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groovinola 04-12-2008 02:12 AM

Why Shouldn't I do This? Starting Issue
Fresh off a journey into my transmission ( I now find myself grappling with the non-starting issue which got me into that journey to begin with. While having the transmission out i pulled the starter, bench tested it, cleaned it up, oiled it and rebuilt a back-up. As it was fine I began to suspect a faulty neutral safety switch or ignition switch. After every test I can think of I believe i might have both issues going on simultaneously. I am as certain as i can be that the NSS has gone bad, but only one of the (two?) switches in it, as the reverse lights work along with the ignition buzzer. I also believe my ignition switch is bad because i put on a spare neutral safety switch that does work and the car still doesn't start and other tests indicate I am not getting anything at the NSS plug fron the ignition switch when the ignition is turned into the start position.

So my question is this: If both of these switches are bad but the only thing that doesn't happen is that the car fails to start why would i not just install a mechanics starter kit and run it up through the dash into the car and start it this way, completely bypassing the neutral safety switch and the ignition switch altogether? It seems like a completely viable alternative and would be much less hassle and cost less than dealing with both of these issues, taking chances with used parts, etc... Or could there be something else wrong along with these two things that I might be missing.

as always all input and brainstorms welcome.

JimFreeh 04-12-2008 07:37 AM

Why don't you....
... check voltage to the starter?

You've got your main 12V feed off the battery, and two additional much smaller wires to the solenoid.

One of these smaller wires is the 12V signal from the key. Put 12V to this wire, and it will pull in the solenoid and turn the starter.

When troubleshooting, always look at what was changed before checking other nondisturbed areas.


leathermang 04-12-2008 09:15 AM

Bench testing a starter is often iffy in my experience...
Take the starter apart and see what it looks like may be surprised...
also see my posts in archives about starter...

kerry 04-12-2008 11:43 AM

There have been two discussions about this problem in the recent past relevant to what you can do. One explains how to clean the contacts in the ignition switch, which when dirty, fail to provide energy to the starter. The other is an account of resolving this problem by installing a solenoid in the system to provide a full 12 volts at the starter. I think Barry was involved in the solenoid discussion and a search on 'starter delay' should bring up the other thread.

lietuviai 04-12-2008 11:47 AM

Have you checked your ground strap running to the bell housing?

leathermang 04-12-2008 11:51 AM

People sure are resistant to blaming the actual innards of the starter...because they work so well for so long.... but it takes a lot of effort to turn over an engine with 21 to 1 compression ratio.... and many of these starters are 20 plus years old...
After all the obvious stuff outside has been eliminated... look inside...

blackestate 04-12-2008 12:40 PM

ok, I have a question.
I have not followed the other posts
Does the car fail to start, or does the starter not energize?
If it fails to energize, then yes, possibly a switch issue. If it energizes and does not start then it is probably not the NSS switch. But a weak starter, or a ....
But from the post linked souns like it is turning over?

groovinola 04-13-2008 01:56 AM


Originally Posted by JimFreeh (Post 1822109)
... check voltage to the starter?


Originally Posted by blackestate (Post 1822263)
Does the car fail to start, or does the starter not energize?

I was able to jump the starter with a wire from the positve teminal of the battery to the small connection on that little rectangular junction box before i pulled it and am still able to do so after reinstalling (which is how I've been having to start it recently). I am also able to get the starter to engage by going from the positve terminal of the battery directly into one of the female (#50) terminals on the plug going to the neutral safety switch yet I am not getting a reading on the volt meter at this plug coming from the ignition switch. I am also able to test the NSS with a volt meter and confirm that the two male #50 terminals are not making a connection with each other in Park or Neutral (or anywhere else for that matter). The starter itself turns the car over no problem when properly energized, it just isn't getting any juice to it for some reason(s).

At this point I can say with 95% certainty that the current starter is installed and functioning properly and that the NSS in the car is bad. My biggest question remains what is going on with the ignition switch? Does anyone know if a bad ignition switch can cause the NSS to fail or vice versa? I will do searches on cleaning the contacts in the ignition switch and also installing a solenoid in the system. In the meantime I will also be pulling an IS from my parts car which I know was working and testing that in the coming days.


Originally Posted by lietuviai (Post 1822237)
Have you checked your ground strap running to the bell housing?

I know it is attached at the Bell housing OK as I put it back on after removing the transmission. What/Where/How else should it be checked?

One symptom that had been leading up to this problem, which i failed to mention in my original post, was that on days when the car was getting turned on and off alot (4 and more times) in a short time period I would sometimes have to jump it, but once the system was rested for some time it would go right back to starting again on its own.

Thanks for the Help.

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