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Discussion Starter #1
Removed battery to clean area in trunk. Fully charged battery while it was out, removed, and cleaned ground cable, cleaned battery connections,reinstalled battery. No start, good voltage at main terminal on starter, connected v/o meter to solenoid terminal voltage drops to 5 volts when ignition key turned to start. Disconnected lead from starter solenoid hooked v/o meter to lead, turned key voltage 12.5. Had this problem last summer off, and on ( good exercise push and jump in start). Tried different battery no go, at least now its not intermitent. Also installed rebuilt starter, and new step bolt last summer.
Bob Ferguson
87 spider
91 164L
78 Benelli 750 sei
53 XK120 Jag (owned time machine 44 years)
 

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check battery voltage at battery terminals when key turned to statr, should tell you whether battery or cables bad. could also if too difficult to check that way, check battery voltage with lights off and then with lights on, should also tell you whats wrong.

cliff
 

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Can you be more specific on no start. Does the engine turn over at all? Does the solenoid click in? Push and Jump start makes me think you are not getting the starter to turn over the engine. If nothing happens at all you may not be getting power to the starter solenoid when you turn the ignition switch. If it is trying to turn over then it is in the main power circuit from ground through the battery through the starter and back to ground. Is the braided ground cable from the bell housing good with good contacts?
 

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If you have 12.5 volts at the battery and at the battery connection on the starter and the voltage does not drop when a load is put on the battery, but you only get 5 volts at the starter solenoid connection, your problem is not the battery or the starter. You have a problem or problems in the wiring harness. You need to get out a wiring diagram for your car and trace the starter circuit from the battery through the key switch all the way to the starter, and clean/tighten EVERY electrical connection between the battery and the starter solenoid. If you find any crimp type butt connectors anywhere in your car's electrical system, cut them out and solder and shrink wrap the connections. If there are any relays between the battery and the starter solenoid, you should probably replace them.

A trick you can do to help keep the problem from reoccuring is to install a relay between the battery and the starter solenoid connection. Relays will pull in with less voltage than is required to pull in the starter solenoid. I suspect it is due to a smaller coil and lighter spring on found in a relay compared to the spring used in the bendix of a starter solenoid. Get a Bosche type relay 20-30 amp capability across the points should be good. There will probably be 5 terminals on the relay, and most will have a diagram printed or embossed on the case to show which terminal does what. 1 terminal will go to the coil, 1 will go to the ground side of the coil, 1 will be the common side of the points, 1 will be normally open(n.o.) and 1 will be normally closed (n.c.). If you get a relay with a mounting bracket or tab on it, you can mount it to an existing screw under the hood or with a sheet metal screw in an unobtrusive location. Run a wire directly from the battery positive terminal to the common terminal with an inline fuse holder with a fuse rated equal to or higher than the rating for the points of the relay. Run another wire from the n.o. terminal to the solenoid terminal on the starter. Next run the factory wire that energizes starter solenoid to the positive side of the relay coil, and run a wire from the negative side of the coil to a frame or engine ground. When your starter is wired this way, the key switch will energise the relay and you will always get full battery voltage to the starter solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I but orginal battery back in it turned over great. Ran exhaust pipe out of my hobby shop to run car.Try to start car no turn over at all, very slight click noise. Hooked up a battery to the solenoid +, and a good ground, to see if I could get the solenoid to engage ( main battery disconnected), slight click and no engage. Acts just like it did last summer, might go a month just fine then no start no turn over push start.
The Ferg
 

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to check the battery you need a load tester such as:
Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

as suggested systematic, after load testing battery check throughly all relavent connection:
Battery terminals both, ground from battery to body, battery to/at starter, ground from body to engine, starter wire at ignition switch and starter, ignition switch itself

maybe when the starter was rebuilt the solenoid was not renewed properly
 

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Since it does turn over great sometimes, it would appear to be in the start switch circuit to the solenoid. The test you were doing hooking a battery up to the starter solenoid directly may be a way to isolate that. Mine is put away for the winter so I can't tell you whether a slight click is all you would hear with the test you ran just on the solenoid. The starter solenoid just closes the circuit on the power to the starter. Try this -- Keep the main battery hooked up and hook a battery to the starter solenoid at the starter. Remember once you do that, it will want to turn over. So make your last connection at the battery keeping arms and fingers out of the engine bay. If that works then you have a problem either in the ignition switch or the wiring from the switch to the starter solenoid. Since the car runs once you push start it - that eliminates a bad wire from the main power at the starter to the junction box. If putting power directly to the starter solenoid doesn't work then I would suspect the rebuilt starter.
 

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All problems with spiders seem to happen at the same time-what gives??!!!

Cold weather, battery become less efficent as the temperture decreases, resistence to rotation increases as temperture decreases due to increased friction and lower viscosity of lubricants; hence the load on the system is increased while the avaialable power is decreased.
 

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Cold weather, battery become less efficent as the temperture decreases, resistence to rotation increases as temperture decreases due to increased friction and lower viscosity of lubricants; hence the load on the system is increased while the avaialable power is decreased.
Yes, but this happens every year (temps and fluids) and yet this problem is new to this year.
 

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Yes, but this happens every year (temps and fluids) and yet this problem is new to this year.
Maybe it's only new to you? Problems like these have been happening since the auto was invented. My guess is the more complex the system, the more potential for failure, the more difficulty in diagnosis, which can be exascerbated by non-stock complex modifications. Live in a climate that gets hot you have a different list of recurring problems. Of course the systems degrade over time depending on local conditions, maintenence, chance, etc.
 

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Maybe it's only new to you? Problems like these have been happening since the auto was invented. My guess is the more complex the system, the more potential for failure, the more difficulty in diagnosis, which can be exascerbated by non-stock complex modifications. Live in a climate that gets hot you have a different list of recurring problems. Of course the systems degrade over time depending on local conditions, maintenence, chance, etc.
OT, but Roger, I live in a climate that reached over 110 degrees this summer and has already been 10 degrees BELOW freezing. This is Cincinnati, we only have two seasons: Summer and winter. People in Alaska drive cars and so do people living along the equator. Climate can complicate an existing problem, but rarely, very rarely is the single cause of it. I've NEVER had any car experience the conditions you described in cold or heat, ever. Not to say what you are saying isn't true, but that info is extreme to say the least.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I did what Steve mentioned, and hooked battery up and used another battery to activate the soleniod. Turned engine over great one time that was it, just get clicks now. Guess I'll just have to pull the starter tomorrow. not my favorite job.
The Ferg
 

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Before you pull the starter, Recheck where you placed the special bolt. When I put my starter back in I recall having some real questions whether I was placing it in the right spot. Some of the posts on the subject were confusing. That bolt of course lines everything up properly. Don't know if it was wrong whether or not it would be making it act the way it is. Also recheck your main battery to make sure it isn't draining after one attempt.
 

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One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous post is that a low voltage to the solenoid or anywhere else will cause high amp draw (ohms law). If your starter solenoid is laboring with low voltage for an extended period of time, it will burn the contacts. The contacts are really large in a starter, and one of the contacts is designed to turn each time it engages so that you get fresh brass tro brass each time it is used. It sounds like part of the brass contact is burned, hence just clicks. Click it a few times and it finds a clean enough spot to start the car. A new starter or replacing the contacts in your solenoid will give you a temporary fix; but if you are getting low voltage to the solenoid, another failure is just a few weeks or months away. The only real fix to the problem is to find out why you have such a big voltage drop at the solenoid. If your electrical system is good, you should never see less than 10 volts at the starter solenoid and it should be 11 or 12 volts when it first pulls in. The 10 volts is what the voltage does if you need to crank the the engine for a few seconds to get it to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update on starter problem. Removed starter took it to rebuilder had him replace the solenoid, and check the rest of starter. Reinstalled starter, and it works great. Did load, and voltage checks all checked good . So at this time
it looks like it was the solenoid. Thanks for the help.:)
The Ferg
 
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