Special wiring mystery

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by Colin Mackinnon, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Bought a 2005 Jeep Liberty recently and have a few mysterious wiring and sound system modifications that continue to cause problems. The car has:
    a Blue Ox tow plate installed with a standard wiring connector time the RV
    A Brakebuddy classic braking system with standard wiring connectir
    Two power amplifiers for the sound system. Can’t tell if they are working or not.
    A relay custom connected to the interior fuse panel. See picture attached. After cleaning up all the connectors to it I was able to get the low beams working. The instrument panel lights still don’t work. The overhead interior light is always on and the drivers floor light is lit at night when the headlights are on.
    wonder why the custom relay was installed. It’s a VF4 85F11. Any ideas what might be going on?
     

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  2. mrlavalamp

    mrlavalamp Full Access Member

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    I hope you got a good deal on it because chasing electrical gremlins is fun. Not only do you get to figure what they did and how to undo it, but then you also get to figure out what the real problem was that caused them to start messing with it, and fix that too.

    I know tons about car audio, and very little about braking/towing systems, but I am an electrical contractor so I have some idea about reading diagrams/how electricity works.

    The relay that is missing would be for your daytime running lights, if your jeep was equipped with those, if not it should have been left blank at the factory and there should be no terminals inside the block for the relay to actually connect to.

    The weird relay that is wired in is going to fuses 4 and 5 which should be right and left low beams.

    so it looks like they had a problem with low beam relay and for whatever reason they had to find a way to bypass it all together and get the low beams working (even at the expense of high beams and daytime running lamps).

    Do your high beams work?

    If so, then you probably just need to replace the low beam relay and the low beam fuses to restore that system to "factory" and get this scab off your fuse panel.

    If NOT, then you also need to replace the daytime running lamp relay as well.

    That white and black wire is going to a parking lamp fuse so likely how they restored running lights since they removed the relay.

    I am out of time, but the overhead/interior lamps, perhaps something is coming back through a common ground or something.
     
  3. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    Quit a mess...I know my electronics but cannot work out what they are trying to do with that relay hanging there. I would try to get everything back to stock!

    The overhead light problem and the cluster lights problem can be as simple as rotating the end of the Left Stalk...the one you pull towards you to activate High Beams.

    At the end of this stalk, Multifunction Switch, are two rotating dials....I forget which one does what...they are to dim the cluster lights and to control the interior lights. The Glove Box should have the Owners Manual hiding horizontally inside it which many owners have never located...see if you have yours to get an explanation of what these switches do or just experiment with them.

    Download the 2005 Jeep KJ Service Manual here....there is a section that explains these switches, Section 8L and Section 8W has the Wiring Diagrams that you will need to resolve your wiring issues.

    Is this a Canadian model and do you live in Canada? There you need to have Daylight Running Lights which needs to have a large relay plugged into that empty position.

    The Wiring diagrams will show the connections.


    www.colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  4. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    I hope you got a good deal on it because chasing electrical gremlins is fun. Not only do you get to figure what they did and how to undo it, but then you also get to figure out what the real problem was that caused them to start messing with it, and fix that too.

    I know tons about car audio, and very little about braking/towing systems, but I am an electrical contractor so I have some idea about reading diagrams/how electricity works.

    The relay that is missing would be for your daytime running lights, if your jeep was equipped with those, if not it should have been left blank at the factory and there should be no terminals inside the block for the relay to actually connect to.

    The weird relay that is wired in is going to fuses 4 and 5 which should be right and left low beams.

    so it looks like they had a problem with low beam relay and for whatever reason they had to find a way to bypass it all together and get the low beams working (even at the expense of high beams and daytime running lamps).

    Do your high beams work?

    The high beams work OK.

    If so, then you probably just need to replace the low beam relay and the low beam fuses to restore that system to "factory" and get this scab off your fuse panel.

    Thats my most recent conclusion. There are a couple of posts online that describe installing a scab relay to avoid digging out the low beam relay which I understand is a bear to replace.

    If NOT, then you also need to replace the daytime running lamp relay as well.

    That white and black wire is going to a parking lamp fuse so likely how they restored running lights since they removed the relay.

    That 10 amp parking lamp fuse keeps blowing so I'm going to try a 15 amp to see if it stops. Then when the replacement low beam relay comes in I will try to put things back to factory. And when it blows I lose the right side parking and right side brake lights plus the console (speedo/odo) lights. Also the dim overhead lights are always on regardless of whether day or night. They do adjust with the inner ring on the left side light arm.

    What I failed to mention is that the prior owner also installed LED side lights right/left front/rear to use for illumination when camping. I havent checked yet but I still dont know where they might be fused if at all. The switches for them are on the ceiling right in front of the sunroof switch. There are three custom switches, one for left side LED a second for right side LED and the third for "Mystery purpose".


    I am out of time, but the overhead/interior lamps, perhaps something is coming back through a common ground or something.[/QUOTE]
     
  5. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Bought a spare multifunction switch but it doesn't improve the problem. Am working on fuses and relays. Fuse 9 has been blowing.
     
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  6. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    OK so I presume that after you replaced the Multifunction switch you read up on how to move the switch-end rotary switches to adjust the cluster lighting and to switch the interior lights On/Off but you still do not have Cluster lights and internal lights are On all the time?

    Is this a Canada model that normally has the Daylight Running Lamps relay fitted?

    Overhead Reading Lights and Cargo Bay lights are turned ON/OFF by pressing the light covers firmly usually.
     
  7. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Familiar with multi-function switch operation.

    Picking up low beam relay and some 15 amp fuses today to try that.

    Thx
     
  8. mrlavalamp

    mrlavalamp Full Access Member

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    I am always hesitant to increase fuse sizes in OEM systems, not very risky in cars, but in my day job it's only to be done carefully and with full review of what else is on the circuit (no one wants to turn a nuisance fuse/breaker trip into a house fire now do they).

    Sounds to me like it is time to start taking all the trim panels and covers off and trace back all of the modifications done. There is more than one problem here.

    You could spend days pouring over wiring diagrams (section 8w in the service manuals at the link bill posted) and exploring the theory of what is happening here, but ultimately you will likely spend less time just going through each and every modification done and checking it.

    Chances are you are going to find all sorts of weird wiring "fixes" like the one in your fuse panel.
     
  9. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    It is usually not a major issue to slightly increase the size of the fuses in the KJ. Looking through the wiring diagrams of all the different year KJs over the last many years I have noticed that sometimes a newer model KJ has a slightly larger fuse shown in the wiring diagram than the earlier model...supplying the exact same components!
    Jeep may have put out TSBs for this but did not bother to tell anybody about them!

    In the Mainframe Computer industry we sometimes slightly upgraded the fuses and sometimes we fitted the same rating fuse but used "Slow Blow" fuses that catered for an initial surge in current draw when the fuse supplied a capacitive circuit!

    Also some fuses had to be replaced as a part of scheduled maintenance in critical applications as the manufacturers figured that these fuses degraded over time.

    I carried a range of DC Circuit Breakers in my tool bag so I could reset the breaker while fault finding....must be DC Circuit Breakers!

    I know that DC fuses can be bought at various component suppliers but I doubt that they carry "Slow Blow" fuses!;)
     
  10. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Thx
    As of yesterday I had tried a new Low beam relay without success. I tried a 15 amp fuse for #9 and it blew. I noticed that the scab relay (see photo above) has a 25amp fuse included with it. I’m reasoning that I can’t connect any of that relays lugs to a lower capacity fuse without a problem. The two lugs that attach to #4 and #5 are only feeding the component side of the fuse. The one attached to #9 is scabbed to one side of a fuse ( that blows right now). So I will try to connect it to only one side and see if that works. If not I’m on to checking search of the parts of #9, right parking light and tail light for continuity and draw. Fingers crossed.?What pain. Great car otherwise. Only 64k original miles. But I have to get a handle on the mods.
     
  11. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Now that I am further into this thing, all of your comments are spot on and really helpful. Here's what I now know:
    The replacement low beam relay (that was missing when I looked for it) didn't work, so I removed it.
    I replaced the scab relay and reconnected all the legs. Two to one side each of the low beam (fuses 4 and 5) and 1 scabbed to the #9 the parking lamp fuse itself ( also controls console lights and right rear tail lamp).
    I also realized that there's a 25 amp fuse between the scab relay and the splitter to the to low beam fuse legs on #4 and #5.
    I also used a 15 amp fuse for #9 instead of the 10 amp.
    After starting up the car everything works except the first AND second click of the multi-function switch turns on the low beams. The inner ring controls all the console lights. After driving for a minute or two, the #9 fuse blows and I lose low beams, right parking light, and right tail light. first click of multi now gives me right parking light and second click plus pulling the stick gives me high beams.
    Today i will check right parking light and tail light for continuity and load after replacing the #9fuse. Also will check the bundle of ground wires and red wires scabbed to the battery itself.
    The external modded LED lights don't seem to be fused as far as I can tell.
    It seems obvious that the low beam relay went south sometime in the past and was scabbed to get back at least some of the functionality. I'm still not giving up on this thing until I understand what's going on. The two audio power amplifiers as well as the front and rear tow gear additions must be accounted for as well. Don't need them until April fortunately.
    Do you have any further insight? Thanks for the connection to some help. Really glad you guys are on the forum.
     
  12. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    OK I would personally pull off that hanging relay and return everything back to original and then go through the Wiring Diagrams to find the original problem.

    Then if this is a Canadian model I would fit an original OEM relay into that empty position and diagnose the original problem.

    I read on one of the Jeep Forums some time ago that this Relay...Daytime Running Lights for Canadian models....is a special Solid State Relay ie. does not use a coil and moving contacts but switches via Transistors!
    Canadian owners here could pull their relay and measure the "coil" pins to see if it reads like a normal coil and like wise read the "Normaly Open Contact" to see if it is open.

    If not a Canada model then leave that slot empty but otherwise get the proper relay from a Dealer or Breaker Yard....it may be relevant if this is supposed to be a Solid State Relay.!:confused:
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  13. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Determined that its not a Canadian Model. I Traced a bad license plate lamp and put it a new one. No change.
    Fuse #9 still blows after driving the car for a few minutes with low beams on. After replacing the #9 fuse (and the scab wire), when turning the multifunction light switch (MFS) on to the first position, the low beams come on instead of the parking lights. Then when selecting the second position, the low beams stay on. After blown fuse I get no low beams (high beams work on second click position and pulling MFS toward me) and right side parking light, right side tail light, and dash lights and second MFS ring dimmers no longer work (except for odo). Havent yet gotten the fuse to blow with just the key on.

    Today I will remove the LED lamps from the map lights and replace with normal lamps. Suspect that there might be an HID lamp hack going on with the headlights. The overhead unit with the compass/etc. was removed to accomodate the switches for the outside lights, I removed the power and ground cables for those from the battery posts. Also believe additional battery post cables that I removed were for the two power amplifiers that I removed as well. The stereo still works indicating that the amps were disabled at some point as well. The beat goes on.
     
  14. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    Good Luck....too weird and too many issues for me to try follow!:confused:
     
  15. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Thanks for all your help. I’ll get to the bottom of it.
     
  16. mrlavalamp

    mrlavalamp Full Access Member

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    If fuse 9 is tied to your BOTH your low beams then that is likely your issue with the fuse blowing. Each low beam should be on its own 10amp fuse (#4 and #5). upload_2020-1-1_11-15-17.png

    Certainly seems like some wires have been swapped around during an HID job or other mod.

    Have you compared your wiring to the manuals wiring diagrams?

    Maybe have a look around under the dash/steering column to see what else they may have scabbed on under there. Look for vampire splices especially, the trademark of the half assed accessory install.
     
  17. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    This one is so wacky, but now I'm pissed off at the stupidity. Here's the latest:
    I've finally got everything working using the scab system for now- sort of. When the MFS stalk is turned one click for the parking lights, the low beams and right rear tail light and dim dash console lights all work and fuse doesn't blow. But I dont dare use the inner ring on the stalk.
    I removed all the scab wiring to the battery. No longer have the two (why?) stereo power amps connected. (aftermarket Sherwood stereo still works fine without them).
    I disconnected the map light (and am replacing the modified overhead console with the OEM one)
    I noticed that the car has fog lights althoiugh the installed MFS is the wrong one. No on switch for the fogs.
     
  18. mrlavalamp

    mrlavalamp Full Access Member

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    2 amps vs 1 amp is a cost vs. power vs. size choice. It is easier (cheaper) to get large amounts of power out of (2) 2 channel amps vs (1) 4 channel amp.

    Some amps pass-through just as well (meaning when they are off the signal goes through and speaker still works). There are many variations on amps and wiring methods though.

    When you turn on parking lamps, fuse #7 and #9 is powered (this is first click on MFS), it should power the front turns (low), side markers, cluster, and tail lights.

    Low beams should not be on this fuse and should instead be wired to fuse 4 and 5. YOU NEED TO GET THE LOW BEAMS OFF THIS CIRCUIT TO STOP THE FUSE BLOWING.

    The inner ring on the MFS should dim the console and activate overhead lights when you turn it all the way up to the click.

    Fuses aren't blowing when you have it off because the change in voltage vs. running. The resistance in your loads aren't changing, when the jeep is off your battery is probably around 12.5volts, and when it is running your alternator pushes that voltage up to around 14.5V. keeping the resistance the same, increasing this voltage leads to almost 2 amp increase in load. I dont know what margin Chrysler built into the fuse sizes here, but typically we use 80% as the max loading in commercial/industrial, so if this circuit is designed to that 80% then 2 amps puts you over 10 amps pretty easily when you factor in these are all rough numbers (and they may use less safety factor too).

    Do you have a multi meter and do you know how to use it?
    Have you looked at the manual yet?

    If the jeep were sitting in my driveway, my next steps would be to print out the manual pages go pull all the covers around the fuse panel and start tracing wires. You have it narrowed down as much as you can remotely I think, you are going to have to go hunting for what was mixed up. Without the diagrams and the actual problem sitting in front of you, you could trace these diagrams all day and still have no idea where the actual cross over happened (and usually you can find the shitty modifications because they are poorly done and then its just a matter of setting it right using the manual as your guide).

    for example: The diagram below is for the headlights. You will need to trace back the wire colors starting at a place like this and follow along with the diagrams to verify everything is right. Dont trust that the wire loom looks undisturbed, it is easy to hide a splice in those.

    upload_2020-1-7_10-36-49.png
     
  19. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    You would need the correct Multifunction switch to enable a Factory fitted Fog Lamp installation....I don't think having the basic switch should cause any problems but I will check the logics.....I had a look and the basic Multifunction Switch should not cause any problems.

    You should be able to wire the Fog Lamps in yourself with a separate switch/relay.

    Page 8W-50-9 shows Fuse #19 in the Junction Block and a Front Fog Lamp Relay likewise in the Junction Block that gets energized via the BCM on page 8W-45-4.
    So you could buy the correct Multi Function Switch for front Fog Lamps and try get that to work to power up that relay...which may or may not be there...or fit a separate switch to power up this relay or fit a separate switch and relay!

    Well done by the way for the good progress you have made....you have more patience than I have!;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  20. Colin Mackinnon

    Colin Mackinnon New Member

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    Thx again for you input. I work Friday-sun so I’ll be back on this tomorrow. I also receive the correct MFS tomorrow- the one they supply that includes the fog lamps. Also I suspect the scab relay is using one pole of the DRl relay socket. I replaced the entire overhead console to eliminate a mess of mods there and now also use the stock lamps rather than the led upgrades. Also removed the mid and rear courtesy fixtures as they also contained LEDs. So far so good. At least no blown fuses for a week when driving at night.
    I do have a multi-meter and plan to trace as you have suggested. The manual is now on my laptop as well.