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My Camaro has been sitting for about 5 years in a garage and I am trying to get it started. Here is what I have accomplished. All of my lights work as they should. Radio works. Wipers work. Instrument lights work. Directional indicators do NOT work. With key in OFF position, there are NO warning lights. When I turn the key to ON I hear a light thunk sound that comes from the voltage regulator. When the key is turned back to OFF, the GEN light is on. I can get the GEN light to go out by unplugging the two wire plug from the back of the ALT or disconnecting a battery cable. I removed the voltage regulator cover and watched what was going on when repeating the key switch from OFF to ON. The single contact points is what is pulling in and making the light thunk sound referenced earlier. I switched the key from ON to START and had nothing......no solenoid click, no starter motor.....nothing. I jumpered a wire from the POS of the battery to the S terminal on the starter solenoid. The solenoid clicked but the starter did not turn. I checked the battery voltage without cables connected and had 12.5 volts. With cables connected I had 12.5 volts. I removed the starter and solenoid from the engine and took to Advance Auto for a check. The starter motor spun and the current draw was about 120 amps. So after all this effort, I am out of ideas. The Advance Auto employee suggested that maybe the engine is stuck? I had thought of that but not sure why that would have happened. The car sits in a garage with a car cover. A week ago I changed the engine oil and filter then pulled the distributer to prime the oiling system. Spinning the pump with a cordless drill I had 36 psi pressure. I know I have listed a lot of things in this post but it paints the picture. I am now wondering about the neutral safety switch. The car has a 700R4 with a B&M console shifter. I can see a switch with two purple wires and at least two or three other wires that I presume are for the backup lights? Thanks in advance for any advice or help with my starting problem.
 

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I am now wondering about the neutral safety switch. The car has a 700R4 with a B&M console shifter. I can see a switch with two purple wires and at least two or three other wires that I presume are for the backup lights? Thanks in advance for any advice or help with my starting problem.
To check the neutral safety switch connect the 2 purple wires together and if your car starts.....defective neutral safety switch.

David F.
 

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The Advance Auto employee suggested that maybe the engine is stuck? I had thought of that but not sure why that would have happened
Did you turn it over by hand?

Have u tryed the starter after spinning it up off the car?
And have u tryed putting a (old ) screw driver across the starter/battery terminals when in the car?
If the solenoid and starter spins up strong, then jump the terminals see if the engine turns over...
If it doesnt something is wrong up in the ign circuit, or in the solenoid contacts...easy to disassemble and turn the big copper washer over
And while at it may as well remove the starter motor end plate, and check the brushes move free ...either one of these or both is the most likely cause.
Went to fire up my sons RX7 last weekend...same symtoms, disassembled the starter and 1 brush was sticking in the holder, cleaned the holders....20 mins fixed as good as new.
My Camaro has been sitting for about 5 years in a garage
Or there is a current drop in the wiring between the ign and starter, this is easy fixed by dropping a relay in above the starter......this is common on old cars/orginal wiring...I mounted a relay on the firewall about 10 yrs ago to fix the issue, and the same on a couple of my old 1950s english cars.
 

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since advanced auto verified your sol and starter are good has to be your battery or battery cable. if you go under the car with your voltage meter and have someone turn the key and make sure you have 12 volts from the switch to the solenoid. you said you tried jumping that wire right from the battery and it still didn't turn the starter so the key ignition wire is probably o.k. check both battery cables and terminals. a bad cable can still show 12 volts on your meter but will break down under heavy amp draw .your gen light on could be a blown fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have looked at the fuses and see no problem. Which fuse in particular would lead to the GEN light ON? I am going to pull the spark plugs today and see if I can turn the engine over by hand. I will be PO'd if the engine is stuck. I had an old '53 chevy stepside that I messed around with and let it sit too long.....15 years to be exact. It was hard to get started until I drained all the stale gas, rebuilt the carb and cleaned the dist. cap contacts and ignition points. Then she fired right up and purred like a kitten. Any ideas on freeing a stuck engine....short of overhaul? I can't imagine the rings sticking well enough to overcome the starter torque? Over the past 5 years when the car sat, I did spray WD40 in the cylinders. I would not do that again but at the time I wanted to fog the cylinders. I was thinking of spraying Sea Foam Deep Creep into each cylinder if the rings are stuck. Or maybe PB Blaster? Any thoughts on these two ideas? Thanks again for advice. I am starting to become desparate......I want to get the Camaro on the road.
 

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I was thinking of spraying Sea Foam Deep Creep into each cylinder if the rings are stuck. Or maybe PB Blaster? Any thoughts on these two ideas?
......PB Blaster:yes::thumbsup::thumbsup:. It's the best product that I have found for loosening/lubricating rusted/stuck parts.

David F.
 

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on my 69 prettt sure i blew the gauge fuse and the gen light came on. i doubt that the starter will break the motor free if it is rusted up. pull the plugs and put a socket on the balancer bolt and see if it turns
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I managed to pull the plugs today and rolled the engine over by hand at the crank pulleys. The engine appears to be free. Had the battery load checked and it is putting out about 450 CCA. It passed the load check. I don't think the battery is my problem since the starter drew 120 amps when checked last night. I've cleaned up the exterior of the starter and all the connections on the solenoid and installed back to the engine. A friend told me that he thought the solenoid could draw as much as 10 amps when starting with the key. The wires on the solenoid are both brown??? The one to the 'S" terminal on the solenoid should be purple. I'm thinking someone may have spliced on a new piece sometime in the past. I'll keep investigating......
 

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Randy, try checking your grounds both at the battery and the engine. Make sure your neg. terminal connection is clean and snug at the battery and the engine block. A while back I had an intermittent no start problem with my 69 with alot of the same symptoms as you have described. The car would start up and run fine, I would shut it down and go to restart it and would not even get a click from the solenoid. Drove me absolutely nuts. I took the same approach as you and tested everything. It turns out that the negative terminal connection at the battery was loose, even though it "looked'' fine.I tightened it down and the problem was gone. It's worth a shot. Good luck!!!
 

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Is the solenoid getting START voltage in START position?

Could be neutral start switch or ign switch, if a '68 (best year). Ign switch START contacts do develop carbon across the contacts, how many times in its life has it been twisted to START witha 10 amp load across the contacts?
Also as said, you could measure starter motor ground fromt he motor case, engine block, bracketry to the battery post for voltage. Naturally, if good connections, no voltage will be read, but if there is an open, battery voltage will be read indicating an open circuit.

Either have an assistant at ign sw and you measure or attach a test lamp so you can see it when starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good ideas Matt and Everett. Thanks I will check that. I am bound to get lucky sooner or later and find the culprit!
 

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Reading this, me and a buddy at work think its the ignition switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm getting there. I have a new one to put in. I don't have the bezel rempoval tool at this time. Yesterday, I verified the neutral saftey switch is good and the backup light switch also is good (even though I still don't have back-up lights). Yes, the BU light bulbs are good. I have no voltage at the connections to the neutral safety switch when the IGN switch is in start? I started reading the GM service manual last evening and ran across some good troubleshooting info for the voltage regulator and Alternator. I will ty to make a post with this info in it soon. I'm not sure if I have one problem or more than one problem. I am suspecting a diode failure in the Alternator based on the GM service manual troubleshooting guidelines for the VR. This is based on the GEN light being ON in the IGN key OFF position and OFF in the IGN ON position. This afternoon, after work, I am going to have Advance Auto check the alternator. If they can check the VR I will have them do that too. If not, I will troubleshoot with the test light to isolate more precisely where the problem lies. I am trying to figure out why I have no power to the neutral safety switch also. I'm not sure if a failure in the charging system will cause no power at the Neutral saftey switch?? As soon as I can get the IGN switch bezel off, I will check the contacts for voltage at the BATT terminal etc. I'll keep posting until I resolve my problem. Maybe someone else will benefit from what I learn and accomplish. Thanks to all who have responded.
 

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Charging system problem is not related to starter/solenoid power.
No power at N/S switch in start may be a switch problem or poor connection.

Yes, paper clip into the hole pushed in and the key inserted and turn CCW to unscrew the tumbler. A good pair of needle nose pliers will unscrew the bezel for removal of bezel so ign switch can be dropped out the back of the dash. Reach up and unplug the switch.

Most alternator shops will test your ext reg & alt together for proper working condition. Usually, if you have alot field voltage, blue wire on alt to ground, and low volts out, BAT, less than 9 volts, diode is bad inside alt.

Gen light has ign voltage on one side of bulb, lower voltage, less than 0.5 volt, on the other side, engine off, key on. Once engine starts alt turns, v/reg supplies battery voltage to low side to 'turn out' GEN bulb.
 

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All good points guys but why not just put a jumper wire on the inner solenoid connector and hit the positive pole on the battery? The issue is that the starter won't turn. Jumping the starter bypasses the ignition switch and safety lock outs.

Make sure the car is in neutral or park.

alan
 

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And have u tryed putting a (old ) screw driver across the starter/battery terminals when in the car?
If the solenoid and starter spins up strong, then jump the terminals see if the engine turns over...
Thats what I said way back...
"to simple"

Think about how it works
turn the key, current goes via the trans switch to the solenoid
the soleniod dose 2 things
1/ a big copper washer connects across the main battery cable and the starter motor itself....the starter spins up
2/ At the same time the solenoid throws the bendix gears forward engaging the end gear in the ring gear on the flywheel/flex plate.

One note thu...DONOT lube the bendix !!!!
The starter will work on the test bench, but when in the car it will bind.
Assemble clean and dry.
 
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