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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll try and make this short. I have a 72 Chevelle with a 307. My Velle was doing fine and one day the carb went bad. I had a 2bbl and decided to change over to a 4bbl. Everything was great, ran much better and love the extra ooomph, but once in a while it would have trouble starting. It would start but at first it wouldn't turn over at all and then eventually it would catch and then start.
So, I started fiddeling around and found a wire that used to attach to the front of the 2bbl carb but no spot for it on the new Edlbrock 4bbl. It was starting without it so I left it alone and tucked it in. The change over to a 4bbl is the only change prior to its problem of starting only every other try and it more often than not it takes a lot of tries and jiggling etc. to start.
I have had the battery checked, was told it was good but didn't have full cranking amps. Maybe 75-100 amps low. Alt. is putting out a good charge. I even pulled the starter and took it in and it was fine.
The problem is hit or miss. Once in a while it starts right up and real quick, one or two turn overs. Other times it has to turn over 8 or 9 times. Other times it acts like a dead battery and starter doesn't budge, or it just turns over half way or clicks a little (an electric clicking noise more than mechanical). I cleaned all battery connections and checked all the wires as best I could. Once the car starts it runs fine and lights and electonics don't dim.
Any advise?
Thanks
Brian
 

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i would also check the flywheel or flexplate (which ever the case may be) and check for damaged teeth.
 

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i would also check the flywheel or flexplate (which ever the case may be) and check for damaged teeth.
This will make a grinding "ga-zing" sound. A click or heavier ca-chunk could be a bad solenoid.

Stop making fun of me trying to describe the noises. It's not funny!


.......ok, maybe it's a little funny. :D
 

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It would start but at first it wouldn't turn over at all and then eventually it would catch and then start
You turn the key, the starter doesn't crank at first. Nothing. Nada. Then the starter begins to crank, and the engine starts?

So, I started fiddeling around and found a wire that used to attach to the front of the 2bbl carb but no spot for it on the new Edlbrock 4bbl. It was starting without it so I left it alone and tucked it in. The change over to a 4bbl is the only change prior to its problem of starting only every other try and it more often than not it takes a lot of tries and jiggling etc. to start.
So we're confirming that turning the key does not always result in the starter cranking the engine.

I have had the battery checked, was told it was good but didn't have full cranking amps. Maybe 75-100 amps low.
That is NOT a good battery. At best, it's undercharged. If it's fully charged, full of electrolyte (some are sealed and you can't check the electrolyte) and "low" on cranking amps--ITS JUNK.

Alt. is putting out a good charge. I even pulled the starter and took it in and it was fine.
Ok.

The problem is hit or miss. Once in a while it starts right up and real quick, one or two turn overs. Other times it has to turn over 8 or 9 times. Other times it acts like a dead battery and starter doesn't budge, or it just turns over half way or clicks a little (an electric clicking noise more than mechanical). I cleaned all battery connections and checked all the wires as best I could. Once the car starts it runs fine and lights and electonics don't dim.
Any advise?
Thanks
Brian
I want to know if the wire on the S terminal of the solenoid is RELIABLY getting power from the ignition switch. In most cases, it's purple (but fades to pink) and about 12-gauge. It should have power when the key is in "crank" but not have power in "run". And, ideally, it should be able to supply a reasonable amount of current, not just voltage. If that wire has current and voltage, and the starter doesn't run--it's either a defective starter, a defective battery, or a bad connection between battery and starter.

I want to know if the engine cranks at a normal speed; or if it cranks slowly sometimes.

And I want to know if they charged the battery before load testing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The starter always tries to crank the motor. Most of the time it is barely cranking over, just enough to get the car started. Sometimes it cranks right up at normal speed. BTW there is no grinding noise.
The battery was tested in the car while it was running. Alternator was also tested.

I don't know about that wire yet. Not sure how to test that. Would rather try a new battery and then if that doesn't work go for that wire.
I am also replacing the battery ground wire. When I took it off to change the battery connectors it had some battery corrosion in the wire. I did test the ground and it seemed like a good connection but I think that wire still needs replaced.

Is it possible that the battery test was crap and I have been doing all this other junk instead of just getting a new battery. I don't even know how old this battery is. I hope that is all I need.
 

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The battery could be the problem. However, I used to work at a parts store and over 80% of the "junk" batteries we got were perfectly fine.

I'd say about 70% of the time the cables were bad. When the cables get old they build up corrosion, this causes resistance. If a battery is used (note used, not bad) it may not always be able to overcome the resistance. It will when say the weather is warm or if the cables moved breaking up some of the corrosion etc... A new battery will overcome the resistance but will give you the same problem down the road.

And hopefully the battery wasn't tested with the vehicle running cause that wouldn't tell you if it's bad or not. I would take it in and get it tested.

Here's a little decypher of all your posts:
Fast turn over, engine starts-good
Medium speed turn over, engine starts after "8 or 9" times-typical for older car
slow turnover, barely enough to start- lack of power, either dying battery or delivery of power to starter
no turnover, loud click- very low power to starter, same causes as above
no turnover, no click- no power to starter, no power to solenoid, completely dead battery or very bad/loose connections


Oh, and to the original post, that wire could be to the electric choke on the carb. It would explain why you would require extra turnovers to get it started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
update:
I took the battery in and got it tested while out of the vehicle. It tested good. So I bought a new ground wire because old one had corrosion.
Well, so far today the car has eventually started but even with the new ground it is a real slow start.
It acts like the battery just cant get enough power to the starter. So, should I replace the positive main wire from the battery. It looks ok at the battery end. Does this wire go directly to the starter? My other thought is one of the smaller wires mentioned earlier but I didn't think they carried much current. Could there be a short somewhere on the car??
THanks for the help. I am real close to taking it to a mechanic but I hate doing that if I can help it.
Brian
 

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It doesn't sound like a short. You say you have a new cable but how is the spot where the cable grounds to and what are you grounding it to? To have a good ground you need bare metal. The factory ground is located on the alternator bracket. I ground some paint from around the bolt hole and also under the paint under the upper bolts/washers where the bracket bolts to the engine and water pump.

Batt + cable goes directly to the starter, correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thats what did it. I have no idea why it makes that big of a difference. I had to relocate the ground connection because I put on a chrome alt. bracket. So I relocated it back to the alt. and now it is starting fine. Wow, I was getting worried. Thanks for all the help.
Brian
 

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Thats what did it. I have no idea why it makes that big of a difference. I had to relocate the ground connection because I put on a chrome alt. bracket. So I relocated it back to the alt. and now it is starting fine. Wow, I was getting worried. Thanks for all the help.
Brian
A good ground makes all the difference!!!

That is how the starter is grounded, through the block. If it gives you anymore trouble you can still ground it directly to the block itself too be sure. I knew a guy that only had his battery grounded to the inner fender and could not figure out why his 68 wouldn't start :(:(!!!
 
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