starter problem - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old May 14th, 05, 2:26 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy starter problem

This is on my other car (71 422).

On the way to a car club meeting, the decided not to start, just sat there and clicked. Got a jump, tapped the starter, still no go.

Then, replaced the starter, no go
replaced the horn/starter relay, no go

replaced the wire from the battery to relay, no go

Examined the battery cable, (new) ok

with all of the trying to start, the ignition switch broke

Finally took it to a buddy who has an automotive shop, (he had to rebuild the column got the ignition working.)

He played with some wiring, recrimped a connection, and all of a sudden it began to start ok. He doesn't know what he did.

Took the car home, tried to start it this am, won't start. (same old thing, just sits there and clicks)

I used jumper cable from the negitive terminal on the battery to a bolt on the intake manifold, doesn,t help, so it looks like the ground is good.

When we had the starter out, we hooked the positive cable to it and it worked ok. so it seems the battery to starter cable is ok.

I jumped from the battery to the relay, no go.

I don't know what to check next. I am really flumoxed.

When I try to start it, the volt meter shows only a one volt drop so it looks like the starter is engaging but not starting.

Could the battery have an intermitten short? But wouldn't jumping it get by that problem? Maybe I should have the battery load tested.

Am open to any troubleshooting tips.

Thanks

Dan

1968 Chevelle SS396, 4 spd
1971 Olds 442, 461, th400

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old May 14th, 05, 9:32 PM
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Re: starter problem

Is the 422 an automatic?

Need to start checking voltage to see where you have 12 volts and where you DO NOT have.

IF it's an automatic I would start at the neutral safety switch.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old May 14th, 05, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: starter problem

Yea, it is a auto, but wouldn't safety switch make it do nothing. The soleniod clicks but the starter won't engage.

I believe that the safety switch is working, I put it in gear and get nothing.

Thanks for the help

Dan

1968 Chevelle SS396, 4 spd
1971 Olds 442, 461, th400

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old May 14th, 05, 11:32 PM
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Re: starter problem

Dan,

If you get the click, then your starting switch wire would seem to be getting 12 volts down to the Starter Cell. If the Starter Cell is clicking, is it bringing down the 12 volts from the Main post that the batter cable hooks too, to the smaller post down below it? If it is, and the wires are good as you stated, then half the circuit is complete. If that is the case, I would expect that your problem may be related to the negative side not having a solid connection. Maybe with a poor connection, again if this is the case, to get the Starter Cell to click, you only need a small amount of current. On the other hand, if the neg side is loose or damged, maybe the starter cannot pull enough current to fire up, as it needs a good deal of current. I would take a jumper cable, hook one side to the neg side of the battery, the other side to the end of the Starter, but stay way away from the Positive terminal on the starter. You don't want to accidentally touch those two together. Then just try to turn over the car real quick, not start it. If you can turn it over, you know what your problem is.
Don't try using the jumper cables to go from the Pos terminal to the starter. I watched a kid do this one time and it wasn't pretty, it's how you make a welder. (Anyway, this is just a guess, good luck.)

Fred.

Blue 1969 Chevelle SS 396 375hp 4 speed.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: starter problem

Fred, what you say makes sense, however, I tested my battery/engine ground with the starter cables. If I had a good ground there, I must have a good ground at the starter? I assume the starter is grounded to its case.

Wouldn't a poor positive connection (ignition circuit) also cause this. I would have 12 volts and enough amps to pull the bendix part of the way out (the click) but not enough to bring it out enough to make contact necessary to spin the starter.

The sporatic nature of this problem leads me to believe it is a loose connection somewhere, either ground or positive.

Wouldn't the easiest way to prove or disprove this would be to bring 12 volts (with enough amps) to the ignition side of the ciruit. If the starter worked, then the problem is in the ignition circuit, if it didn't, it would have to be in the starter circuit, either positive or ground.

Does this make sense.

Thanks again for your insight.

Dan

1968 Chevelle SS396, 4 spd
1971 Olds 442, 461, th400

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 1:06 AM
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Re: starter problem

I think you must be loosing some voltage somewhere.
Not real common but a switch can be working just barely good enough to get a click but not be passing full voltage, same as a bad connection.

An "under load" voltage reading at time of failure will tell the story.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 7:33 AM
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Re: starter problem

dan,
take the solenoid off the starter. open it up and i bet you will find burn spots on the brass disc that engages the starter.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 11:57 AM
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Re: starter problem

Or run another test wire up off the starter/solenoid. Make it about 6 feet long, crimp a lug on it and connect it to the "S" terminal. Dress it out up to the battery so it does touch anything. Strip the other end off and put a wire nut on it.
Next time the car acts up, touch this wire to the battery (+) terminal and see if the starter spins. If it doesn't spin, problem is down by the starter. If it does spin measure this wire to ground as you turn the key. (Wire not touching the battery). See if it's above 10 volts.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 12:21 PM
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Re: starter problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Muha
Or run another test wire up off the starter/solenoid. Make it about 6 feet long, crimp a lug on it and connect it to the "S" terminal. Dress it out up to the battery so it does touch anything. Strip the other end off and put a wire nut on it.
Next time the car acts up, touch this wire to the battery (+) terminal and see if the starter spins. If it doesn't spin, problem is down by the starter. If it does spin measure this wire to ground as you turn the key. (Wire not touching the battery). See if it's above 10 volts.
Good advice. Just make sure to put a 30 amp inline fuse on the test wire near the battery just in case it gets to close to the exhaust.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 4:37 PM
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Re: starter problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Muha
Or run another test wire up off the starter/solenoid. Make it about 6 feet long, crimp a lug on it and connect it to the "S" terminal. Dress it out up to the battery so it does touch anything. Strip the other end off and put a wire nut on it.
Next time the car acts up, touch this wire to the battery (+) terminal and see if the starter spins. If it doesn't spin, problem is down by the starter. If it does spin measure this wire to ground as you turn the key. (Wire not touching the battery). See if it's above 10 volts.
Now there is a good way to test

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 6:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: starter problem

John, good idea, I will try that.

I understand that 12 volt comes from the ignition thru the nss to the S terminal on the starter. When you hit the start circuit, it delivers 12 volt to the S terminal, engages the bendix and spins the starter.

I also understand there is a 12 volt connection between the R terminal on the starter and the positive side of the coil. I don't understand what this does. Does the starter supply 12 volt to the coil (with ignition on) or vice versa. what does this circuit do? I found a wiring diagram of the starting circuit but can't follow the flow.

Thanks for all of your help, I have learned a lot.

Dan

1968 Chevelle SS396, 4 spd
1971 Olds 442, 461, th400

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 7:23 PM
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Re: starter problem

Dan,

You got it, and the complete way it works is (I think) as follows.
When you turn the switch, 12 volts turns on an electro-magnet in the Starter solenoid (sp?). The end of this Magnet has a plate which takes the 12 volts from the battery and feeds it to the other connectors. Anyway, this also pulls the starter nose gear into the flywheel, sends 12 volts to the started, plus 12 volts up to the coil. You need the full 12 volts to the coil during the time you attempt to start the car. Once you start the car and release the key back to the ON state, the Solenoid on the starter is disengaged (magnet is turned off) and the full 12 volts drops from the coil. The gear is disengaged and the starter motor turns off, as it has no voltage. The coil is then running on a reduced voltage, if you have the resistor wire or a Burden resistor. That is how it seems to work on my 69 chevelle anyway.

Fred.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 8:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: starter problem

Thanks Fred, I think I understand that side of the equation. However, what I don't understand is the 12 volts from the R lug on the starter to the coil.

Or is it 12 volt from the coil to the R lug on the starter. What function does it perform.

Thanks

Dan

1968 Chevelle SS396, 4 spd
1971 Olds 442, 461, th400

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 8:57 PM
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Re: starter problem

Hey, where are yo ulocated in the Pacific NW? I could come take a look if you wanted (and if you were withing driving range of course)

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old May 15th, 05, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: starter problem

Thanks for the offer Bubba68ss, but we couldn't be farther apart if we tried. I am about 15 miles from the Canadian border (about 362 miles from you)(if you are at mile marker 1)

I'll get this all figured out, just trying to learn how this all works.

Thanks for all of your help

Dan

1968 Chevelle SS396, 4 spd
1971 Olds 442, 461, th400

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