starter engages while driving - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 09, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Bob
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 47
starter engages while driving

Heres what happened:
Went to a local car show last night and when we went to leave I tried to start my 302. It started but the starter remained engaged and would not disengage even after removing the key from the ignition.
We had to disconnect the battery terminal for the motor to stop running and the starter to disengage.

Restarted the car and proceeded to head home when about 5 miles down the road the starter engaged again the tach was swinging wildly between 3k-8k.
Had to pull the battery cable again but this time when I went to start again the starter just made a whirring noise.

Push started and got it running but another 3 miles and the starter again engaged while driving.

Gave up and called a tow.


Anyone else had this problem?
Starter is original has not given any problem since motor was rebuilt in April by a professional builder of chevy H.P. motors.

Thanks in advance to all who may be able to help

Bob
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 09, 02:21 PM
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Alan
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SoCal
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Re: starter engages while driving

Problem with the ignition switch in the steering column? A starter can hang at start if there is a misalignment issue but I am assuming it has been working correctly until last night so it is unlikely the starter suddenly became misaligned. Do check the 2 mounting bolts are tight and haven't backed out.

The only thing I can think that would cause the starter to engage as you are going down the road would be the solenoid engergizing.

If it were a case of the solenoid hanging, it would still have the starter engaged into the flywheel which it did at start but you fixed that when you pulled the battery cable off and the starter retracted.

The tach swinging wildly is interesting as the tach connection comes off of the neg. side of the coil and there is a lead that feeds back to the starter from the coil. Are you running and HEI distributor or a factory points distributor?

alan

Last edited by alanrw; Jul 19th, 09 at 06:02 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 09, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Bob
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 47
Re: starter engages while driving

Alan
Thanks for the reply.

The distributor is an MSD hei.

The solenoid might be hanging as the starter doesn't retract at all now.
If I put the battery cable back on the starter engages even with the key out of the ignition and stays engaged until I pull the cable off again.

Or maybe the ignition switch is bad and just keeps energizing the solenoid?

Bob
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 09, 08:19 AM
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Alan
 
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Re: starter engages while driving

That part about the tach swinging wildly at the same time makes me think about the HEI doing something it isn't supposed to do.

That being said, I was having starter jitters when hot and I assumed it was the old heat soak issue. I had to install the lower bell housing shield last month as my car came without one. A friend came over to help and said "let me take the starter to a buddy who does this stuff and see what he says".

The starter came back with a new bushing in the pinion side of things and a new solenoind. It has been hotter than Hades here lately and the starter is working just great. My point here is maybe pull the starter and have it gone thru by a starter guy and see what's doing. The cost is quite minimal. If the pinion bushing is worn out, that could cause the starter to hang. Granted, it doesn't answer why it engaged on it's own but it is a start. (sorry, sometimes I just can't help myself).

Also, if the starter is engaging no matter what, disconnect the cables from the starter, keep them well out of the way of any grounds and hook up a DVM, one lead to the purple wire, one to ground. If you reconnect the battery and the DVM shows 12V with the key out, you have a switch issue. It should read 0 V with the key out.

alan
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 09, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Bob
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 47
Re: starter engages while driving

Maybe a combination of both the switch and the starter.

I guess the good thing is that it should be easy enough to narrow down to one or the other or both.

I will pull the starter tonight and take it to a starter /alternator shop near me and have them check it out while I run a meter on the switch.

Thanks for the advice Ill post what we find.

Bob
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 09, 12:35 PM
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Mark
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: PGH. PA
Posts: 76
Re: starter engages while driving

The starter is definatley a gonner now. The drive is k-put. I doubt if the starter was the original problem. Sounds like ign switch or switch wire shorted. Look it over good before putting in the rebuilt starter.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 09, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Bob
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 47
Re: starter engages while driving

Well we finally got to the bottom of this problem.

Starter/alternator repair shop said there was some kind of short in the starter itself affecting the return of the bendix gear.

Bought a rebuilt Delco starter and had to replace the ring gear as the teeth were all rounded off.

After reinstalling both car started up fine ran and shut off and restarted several times with no problems.

Don't know that it mattered but the old starter p/n was from a "70 small block with auto. trans.

Thanks to all who replied with suggestions on what may have been the problem

Bob
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'67 Chevelle SS Clone Orange 468
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 09, 08:58 PM
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Alan
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 3,903
Re: starter engages while driving

Well, at least you found out definitively what the problem was. That's a lot better than not finding the problem and just replacing parts, always unsettling.

alan
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