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I thought I was done with this, but...


Gone but not forgotten
Jan 30, 2001
Hermosa Beach, CA
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
I've had a curious no-start problem since day one.

At first it wouldn't start after sitting at work overnight, especially in cold, damp weather. You'd turn the key but there would be nothing; no sound of an attempt to start at all. Just a slight "click" of sorts, like a relay or something. Sometimes, if I would turn the key re-e-e-eal slowly, it would make a sorta buzz/click sound, and sometimes would even start. Most of the time, I gave up and started it by pushing it downhill and use the clutch (another good reason to have a manual transmission).

Now if it starts when I drop the clutch on it, but won't start with the key, that should indicate that it isn't the VATS deterrent that is the problem, right? At any rate, I have installed the VATS bypass from one of the aftermarket suppliers.

I've also replaced the starter enable relay, and obviously made sure that the starter kill for the theft deterrent on the aftermarket alarm was disabled (it's not programmed to prevent starting). The aftermarket alarm was installed after the no-start problem reared it's mischievious ugly little head.

I haven't had the problem for over a year now, basically because it's indoors most of the time if I'm not driving it. Well, at Willow Springs a couple of weeks ago, after running laps several times throughout the day, and just as I was preparing to leave, the thing wouldn't start again! All day it was fine, and it really got hot there for awhile - not unusually hot, just HOT. :L

And heat doesn't seem to be a factor here. Remember, most of the time when it won't start, it's cold and damp out.

Actually, I started it once but I shut it off for a moment to retrieve something from the back. When I went to re-start it is when I had the no-start condition.

It hasn't re-occured since then. :confused

Any suggestions? This has been bugging me for a long time, but it's something else that I've learned to live with. Hey, nothing is perfekt! :L
1987 Z51,
Sounds just like a bad "clutch safety switch".
I had similar problems with my 90 ZR-1 and ended up replacing the clutch switch a few years ago. No Problem Since!! :eyerole

If it will jump start, it isn't the Vats. The slight click you hear is probably the clutch switch enable relay closing.
Thanks Gordy, I can't remember if I replaced that switch or not. (I have various invoices that say "switch", and I forgot to mark which was which.) :L

I'll check into that. :upthumbs

Check and clean your battery connections. I used to get the same problem on my Grand Cherokee. My Grand Cherokee was heavily off-roaded and exposed from deep creeks to deeper mud pits. Lots of moisture. I found I had to keep cleaning the connections so it would start normally.

It's something quick and easy to check and correct, if needed.

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