Weird starter situation - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 18, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Weird starter situation

My '72 ElCamino has been parked for several months and it now time for an emissions test. So I did the usual fluid level checks and all that and started it up. When cycling the shift lever (350 turbo, column shift) I get a nasty noise going from neutral to drive. It sounds like the starter engaging.
So next I shut off the engine, turn the key to "on" and cycle the shift lever and the engine starts. (Without turning the key to "start"). Another weird thing is that when I turn the key very slowly to "start" the lights come on on the dash but the starter does not crank. Turning the key quickly starts it just fine.

Thinking that the ignition switch is providing power to the safety switch I figured that I mis adjusted the ignition switch when I replaced both early this year. Turning the key the slightest amount toward "off" immediately shuts off the engine.
So,, does this indicate a bad ignition switch that is powering the starter at all times? Or something else?
This problem did not exist back a couple months ago when I stored it in the garage. Everything was fine until today. I am very puzzled.

Any ideas??

Last edited by LevonH; Jun 24th, 18 at 9:54 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 18, 11:05 PM
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Re: Weird starter situaltion

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagner View Post
. When cycling the shift lever (350 turbo, column shift) I get a nasty noise going from neutral to drive. It sounds like the starter engaging.

You could have a defective ignition switch, so when you move the shifter, it bumps the switch into "start". Or it could be the backdrive mechanism.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 18, 11:12 PM
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Re: Weird starter situaltion

Try re-adjusting the ignition switch that may be the only thing wrong.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 18, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weird starter situaltion

Just found another weird feature. By turning the key to "start" very slowly the starter does not turn on, but holding the key there and wiggling the shift lever makes it go. So I have two odd things going on. Potentially both switches are :
1. screwed up
2. misadjusted
3 made in China

But worked fine prior to parking the car for months. The car was stored in a garage and in a nice dry environment.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 18, 2:29 AM
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Re: Weird starter situaltion

Wiggling the shift lever is probably moving a mis-adjusted Neutral/Park switch into the correct position for starting. The contacts should measure continuity in N & P, which completes the circuit to the starter sol so that the starter can crank.

Not sure of your type of ign sw but if it uses a connecting linkage of any type, it might also need adjusting.

So you may have two separate problems.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 18, 11:20 AM
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Re: Weird starter situation

Jeff replace the neutral safety switch. I have run into this before, the internal contacts come apart and allow the starter wire to pick up voltage from the back up light hot terminal when the shifter is moved. First time was on a friends Nova, had me scratching my head for awhile as I was diagnosing it over the phone.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 18, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weird starter situation

Sounds good. I still am wondering why the ignition switch will activate the starter when turned quickly, but will not do so when fully turned slowly. This deal is irksome because both switches were new at the start of the year when I changed out the steering column. Life is just full of mysteries these days, it seems. Thank you for solving this one!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 18, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weird starter situation

I had a small brainwave on this. I pulled off the connector for the backup lamps and the problem went away. Thanks again.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 18, 12:54 PM
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Re: Weird starter situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagner View Post
I had a small brainwave on this. I pulled off the connector for the backup lamps and the problem went away. Thanks again.
That sounds like a short in the neutral safety switch.

{edit} There I go again, posting without reading replies first.
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