JanDaMan

Starter problem?

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5 minutes ago, Digibeam said:

Not to contest but to clarify, as the wording of “supply to the solinoid” is misleading

The solinoid positive (50) is derived from the starter relay, the hard positive to the starter motor (30) is isolated from the solinoid coil and is only common to the contacts engaged as a result of the solinoid motivation, otherwise if they shared a common positive in the event of an arc short, the solinoid could be welded permanently engaged leaving the drive gears of the motor driving the flywheel after the car has started.

but you have the general idea, thank you for commenting.

I never said or implied they had the same common point - I clearly said 30 is from the battery and 50 is via the switch. Thank you for clarifying.

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Damn CA rain flooded my house atrium and garage, so I need to deal with that first. But just to be clear my first step will be to raise the car and get under the starter with car in neutral and try and tighten the two bolts on the solenoid if loose, try some taps on the starter, and also take my volt meter set to the position as shown in the photo above and touch the black probe on some ground such as the frame and touch the red probe at the solenoid post that has the largest wire going to it and see if I get 12V. Lower the car back down and see if it starts. If that fails then do the extra effort of wheel & wheel well removal and check for tightness of all the battery connections. I am pretty elemental in respect to electrical diagrams & other technical stuff, but they are probably good for others; however like a 10 year old I at least have the ability to follow wires & other simple stuff.

Thanks for the comments about how clean the car is, but in So Cal there are not much weather elements (well occasional rain, which I never drive in anyway). Plus I only take it out every couple weeks or so, which may be part of my problem. It seems the more it sits, the more problems I tend to have.

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Well I got under the car and all connections at the starter looked real clean and felt tight but and I tightened everything about a quarter turn anyway very snug. I even sprayed a little WD40 on the bolts thinking maybe it would help with connectivity if there was any corrosion I did not see. Then tapped on the starter several times with a small hammer. Went and turned the kill switch back on and used my volt meter on the bolt on the large wire on the solenoid and saw 12.66 volts (same as the battery). Then lowered the car but just like usual heard the click but no start. Tried several times crossing my fingers but no start. So since I am reading good volts right at the starter I suppose there isn't any point in removing the tire & getting into the battery area right? Now thinking back for better diagnostic purposes, if it did start I suppose I should have checked for 12+ volts at the starter first and then determined whether tightening or tapping may have caused any change in voltage or starting ability. It seems next step is getting some 2X4 and plywood down in the dip in the uneven driveway/street to push it into the street for a tow without scraping the front. Its a shame there isn't a way to raise these cars without the car running. I would think when you need a tow there would be high probability the car isn't running and therefore would be difficult to get onto a tow truck even if the pavement is even.

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41 minutes ago, JanDaMan said:

12.66 volts here with key off.

D2761E8D-5199-4AC0-8E7D-80363A25E6BA.jpeg

What would have been more valuable is to check the voltage at the starter when you try to start the car. You could have run a jumper to the post on the starter to be able to check it while the car is on the ground so you don't worry about the car falling off the jacks (or getting the extra jacks like I mentioned, which every home mechanic should have anyway).

It's possible to have full voltage under no load with bad wiring, but then the voltage drops dramatically when you activate a load on the circuit.

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Thanks. I could always jack it up tomorrow and run a jumper to the starter and attempt to start and read the voltage. Where would I attach it on the starter? Would it be the bolt above the one I tested (the one with the cable that looks like it goes from the solinoid to the starter?) I tested at the battery before and when I turn the key to start, the voltage at the battery goes to about 11.4 and then rebounds back to about 12.6. Same thing shows on the dash. I recall that was typical when the car was starting in the past. 

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37 minutes ago, JanDaMan said:

Thanks. I could always jack it up tomorrow and run a jumper to the starter and attempt to start and read the voltage. Where would I attach it on the starter? Would it be the bolt above the one I tested (the one with the cable that looks like it goes from the solinoid to the starter?) I tested at the battery before and when I turn the key to start, the voltage at the battery goes to about 11.4 and then rebounds back to about 12.6. Same thing shows on the dash. I recall that was typical when the car was starting in the past. 

You want to measure the voltage going into that big post in the starter. That's where all the juice has to go into the starter to turn over the big V12.

My voltage drops into the 8's or 9's on the dash when starting, and I noticed other Murci's do that too.

If the voltage is good going into the starter, then you're pretty much left with a bad starter.

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Ok I have some wire clips and will see if I can clip some extensions here (photo) and to ground, then turn the key to start & check voltage. So I should be about 12.6 when I attempt to start? (Pretty much same as the bolt I measured on the solinoid?).

FC00B713-5065-44BB-9F51-F70CBA9D172B.jpeg

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4 hours ago, JanDaMan said:

Ok I have some wire clips and will see if I can clip some extensions here (photo) and to ground, then turn the key to start & check voltage. So I should be about 12.6 when I attempt to start? (Pretty much same as the bolt I measured on the solinoid?).

FC00B713-5065-44BB-9F51-F70CBA9D172B.jpeg

Ideally you need to sample the voltage at all 3 points.  The red covered wire is the signal to the solenoid, the thick unpainted is the feed to the starter solenoid and the painted black is the other side of the solenoid, i.e. with no voltage on the black one (after key turn) means the solenoid is not closing correctly. 

As Stimpy says, the voltage seen will drop when the heavy starter-motor load is placed on the battery - down to around 9 volts.  Voltage not dropping is not a good thing because it also indicates the solenoid is not transferring the power to the motor.

 

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Below is what I found, all tests with the kill switch on in the engine bay. When trying to test the red wire I accidently hit the test clip against the silver bolt and almost crapped my pants. Those two are so close, hard to get a grip on the screw/red wire alone. It seems that connection of red wire & silver bolt ignited the solenoid with the loud click. But I was eventually able to clip on to the red wire screw head alone to get back in the car and turn the key.

Starter area

Car key off

Turn key to start

Black bolt

0

.26

Silver bolt

12.74

11.20

Red wire

0

.55

 

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The .55V at the red wire is too low.  If you didnt make any errors in attachment, this points to the  activation via the ignition key etc being at fault.  You could try. like you did by accident, to bridge the gap between the silver bolt and the terminal where the red wire goes.  Be prepared for being startled if the starter engages!  

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" Those two are so close, hard to get a grip on the screw /red wire alone. It seems that connection of red wire & silver bolt ignited the solenoid with the loud click. "

Sounds like your starter is bad. After the solenoid engages the starter motor should have started cranking.

Echoing V12noise. Try bridging those two again perhaps with a "starter tester trigger" from autozone so it's not as freaky. The starter motor should turn the engine over.

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Thanks, I may try the remote switch idea and found this one in the link from Amazon seems to have good clips. Seems I need to hook it up and have the key in the on position too (and in neutral of course haha). I hope it doesn’t harm anything else electrical in doing so. And if successful I could at least drive it to Newport Lambo for further testing to be sure it’s the starter before I lay out over $1,800 just for the part alone which has to be special ordered (not in stock). Or maybe it’s the ignition, or something else. Looking closer at the solenoid I thought that white substance on the red wire screw may be lock tight but hard to tell, maybe a little corrosion. But I know I couldn’t turn that screw tighter which made me think lock tight. I wanted to clip on the red wire prong alone instead of the screw but got zapped trying that so I gave up. If I get in there again I may see if I can slip in a strip of double electrical tape between those 2 connections or maybe wedge in a lollipop stick from the wife.

https://www.amazon.com/Performance-Tool-W80586-Remote-Starter/dp/B00OPVYHZ4

 

319FCC7F-F65D-4658-A7FF-DB8645471FC6.jpeg

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You should just take out the kill switch until you're ready so you don't have any more of those nasty surprises.

And if your starter is bad, most people have them rebuilt for a few hundred dollars instead of paying the Lambo tax. I think their might be a cross reference though for new ones that are a lot less expensive. Look up the DIY posted on here for starters before paying the Lambo tax.

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Great idea on the kill switch to disable for set up and to activate when ready to press the remote starter. As far as rebuilding the starter I am not sure if the starter itself is even the problem, maybe it’s the ignition. Plus I am not sure of anyone else competent to work on the car (not me on this issue, like Clint says a mans got to know his limitations).

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Was just thinking about this and was wondering if the red wire to the silver bolt connection is where the problem may be within the starter/solenoid. Since I hear a loud click at the solinoid when I try to start and a voltage drop at the silver bolt then isn’t that connection already happening correctly inside the solenoid? To me it seems the problem may be something preventing power transfer from the silver bolt to the black bolt since only .26 volts are going there. I am obviously no expert but just following the voltage response coupled with the loud click noise. Remote starter will be here soon so I will try it anyway and hope for the best.

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How the starter works:

1. Red gets +12v
2. Solenoid plunges the starter gear down engage with the fly wheel
3. Solenoid at full extension closes the circuit to send Silver bolt's +12v power down the black bolt into the starter motor
4. Starter motor spins and in turn spins the fly wheel

Using the remote starter:

1. If you pull the trigger and you hear the same sound, loud click, as you turning the key. Solenoid is extended but power from red +12v is not going down the black bolt. My money is solenoid not fully engaging.

2. If you pull the trigger and the starter turns the engine over. Your ignition, red 12v, is not providing enough voltage to get the solenoid to fully engage.

 

If #1 is the problem. Maybe you can connect the trigger to silver and black bolt (assuming black bolt is not coated with something and conductive). Turn the key to engage the solenoid (hopefully engaged enough to mesh with fly wheel). Then hit the trigger to activate the starter motor. Just spit balling here on this last idea. Think this one through lol.

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Yeah I see what you mean, I am supposed to get 12v at that red wire when turning the key to start but all I get was .26v. I did all tests shown above twice and the other time got .25v on the red wire (that's all before it fell off because the solenoid click caused the test clip to fall off). If I can slip a stick between those two terminals to prevent accidental contact I can test that red wire again with a larger clip that may stay on better. I sifted through the web to try and get educated some more and found some good links below. You are right, if 12v doesn't go through that red wire in turning the key to start, you could still hear a click where the solenoid plunger starts to move but it may not move enough to make the main contact points connect. One video (the guy in the snow second link) also shows what the contact points inside the solenoid look like, so I could see how corrosion there could also be an issue with click noise but no start. However if I don't get 12v at the red wire from the ignition it probably isn't even getting to the point of making the those contacts connect inside the solenoid. In the end at least I am getting educated and haven't killed myself yet. Major rain here today, so I can't get at it yet. Probably elemental stuff in the links below for most, but I am more visual and each seemed to help in various respects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rBNtSgfCkk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nij6sRRjEwk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOENEG2KajY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2ytpOmOaIs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfvVNjsZ9ic

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4 hours ago, JanDaMan said:

Yeah I see what you mean, I am supposed to get 12v at that red wire when turning the key to start but all I get was .26v. I did all tests shown above twice and the other time got .25v on the red wire (that's all before it fell off because the solenoid click caused the test clip to fall off). If I can slip a stick between those two terminals to prevent accidental contact I can test that red wire again with a larger clip that may stay on better. I sifted through the web to try and get educated some more and found some good links below. You are right, if 12v doesn't go through that red wire in turning the key to start, you could still hear a click where the solenoid plunger starts to move but it may not move enough to make the main contact points connect. One video (the guy in the snow second link) also shows what the contact points inside the solenoid look like, so I could see how corrosion there could also be an issue with click noise but no start. However if I don't get 12v at the red wire from the ignition it probably isn't even getting to the point of making the those contacts connect inside the solenoid. In the end at least I am getting educated and haven't killed myself yet. Major rain here today, so I can't get at it yet. Probably elemental stuff in the links below for most, but I am more visual and each seemed to help in various respects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rBNtSgfCkk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nij6sRRjEwk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOENEG2KajY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2ytpOmOaIs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfvVNjsZ9ic(

I have read some threads in the past where the murci solenoid gets crap in it and although it clicks as though it is moving it is not fully moving and not making the contact that puts the 12 volts high amp feed to the starter motor, to test the starter you need to jump a feed from the battery straight to the starter terminal, (this will be on the input side of the solenoid) if the starter turns it is most probably a gunked up solenoid. I am not sure if you can remove the solenoid without removing the starter though?

A solenoid is really just a relay where a low current feed pulls in a contactor to supply a high current feed.

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Yes I think that’s what PoKnow was suggesting to do if using the remote starter switch on the red wire bolt and silver bolt doesn’t make it start. He was thinking to then try the remote starter on the black bolt and the silver bolt (silver bolt is essentially the same positive battery voltage).

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My remote starter arrived but no way the large clip would fit onto the little space where the red wire/screw is located due to all the tight space plastic housing around it. Fit fine on the large silver bolt though. So while I was there I unscrewed the screw slightly on the red wire and moved the wire around to help clean the connection, shot it with a little WD 40 moved it more and tightened down real good. I didn’t remove the screw entirely to clean because with one hand access it would have been a little difficult to get the wire & screw back on. However it looked real clean and that white substance in the photo behind the screw in the photo I now saw was just a washer. But I was able to use a better alligator clip directly on the red wire prong itself and this time got 10.48 v while turning the key to start. I had to hold the key in the start position for about 4 seconds though while the voltage climbed and it seemed to level there. Now I know last time it was only .26 because the clip fell off. Jeff showed me how to test that same red wire route at a white plastic connector near the firewall but I had some difficulty getting that disconnected. I figured if I clamped on the red wire spade that may be good enough for another test, although I didn’t get 12 v.

AFE276C2-136C-4500-831A-0027DCFBDF56.jpeg

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Still determined to put that remote starter to use, so off to Home Depot to get some 12 gauge wire and hook it to a fork connector to slip it under the red wire/screw and then will be able to clamp on the remote starter on the other end. Then maybe will be able to put this to rest.

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Went out to the car this morning and tried to start the car a few times, but nothing except the usual loud click.  Then I hooked up the remote starter with 10 gauge wire and fork connector as mentioned above and slipped that onto the solenoid red wire/screw and hooked all that line to one end of the remote starter, then clamped the other end of the remote starter to the large silver bolt, got in the car and turned the key to the on position, pressed the remote starter button and the car started. Then the funky part: I then tried to start the car with just the key alone (not pressing the remote starter) and the car started. So, I tried a few times with just the key alone and it started most of the time, however one time I just got the loud click again. Not sure what to think now. If it only started with the remote starter alone, I guess that would mean the fault would be somewhere in anything that leads back through that red wire or the wire itself. I will try it a few times throughout the day with the key alone but still leave everything connected under the car. However at this point I am a bit skeptical of driving it and stopping somewhere thinking "problem solved". I suppose I could now drive it to Newport Lambo and have them look it over; but at this point it seems to be starting so what could they see? I hate intermittent electrical stuff, reminds me of my old Maserati Biturbo days with intermittent electrical headaches.

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Congrats! I've been following this thread because my starter is about to go. Same type of symptoms. Really appreciate the detailed pictures and progress updates. Really helps me understand the details of the system for troubleshooting purposes.

Sounds like the solenoid was definitely not engaging fully (red 12v was enough to engage but not enough to fully engage the solenoid). Likely clutch crud hindering that engagement.

I don't believe you have a problem with the red 12v.

I suspect that when you put direct +12v from the silver bolt to the red 12v. The solenoid got full power and amperage, therefore, was able to knock the crud loose and fully engage. Subsequent key starts are successful as the solenoid can now move more freely.

My next steps would be to remove and rebuild the starter OR if i'm feeling lazy... Use the remote starter 3-4 more times to knock more crud out of there and honestly you'd probably be fine for a while. Although I'd be paranoid I'd get stuck somewhere other than the house.

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