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Old 04-25-2020, 11:44 PM   #1
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Default Possible Starter Problem?

I searched around and I can't find anything that lines up with what I'm seeing.

This is a '52 stock 8BA.

I recently had an issue where I would turn the key and get nothing from the starter. I have an electric fuel pump on a switch and it would come on but, turn the key, and no clicks or anything. Replaced the solenoid and ignition switch, still nothing. On a whim, I ran a new ignition wire and suddenly it jumped to life.

It started and ran great for several days until yesterday. I got in and accidentally tried to crank it while it was in first and it lurched, I cursed, and tried again. This time, it started to crank and then gave a few rapid clicks and shut down. Original issue was back. Turn the key and get nothing. Now, not even the electric pump would come on.

I tried to jump it by bypassing the solenoid and bridging the battery and starter and got nothing from the starter. At this point I thought the starter was fried so I pulled it and bench tested it. It immediately spun up like a champ. So I put it back in and called it a night thinking it was the battery.

I had been having problems with the battery so I picked up an Optima this morning, installed it and got the same rapid clicks and then nothing. Not even the pump. I turn the key and it's radio silence. I disconnected the battery, and reconnected, pump comes on, turned the key and got the clicks again and then nothing. I pulled the starter and battery again, and bench tested and it worked fine again. This time I put the battery back but not the starter, I turn the key and I get good solid clicks with the turn of the key like it's supposed to. I'm getting good voltage across the solenoid. I try the old solenoid I replaced and I get the same thing. I grab the starter and connect it with jumper cables and it spins so I pull the starter cable out and flip it around to where I can hold it in the engine compartment. Connect a jumper cable from battery ground to the starter body and have my wife turn the key. Rapid clicks and then nothing. Disconnect battery, disconnect starter, reconnect battery and good operation again. Made a new starter cable out of 1/0 and hooked the starter up... you guessed it... rapid clicks and then nothing.

So, no starter hooked up, solenoid seems fine. As soon as I connect the starter, rapid clicks and then nothing. It's almost like with the starter connected, the solenoid is locking up and doesn't release until I disconnect the battery again. Why would the starter work on the bench but not in the car? I've grounded the hell out of this thing with 1/0 welding cable weeks ago from the block to the frame, frame to the bell housing so that sorta eliminates a bad ground, plus it does it with the starter hooked straight up to the battery.

I am at my wit's end here, guys. Anybody seen this before?
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:04 AM   #2
flatheadmurre
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

Worn bushings perhaps...
Why the solenoid doesn´t disengage is strange if the points in there doesn´t weld sticking from excessive current...
Take the starter apart and check if you have armature to housing contact...you see shiny marks from rubbing on them.
Other reason may be broken springs or sticking brushes...
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:41 AM   #3
big job
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

Rapid clicks with starter connected ? sounds like the solenoid when under load is starving
for ground. You sure you have a good ground wire firewall to engine? And then any
time I have heard a rapid clicking solenoid any vehicle or year is dead battery that checks
out fine but when under load won't even light a flashlight. Thats possible.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:50 AM   #4
koates
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

Replace the main battery cable which runs from the battery neg terminal (if its positive to earth as original) to the starter solenoid. Bad or corroded connections between the cable and battery terminal clamp can cause intermittent operation especially when the load of the starter motor is applied. This especially applies if the cable is an old original. Regards, Kevin.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

Are you sure the battery is OK? There have been a lot of cases lately where new parts are "bad out of the box".
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

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Is there oil on the surface between the face where the starter bolts to the bell housing? I know of a situation like this where the ground between the starter itself and the engine was nonexistent. It needs to be clean and dry there.
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Old 04-26-2020, 01:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by koates View Post
Replace the main battery cable which runs from the battery neg terminal (if its positive to earth as original) to the starter solenoid. Bad or corroded connections between the cable and battery terminal clamp can cause intermittent operation especially when the load of the starter motor is applied. This especially applies if the cable is an old original. Regards, Kevin.
I did this and definitely got improved voltage through the solenoid. The cable was completely corroded once I got it out and inspected it. I’ll try with the starter next and see what happens.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

Holy hell. Replaced both battery cables, cleaned up the mating surface of the starter and it turned over like a champ.

Thanks for the help! Saved me a lot of money and headaches.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

Remember the old Frank Sinatra song "Love and Marriage"? Maybe someone should make a new version called "Grounds and Connections".
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Possible Starter Problem?

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Remember the old Frank Sinatra song "Love and Marriage"? Maybe someone should make a new version called "Grounds and Connections".
Lol. I’ll never underestimate the value of good cables ever again.
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