to come home, so I flipped on the radio while still throwing my gear in. There's a country station out of Wickenburg I like, and the signal comes in pretty good with my after market rig. I went around, got in, fired up - and the station is gone, in static. No rocket scientist am I, but I know damn well something isn't right, as the station always came in fine before, running or not. So, more troubleshooting today. I like the idea of a HEI conversion, if that eliminates the module, but frankly I'm on a budget, so I must work with what I have for now; and here's the rub. I suspect the module may be damaged, and thus not working well; anyone else think that? It's kinda tough to throw money at it hoping I can fix the problem - I have better luck with darts! One last thing - what is a HEI conversion going to run? I'm curious, and a ballpark figure will be fine. Thanks again for your input!
    Last edited by Kev; 03-19-2016 at 10:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    apache junction arizona
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    We'll I see your in Glendale but it would be with it to call hoppers in Tempe!
    Their youngest mechanic has been with them about 20 yrs!
    They specialize in the older style vehicles,,,,, especially MUSCLE CARS. VAROOOOOOM
    Im back to the drawing board
    STAY TUNED!

  3. 02-26-2016, 06:44 PM

    Reason
    Duplicate post

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    83rd Ave. and Camelback
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    Get rid of that module. They fail. Drop an HEI distributor in it. Then go wheelin.
    Jeff

    Drink More Water

  5. #4
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    Dec 2006
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by azgypsy View Post
    We'll I see your in Glendale but it would be with it to call hoppers in Tempe!
    Their youngest mechanic has been with them about 20 yrs!
    They specialize in the older style vehicles,,,,, especially MUSCLE CARS. VAROOOOOOM
    Is there an echo in here?
    Jeff

    Drink More Water

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Maricopa
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    It's the other side of the valley but give John at All Start Electric in Chandler a call (480-892-9331) if the HEI doesn't fix it for you.

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    North Phoenix
    Posts
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    CJ wiring is rathersimple (fwiw, I currently own 6 with this systen, lots spare stuff including modules / harnesses)

    At firewall, you have two "supply" wires that go into module
    Large red - key/ignition on
    Blue- powered when in "start" position

    Red wire to coil through resistor , supplies 6v (OEM wire has built in resistance, if not, should go through resistor)
    Green to "-" coil
    Others to distributor
    Last edited by OlneyJeeps; 02-27-2016 at 05:49 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by amber.hodge View Post
    Steve is so innocent. Its really cute, actually. Ah to be a kid again....
    "anyone who says they know everything about anything is either a fool or a liar"

  8. #7

    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    if you can not find someone to do this work let me know, i am in the far northwest valley and am reasonably priced.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    North Phoenix
    Posts
    8,409

    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    Is Jeep"home"?

    Take stuff out of loop

    Unplug "in" to module ( 2 wire)
    Un plug "out"
    Unplug at dirtributor
    Disconnect both coil wires

    Connect battery
    "Zap"? - problem is inside dash
    Ig on, should have 12v red "in" wire
    Start position - 12v to blue wire

    Connect "in" pigtail
    Zap- prob in module

    Make pos lead (wire to power)
    Pigtail at distributor should bedisconnected
    Touch pos lead / wire to each of pins on out harness (what pligs to module pigtail).... should be no spark ( testing for. Short in harness)

    Connect harness to module
    Should have 6v on red wire ( where connects to coil )

    With ice pick probe, connected to pos of battery, probe end to green that would connect to coil
    Crank
    Probe should blink (intermittant ground as cranks)


    Plan B - bring Jeep too my place cave creek / greenway)
    Quote Originally Posted by amber.hodge View Post
    Steve is so innocent. Its really cute, actually. Ah to be a kid again....
    "anyone who says they know everything about anything is either a fool or a liar"

  10. #9
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    Note - modules can be tested at OReally's / Autozone

    I might also suspect pick up in distributor (flash test I gave)
    Quote Originally Posted by amber.hodge View Post
    Steve is so innocent. Its really cute, actually. Ah to be a kid again....
    "anyone who says they know everything about anything is either a fool or a liar"

  11. #10
    Join Date
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    Location
    Durango, CO
    Posts
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    You will be gray hairs and $$$ ahead by dropping in an HEI conversion distributor/ignition. Yes you obviously have an issue but when you disconnect the module and if the power wires are fine, you won't need the rest.
    My name is Daniel. I pretty much STILL do what I want.

  12. #11
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by ZJROCKRIG View Post
    You will be gray hairs and $$$ ahead by dropping in an HEI conversion distributor/ignition. Yes you obviously have an issue but when you disconnect the module and if the power wires are fine, you won't need the rest.
    I doubt he is getting good info / frying modules. If he is, he needs to fond short.... if it is under his dash, something will fry, motocraft or hei or edntired harness. Changing the end user does not eliminate the problem- by his info, btween the switch and the box, there is a short.
    Quote Originally Posted by amber.hodge View Post
    Steve is so innocent. Its really cute, actually. Ah to be a kid again....
    "anyone who says they know everything about anything is either a fool or a liar"

  13. #12
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    Location
    Durango, CO
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    If it was between his dash (pinched wire etc) and module, he would be smoking that wire lead. Appears to be between module and dist. As the module has power only with KO and KS.

    Or there is some power wire feeding where it should not on the module. It fries when the battery is hooked up.

    Question to the OP. Do you have a factory tachometer?

  14. #13
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    .

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Glendale
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    Factory tach, currently disconnected according to the shop.

  16. #15
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    Re: Out of the saddle...again! CJ7 electrical trouble

    IIRC the tach once disconnected will need to be plugged back into the harness. There are 2 - gauge red hot wires that are connected to the tach with F/M plug ends. If the tach is disconnected there, those need to be plugged into each other. Possibly one of those could be shorted against something.
    My name is Daniel. I pretty much STILL do what I want.

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