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ZJ and WJ Grand Cherokees (1993 - 2004) Technical forum for the classic ZJ and WJ Grand Cherokees.

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  #1  
Old January 15th, 2021, 14:23
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Cottontail Cottontail is offline
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Alarm

Got in the '98 ZJ this morning and the battery was low, but the truck turned over. Drove 3 miles and stopped at the gas station for a drink and shut it off.

The truck locked itself, and the key fob wouldn't unlock the Jeep. I opened it manually knowing that the alarm would sound until I fired it up. Well, it wouldn't fire up, so the alarm kept whining. It would fire and then cut off immediately.

I read that if the battery was low enough that it may not be able to read the key fob, so I did two things: (1) put brand new batteries in the fob, and (2) jumped the car with the help of a guy at the gas station. Neither worked.

I also read about putting the key in the door lock for 30 seconds to let the vehicle "relearn" the key to confirm it is not being stolen. That didn't work. Unplugged the battery and left the truck for about 2 1/2 hours. Came back with a known good battery from my XJ and put it in. All the same things. No key fob recognition, no start, and the alarm honking away.

I had it towed to my house and it is in the garage now. Unfortunately when I was pushing it with the XJ I ended up denting the tailgate (which pissed me off more.)

Any suggestions at all on how to get this thing up and running again and to override the alarm system and use the key fob again?
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  #2  
Old January 16th, 2021, 07:16
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OverlandZJ OverlandZJ is offline
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Re: Alarm

Lock/unlock a few times in hatch lock using key.. that's what works to disable my security system on all 3 of my ZJ's.
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  #3  
Old January 16th, 2021, 08:43
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Cottontail Cottontail is offline
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Re: Alarm

Is it possible to permanently override the alarm feature? I eventually, after about 20 minutes of fiddling, got it to stop by unlocking the passenger door with the key. The key fob still is not being recognized.
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  #4  
Old January 17th, 2021, 06:28
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OverlandZJ OverlandZJ is offline
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Re: Alarm

I'm not sure Dirk, my ZJ's never gave me trouble like your explaining. I have seen many threads on deactivating the alarm, and what i remember it involves cutting a purple wire.. some seemed to have success while others had not. This is my impression from glancing over a few threads..

I'm bewildered why your fob no longer works after a battery replacement.. and the dealer is the only way to program the 96+ fob's. But we both know ZJ's can do some strange things with a low charge on battery.. have you charged it?

I also only remember the auto lock feature working in my old 98 when the vehicle hits 20mph or so, never from shutting off ignition.

Have you inquired at JF? Few of those guys are very familiar with most issues.

Sorry i'm not more help.
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  #5  
Old January 17th, 2021, 07:41
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Re: Alarm

It's all good. I appreciate your help. I do remember reading something about cutting a purple wire also, but I'd like to avoid that. I'll have to check the autolock feature. I know my '96 ZJ and my '06 XK both autolock at 15 mph. I have to assume the '98 does also.

I did put in a fully charged battery from my XJ and the fob still doesn't work. That's random. I'm 99% sure that I have a parasitic draw from somewhere that is draining the battery if I don't drive it for a couple days.

I have heard this part clicking after shutting the truck off on occasion. It's not an every time kind of thing, though. It's located on the drivers side inner fender well next to the airbox. I can't figure out what it is or what it does.

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  #6  
Old January 17th, 2021, 09:18
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Re: Alarm

Turns out this Jeep doesn’t autolock at 15 mph. Wiring issues I’m sure.
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  #7  
Old January 20th, 2021, 07:55
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Re: Alarm

I've not had any issues with the Jeep for a few days, until yesterday. I drove it fine all day, stopped for dinner, and when I came out there was no battery power at all. As I fiddled with it I found a bad battery cable. I've rectified that and hope that has been the source of all my issues. However, the key fob is still inoperable.
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  #8  
Old January 27th, 2021, 17:34
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NW-ZJ-SCOTT NW-ZJ-SCOTT is offline
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Re: Alarm

Great info here. Thanks for the update!
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  #9  
Old April 16th, 2021, 12:00
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Re: Alarm

Turns out there is a sensor in the door lock mechanism that will go bad. It is currently out of production. I’m hoping I can just remove it and be done. In the meantime I’ve learned that if the alarm goes off that locking and unlocking the tailgate with the key will shut down the alarm
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  #10  
Old April 17th, 2021, 05:42
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OverlandZJ OverlandZJ is offline
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Re: Alarm

That evap solenoid is supposed to click, i looked it up myself years ago as i was also curious. Dont remember anything more about it tho.. getting old.

There's a local kid who has a side gig and shop i'v been dealing with for wrenching on my rig these days, he also parts out/flips ZJ's. Got a pic of that sensor ya need, i'll see if i can help you out.
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  #11  
Old April 17th, 2021, 15:10
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Re: Alarm

Sounds good. I’m not pulling it back into the garage until all my parts show up from Rockauto and I can push hard to do everything. I’ll tear into then.
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  #12  
Old April 20th, 2021, 13:19
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Re: Alarm

i found a ton of these pigtails at the junkyard yesterday but they are so brittle that every one of them broke when trying to remove it from the lock cylinder.
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  #13  
Old April 20th, 2021, 13:21
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Re: Alarm

Also, should have noted that the ZJ's that are equipped with them have the pigtail on BOTH front doors and they are universal from 93-98.
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