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Christien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Troubleshooting no start

I''m having a problem starting my car. When I turn the key all the way to the right, I'm getting all the electrical stuff (stereo, lights, fuel pump and the whine) but no cranking - nothing at all from the engine. Also, there's no "clicking" sound, which as I understand I should expect from the solenoid. This leads me to believe that the no part of the starter is working. I've done lots of searches, and as far as I can tell it's either the solenoid/starter, or the ignition switch, where the key goes.

Let me state clearly that my knowledge of electricity is poor at best I hooked in a wire where the big black wire attaches to the solenoid and ran it under the car, where I hooked it to the positive of the multimeter. I then touched black point of the multimeter to a ground spot I found in the door. With the key in the far left position (i.e. everything off - no stereo, no nothing), I was reading 12.7. When I turned the key to the last position before the engine should start, the reading lowered to 12.3-12.4. When I turned the key over to where the engine should start, the reading stayed the same. When I turned the key back to the left, it went back up to 12.7.

So what is this telling me? I *believe* it's telling me that I'm getting a full current flow from the battery to the starter, but that the key isn't changing this (should it?). Does it sound like my problem is in the starter or in the ignition switch?

The worst part is that this just started today and I'm doing an autocross tomorrow. It's happened once in a while in the past, but after a couple tries the engine always started - had to be pushed-started today twice, which worked fine. What can I do to fix it in the next 12 hours, with only generic parts source stores open? (No place to get European parts around here at 7pm on a Saturday!)

Thanks!
Chris

edit: oh yeah, I've checked the transmission ground strap, all the connections, pulled them off and cleaned them all up, no change.

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Last edited by Christien; 09-17-2005 at 03:03 PM..
Old 09-17-2005, 03:01 PM
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did you try jumping the starter solenoid directly w/ 12v ?

be careful and safe doing this.. ie: for ex don't leave the tranny in gear.
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Old 09-17-2005, 03:31 PM
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take a volt meter to your starter

first measure if you have 12v or near that on the thick wire

that's your main lead to the batter, it should always be on

if you have 12 v there,

put the voltmeter on the small connection that comes from the small wire from the engine harnass (the thick one is alternator, same circuit as your battery )

while the volt meter is hooked up, have a helper turn the key in crank mode... at that time, you should read 12 v


if both conditions are met, and the starter does not crank
then it's toast

if you have 12 from battery , but not from key in crank
then your wires are problematic, you could workaround it by putting 12v from the battery on the solenoid ( with a switch of some sorts , some stores carry remote starter thingies )
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Old 09-17-2005, 03:37 PM
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I did have 12V at the starter, so I was definitely getting juice through there, so I went looking to the ignition switch. I pulled the wire cluster plug off the back of the switch and began jumping the different terminals in there. After a minute of trial and error, wham, away she goes. After a few more stabs, I find the two that jumper all the electric stuff, including the fuel pump, so I jump that, then jump the starter and she starts right up beautifully. So there's my problem.

Next step, run out before the store closes and pick up a couple generic ignition switches. Am I going to be able to wire these up with any success? If not, any other ideas as to how I can start the car without having to hold jumper wires in there? I know I'll have to start and stop it several times tomorrow at the autocross.

Thanks!
Chris
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Old 09-17-2005, 04:40 PM
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you can wire anything on that solenoid, it doesn't care who gives it 12v

the big danger is forgetting the car is in gear when you push the button from an external source not around the dash
but if you splice that wire to some button and hook up 12v to the other end of the button , should be fine till you fix/replace the original keyswitch
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Old 09-17-2005, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Christien


, any other ideas as to how I can start the car without having to hold jumper wires in there?
Good time to wire in an engine compartment momentary solenoid start button. It's great to have forever.

I ran 2 yellow AWG 10ga wires to a 20amp momentary w/screwed terminals button. Sol large black wire looped to the sol start. I soldered everything.

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Old 09-17-2005, 07:17 PM
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Thanks, Ronin and svandamme, for the excellent help and suggestions. Since I'm in a bit of a pinch for time, I can't do the solenoid button in the engine compartment, but when I fix this for good, I'll take a closer look at that. What I did was simply pull apart the wiring plug that fits on the back of the ignition switch and wire in a push-button NO circuit breaker (actually a cheapo generic brake light switch) to the two terminals which connect to the starter. So now I turn the key to the fuel pump/CD unit position, hit the switch and fire it up - works perfectly.

I'll replace the entire ignition unit, or at least pull it out and try to fix it, when I have more time, but at least this will get me through the weekend.

Thanks again you guys for the help (and Kirk911SC - great to have knowledgable guys nearby who don't mind taking a Saturday noon to help me out in their driveway!)

Chris
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:24 PM
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If you want to use a remote start switch for a compression test, how do you hook it up to the starter? Does one end connect to the hot on the starter and the other to the yellow wire on the selonoid?
Old 09-17-2005, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by code7rpd

Does one end connect to the hot on the starter and the other to the yellow wire on the selonoid?
the starter hot meaning the lug where the large cable from the battery is. The yellow wire smaller lug triggers the solenoid. A waterproof, screwed wire attachachment, and big amps momentary switch is nice. I always figure a starter solenoid's amp draw can at times be 10amps.

loop from large lug to switch to yellow on solenoid.
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Old 09-17-2005, 09:59 PM
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This is a project I'm in the middle of. The "start" position on our switches tends to wear out faster resulting in an eventual no crank situation. To minimize wear, I installed a momentary toggle switch (Off-Mom ON) in a switch hole above and to the right of the ign. switch.

The switch energizes a 25A Bosch relay that will in turn energize the starter solenoid. To minimize the total length of wires, I installed the relay in the tunnel next to the shift coupler. One control wire runs forward through the tunnel to the momentary switch, then to no. 1 fuse position (currently unused). The other control wire is grounded in the tunnel (relay terminals 85 and 86). The battery terminal on the starter motor will be the source wire for the relay power circuit. Another wire completes the power circuit from the relay to the starter solenoid (relay terminals 30 and 87) - to be completed.

"If you want to use a remote start switch for a compression test, how do you hook it up to the starter? Does one end connect to the hot on the starter and the other to the yellow wire on the selonoid?"

Yes. For a remote switch iin the engine compartment, one could use any convenient voltage source; e.g. the fuse box on the left side of the engine compartment. Ron's remote circuit doesn't look like he's using a relay. In this case be sure the switch, like in Ron's setup, has enough capacity for the starter solenoid circuit.

Hope this helps,
Sherwood
Old 09-18-2005, 12:11 AM
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Got it. Does the yellow wire on the selonoid need to be disconected?
Old 09-18-2005, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by code7rpd
Got it. Does the yellow wire on the selonoid need to be disconected?
Nope. The existing yellow wire is just another input signal (from ign. switch). You could connect/add any number of source voltage input wires to the solenoid terminal to energize it.

Sherwood
Old 09-18-2005, 10:48 AM
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Here's the finished electrical setup.

To review, I wanted to increase the lift of the ignition switch since replacement switches are NLA and/or very expensive. The "start" or "crank" position tends to wear out first.

A momentary toggle switch was installed above and to the right of the ignition switch. An unused fuse position feeds this switch. From here, the path goes through the tunnel to the relay. When the toggle is pressed ON, the relay energizes and connects source voltage to the solenoid, thus energizing the starter. It's the same function as the ign. switch, but the solenoid gets energized from a shorter distance (less voltage drop).

This modification doesn't replace the regular crank position; it's just another option.

Hope this helps,
Sherwood

I believe the yellow wire on switch terminal 50 is the same for most years.


It's a little tight, but it all fits.
The 2nd pic is revised. Go to Remote Starter Switch for the latest info.


Last edited by 911pcars; 12-28-2005 at 01:44 PM..
Old 10-08-2005, 11:43 PM
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