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Old 08-28-2010, 05:01 PM
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problem jump starting!...

I have just finished installing a TBI fuel injection on the 250ci inline6 in my '57 Chevy Suburban (I have also swapped the TH350 trans for TH700R4, but I do not think this has anything to do with this issue).
I did try to start the Suburban a few times in the last week, with no luck: my install needed some trouble-shooting! As a result, the battery of the Suburban (which up until a month ago was in a daily driver and very strong) is now dead, totally dead, like in no radio, no click from the solenoid, no headlights, really dead!
So I want to jump-start it with my '93 Buick Roadmaster, easy...
Well, no!
When the 2 cars are connected, the Suburban starter motor still barely spins and then nothing, again... like it is not "receiving" the electricity from the Buick;
Then, after a few minutes (less than 10), the handles on the jumper cables get hot, very hot, so hot that the plastic handles on the clamps start to melt...
And then, the Buick dies, dead battery!!!
The jumper cables are good quality, heavy enough, I have used those for many years; the connectors on the Suburban are very clean, both on battery and starter motor; the Buick is very clean overall.
What is happening?

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Old 08-28-2010, 05:21 PM
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That should not happen. Are you sure you don't have a + wire on the Burb shorted/grounded somewhere? When you connected the cables did you get any type of arc?
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:24 PM
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I do not know what you call an arc, there were the usual small sparks when putting the clamps in place (A/C belt tensioner on the Buick and Suburban frame for grounds).
I obviously do not know if a + cable is grounding somewhere, but where to start, what circuit?
I have jump-started many cars in the last 25 years and have never seen this!!
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:26 PM
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Battery may be shorted inside also. Getting that hot something could easily explode. Be carefull.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:27 PM
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How can I check if the battery is shorted inside?
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave1957
How can I check if the battery is shorted inside?
Take it to a Parts store & let them test it. I wouldn't hook the Buick back up to it either. Could easily fry your Alternator or ECM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:53 PM
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Have not had my battery tested yet, but I am wondering what would cause this? Is this purely a battery failure or is there another issue in the truck?
I would not want to get a new battery to have it die instantly...
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave1957
Have not had my battery tested yet, but I am wondering what would cause this? Is this purely a battery failure or is there another issue in the truck?
I would not want to get a new battery to have it die instantly...
It sounds like a shorted battery. You could take it out and try to have it charged. If it is that dead it would not be unusual for the jumpers to get warm as they are carrying a lot of current trying to charge the battery.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:33 PM
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Have you checked your ground straps? Did you take anything off other than the manifold? Maybe the starter is bad.
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:37 PM
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So, here is the latest of my problem... still not solved...
I have had the starter checked, it is good.
I have removed the battery from the Suburban and connected a good battery (from my daily driver) directly to the battery wires of the Suburban (with jumper cables): the starter barely spins a little bit, and the jumper cables get very hot at the clamps and smoke a bit, especially the ground cable! So, same problem...
I have also connected both jumper cables directly to the starter, the + to the big lug nut, the ground to the case: still the same!
When I have installed the TBI on this engine, I have not touched the starting circuit of the Suburban, and it started before!
Oh, 1 last thing that is strange (to me!): the starter keeps on turning (very slowly) even after I release the ignition key. Could this be of interest?
I find this all very frustrating, because if I put juice to the Suburban, the battery wires start smoking, and if I do not give it juice, I cannot search where the problem is!!!
Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:35 PM
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Check for proper clearance between the starter drive gear and the flex-plate ring gear.
You may have them jammed tight and the starter is engaged constantly. Sometimes these starters must shimmed for proper meshing of the gears.
That would explain the starter running after the key is released from the start position.
Using a paper clip, bend it so you can probe the gap at bottom of the two gears. There should be 1/16" gap. If not remove the starter and install a shim (available at auto supply stores) between the starter and the engine block.
Recheck the gap and add shims as required.

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Old 09-06-2010, 06:26 PM
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Hey thanks, interesting idea, I was focusing on an electrical issue, but gears too tight could explain why the starter turns so slowly while pulling enough electricity to get the jumper cables hot... And everything else electrical works in the truck, so...
I did also change the tranny but have not changed the flywheel, though...
I will have to look into this tomorrow!
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave1957
Oh, 1 last thing that is strange (to me!): the starter keeps on turning (very slowly) even after I release the ignition key. Could this be of interest?
Thanks!
Is the Engine running when this happens? If not I'd say your starter is toast, solenoid shorted etc..
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:49 PM
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Starter Solenoid___OLD---

hOW LONG HAS THE STARTER been in use ?
a bad solenoid can cause some of the things you described, also the starter can be so full of road grime, on the gear end ,it overheated and is ruined too, altough it still cranks somewhat-
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:16 PM
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I would check the selenoid. If it's sticking it'll keep turning the motor over, and if it's in rough shape, only enough current will get through to turn the motor over slowly.
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