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CHECK THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER FOR POWER TO GAUGES TO SEE IF THEY WORK WHILE IGNITION IS IN THE ON POSITION.IF NO CHECK THE 40 AMP IGNITION FUSE.IF FUSE GOOD IGNITION SWITCH IS BAD OR HAS A LOOSE OR BROKEN WIRE.IF FUSE GOOD ALL GAUGES IS WORKING.I BE LOOKING AT STARTER AND STARTER SOLENOID.REMOVE THEM HAVE AUTO ZONE TEST STARTER.OR YOU CAN GET A REMOTE STARTER SWITCH AND SET OF BATTERY CABLES.HOOK BATTERY CABLES TO A BATTERY.WITH STARTER OUT OF CAR TAKE BATTERY CABLES HOOK NEGATIVE BATTERY TO STARTER BODY FOR GOOD GROUND.TAKE POSITIVE BATTERY CABLE HOOK TO STARTER POSITIVE TERMINAL WHERE POSITIVE BATTERY CABLE GOES.THEN HOOK THE REMOTE SWITCH RED WIRE TO STARTER POSITIVE TERMINAL AND THE OTHER REMOTE SWITCH WIRE TO THE S OR SWITCH TERMINAL ON STARTER SOLENOID.PRESS THE REMOTE SWITCH IS STARTER RUNS GOOD WITH NO FUNNY NOISES ITS GOOD IF STARTER DONT RUN THE STARTER SOLENOID OR STARTER IS BAD. THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR CAR COULD BE A BAD KEY TRY ANOTHER KEY YOUR CAR HAS THE THEFT DETERRENT MODULE SYSTEM BEST TO HAVE CAR SCAN TO CHECK THE THEFT SECURITY MODULE AND THE TRANSMISSION NEUTRAL SAFETY SWITCH IF ITS BAD STARTER WONT WORK.ALSO CHECK THE THEFT DETERRENT MODULE RELAY. BEFORE REMOVING BATTERY CABLES TURN OFF RADIO SO YOU WONT LOSE YOUR RADIO PLAYING CODE.
You know what I have seen a couple of cases with a Jeep cherokee where it was the computer on the pass side firewall where water would leak down and get inside the computer and fry it. may be a local junk yard has one or ebay. but do check for voltage at the small wire on the starter while key is in cranking mode if there is 12 volts at that terminal the ignition switch is good. if not presume an ignition switch, or worst case scenerio its the computer. sometimes trial and error works.
It sounds like the wires from the battery to the starter solinoid are burned out, possibly even more of them to the main fuse box under the hood. You will have to start looking for the burned wires you can already smell and replace them. Starter and Battery area are a good place to start.