Starter Keeps running??? - Team Camaro Tech
Troubleshooting Diagnosing problems done here.

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old May 28th, 02, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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I was doing a compression check on my car today...I let it crank untill the needle stops climbing...But when I let go of the key it kept cranking..I then confirmed the key was off and even removed it..(all within I would say 3-4 seconds) but the starter continued to run and then stopped(Starter Ran for about 5 seconds after I let go of the key) Cranked it again and shut the key off...Worked fine...did a couple more cylinders and the starter kept running after removing the key again for about 5 secondes..I checked the wiring on the starter everything looked good and tight...Any thoughts...were to start looking for this gremlin....Could it be the starter or the ignition switch..Never did this before..Could the continuos cranking for the compression check of heated the starter. causing it to get stuck..Any help would be appreciated..Thank you

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old May 28th, 02, 09:02 AM
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I wish I knew. Mine did that 3 different times in the last 4 months, exactly as you described. I'm nervous every time I turn the key.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old May 28th, 02, 09:13 AM
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Mine did the same thing a few years ago for awhile and and dissappeared never to return......I am still baffled to say the least
However i did a few things that may or may not have helped.
First i shimmed the starter out more cause i thought it was getting hung up or the backlash was too tight.....still did it occationaly
Next i filed the edges of the flexplate gear teeth to get rid of any burrs
I am not sure if any of this helped get rid of the problem as it did it a few more times afterward.
I too was cranking it for long periods of time (checking something cant remember what) and it was do it to the point where i had to run around to the front of the car and dissconnect the battery to get it to stop!
Im sure someone out there knows what is going on....I am curious too

Nate
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old May 28th, 02, 10:30 AM
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I would start by taking the starter out and have it tested most auotparts stores will test for free I have also run into the same problem back when I was into mud bogging with my tractor truck this thing was put together 100% with Auto Zone parts stater would do this about every 3 months I guess all the mud and being under water did'nt help any though I would take it back and they would give me another one.
Jeff
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old May 28th, 02, 11:10 AM
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If the starter is not positioned correctly it can be toooooo tight against the ring gear and hold itself in the "engaged" position it will continue to run. I would put a shim in and forget it.

Another maybe is the solenoid hanging up. If this is the case, then the solenoid is bad.

My bet is the first one.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old May 28th, 02, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Hotrodsrj..The starter appears to engage ok..I have started it 50-60 times without a problem...I have the Timing advanced quite a bit for my cam(20* without vacuum advance at idle..38*with the Vacuum advance )<--Don't know if this makes a difference....Also the HEI power lead was disconnected while this was happening inorder to complete the comp check<---Again don't know if this would make a difference..Also one last thing to mention the battery was running down when this happened and I had just hooked up the charger on boost inorder to finish the comp test---I wish to note that it did not do this untill the battery started to wind down and I hooked up the charger..<--Could this make a difference...Thanks again

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old May 29th, 02, 01:42 AM
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All the things that you mentioned do not make any difference.

There is only three ways that the starter can "hang" and keep cranking.

1. The ignition switch continues to power the starter solenoid terminal after release meaning bad switch or wrong terminal wiring. This is not a likely issue since yours intermittently works.

2. Ignition switch powers up the starter solenoid and the solenoid hangs up for some reason providing continuous power to the starter and keeps it running. Could be a candidate for your situation. I have seen this one alot.

3. When the starter solenoid energises, the contacts make and provide current to the starter thrusting windings which thrust the starter stator forward engaging the ring gear which simultaneously powers up the starter motor and cranks. The pinion is too tight, so the stator never releases from the ring gear and the power just keeps on coming to turn the starter. Another possiblilty, even tho this one usually only hangs on until the ring gear provides more clearances and finally lets go. Usually seconds of cranking is not a symptom....but could be?

There are no other scenerios that would cause the starter to hang other than obscure shorts across the starter wiring.

The timing, HEI hook up and battery condtion, all do not play into this.

ps....just a note on timing. Why do you have your timing so high, and at what rpm are u checking this? You should be looking at something like 12 to 14 static and limit the HEI vacuum advance to 10 degrees, or it will give you too much under light/part throttle and you will get pinging. Heis are known for too much VA. On hot days when you engine warms and is shut off, you may not be able to crank it after sitting due to the advance setting. Sorry for the sidebar.



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STEVE JACK
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[This message has been edited by HOTRODSRJ (edited 05-29-2002).]
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old May 29th, 02, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hotrodsjr..Thanks for the info on the starter..Since it appears to happen intermitent...Any ideas how I could troubleshoot this..Should I just replace the starter..and use shims???

As for so much timing..I am running a big cam [email protected] and am having a problem getting it to idle without all that advance..The best I can do now is 1000rpm at idle..

Thanks again

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old May 30th, 02, 01:04 AM
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The actual determination of what it is should be relatively easy to do if it happened all the time. But obviouly, since it is an intermitent problem I would start with a shim first. You can measure the clearances befor putting the shim in to exact the spacing.

If it still hangs, I would replace the solenoid....I don't think the ig switch is hanging.

Go get a .015 shim and stick it in and wait to see if it ever does it again.

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STEVE JACK
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old May 30th, 02, 03:46 AM
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In order to "think out" the problem, you have to know how the starter motor and solenoid work (not trying to be a smarty, honest).

When you hit the ignition switch, the current goes to the solenoid and it throws out the gear. There isn't any voltage going to the motor yet!

Once the gear has been extended, contacts within the solenoid send current to the motor.

Why this is important to know is that the ignition switch doesn't really send electricity to the motor, just to the solenoid. It's the contacts within the solenoid that power the motor and if the solenoid is held extended, the power will continue to go to the motor.


In the original post, the individual was doing a compression test and I'd bet that all of the spark plugs were removed. As a result, there was very little resistance offered by the engine and the starter gear just didn't want to return. With the spark plugs in place, I'd bet that the problem never happens.

For others that may have the problem happen on a car that has the spark plugs in, I'd recommend just putting in a stronger return spring in the starter housing. (think about how much heat that thing has seen over the years!)

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