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No start - Help!

905 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  John_Muha
I have a 69 396 4-speed. My symptoms are as follows:
At totally random times (but never the first of the day) the car won't turn over. Radio works, headlights work, but starter won't turn. I'm able to successfully push start.
I've seen this before on my other car and it has normally been battery or battery connection related. Checked both here and they are good. One thing I noticed is that I can start the car in neutral with the clutch out (I've heard thru this forum that that switch can be a problem, but not sure if it applies here). I tested starter last time this happened, but wasn't certain I was doing it correctly. I saw two leads off the solenoid and tested both, got no voltage when cranking. Was that the correct way to do that? Thanks a lot(from a novice wrench)in advance.
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A couple of thoughts on how to approach it. Clean battery cables connections are one thing but the negative cable gets overlooked. Everyone tends (me too) to look at the positive cable. First check the negative cable connection on the engine. This should be clean and tight. If it's bad it will give intermittent starting problems. Fooled me real good one time.
Next you said you checked the 2 small terminals on the solenoid while cranking. I'm assuming you were measuring these to ground while someone was turning the key (clutch pedal in). Also assume when this was happening the solenoid did not "click". The terminal you care about is the inside one. The solenoid has a "S" embossed in it next to the terminal. This should have 12 volts on it while trying to start the car with the clutch pedal pushed in. If it doesn't the purple lead coming into the solenoid has no power. This lead comes from the clutch pedal switch. The other side of the clutch pedal switch is the wire from the ignition switch. This wire has power when the ignition switch is turned to the start position. Sounds like the problem is either the ground cable or the clutch switch. Take a few more readings and post back if you can't find it.
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If the solenoid "clicks" the problem is usually
Bad or weak battery
Poor battery connections or cables
Solenoid/starter problems
The N/S switch should be OK if the solenoid "clicks". Having headers can also cause hot-start problems.
Good Luck

[This message has been edited by John_Muha (edited 02-20-2002).]
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