Battery Terminals and Cables

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Glad we have wives understanding enough to stick around...You, biggman100 and I apply a good deal of time to our automotive subjects!  Ah, but think of the expense we've saved our households by not farming out automotive repairs and by doing our own troubleshooting!

 

Moses

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I have a 2006 Wrangler TJ 4.0 with 6 speed. About 6 to 8 weeks ago, I ran into a very troublesome electrical problem which I haven't been able to solve. However to try to fix it I put in my own ground system after taking some hints from other posts. here's what I did:

 

Using all 4 gage cable I mounted a 3/8 in brass bolt on to the fender with brass nuts and washers after wire brushing (elec) both sides. This became my main ground point. I then made cables and ran my neg battery cable to this point followed by the tub, engine, frame , etc cables. I just had the cables crimped at an auto parts store. Each terminal was shrink wrapped.  Once these were done I covered all bare metal and connection points with clear lacquer (borrowed from aircraft industry).

 

The results: the jeep has NEVER run better and lights are brighter.  However my original problem, no interior lights, no gages is still here. My radio, heater, cruise and exterior lights and directionals all good.  So I have a decent ground system but need some help on this other stuff.  Thanks, Hobiecat. 

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Nice work on that ground circuit, Hobiecat...Regarding your gauges and interior light problem, sounds like a connection issue.  Do the test of these circuits from the point you know you have current (Power Distribution Box, for example) and trace outward to the device (gauges, interior light socket and so forth) with a volt-ohmmeter and continuity test...To save time, check for continuity over long wiring circuits then narrow it down to where a circuit is "open".  Don't rule out simple items like fuses at the Power Box...

 

The gauge connector behind the instrument panel is a known issue on the TJ and XJ Cherokee, and there are other electrical gremlins with the TJ Wrangler.  I did a magazine article on the connector fix for the gauges on an XJ Cherokee.  Some TJ Wranglers suffer the same fate, and often, just an unplug and re-plug after cleaning contacts with Mopar electrical cleaner is enough to get the connector to behave.  Otherwise, here's the XJ Cherokee fix, which is similar to the Wrangler:  http://www.4wdmechanix.com/How-to-XJ-Cherokee-Erratic-Gauges-Fix.html.  The gauge connector is a possibility; however, on an '06 model, I'd look for a much simpler fix first. 

 

Any aftermarket installations like a sound system, add-on lighting or an alarm system?  These can often be a source of trouble due to poor connections or bad splicing of wires.  On a vehicle as new as yours, I'd look closely at anything added aftermarket that could interrupt circuits or create shorts and opens in the electrical circuits.

 

Talking about splices, I recently heard of a unique way to moisture proof wire splices.  I'll throw this out there for use where practical.  The suggestion came from a retired electronics specialist and AT&T wire splicer:

 

1) Make a clean strip of each wire end and overlap the two wires with ends facing toward each other—think butt connection without the butt connector.

 

2) Place heat shrink well up the wire, away from soldering heat, for use after soldering the two wires together.

 

3) Solder the wires with rosin core solder or rosin flux and solder for electrical connections.

 

4) Take a heat glue gun and run a thin, even bead of hot glue over the soldered joint.  Allow to cool.

 

5) Place the heat shrink tubing in position over the soldered and glue-coated joint; shrink down the tubing for a good seal.

 

The hot glue, once cooled, forms a barrier that resists corrosion wicking up the wires' insulation.  (Corrosion is otherwise hidden beneath the heat shrink tubing.)  On critical circuits like EFI PCM wires and for electronic modules that are hypersensitive to voltage fluctuations and ohms resistance, this anti-corrosive barrier would be better than heat shrink tubing alone.  Something to consider...

 

Moses

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