Guys I'm in a jam - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Guys I'm in a jam

I was driving all day, made a couple stops and it seemed to get harder to get juice to the starter. Now I'm stuck. Nothing when I turn the keys. My radio works my lights but nothing to the starter. I looked for bad ground , nothing looked for disconnected wires nothing, i guess I'm stuck. It always took a second to go vroom vroom before it started but now nothing.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 11:13 PM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Tap the starter case with a hammer and then try it.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 11:19 PM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Check the main cable connections from the battery to the starter. Whack the starter case with a hammer while a helper turns the key to start.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 12:06 AM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Still stuck? Grab a screwdriver and connect between the big positive lead on the starter solenoid and the purple wire (B and S on the attachment). The purple wire will be the wire near the block Try not to let the screwdriver hit anything metal or you'll be welding. Expect a small spark when you make the connection between the 2 posts. Make sure you're out of gear and the ignition is in the on position.

If it turns over but doesn't spark, check to see if you have power at the coil + terminal or your ignition system feed wire with the key on. You might be well served to check this first.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 8:08 AM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Get a pair of jumper cables and connect one to the negative lug and the other to the engine block and try it.

Try a jump even though the battery is good, the extra current may help..

Get a small ball peen hammer and give the starter a couple raps while somebody is holding the key on the start position.. MAKE SURE ITS IN NEUTRAL!!!!

Using the photo above, jump B and S and see if the starter spins..

If you get it to spin but it won't start, run a jumper wire from the battery positive to the coil positive and try it..
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 8:58 AM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Possibly a dead battery. Get it "load tested" at an auto parts store (usually, a free test) to determine if it can deliver sufficient amperage to spin the starter. A simple voltage check with a multimeter at the battery is not a good enough indication of battery health because you need volts and a whole lotta' amps to spin the starter. A volts measurement by itself is only half of the equation. Volts x amps = watts or power . . . the ability to do useful work such as spin a starter motor.

More insidiously, I've seen connectors on the big battery clamps go bad. Yes, they can pass a multimeter continuity check but have so few still good strands of wire inside that they can't pass high amperage to spin the starter.

Rick

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 9:02 AM
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Jeff
 
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Rick is right on. You need to run some current through a device like the starter or head lights from that battery to see what it has.. I usually get 4 to 5 years out of batteries..
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 9:24 AM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

It's possible that a bad alternator was draining your battery while you were driving. You need a multimeter.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 10:36 AM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauce454 View Post
I was driving all day, made a couple stops and it seemed to get harder to get juice to the starter.
This is a sign that the starter is bad.

The enamel insulation on the core windings is broken down and with heat, the windings expand.

After the engine cools, if the starter works again and it starts normally, consider a bad starter confirmed.

You say the headlights "work"so let's assume they work at full normal brightness. This tells us it's not a low or bad battery or alternator charging problem.


Banging on the starter sometimes works and could get you home-so long as you don't shut the engine again.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 10:36 AM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Related to the problem you were having the day before?
https://www.chevelles.com/forums/18-...reat-then.html

Check battery cables

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 11:09 AM
 
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Let the starter cool down then it will start

Thanks
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 2:39 PM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Did you make it home? I figured you were broke down on the side of the road. Most of the replies also gave tips for this type of situation.

If you need help diagnosing your starting issue, grab a test light and ohm meter and we'll help you trace it down.

I gather from your post that all other electrical devices functioned, just not the starter function. Correct? If anything else was nonfunctional, it might narrow down the search.

Testing will help avoid throwing money at the problem for items that still function well.

You'll need a fully charged battery that is in good condition. So putting the battery on a charger is a good start. Check the fluid levels and fill with distilled water to indicators. You could also charge it and take it to an auto parts store for testing if you don't have the tools to test the battery. Pick up a cheap battery terminal cleaner while you are there. If your battery cables look like hell, you might want to replace them. At the very least you want to clean the terminals, posts. and connectors and mounting points. We can test their resistance, but not directly with an ohm meter. We'll do that when we get a good battery test.

When you turned the ignition, did you hear any clicking sounds or notice that the starter was trying to turn the engine over?

Can you test at the starter with a test light or ohmmeter to see if you are getting power to the purple wire on the S terminal of the solenoid when the ignition key is turned to start? An ohmmeter set to voltage would be best to use so we can record the voltage drop. Please also check and report the voltage seen across the battery terminal posts.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 3:43 PM
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

Had issues like that when I first got my 72, the battery cables on the car were under sized and in poor condition, I changed them out with cables a gauge over size than stock, I also added a ground wire on the frame to the engine and another from the body to the battery (yeah I know it's overkill). Also I insulated the fuel line and carb. That solved all the hot start problems and even some other issues as well, I still have a high dollar starter and heat shield sitting on the shelf for over a year now, the 10 year old plus delco starter is still kicking. Might not solve your problem if you do this but it's a good place to start.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 19, 4:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys for all your advice. Now that I've got it back to my garage I'm thinking it may be the clutch safety switch. I've also found what I think was the original neutral safety switch for an automatic. This has been bypassed to I don't know where. Also means car was originally automatic. However whoever did it did a nice job. Thanks again I'll keep you posted.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 19, 8:17 AM
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Jeff
 
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Re: Guys I'm in a jam

I never liked a clutch safety switch. You might need to put the car in first and move it on the starter to move it off railroad tracks or something some day..
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