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Discussion Starter #1
Good day to all

Here is my problem

My 1988 spider stopped running while at a stop light. Before that moment, the car was running just fine.
I tried to start the car, and NOTHING, the starter did NOT even crank.
Lights, as well as dash indicators work fine, fuel pump also hums when the key is in starting position, but no starter cranking.
Just to make sure, I charged the battery (fairly new, probably one and a half year old)
I turned on head lights, all bright and strong ….. turned the key to start, and the lights dimmed.

Any ideas what could be causing these problems?

Thanks all
JPENA
 

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The fact the lights dimmed when you turned the key to 'start' would seem to indicate that power is being sent to the starter. Do the lights go very dim - almost off - or just a little bit dim? The starter motor is a big draw and would make the lights go very dim. The starter solenoid is a smaller draw and would make the lights go slightly dim. A faulty solenoid would prevent the starter from working. You might hear a click as you turn the key to 'start'.

But a faulty starter would not explain the engine stalling at a stop light. We need to think on this some more...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Indeed, when I turn on the key to start, it clicks, and if the light are on, they dim slightly.
That said, I have and identical car that works fine. If any of you have ideas on what areas (wires) to check on the good car and compare with the one not running, will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
JPena
 

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The solenoid is basically a large electromagnetic device that pushes the drive gear into mesh with the ring gear on the flywheel. It then makes the connection to send power to the starter motor. (when you release the key a spring pushes the solenoid back.) When you hear the click and the lights dim a little bit that is likely the solenoid activating. But it is not making the electrical connection to activate the starter motor (or the starter motor itself is faulty).

First check that all connections in the battery to starter circuit are 100%. Remove, clean and secure each one. Including the ground cable's connection to the body (sort of hidden behind the battery). Also check the connections at the starter motor but do those with the battery disconnected unless you like lots of big sparks. This may not fix the problem but it is good maintenance and allows to know that all these connections are 100% clean & tight.

If, after doing the above, the solenoid still only clicks when you try to start it, try this: have your trusted assistant in the car (transmission in neutral, hand brake on). When she turns the key to start, rap the starter with a small hammer. The jolt can sometimes encourage a recalcitrant starter to work (temporarily). If it works immediately go out and buy a lottery ticket (but leave the engine running when you go in the store...).
 

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apart from the above suggestions, I'd also undo and clean the battery ground cable end bolted to the trunk floor.
Check the connections at the junction block, with the thick red starter wires, on the driver's side inner fender.

if you get it all working, then add a starter relay
:)
 
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