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Starter Doesn't Energize/crank


JohnP

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I have not run my '72 tii (restored 2001) much the last few years (garage kept), but even after extended storage periods it has always started readily and run without trouble. Finally got around to firing it up this year and went to start it...totally dead.  Dead battery (10 years, from Auto Zone, not bad).  Replaced the battery and get bright instrument panel lights when the key is turned to on, fuel pump whines away, but when the key is turned to start, just one click and... nothing.  No engagement by the starter.  Repeated attempts yield the same single click and nothing.  Any thoughts on what "the click" is.  Stuck/bad solenoid or starter?  suggestions on how to track this down?  This car only has about 15,000 miles on the rebuild and has always been garage kept.  Thx much. 

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+1 FunkylaneO.  there's a ground wire/strap that attaches directly to the engine/block.

    Years ago I had your starter problem:  the ground wire (my '74tii ground wire is brown in color, attaches to the block just rearward of the alternator) connection was tight, but dirty enough to lose electrical connectivity.  5 minutes:  I removed the bolt, cleaned everything, re-installed:  no more problem.

 

 

Otherwise, seems to me 2 separate and distinct things happen:

1)  the starter motor will energize and spin, it doesn't care what the solenoid does.

2)  the solenoid will energize and shove the little gear into the flywheel, the solenoid doesn't care if the starter motor spins.

 

And when both happen, the starter thus turns the engine to get it started.

 

SO, I'm thinking that if you are only getting a click:  the solenoid is doing it's thing.  The "click" is the sound of the little gear hitting the flywheel.

 

Which indicates to me that the starter motor itself isn't spinning.  

--  Could be the battery cable connection at the starter needs cleaning ??

--  Could be the starter motor itself has a problem ??

 

If it has been starting, and all of a sudden the starter motor isn't spinning, seems like starter to me.

 

ANOTHER TROUBLESHOOT:  what happens to the instrument panel lights when you turn the key to "start" ??  Do you get the "click" and the instrument panel lights dim ??  Or not dim at all ??

--  you've got a new fully-charged battery, so there will be enough amperage to spin the starter motor.

 

Cheers,

 

Carl

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 Dimming would indicate major current draw by the starter motor.  Since the inst lights are not dimming, no starter motor draw ..... the starter isn't trying to operate.

 

 Ground wire is the easy item to check and fix:  find it and clean it.

 

 Then something to do with the battery cable from battery to starter. Clean every connection on both POS and NEG battery cables.

    --  I once found some sort of "slime" on the POS battery terminal which prevented electrical connectivity.

 

  Don't assume the "click" is the solenoid and that it is OK and doing its thing.  Have someone put a hand on the solenoid while the key is turned, they should feel the little gear kicking out into the flywheel.

   http://www.agcoauto.com/content/images/electrical/no_crank_starter_operation.gif

 

 Check that all the wires are connected to the starter and solenoid ..... maybe there's something else that is dirty/disconnected ??

 

 Ugly idea is something in the ignition switch itself when the key is turned to "start" ..... something in the switch isn't connecting.

 

Cheers,

 

Carl

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 Ugly idea is something in the ignition switch itself when the key is turned to "start" ..... something in the switch isn't connecting.

 

That doesn't sound likely because ignition switch controls solenoid which is working/clicking.

 

After checking starter and ground connections I would suspect the solenoid. Contacts in solenoid can go bad. It's possible that they are corroded during storage. That would match with panel lights not dimming as they are not making the connection to starter motor. It's possible to disassemble the solenoid and clean the contacts but easier would be to swap the whole starter.

 

  Tommy

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You can try a heavy jumper wire between the battery positive cable on the starter and the solenoid terminal. Just do by hand, sparks will fly, but if the starter is good it will turn. I had a funky starter (new S14 copy) that sometimes acted up. I would zap it with the jumper and it would work for a while. Not a long term solution but sometimes will kick things loose. Of course be careful when doing this!  --Fred '69 & '74tii

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 +1 Tommy, he makes more sense on the key switch than I did.

 

 Also, it is possible to change just the solenoid if you determine it is bad.  In 2004 I took my starter to a local starter repair shop.  He was able to cross-reference the solenoid (Bosch 16362) and get me a "what is available" replacement for $24.  I installed it myself (piece of cake), no problems since.

 

Cheers,

 

Carl

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FYI to close the loop, the main ground strap was loose, not wiggly but not tight. I think it let enough dirt and oxidation to stop the flow. Cleaned it reinstalled and tightened and Voila! You all underscore the old axiom ALWAYS CHECK THE OBVIOUS FIRST!! Thx again all

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