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  #1  
Old January 12th, 2018, 16:54
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XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

I've been having issues with a lot of electrical stuff on my XJ: windows barely move up or down, door lock switch doesn't lock or unlock anything, painfully slow wipers on both ends, blinkers don't blink all the time, cruise control and headlights work when they feel like it, etc.

Took it to the shop today and they suggest a battery as a starting point (OK. Got 4-5 years on this one) and said I was "missing the grounding strap from the neg battery side to the chassis."

I've had this XJ since new in 88. It's NEVER had a "grounding strap." Huh? Does this help electrical issues? Was it supposed to be OEM? Legit claim?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old January 12th, 2018, 16:55
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ehall ehall is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

I don't know about RENIX but HO has ground points from battery to fender, battery to engine, and engine to firewall
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  #3  
Old January 12th, 2018, 18:06
HttpWayne HttpWayne is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

My 2000 Didn't have a ground strap when I took it to the dealer to fix something else at one point and they put that strap on there. I didn't have any problems with it before or after as a result.

Be careful. Bad batteries kill alternators, and bad alternators kill batteries. Replace your batteries at the right intervals or you'll also find yourself needing to replace the alternator. Maybe you can stretch it a year. Something I recommend is don't core charge your battery. You can get a good battery charger and keep the old one. Just check the water levels and top it off with distilled, then charge it. Then let it trickle charge for a few days. I've brought batteries that were below 11 or 10 volts back up to new doing that. And then, if I have some other problem and my battery is dead in the morning, I swap the batteries and rinse and repeat on the freshly dead one. Works awesome.

..and I just recalled, older XJ's in those 80's era had too small of an alternator to battery cable. I myself have done the "Big 3" upgrade. You can Google it and find out, but over time if your cable is too small it will oxidize and add more resistance to your charging system, which creates a voltage drop. Everything you're saying indicates a voltage drop. Eric The Car Guy shows you a quick and easy test for diagnosing if the positive or negative lead, or both, are creating voltage drops in your charging system so you know which one needs changed. All you do is use the multimeter leads to alternate between the battery's Positive and the Alternator's neg., and vice versa. You should see a good charge (13.5 or higher if you ask me) on both. If one is 12.7 and the other is 13.5 you have a problem. A battery just sitting in your engine bay should be 12.5 already.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 18:20
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wgregt View Post
I've been having issues with a lot of electrical stuff on my XJ: windows barely move up or down, door lock switch doesn't lock or unlock anything, painfully slow wipers on both ends, blinkers don't blink all the time, cruise control and headlights work when they feel like it, etc.

Took it to the shop today and they suggest a battery as a starting point (OK. Got 4-5 years on this one) and said I was "missing the grounding strap from the neg battery side to the chassis."

I've had this XJ since new in 88. It's NEVER had a "grounding strap." Huh? Does this help electrical issues? Was it supposed to be OEM? Legit claim?

Thanks!
There should be a ground from the battery to the block and a somewhat flimsy strap from the back of the head off one of the head bolts to the firewall. That strap tends to fall apart over time and cause the symptoms you describe. I would suggest adding another strap from the battery to the fender or firewall. Also have a look at Cruiser54s writeup for the ground point under the dash as well.

http://cruiser54.com/?p=19
http://cruiser54.com/?p=110


For the headlights, consider installing a few relays driven by the headlight switch. The oem headlight wiring and the switch were under-designed and drops a fair amount of voltage even when it works. The upgrade will help the stock headlights and are needed if you want to go brighter. A set of drop in autopal e-code housings from eBay for $30 will also help immensely. I run napa house brand 55/100 H4 bulbs in mine and have great long distance deer spotting highbeams, and low beams with a great cutoff that don't blind oncoming drivers.
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  #5  
Old January 12th, 2018, 19:46
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

I was told the battery has 11V now. But, it starts the XJ just fine. Never dragged on the key start or left me stranded.
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  #6  
Old January 12th, 2018, 20:21
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

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Originally Posted by wgregt View Post
I was told the battery has 11V now. But, it starts the XJ just fine. Never dragged on the key start or left me stranded.
honestly if it had 11 volts it wouldnt start the car.
I know some batteries have backup circuits.
and sometimes deep cells can really push if it has enough cca's
but you really need it at 12.4-12.8v
go get a voltmeter and check it.
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  #7  
Old January 12th, 2018, 20:58
lawagoneer lawagoneer is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Your 88 will have a ground from the battery to the passenger side of the engine block where it bolts to the block where the oil dipstick bolts. There is also a ground from the back of the head to the firewall. Many of us with Renix Jeeps add an additional ground from the battery to the chassis. Also upgrading to larger cables, positive, ground and alternator to battery greatly improve the electrons journey thru the electrical system. Renix Jeeps more than others are sensitive to bad grounds and can have all sorts of weird problems from bad grounds.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 22:13
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wgregt wgregt is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Hmmm. The tech told me the battery was holding at 11V. Maybe it was while it was running? Not sure. I'll follow up.
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  #9  
Old January 12th, 2018, 23:59
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

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Originally Posted by wgregt View Post
Hmmm. The tech told me the battery was holding at 11V. Maybe it was while it was running? Not sure. I'll follow up.
running it should be 13-14volts. not more than 15.

if you have a mechanic that told you the battery was holding at 11 volts and said that was fine. get a new mechanic.
if a battery even starts the car with 11 volts. your one lucky man it its got way more cca than the car. but its not gonna work in less than 20 cranks.
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  #10  
Old January 13th, 2018, 06:27
HttpWayne HttpWayne is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wgregt View Post
I was told the battery has 11V now. But, it starts the XJ just fine. Never dragged on the key start or left me stranded.
Your alternator is going to work overtime to keep that guy going. Get a battery charger and start charging it nightly until it's at 12.5 for a couple of days. It's cheaper than an alternator and another battery (remember, when one is dying they're both dying). Also be sure to check the water levels under the cap (careful not to spill it, there's sulfuric acid in there and it will eat through anything it gets on, wearing a face shield and a jacket with gloves is always a good idea but I never do personally because I'm just careful).

You want to make sure the water comes up to the bottom of the cylinders. I'm sure you'll find a few cells that are too low. Use a funnel and pour very slowly. It doesn't take much usually.

And yes, tell that mechanic he is fired. Your battery shouldn't be below 12.3 if it's a couple of years old. All mine are 3-5 years old and 12.7 because I charge and water them. I'm going to see how long I can make them last just by maintaining them.
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  #11  
Old January 13th, 2018, 09:32
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Renix does not have a direct strap from the battery to the chassis. The battery goes over to the bolt that holds the dipstick. That is the critical point. There is a braided strap from the drivers side rear of the head over to the firewall.

A battery sitting at 11v while not running is not fully charged. Start it and measure. You should be 13-14v which indicates charging. If not give it a few minutes of running and try again. It may be a bit lower if the battery is sucking juice during a charge. Pop the battery caps and make sure every cell has water up to the ring. Ideally fill with distilled water. Never use bottled drinking water. They add chemicals to make it taste better, one of which contains calcium and it will weaken the battery acid.

Clean the battery terminals, inside and out, reinstall and make sure they are tight. Remove the terminals on the dipstick connection and wire brush them. Look at the large wires to make sure they are not corroded and eaten away.

After that, take it to Autozone and have them do a battery/charging check of the vehicle. It is free.
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  #12  
Old January 19th, 2018, 14:49
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Rob Mayercik Rob Mayercik is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_man View Post
Renix does not have a direct strap from the battery to the chassis. The battery goes over to the bolt that holds the dipstick. That is the critical point. There is a braided strap from the drivers side rear of the head over to the firewall.
Just wondering here, is there any reason why he couldn't add the HO-style ground between battery negative and chassis?
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  #13  
Old January 19th, 2018, 15:24
lawagoneer lawagoneer is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Mayercik View Post
Just wondering here, is there any reason why he couldn't add the HO-style ground between battery negative and chassis?
No, a lot of us Renix guys do just that.
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  #14  
Old January 21st, 2018, 08:24
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ParadiseXJ ParadiseXJ is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

I have the usual ground points (4 ga. battery to block, 4 ga. block to firewall) and added one battery to chassis and alternator to battery. When I did this things worked better all around.
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  #15  
Old January 21st, 2018, 19:25
lawagoneer lawagoneer is offline
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Re: XJ battery strap from neg post to chassis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParadiseXJ View Post
I have the usual ground points (4 ga. battery to block, 4 ga. block to firewall) and added one battery to chassis and alternator to battery. When I did this things worked better all around.
The factory really cheaper out on the grounds. Beefing them up and adding more con only help. Many of my funky issues went away with the better grounds and replacing my cables.
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