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  #1  
Old 03-29-2008, 09:31 AM
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starting problem

I did a search on this issue and found similar problems but not what mine is doing. If I exit the freeway and shut the car down right away then go to restart the starter doesn't engage. I have all dash lights and everthing else works. I hear nothing at all when turning the key to start. After several attempts the starter finally engages. I have cleaned the ground and the terminal strip to no avail. Any help would be appreciated.




Jim
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2008, 11:19 AM
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Starter

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  #3  
Old 03-29-2008, 11:19 AM
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You'll need to determine if it's the key switch (doubtful) or the solenoid.

If you can get a 12V lead on the solenoid wire and see if you have signal at the starter..........it would confirm if the switch was good.

Sometimes the solenoids do weird things with temperature..........especially when they get old.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for the replys will check the solenoid out. Wasn't sure if it was the same issue as guys are having with a delayed start when they hit the key. Mine won't do anything unless I turn the key on and off several times. One guy posted that he just had to "clean'' the starter and his issue went away. I know a guy who rebuilds starters I think I''ll take it to him and let him check it out if indeed that is what the problem is.






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  #5  
Old 03-29-2008, 03:05 PM
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When mine went out it did the same thing .... no change except retrying the key switch... it turned out to be the three screws inside the starter were backed out a little and arcing.... no pattern to when it turned over and did not..
I think having your friend open it up is a great idea...
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2008, 06:11 PM
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We used to call this heat soak. The temperature of the starter is elevated from the engine and gets stubborn. A good test was to pour water over it when you knew it would not engage.
If it did after the water then off with the starter. Sometimes installing a heat shield stopped the problem.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:08 PM
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I think that should have been called ' overheating'...
Since " Heat Soak" is already used for when you turn off a hot engine ... thus stopping the cooling through the radiator... but the engine heat is still there to overheat the coolant.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:23 PM
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Ok,took almost three weeks to happen again. This time I jumped the terminal strip and she started. Shut it down and tried with the key and it started. I guess I have a bad wire or need a key switch. How difficult is it to put one in?


Thanks Jim
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:37 PM
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Be careful. You initially mentioned it happens usually right after a freeway run. The key switch has no way of knowing this. In fact that kind of performance would tend to more likely eliminate it rather than condem the key switch. Intermittent problems can mislead sometimes.
If you have more time than money you could run a temporary wire from the solinoid turn on terminal to a 12 volt light inside the car.
The next time it fails if the light lights with the key switch but the starter does not spin it is the starter. If the light does not light with the key switch it is something else. Also if I was hooking up a temporary wire under there I might clean and treat all the starter connections at the same time. Just my two cents worth.
I guess I should also increase my explanation.. When you short across the terminals you are eliminating the wire intrinsic to the neutral transmission switch and the key circuit. Plus any internal resistance those parts have. So you are applying more voltage and current to the solinoid than the key circuit can normally deliver.
Your original post still sounds to me like a common starter problem. You again can prove it one way or another if you want.
I may have been wrong calling it heat soak when you come off the freeway. Yet it is still the same type of thing. The starter gathers heat from the hotter operating conditions out there. You shut down and even more heat is tranfered to the starter. This part is normal but with a tired or sticking solinoid the starter will not activate. So you jump the terminals out front and push more voltage and current than it normally sees . That may activate it.

Last edited by barry123400; 04-18-2008 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:01 PM
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Barry,
thanks for the comeback.This time it happend after I got home then went back out so I think the freeway thing might have been a coincidence. The intermittent part of this is what I don't get. Does the fact that I can jump the terminal strip take the starter out of the picture?



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  #11  
Old 04-17-2008, 11:04 PM
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Sorry just re-read your post so I guess it could still be the starter.


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  #12  
Old 04-17-2008, 11:11 PM
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There was a recent thread in which someone explained how they installed an additional solenoid in the system to assure that the starter was getting full voltage. I think Barry was involved in the explanation of how that works.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:18 AM
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I apparently missed some of the posts when typing this out so please make allowances.
The starter is not totally eliminated as you might just be suppying more voltage and current to the solinoid than it sees through the maze of wires and any normal internal resistance in the key switch and neutral transmission switch. With age this internal resistance might even increase a little. Combine this with an older solinoid that has increased it's internal resistance with time and use. It is actually demanding even more current than when new from an old electrical system.
Then you also have to consider any slight corrosion that accumulates over the many years on the plug for the neutral safety switch and other plug in and screw type terminations in that circuit. When you short the terminals out front you bypass most of this maze.
If one were to measure the voltage at the solinoid small terminal you should see a lesser voltage when using the key switch versus when shorting across the terminals. A voltage drop of a few volts can be critical with an old questionable solinoid. Remember heat is going to further increase the need for supply as the hot solinoid coil wants more to function. It is already higher resistance wise than it should be because of age and useage even when cold. Almost a vicious cycle really..
The point is a few tests may save you money and time. It is always better to prove the problem as that becomes habit forming and cost effective.
It also goes back to a time as a kid that I had little money to spare. Really felt it if I purchased something that turned out not to be the problem. Only to eventually have to spend even more money I could not affford as well. Or I could have spent it on something worth while . Wine women and song come to mind.
Old habits die hard it seems. If you own a ten dollar digital volmeter you can do a lot. Indispensible tool in my opinion.
In a way I am sorry to mention all this as I know it does not leave a clear picture. Yet starting to change out things like the key switch is almost speculative at this point. You might luck in then you may not.
Without tests I can only wish you the best of luck. As there is no science being applied really. This is not meant to sound harsh just the reality. Your one test so far I would not take to the bank. It is only conclusive if you have an open circuit all the time in my opinion. This is not the case here by a long shot. No one ever claimed intermittent conditions were fun.
One other important item. What the shop manuals say is the least voltage you should see at the solinoid terminal on 123s when using the key switch. I have never seen it posted on this site either but may have missed it. It is less than twelve volts, perhaps around 10 volts? Since repair and understanding of these older cars is also somewhat restorative in nature. Common knowledge of what that minumin voltage is should exist. .

Last edited by barry123400; 04-18-2008 at 01:07 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2008, 08:22 PM
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Talking

Barry,
I must admit everything in your reply makes perfect sense to me. With my very limited knowledge of cars it is nice to be able to get advice from people who know. From your and Brians reply I think I can eliminate the key switch and point the finger at the starter after all it has never not started cold. I need to seriously invest in some tools and testing equipment. I am just going to pull the starter and take it to my bud and write it off as maintenence if it turns out not to be the problem. I know its gonna be a pita so I am gonna soak the bolts for a week first. There are many good posts on the subject thanks to the good people on this site and that will help. Wish me luck.


Jim
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:10 PM
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