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Need Help With Starter Problem

Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
Corvette
1973 L-48 Coupe
The car sat in the garage all winter and i bought a new battery the other day for it. she fired right up and started just fine...but being an old starter, it was time to replace it. i bought the new starter from autozone and they tested it and it tested good. the car started and drove into the garage just fine...but when the old starter was taken off and the new one was put back on...everytime i turn the key forward, nothing happens. it's all connected the right way but the solonoid doesn't seem to be engaging when the key is turned forward. i'm gonna take it back to autozone and have it tested again. any ideas on why it's not working...all the switches and fuses are good. ;shrug
 

duke94

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Jan 30, 2007
Messages
277
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Corvette
71' convert and 78' both Red
I'd say a bad solenoid on the starter. recheck wiring just to be sure.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
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1973 L-48 Coupe
had the starter tested for a second time....tested good. so now i'm gonna check all the wiring and make sure there isn't any corrosion on the wires and it's getting a good solid ground. wish me luck...:mad
 

sunger

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Jan 14, 2007
Messages
57
Location
Southern California
Corvette
1968 427 convertable
Could be in your ignition switch. Do the gauges come on when you turn the key? It is possible that your current ignition is not making contact when you turn the key all the over to start it. Any car thief can pop it right out for you.
Good luck.
Steve
 

Yoda

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4,884
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Amarillo, TX
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1981 UL5
:w Chas,

A few things come to mind along with a few questions I'd be asking myself ;)

This problem did or did not exist before installing the new starter. If it existed prior to the new starter, then I'd think more in line with a bad ground, weak battery, defective solenoid, ignition contacts on the key switch and even consider "heat soak" of the starter.

Before I went too far I'd have the Battery Load Checked. Or at least turn on the head lights and and interior lighting and try to start it and see if the lights dimmed beyond normal.

If the problem arrived with the "New" starter installation, then I'd lean toward a loose or "bad" ground connection or defective solenoid.

It could be the switch, but in my mind it would have caused problems that progressively got worse ;shrug

When the car won't start, try shorting across the starter??? BE SURE IT'S IN NEUTRAL, OR IN PARK ;) I had a 67 that suffered from "heat soak" one summer. It was embarrassing to have to pop the hood and reach down with a screw driver and short the starter, but HEY it worked ;)

Good Luck Chas hunting down the gremlins that sought refuge in your car this last winter :bash :r

Bud
 

Mr. Chuck

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Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
230
Location
Southern California
Corvette
1981 Two tone silver / dr grey
Starter Trouble shooting Ideas

had the starter tested for a second time....tested good. so now i'm gonna check all the wiring and make sure there isn't any corrosion on the wires and it's getting a good solid ground. wish me luck...:mad

You may find these test helpful, with a minimum amount of work:
1. To eliminate suspect ignition switch and related wiring; Using a dead man starting switch / cable tester (a push button switch, two wire with insulated spring clips) remove small gage wire from starter solenoid "S" terminal; connect one spring clip there and other to hot / battery cable side of the solenoid. i.e. same method used in the old days when you would crank the engine over when you adjusted the points gap in the distributor. If the starter cranks, then your problem is in the ignition switch or related wiring.
2. If starter still doesn't crank, then problem can be the solenoid, or starter or one or both of the battery cables or their respective frame connection / ground or connection on the solenoid. You can by-pass the starter solenoid by jumpering / shorting (momentarily) across the two large terminal posts on the solenoid. The starter motor should run, but will not engage to the fly wheel, since the solenoid is not energized. ***** Warning **** you only want to short across these two posts, just long enough to hear the starter spin!!!! Since the starter motor is series wound, it will over speed quickly and can damage it's self. Note: some starters may still engage the fly wheel, so be sure to maintain a safe distance from any moving engine belts / pulleys / accessories.
3. Other installation check points that can cause a non-functional starter are:
A. Insure starter / engine mounting surfaces are clean & tight. You need a good metal to metal (ground)connection.
B. Check all cables, their terminal ends & attachment points are clean, tight, free of damage / not burned or look heated, or corroded. If the cables are very stiff, or have damage / split insulation; these are warning signs, that the cable(s) S/B replaced.
There are additional electrical tests, we can do if you have a meter and are interested!

Best of luck!!:upthumbs
 

Bill75

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Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
698
Location
Somers CT
Corvette
75 Coupe ZZ4, Brodix IK-180's, Headers,TK0-500
had the starter tested for a second time....tested good. so now i'm gonna check all the wiring and make sure there isn't any corrosion on the wires and it's getting a good solid ground. wish me luck...:mad

I've had a similar experience, when people told me to check the starter wiring I swore up and down I did it right and never checked. Finally out of frustration I checked and found I had the solinoid wire reversed! ouch! I also found that Crow tastes good with a little extra salt!

Bill
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
Corvette
1973 L-48 Coupe
Ignition module was toast. this is a converted to electronic ignition and the thing fryed for some reason. The pal i have at Carquest happened to have a spare that he exchanged for the roasted one and Im back on the road.
Now I have 3" of snow today, but its going to warm to 50 by Sunday!!!:beer

Thanks for all the help, ya cant beat this place for helpful folks!

Chas:w
 

Mr. Chuck

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Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
230
Location
Southern California
Corvette
1981 Two tone silver / dr grey
Better Safe than Sorry

Ignition module was toast. this is a converted to electronic ignition and the thing fryed for some reason. The pal i have at Carquest happened to have a spare that he exchanged for the roasted one and Im back on the road.
Now I have 3" of snow today, but its going to warm to 50 by Sunday!!!:beer

Thanks for all the help, ya cant beat this place for helpful folks!

Chas:w
Some thoughts from an old ex-Naval Aircraft electrical maintenance guy; The Ignition module may have been zap'd by electrical surge from connecting / disconnecting ignition system. One safe guard would be to disconnect module next time you have to work on ignition electrical system, in addition to disconnecting the battery. Since this is a electronic ignition conversion, the system may not be real tolerant to electrical surges. My C3 Shop Manual has similar warning regarding the Computer Module and jump starting that could damage it.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
Corvette
1973 L-48 Coupe
This is excellent advise...im sure thats what happened...funny thing that we thought there should be an inline fuse for it, maybe it would have helped.
Thanks :pat
Chas
 

lone73

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Joined
Sep 24, 2003
Messages
456
Location
Texas
Corvette
'73 4spd coupe, '04 6 speed coupe
I'm a little confused. You replaced the module and now the starter works ?
 

Mr. Chuck

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
230
Location
Southern California
Corvette
1981 Two tone silver / dr grey
Fuse Protection

This is excellent advise...im sure thats what happened...funny thing that we thought there should be an inline fuse for it, maybe it would have helped.
Thanks :pat
Chas

A Fuse doesn't / can not protect against voltage surges / spikes that causes electronic component damage are very high voltage, but last for a very short time period (typ in the mil-second - micro-second duration), a fuse requires an extended time period to react & blow. The protection would need to be a specifically designed circuit that presents a reliatively high impedance to the spike and provides a alternate low resistance path to ground, bi-passing the electronic module sensitive components.

Hope this isn't too technical an answer.

Regards: Mr. C :upthumbs
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
Corvette
1973 L-48 Coupe
I'm a little confused. You replaced the module and now the starter works ?

Sorry, the starter was cranking it over but it had no fire at the plug....the first starter i installed was bad, i had 2 problems...first the starter wouldnt turn over, after getting past that, i had no fire, i replaced the module and it works great....something toasted the module during the starter installation...maybe when i tryed turning over the bad one it spiked the module...sorry to confuse, but its working great now :beer

Chas

Mr. C. it makes sense to me...Thanks:upthumbs
 

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