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jerry

i'm an electrical moron and i need advice

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folks,

spare me from having to drive my old acura legend grocery-getter any more than i have to.

the starter on my beloved 75 02 DD is kaput, or so i think. i put key in ignition, seat belt warning buzzer works, headlights work, turn key, starter no work, no click, no nothing, no solenoid...

fuses look good, ground wires to battery, engine, body (near regulator) look good. fittings seem tight.

so, i followed curt ingraham's recent suggestion and bought a digital voltmeter: NOW WHAT?

thanks in advance

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Jerry,

95 percent of the time. The alternator is the problem based on what you described. I have been there.

Armond

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test your battery!

Umm.. use your acura to jump - or try and jump the 02... will the extra juice help any? have you checked your grounds & all the basics? ground straps, battery ground? electrolyte (spelling) levels in the battery?

If not then your battery should be at or just above 12V but may be lower depending on how long you've been trying to start things. Changing out a starter (non-tii) should take you all of 30 minutes and if you're lucky you won't even get that dirty.

Take the opportunity to upgrade to the E30 M3 starter. It's lighter and cranks harder.... haven't done it but have heard others rave about it..

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1. connect the + terminal on the voltmeter to the big giant cable on the starter, and the - voltmeter terminal to ground. do you get +12 volts? If so, you're gettin' juice to the starter.

2. Now do the same thing but connect the + voltmeter terminal to the small wire on the solenoid. Have someone turn the key to start. Does the voltmeter read +12V? If yes, the starter circuit is good; if not, I'd suspect the starter switch (on the ign switch's backside)

3. If the starter is getting voltage at these two terminals and the battery to engine ground is good, I would suspect the starter motor.

See...it's easy.

Good luck

mike

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If you try to jump it and it's a no go, it could be your ignition switch. Many times when an ignition switch gets old they just don't carey enough amperage to make the starter solenoid go. You can try putting 12 volts + to the little male connector on the starter that has the wire on it from the key switch. (This should be between or close to the two big power posts. Be careful! When you touch a 12v+ wire to that little connector or (spade) the starter will run and if your car's in gear you WILL run over your foot. Been there done that. Also be careful with bare wires that have 12 Volts + on them in a cramped metal area.

Now, if the above makes the starter run, that means there isn't enough amperage from the key switch (or none at all) to energise the solenoid. If you find voltage at that wire but it doesn't make the starter go you can wire in a relay. I think 20 bucks or so should be able to buy a relay. You may need help making the relay work but what you want to do is have the weak key switch energise the relay (witch takes very little amperage to do) that inturn will feed good amperage voltage to the starter solenoid so that it can do it's job and make the starter spin.

Make any sense?

John

John

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thanks folks. i'm gonna go through these suggestions tomorrow after work. it's too dark right now

i'll let you'all know what i find.

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Jerry- Are you local to Oakland? I have a spare starter.

i work by the airport. thank you for your offer. i, too have a spare lying around somewhere, (armond will back me up on this). let me try out the suggestions and go from there.

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Jerry- Are you local to Oakland? I have a spare starter.

i work by the airport. thank you for your offer. i, too have a spare lying around somewhere, (armond will back me up on this). let me try out the suggestions and go from there.

Ha! you got that right. You can build a few 02's with your stash!

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1. Dome light on. Turn key to start. If dome light goes off or very dim, problem is battery or wiring, not starter.

2. Set meter to volts d.c. (I assume you have an auto-ranging meter; if not, set to 15, 20 or 30 volt scale.) Connect red meter lead to positive battery post. Connect black meter lead to negative battery post. Make these connections right on the posts, not on the cables, connectors, body, or elsewhere. Key off; voltage should be 12.6 volts. Key to ignition position; voltage should be 11.5 to 12.6 volts. Key to start position; voltage should be 10 to 11 volts. If so, starter is bad. If lower, battery is discharged or kaput. (Charge battery and repeat; if same results, bad battery.) If voltage is higher, starter wiring is bad.

3. Connect red meter lead to battery cable post on starter. Connect black meter lead to starter frame. Again, make the connections right there. Should be 12.6 volts. Turn key to start. Voltage should be 10 to 11 volts. If lower, battery positive or negative cable is bad. If higher, starter circuit through ignition switch to starter solenoid is bad, or solenoid is bad. Do the measurement at the starter solenoid as Mike described.

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Jerry- Are you local to Oakland? I have a spare starter.

i work by the airport. thank you for your offer. i, too have a spare lying around somewhere, (armond will back me up on this). let me try out the suggestions and go from there.

Jerry make sure to lube up the shaft on the starter that the teeth slide on - does that make sense? My spare was sitting in my garage for a while and little did I know when I installed it that there was just enough rust to stop the solonoid from sliding out to the flywheel... man was that a pain! Just take a screwdriver and some PB Blast and lube up. I cleaned everything out with a little Acetone and then put some Moly grease on the shaft. Use the screwdriver to pry the starter gear out into the starter housing. Or just keep your nice metal/electrical parts near a dehumidifyer (Spelling)

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