Starter issues - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 14, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Starter issues

Hey everyone,

Got an issue with my 67 RS Convertible. The starter began causing problems or so I thought when it was hot as it would just click when I turned the key but it would eventually start. I did some reading and assumed the issue was caused by heat soak so I ordered a new mini starter with a new solenoid and installed it a week or so ago. Drove the car twice since and low and behold it's doing the same thing and it's even done it a couple of times when it was cold. Could possible resistance in the wire cause the problem? If so, why would it be so intermittent? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 14, 07:37 PM
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Re: Starter issues

You are on the right track. Most likely culprit is the ign switch or neutral safety switch if original. Lots of connections between battery and solenoid could be faulty or dirty also. Junction by battery, horn relay bus, bulkhead connector, ign switch, nss. I assume you've cleaned both ends of both battery cables. Hot solenoid/wiring has increased resistance and a faulty component or bad connection can't deliver the current necessary to activate the solenoid.

A bandaid fix - but pretty reliable - is to wire a Bosch type relay triggered by the purple S wire, with power coming from the pos batt cable post on the solenoid.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 14, 05:44 AM
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Re: Starter issues

X2 on the ignition switch. I had a short to ground from the SOL terminal to the case of the switch. Progressively got worse until it was a dead short.

Installing a relay will not make a difference in this case, you are still using the switch to fire the relay. The solenoid it's self is only a couple amps of draw when operating properly.

If this is your problem you will be burning up a fusible link sooner or later as the ground gets worse. Of course, IF this is your problem.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 12:27 AM
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Re: Starter issues

Quote:
Could possible resistance in the wire cause the problem?
yep .. very common on old cars.. at some time in its life the wire could have been sorted ouit, or damaged in a similar way....
basically oxidation f the surface of the copper stands in the wire....elecrticity runs down the surface not the center of a wire....oxidation on the surface equals residtance which equills voltage drop , bad starting

A relay mounted on the firewall above the starter (a heater cover panel stud is good)
The starter wire activates the relay supply full current to the starter....

Heat sink is a myth also.. the issue is generally an the initial timing in the dizzy too high, huge loads and current draws on the solenoid and starter armature resulting in damage to the armature...

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 14, 04:01 AM
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Re: Starter issues

After cleaning both ends of the cables and their connection surfaces as suggested by Al, Post #2, and starter still clicks, swap out battery cables - wire gauge too small or corroded strands inside cable jacket/insulation.

Min gauge size is 1 AWG. Since you have a '67, be sure to include the yellow wire from Solenoid R terminal to coil + terminal as there is no ign power with '67 ign switch in START position. You will have to install a diode, 1N4001, in line with yellow wire, line towards the S terminal of solenoid to have START ign power.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 14, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter issues

Okay, I've tried everything but the relay and it's still hit or miss when trying to start my car when it's hot. I replaced the yellow wire and it did have several places in it showing exposed wire and I thought I had it fixed until I drove it and it would start about every other time when I turned the switch. Can someone tell me exactly how to hook up the relay as this may be a good temporary fix until winter and I'll did deeper then? Thanks!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 14, 12:39 PM
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Re: Starter issues

Bosch style 50a relay, either SPST or SPDT - doesn't matter. 12ga wire will be fine. You can mount the relay to one of the heater box studs.

85- Purple "S" wire

86 - Chassis ground

87 - "S" terminal on solenoid

30 - POS batt cable stud on solenoid (fuse this wire)

87a (if an SPDT relay) - not used


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 14, 04:12 PM
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Re: Starter issues

Adding another component to a system the OP (and most others) can't troubleshoot only complicates things.

Since the starter doesn't turn slowly, the issue is likely to be in the solenoid circuit. This is from the battery + terminal through any connectors, the harness bulkhead connector, ignition switch, NSS, back out the other harness connector, to the solenoid, the starter body, bolts, block, whatever the ground cable is connected to, the ground cable and finally the battery terminal.

Make sure all those connections are clean and there are no defective or resistive connections, and the problem will be fixed.

Measure the voltage to ground from the S terminal. Chances are its low.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 14, 03:26 PM
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Re: Starter issues

I mounted my rely over 20 yrs ago.. because at some point in the cars history it looks like the purple wire had been shorted.. not enough to cook the insulation but just enough to oxides the surface of the copper strands (electrical current runs down the surface of the strands , not thru the centers)... increasing the resistance/ voltage drop.
Further to Als post above.. route the battery to relay wire from behind the battery , preferably after the the fusible link up under the fender so cant be seen, then out by the fire wall

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 15, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter issues

Well, it has been a year now and I have tried everything that I can think of to remedy my problem and nothing's worked. I replaced the starter/solenoid twice, replaced all of the wire from the firewall to the starter, replaced the switch/plug, cleaned all connections and traced/inspected the wires under the dash/fuse block and still having problems. I really don't won't to install a relay but it looks like I have no choice but I'm afraid that it's not going to solve the problem.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 15, 05:04 AM
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Re: Starter issues

I have had this same symptom and the problem was a bad battery cable. It looked fine on the ends, but must have had an issue somewhere between. Try connecting a volt meter to the actual battery post, crank the motor (if it will) and observe the reading. If the reading tanks, the battery could be the problem. Next connect the meter to the battery cable connector and go through the same process. Next connect the meter to the terminal on the starter and do it again. Once you find the point where the voltage drops significantly you will have found the problem. That's a very short explanation, but if it doesn't ask sense, and I can give you better details.
This is all assuming the signal to the solenoid is getter there strong and consistently. On my current car the bulkhead connector was the problem. The metal terminals that touch when you plug the connector in had lost their spring tension. Probably from heat from years of current running through them. I took the easy route and bypassed the connector. I cut the wire going to the back side of the fuse panel and connected a new wire and ran it to the solenoid.
Problems that come and go suck! It makes it so hard to troubleshoot. Stick with it.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 15, 04:07 PM
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Re: Starter issues

The simplest thing to do is to jump the solenoid. Assuming the problem is happening at that moment, if the problem goes away, there's a trouble in the solenoid circuit. If there's no change, the contacts in the solenoid could be a problem, or the big -/+ cables, connections, or the battery are the problem.
Ept000 is also right. Measuring voltages is a good idea.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 15, 07:39 AM
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Re: Starter issues

bld22663,

I have a 69 Camaro and just had a similar problem with my starter. I too replaced the starter thinking it was a solenoid issue but the new starter had the same problem. Then I replaced the battery, but still had the same problem. So I stopped throwing money at it and began diagnosing the problem.

I started tracing the wire from the solenoid going back to the ignition switch, (a lot of unwrapping of tape) remembering that these are nearly 50 year old cars and probably had several owners over the years, I wanted to make sure there were no issues with the wiring. What I found is that over the years this wire had been spliced together three time (crimp type connectors) and that the sliced connections had corroded over the years. I ended up cutting the wire back to the original wire coming off the ignition switch through the firewall. I soldiered and shrink wrapped the new connection which should last another 50 years. (I don't like crimp connections in the engine compartment, exposure to many corrosive elements, they tend to fail over time from the elements and vibration and crimp connections are not sealed well)

I decided to take it a step further, understanding that most of the electrical components have been under a great deal of amperage which causes heat from the bad connections I decided to replace the ignition switch and the neutral safety switch which completes the circuit and are all parts of starter connection when you turn the key. This still gives me pause as to whether to put in all new updated electrical wiring, but I will put that expense (est. $600.00) off for another time.

I will tell you that my car starts like a new vehicle and I no longer worry whether to drive my car somewhere because it might not start when I get to where I am going. Now the starter sounds the way it sure sound when I crank the starter (I think most people know what I mean by this) and I have taken the car out everyday over the past 5 days on numerous trips to the store, for long evening rides, long rides in 85 deg weather to dinner... absolutely no issues.

BTW: I used a voltmeter and a test light to verify voltages but unless you can measure amps you may miss the problem that I had when the line is under a load. The wire always showed 12 volts, what I could measure was the lack of continuity in the wire when the starter was drawing a full load on the solenoid.

Good luck, take your time it will be worth it once you get it fixed.

Regards,

Joe

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 15, 08:42 AM
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Re: Starter issues

Have you considered that it may be a mechanical issue rather than an electrical one? I had a starter that did this once and finally figured out that it just needed a shim between the starter and the block. The starter was too tight on the flywheel and neither could turn.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 25th, 15, 09:46 AM
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Re: Starter issues

Check the ground wire and star washer connection on the fender.
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