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Discussion Starter #1
My starter has been grinding when starting, which appeared to be due to the lack of a shim. Haven't had a chance to take it to my mechanic for correction, and now the starter occasionally does not work at all. I turn the key and nothing happens. After a few tries, the car fires right up. Is my starter shot and in need of replacing? Or is there another possible cause short of replacing the starter?
 

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1966-2013
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Key no action can be the ignition switch itself or the starter solinoid roaching out, or just bad connections, or a combination of those.

Presuming everything was OK before the shop work, other than the noise of course, you might wanna start with very basic stuff like checking that the battery cable is snug on the starter motor and everything else is plugged in clean and tight as its likely something on the simpler side of the chart.


*waves and blows kisses to the peanut gallery*
 

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Bad ignition switch is a kinda common issue, basically because of the high current going to the starter through the switch, the contacts in the switch arc and carbon up, making a poor connection. You can install a 12v relay under the steering column that uses the ignition switch for the relay signal, which is a much lower current connection of course. Obviously, the other two terminals of the relay are what actually connect to the starter.

I had constant starting issues on my '83 when I first got it,I did the above mod and it's worked flawlessly for over 3 years now.

Matt
 

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Haven't had a chance to take it to my mechanic
*sigh* and right out of the box I dick it up.
I literally read 'had taken it to my mechanic for correction'

As Matt suggests, a relay might be a good place to start. (check the connections regardless)
Fairly certain theres a quick and painless diagram in the Spider FAQ to accomplish it.

How did you determine lack of shim anyway?
If indeed it is not gone, it would be a good plan to try and get one in there onnaconna without it the face of the bendix gear on the starter can more or less get raped along with a couple other items in general that it just isn't good for.

I don't believe its the source of your no start problem, but it ain't helping the starter motor or flywheel in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. The ignition switch was replaced earlier this year, and this discussion now makes me wonder whether my mechanic was correct in diagnosing a bad switch when he replaced it because I was having more or less the same issues as now, i.e., nothing happening when the key is turned. I remember him checking all the connections before concluding it was the ignition switch, though. The weird thing that really makes me wonder is that it happened out of the blue -- I had gone to pick the car up after having other work done and all of a sudden it doesn't start anymore. As far as the shim goes, I had the mechanic look and he says he didn't see one.
 

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An iffy electrical connection (or a few semi-iffy connections) can cause similar symptoms. It is well worth a bit of effort to clean all connections in the battery -> starter circuit. Don't assume they are good because they look OK and feel tight. Remove/clean/secure all of them.

A relay is a worthwhile addition for two reasons. 1) it will save the relatively expensive and not-easy to replace ignition switch. B) it will make sure 100% of available electrons get to the starter.
 

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Check the ground strap as well. This strap connects the bell housing (on the right side) to the body of the car.
You need a good ground for the starter to work properly.
 
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