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Old 06-21-2012, 06:06 AM
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Isolating starting problem

Hi all, it's officially summer so let's get the muscle car out to play with!

I've had an intermittent issue with my Camaro as far as starting goes.

It's got an Olds 350 in it with a TH350 trans.

With a good battery and alternator (both load tested) the car won't start.

However, the weird thing is, if I jump it with an extra battery or off a running car. Starter spins fine and she cranks well and start right up.

Bad wiring/ground? (I put both my jumper wires on the battery directly)

Or starter worn out and the extra amperage is enough to spin it?

In any other case I'd just replace the starter but seeing as it does function fine when jumped I'm not 100% it's the problem.

Thanks

David

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:12 AM
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Xx

1. Does the starter turn slowly or not at all?
2. Can you hear the solenoid clicking with the switch?
3. Do your headlights and dashlights go dim when you crank (or try to crank) the starter?
4. Have you cleaned the battery terminals?

just trying to understand the problem

Ron
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:26 AM
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Let me go through these 1 by 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by gto_ron
1. Does the starter turn slowly or not at all?
It doesn't turn at all, once a running vehicle or extra battery is hooked up it does

Quote:
Originally Posted by gto_ron
2. Can you hear the solenoid clicking with the switch?
No

Quote:
Originally Posted by gto_ron
3. Do your headlights and dashlights go dim when you crank (or try to crank) the starter?
When I try and crank the starter, lights dim, it's drawing current.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gto_ron
4. Have you cleaned the battery terminals?
I have

Quote:
Originally Posted by gto_ron
just trying to understand the problem
Cheers
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:14 AM
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I am having starting problems with my car also. To isolate the problem I removed the starter and battery from the car and did a bench test with heavy gauge test leads. This way the car's wiring and trans neutral switch are out of the picture. If the starter spins on the bench then look at the car wiring and trans neutral switch.

As far as ground I would make sure you have a good neg. battery ground to engine\chassis. You can check for 12V to ground shorts with a ohm meter. Make sure the battery is disconnected or you will fry the ohm meter.

I am still working on my problem but so far I found two wires connecting to the starter\solenoid with melted insulation. I also checked the trans neutral switch and was getting flaky resistance measurements so I replaced it also.

Good Luck,
bt
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:46 AM
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Xx

well, sounds like the starter has problems, if it was a poor connection or a neutral safety switch the other battery wouldn't help( it doesn't boost voltage, just current capacity). As BT said the easiest check is a bench test to see if the starter spins. There are other, more obscure possibilities( starter gear/flywheel ring gear mismatch) but I'd bet on the starter based on what we've covered.

let us know what you find

Ron
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:05 PM
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Is this a new problem or has it turned over slowly since you went with the Olds? You may have a heat soak problem. Positive and negative battery cables to small (cable gauge wise) or need a heat shield? Olds motors make a bunch of underhood heat.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:54 AM
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It's had the olds motor as long as I've had the car.

It's not heat soak as it won't even start up cold.

Gonna put a new starter in and see what happens.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:45 AM
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I think you have bad/dirty connections somewhere in the start system, when the extra amps are added it overcomes the corrosion and starts etc....... And the battery may be on it's last leg etc.

I'd start by looking at the battery terminals and clean then till there are shiny, disconnect the other end of the cables.... at the starter and the eng ground and clean them...... if you see some corrosion under the insulation..... replace the cable.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:38 AM
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With a meter on the pos and neg terminals, what does it read for volts? Have you done a load test on the battery?

Try taking the battery out of the running car and cranking your engine. Short in battery!!!
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:55 PM
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X2 what EOD guy says. Word for word, he gets my vote.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EOD Guy
I think you have bad/dirty connections somewhere in the start system, when the extra amps are added it overcomes the corrosion and starts etc....... And the battery may be on it's last leg etc.

I'd start by looking at the battery terminals and clean then till there are shiny, disconnect the other end of the cables.... at the starter and the eng ground and clean them...... if you see some corrosion under the insulation..... replace the cable.

We have a winner!

After replacing the ground wiring, which looked fine, but you never know. Replacing the terminals, pulling the starter to find it worked fine on the bench. It suddenly dawned on my that I should probably check the 12v that energizes the starter when starting!

Long story short and about 100,- worth of new wiring later it truned out to be a bad connection in the cranking wire.

Once upon a time it had been cut and reconnected.

When I measured voltage while an assistant cranked it barely measure 6v.

Traced the wire, found the problem, fires up every time.

ALWAYS check the simple stuff first

On to the next gremlin! And many thanks for everyone's input.

cheers
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:43 PM
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Good to hear you got it running again!
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