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gmorrone1214

Starter Issues

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Hello everyone, long story short my starter went bad and I replaced it with a new unit.  However, when trying to start the vehicle there is only one single loud click (sounds as if the starter gear is moving out of the starter but it is not spinning the motor).  I confirmed this by using a remote start and jumping the terminals, which results in the same issue, single loud click as if the starter gear is moving.

 

I also took off the starter cleaned the areas with a wire wheel on a dremel, and cleaned up ground wire. Still same outcome.  Then I tested the voltage at the battery when activating the starter and the volts stayed at 11.8-12.4 volts.

 

I took the starter to autozone to check if it was functioning, which on their tester I witnessed the gear move out and spin freely 3 separate occasions. 

 

Threw it back in and still same result.  Then checked to see if the engine was frozen for some reason (was driving car prior to this), and it spins over freely. 

 

Lost at what to do next....any help is appreciated, really trying to get this up and running with the new HY35 turbo. 

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 I replaced a starter that tested OK at the parts store. Much like yours, the solenoid would click but the starter motor wouldn't turn the engine over. The problem was the starter motor wouldn't put out enough oomph to turn the engine over but it would spin like crazy on the test bench. The tests have no way of putting a load on the starter.

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So I checked my grounds again, and the bottom circled one was not connected 😐.  However, after connecting it as in the picture, to the top of the starter, still no start.  I am however just getting a single click sound coming from the starter.  It does not even sound as if the gear is sticking out. 

 

Also again verified not a battery problem since I jumped it directly from my truck battery. 

 

Maybe not having the ground connected and trying to run the starter damaged it and I need a new one?  

 

Starter problems.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Study how the (edit - oops) starter drive system works (Bendix doesn't explain it all).  The starter solenoid drives the starter gear in to the flywheel ring gear then the starter motor relay is compressed after the gears mesh, at the end of the stroke.

 

Your symptoms sound like the gear is getting jammed before the other end of the Bendix can reach the relay at the bottom of its travel.  Basically, the flywheel gear and the starter gear must be misaligned.  You might be able to loosen the bolts and give it a quick touch just to see if that changes anything.  Or loosen the bolts and pull the starter outward to free up some play, then retighten.  There's always play.  If loosening the bolts helps, you can always create your own play with a file.

 

On the other hand, if that works, you could just take it back and swap it for one with better QC.  Or you could just do that from the start.  If the old one worked the new one should too.  Don't do their work for them.

Edited by NewZed

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1 hour ago, NewZed said:

Study how the (edit - oops) starter drive system works (Bendix doesn't explain it all).  The starter solenoid drives the starter gear in to the flywheel ring gear then the starter motor relay is compressed after the gears mesh, at the end of the stroke.

 

Your symptoms sound like the gear is getting jammed before the other end of the Bendix can reach the relay at the bottom of its travel.  Basically, the flywheel gear and the starter gear must be misaligned.  You might be able to loosen the bolts and give it a quick touch just to see if that changes anything.  Or loosen the bolts and pull the starter outward to free up some play, then retighten.  There's always play.  If loosening the bolts helps, you can always create your own play with a file.

 

On the other hand, if that works, you could just take it back and swap it for one with better QC.  Or you could just do that from the start.  If the old one worked the new one should too.  Don't do their work for them.

 

 

So I decided to test the starter again off the car.  I hooked up the ground the the starter and then placed the positive on the solenoid switch, which just resulted in the gear pushing out and not spinning.  

 

Then I hooked up the positive of the battery to the positive side of the starter and used a screwdriver to bridge onto the solenoid, which resulted in the starter motor spinning. 

 

Verified that it still worked, so I hooked it back up to the flywheel. 

 

Here comes the strange part.  So with it attached normally as above in the photos, I cannot get the starter to spin.  I tired to just just the positive terminal with the solenoid, which results in nothing happening at all, no sparks or engaging of the starter.  I thought maybe no power is going to the positive side of the terminal.  Nope 12.2 volts at the positive terminal of the starter.  Just to be safe I used a dremel polishing disk and cleaned up the connectors. 

 

However, I got the starter to spin the motor over! But there is only one way I can get it to do that.  I have to hook up a jumper cable from my truck battery to the positive side of the starter and then jumper it to the starter solenoid (i didn't touch the jumper cable when doing this).  

 

I have no idea how to fix this problem since it shows the volts at the starter, and when using the ignition to turn over the engine all I get is a single click, however I know the starter motor will work...

 

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Hi,

   The wiring to the solenoid goes through the key switch wiring which is 40 years old. The connections become a problem over time not allowing full voltage to the starter solenoid. A starter relay should be wired in so the old wiring though the switch is only used to activate the relay. The relay kit is available on Ebay, Z car Source , Motorsport etc sites or just make your own. Wiring diagrams will be available on this site.

Hope this helps

Enzo

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Posted (edited)

Even if you're getting the correct voltage to the starter, that doesn't mean you're getting sufficient cranking amps.  (And quite honestly, 11.8 - 12.4 volts sounds kind of low for a strong battery.)  I didn't see any mention of testing your battery independently....might want to consider that.

 

Definitely do the relay upgrade, as suggested by Enzo above.  It appears that your battery is still in the stock mounting position, but has the positive lead been replaced with a smaller gauge wire?  

 

From your last post, it sounds as though the starter is functioning correctly, but is suffering from insufficient current flow.

Edited by jhm

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12 hours ago, gmorrone1214 said:

However, I got the starter to spin the motor over! But there is only one way I can get it to do that.  I have to hook up a jumper cable from my truck battery to the positive side of the starter and then jumper it to the starter solenoid (i didn't touch the jumper cable when doing this).  

 

 

Sounds like you might have a bad positive cable connection, either at the starter or at the battery.  What you described is just the way that the car is supposed to be wired up.  Connecting the truck battery did not "change" the wiring scheme.  You connected the truck battery the way that the car's battery is supposed to be connected.

 

I looked at your pictures again and the wiring is really messy.  You have two red cables, and an extra black one for some reason.  Can't tell what's connected to what either.  Make sure that the wiring is correct.  Your test with the truck battery indicates that you have the car wired up incorrectly, somehow.

 

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On 4/16/2019 at 7:10 PM, NewZed said:

 

 

11 hours ago, NewZed said:

 

Sounds like you might have a bad positive cable connection, either at the starter or at the battery.  What you described is just the way that the car is supposed to be wired up.  Connecting the truck battery did not "change" the wiring scheme.  You connected the truck battery the way that the car's battery is supposed to be connected.

 

I looked at your pictures again and the wiring is really messy.  You have two red cables, and an extra black one for some reason.  Can't tell what's connected to what either.  Make sure that the wiring is correct.  Your test with the truck battery indicates that you have the car wired up incorrectly, somehow.

 

 

 

I am going to try and do the relay mod as above because there is no way that the wiring is wrong.  I have had the car driving over the past 2 years and have not changed anything with the wiring besides megasquirt, which I wired up and have been running in the car for over a year.   That other red wire goes to the megasquirt board, with the other yellow one as the engine ground. 

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On 4/15/2019 at 11:11 PM, gmorrone1214 said:

 I confirmed this by using a remote start and jumping the terminals, which results in the same issue, single loud click as if the starter gear is moving.

 

What you did here does the same thing that the relay will do.  Good luck.

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On 4/17/2019 at 9:07 AM, NewZed said:

 

Sounds like you might have a bad positive cable connection, either at the starter or at the battery.  What you described is just the way that the car is supposed to be wired up.  Connecting the truck battery did not "change" the wiring scheme.  You connected the truck battery the way that the car's battery is supposed to be connected.

 

I looked at your pictures again and the wiring is really messy.  You have two red cables, and an extra black one for some reason.  Can't tell what's connected to what either.  Make sure that the wiring is correct.  Your test with the truck battery indicates that you have the car wired up incorrectly, somehow.

 

 

You were right, it was the 12v cable to the starter itself that was bad.  I checked it again this time with a test light and it was not coming on at the 12v at the starter.  However, my multi-meter was reading 12v there.... Replaced it and now works like a charm

 

 

Edited by gmorrone1214

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