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Porschev 02-13-2007 11:00 AM

Starter won't start and fuel pump won't pump after engine reinstall
This is a 350 in a porsche 914.

The engine and trans were out for restoration work, of course, the wiring was all disconnected.

The engine and trans are back in the car now, but the starter won't turn and the fuel pump won't pump.

Here's a diagram of the setup:

Here's a pic of the alternator before I took the car apart:

Here's the situation:

1. All the general electrical works - all exterior lights, wipers, interior lights, gauges, turn signals, etc.

2. But the starter won't turn over. I measured 12.6 volts at the starter, from the battery. When I turn the ignition switch to "on," I get 12V at the yellow wire connection on the starter.

So it should turn over, right? But it doesn't. When I try to ground the 2 connections at the starter (the stub where the yellow wire connects and the 12V connection), I get sparks, but no turnover on the starter.

Does this end my analysis? Bad starter? Seems odd, because it was fine when I took it off the car. And it is a type of starter that rarely fails.

3. The other thing is the fuel pump, which is a Mallory. Normally, when the key is in the accessory position, I can hear the fuel pump running. Now it is not running. The odd thing is when I turn the key to the accessory position, the pump is getting voltage! I put a test light on it, and it turns on when I turn the ignition sw to accessory. But the pump is not pumping.

Seems too coincidental that the starter AND the fuel pump have now died.

4. The car has an ammeter gauge in it. From what I recall, the gauge never really moved off of the "0" position in normal operation of the car. I don't think I ever saw it move, other than a tiny bit in one direction of another.

With the car at rest, it reads 0. When I put the key in the accessory position, it moves slightly, like it always did. But when I try to start the car, the gauge pegs all the way to the right, which reads something like " -30 " (negative 30).

It never did that before. This is a major clue, which I cannot interpret, because I'm not exactly sure what an ammeter gauge does, or what that reading means.

I did have the wiring apart, and I could have miswired something when I put it back together, although I was pretty careful, with pictures, markers, diagrams, etc.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! I know this is tough to do over the 'Net, doubly tough when a car has had it's wiring apart, and triply tough when it is a non-standard, customized car like this.

the1fordirt 02-13-2007 11:36 AM

you should have a purple wire running from the ignition swith to starter solenoid make sure it is on the side marked S ammeters don't move much but sounds like you could be missing a ground

Porschev 02-13-2007 11:40 AM

The wiring on the car is from the Porsche. I think instead of purple, the wire is yellow.

It comes from the ignition switch, and connects to the solenoid on the starter. When I turn the ignition switch, I can see that it is providing 12V to the solenoid.

As shown on the diagram, there are only 2 wires to the starter - one directly from the 12V post on the battery, and the one from the ignition switch. Does that seem right?

poncho62 02-13-2007 11:47 AM

Which small terminal on the starter are you connecting this wire from the ign switch to? Have you bench tested the starter?

It should be the one closest to the engine block.

Porschev 02-13-2007 12:00 PM

This is not a GM style starter, it is a small Japanese starter made by IHI.

There is only one prong to connect from the ignition switch, so that part can't be messed up! I marked the connection before I disconnected it, and took pictures, too, so while I may have screwed something else up, I'm certain I have that part wired correctly.

I have not bench tested the starter. I did try jumping the 12V prong on the starter to the solenoid connection, but got no action from the starter, only some sparking when I try to connect.

poncho62 02-13-2007 12:09 PM

Is the solenoid like a GM one?.....Maybe you need a separate solenoid switch

37year old kid 02-13-2007 01:30 PM

I have a similar starter in my Chevelle. Make sure there are not supposed to be two wires besides the battery cable going to the starter. It sounds like there is an incomplete circuit in the starter wiring. Excuse me if you mentioned it before, but was the motor in the 914 before? If everything worked before, and not now, sounds like wiring mix up or a wire went stray and is hiding from you. I know there isn't a lot of room in a 914 engine compartment with a 2.0L, so a 350 must really bust some knuckles. :pain:

docvette 02-13-2007 02:54 PM

Doc here, :pimp:

If it is a Mini Starter Type of starter, I'd suspect the solenoid is bad...

FIRST, try rotating the engine BACKWARD about 1/4 turn, the Starter drive MAY be stuck, this will free it.

NEXT, To test, REMOVE the yellow wire, Jump (as you did before) The Small terminal, to the large Bolt (Battery Cable) Terminal, THIS WILL SPARK! The solenoid draws a lot of current, but should energize the starter if the solenoid is working. If it doesn't in a fraction of a second, and sparks like you shorted across the battery, STOP. If it won't turn over, the solenoid is bad or the plunger is jammed inside the solenoid.

NEXT, get out your DVOM, Set it for V X 50 or autorange, Measure the Yellow wire, With the KEY in run, It should read "000", Then have someone hit the key to start, It should read 12 Volts (or whatever your battery static is reading.) If it does your solenoid circuit is correct. If it has 12 volts in run, OR "000" in Start, it is shorted, or mis~wired, you'll need to check the wire to the neutral safety switch then to the ignition switch for shorts or opens.


A Lot of Fuel pumps will pump up to pressure and STOP..until the pressure is relaxed, To check, Open your fuel line or Filter and drain the line..then connect it back up, and turn the key on, It should "Hammer" until the line fills again, then shut off..If so, It's doing it's job..

IF NOT, Check the Tank ground at the pump, be sure it is hooked up..and you have 12 volts to the power side of the pump. If you do have that..the pump is dead..(or internally clogged)..removel will be necessary. If you have NO Power at the pump, Check for a bad Pump relay (not sure Porsche runs them or not) And / Or a blown Fuel Pump fuse.

The AMP Gauge is a simple device that has the Current from the vehicle run through it (or it's remote shunt) If it is open, (depending upon how configured,) The car will Have no power to the electrical system. Since you say movement is there, but slight, it may be damaged by a high output alternator, where a low Current alternator came out..(GM Vs Porsche charging systems) You may have to replace it...OR better yet , and much safer and easier to install, put in a Volt meter.

Hope it helps!

Keep us updated!

Doc :pimp:

Porschev 02-13-2007 03:06 PM

Thanks for your posts, I was able to knock down the starter problem.

Both the starter and the fuel pump have been off the car for a month or so. So I think they may have stiffened up a bit.

I tapped the starter a few times with a hammer, turned the key, and it cranked over! :thumbup:

I thought maybe I'd get away with the same thing on the fuel pump, but no such luck.

I'll turn to the pump next. This seems like an easier problem - just two wires and no connection to other systems. I have checked the ground and the power, and it is getting 12V, but staying silent.

It is not the type that pumps up to pressure and stops - it has a return fuel line to the tank, so it keeps pumping constantly, even if the car is not on.

Here's the pump. Is there anything I can do to take it apart/clean it up internally/rebuild it, etc., or do I have to buy a new one?

(BTW, the car has both a voltmeter gauge and an ammeter gauge).

docvette 02-13-2007 04:17 PM

Doc here, :pimp:

You might check the Mallory site to see if a rebuild kit is available for that pump..It looks like the Pump portion is rebuild-able (the bottom part) but if the motor is not working, that may be another problem..

The motor drive may be stuck (if it draws current a lot when on, or the wire gets hot) and you may be able to free it by turning the gears in the pump assembly, but other than that , I'd say not too much you can do but replace it.

Doc :pimp:

Porschev 02-13-2007 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by 37year old kid
I have a similar starter in my Chevelle. Make sure there are not supposed to be two wires besides the battery cable going to the starter. It sounds like there is an incomplete circuit in the starter wiring. Excuse me if you mentioned it before, but was the motor in the 914 before? If everything worked before, and not now, sounds like wiring mix up or a wire went stray and is hiding from you. I know there isn't a lot of room in a 914 engine compartment with a 2.0L, so a 350 must really bust some knuckles. :pain:

Yeah, the engine was already in the car, but I removed the engine and tran, and everything else from the engine compartment, to rebuild the trans and do a complete cleanup/reseal/restore of EVERYTHING.

I did redo much of the wiring. They way they had it, they ran the wires in a harness up over the top of the engine. So it basically was laying on top of the intake manifold. It was all neatly wrapped up, but not the cleanest looking presentation.

I ran all of the wiring completely hidden underneath and behind the sheetmetal in the engine compartment. Inspired by American "hot rod" style, I wanted all the ancillary "stuff" (wires, hoses, lines, etc. etc.) hidden as much as possible, for the cleanest look possible.

But for the wiring, this required making the harness much longer, so I had to extend most of the wiring by 3 feet or so. I was careful to do it one at a time, rosin core flux solder, wiped clean, heat shrink tube sealed, then a bit of prof grade elect tape, then the harnesses sealed in Russell Wire Wrap, but things can always go wrong, I guess. Fortunately, the wiring turned out well. It took me around 8 hours to do, I did it very slowly and carefully.

I also removed all of the welded in brackets that held all the Porsche fuel injection junk, and filled in all the various unneeded holes in the engine compartment. Filled in and removed about 25 brackets and holes!

I got the drivetrain back in this weekend, and everything buttoned up last night. It looks insane! There is no visible wiring. The spark plug wires are run under the headers. The vacuum lines are run under the air cleaner. The fuel and coolant lines are almost completely hidden. It looks a lot like an engine sitting on an engine stand, not hooked up to anything.

As far as space, believe it or not, there is more room to work with the SBC than with the 2.0 4 banger. The SBC is actually much narrower than the flat 4. The flat 4 had miles of wiring, vacuum lines, fuel injection bits, etc. etc. spread everywhere. And the compartment was sealed because of the aircooling, so you couldn't see or reach from top to bottom.

Porschev 02-14-2007 12:53 PM

Thanks all.

I tested the pump by hooking it directly to the battery, something is definately shorted inside the pump. Whether I can free it, not sure, but it is 12 years old, so I am going to just replace it.

Should be ready to fire up by friday!

Thanks for your help.

Here are some before and after pics of my engine project:

And the car:

37year old kid 02-14-2007 01:24 PM

Beautiful job!!! Did you paint the engine parts or powder coated?? I had a 75 914 w/ 2.0 until the pan rotted out right underneath the battery. The most fun car I've ever owned, hands down. Once again, beautiful job AND car!! :thumbup:

Porschev 02-14-2007 01:34 PM

It's powder coated.

I've had lots of different porsches, but this one is my favorite. Sitting a few inches off the ground with 5.7 liters of American V8 thumping 6 inches behind you - fun!

docvette 02-14-2007 03:37 PM

Doc here, :pimp:

Nice Clean Job!! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Sorry to hear the pump turned nipples to the sky... :( Hopefully It isn't too hard to get to and replace..)

Let us know it the new pump solves the problem.

Doc :pimp:

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