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Wierd intermittent starter problem


turboren
Official GVR4.org Polo Shirt Pimp
1571/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745096 posted 01/13/09 09:45 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
1571 has had this problem since I bought it, and after much searching and head scratching, I still haven't come any closer to a solution.

Occasionally, the starter won't spin. When this happens, I do hear a click, and the clutch pedal is fully down. I have to perform the following to get it to work:

1. push in clutch
2. put tranny in gear (usually 1st)
3. open driver's door
4. put left foot on ground
5. push car forward (or backward)
6. let out clutch (while car is moving, less than 2 feet required)
7. push in clutch
8. turn key to start

This works every time.

I have checked the clutch, starter, and battery wires, changed out the ecu, and the starter was replaced just before I bought it (previous owner had this problem).

Anyone have an idea?

Thanks,

Ren



1078/2k-sold, 733/2k, 224/2k, 1571/2k (AMGVR4)-sold
74 Mazda REPU; 87 CRX Si; 95 Ford Aspire (x2); 92 Laser RS AWD; 94 GMC Sonoma; 96 Miata M ed (turbo); 02 Vespa ET4 150 (new daily)

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crankwalk
Unregistered


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745102 posted 01/13/09 09:55 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Get rid of the clutch switch and also make a big retarded ground with stereo wire and add it to the mix.

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iceman69510 Galant VR4.org Moderator
Turn Right Racing
855/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745107 posted 01/13/09 10:08 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Sure sounds like a starter winding dead spot. I realize you said it was replace already, but by what condition part, new, used or reman?



91 VR4 855 Nile Black
92 VR4 828 Belize Green-SOLD
91 VR4 115 Nile Black -SOLD

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14u2nV
Resident Pedobear


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745192 posted 01/14/09 05:34 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Could be the end bearing in the starter going bad, making the starter teeth bind with the teeth on the flywheel,, which rolling it around could possibly unbind.



~Kenneth Brian
"Censorship offends me" ~Author Unknown


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HHIVR4
Aluminum Lung
1280/2000
138/2000



Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745263 posted 01/14/09 10:08 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Your car makes to do a dance before it will start..LOL
I have a used starter you can have if you pay shipping..Try it and see if that solves your problem.

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Dialcaliper
Flagration Member
1269/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745317 posted 01/14/09 11:45 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
There's also a good chance it's a grounding problem. Both the solenoid and The starter motor have no direct connection to the negative battery terminal - it has a positive lead, and grounds directly to the block.

The solenoid actually does two things - it triggers and moves the starter gear onto the flywheel via a fork (similar to the clutch fork actually), and simultaneously, the actuator rod also acts as a giant 90 amp relay switch, allowing current to pass through it to the motor. Most normal relays would not last very long under that much current, repeatedly. It all works because the flywheel and crankshaft and the rotating core in the motor aren't really grounded to the block.

Looking at the contacts on the starter, the small flat connector (the "S" terminal in the FSM) on the top is the positive terminal for the switch. The heavy gauge wire that hooks to the right side lug closest to the block (the "B" terminal") is the positive wire for the motor. The left terminal (the "M" terminal) is the pass-thru from the switch to the motor itself. The circuit is completed by the two bolts going into the block (make sure these aren't corroded)

Check the starter, and the wires going to the M terminal and the B terminal.

Check your engine compartment grounding points for corrosion or improper installation:

1) The passenger side right under the main battery box, to the fenderwell.
2) The square box just to the side of the battery.
3) Square box exactly opposite the one above on the driver's side, by the PS reservoir/ABS unit
4) The two wires going to the firewall, just to the driver's side of the VIN plate.
5) The transmission ground near the stock airbox and thermostat housing

Electrical stuff is weird - everything grounds to the chassis (it's a big source of free electrons), not really the battery. The battery and alternator negatives are grounded to the chassis so they aren't floating, not the other way around as you might think (everything negative grounded to the battery)

If you also happen to get really zapped everytime you step out of the car on a dry day, it could be a sign of a grounding problem, since the chassis is it's own isolated electrical system, and isn't grounded to "the ground".

If you're still confused, blame Benjamin Franklin for assigning "positive" and "negative" backwards - the role of electrons wasn't discovered until several hundred years later, at which point it was too late to change the system that everyone adopted. The two are *mostly* equivalent looking at the whole system, but because you're looking at everything "backwards", it's not quite intuitive.



1269/2000 Summit White


Edited by Dialcaliper (01/14/09 11:47 AM)

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BoostedAWD91
Senior Member
815/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745587 posted 01/14/09 09:18 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
just replace the starter and u should be good. ill sell u one that has just been tested to work perfect for $30 shipped



#815/2000- Lexus Pearl White


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Armitage
VR4CED
960/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745706 posted 01/15/09 08:39 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I had this problem before. I went through all the trouble of replacing the starter and it wasn't the problem at all. The relay had come slightly loose. IIRC it's under the dash by the fuse box? That was a long time ago I could be mistaken.



'92 Galant VR-4 #960
'93 RX-7 Twin Turbo

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9t1tsi
Unregistered


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745717 posted 01/15/09 09:19 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
make sure the wires on the starter are connected. my would vibrate loose some times.

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Smitty1457
Unregistered


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745812 posted 01/15/09 01:17 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I had the same exact problem with a different car about a year ago. Same exact scenario, i even swapped out a couple starters. It ended up being a harmonic balancer that was off a N/A car that when bolted down caused binding and wouldnt let the engine turn over. That left me scratching my head for a bit.

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spooling92vr4
Yeah Toast! * Now with JELLY!!!
829/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 745919 posted 01/15/09 05:02 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
maybe the flywheel has a chip in a few of the gears and causes the starter to bind. it could happen



92 vr4 belize green # 829/1000....NOW RUNS! still needs tuning

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Smitty1457
Unregistered


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 746087 posted 01/16/09 01:19 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
If that were so, im sure the teeth on the starter would have something to indicate some serious metal on metal contact.

Pull the starter, check it. Then turn the engine over by hand just to see if it spins freely. Then go to starter. What kinda voltage does it get? You need at least 8 or 9 volts to be able to turn the engine over. 11 or 12 is best. Then just keep workin back from there.

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tommyp
Junior Member
1410/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 746189 posted 01/16/09 11:35 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I had the problem on a [gasp] dsm. Turned out to be the remote starter. I must have replaced the starter half a dozen times and still same situation. After replacing all of the relays of the starter brain, it seemed to work like a champ. Remote starters ftl.

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turboren
Official GVR4.org Polo Shirt Pimp
1571/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 747999 posted 01/20/09 09:31 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post   
I'll check out the wires and relay and get back with you guys. I understand how automotive electrical systems work, but that was a good write-up anyway. As to whether the replacement starter was rebuilt or used (definitely not new), I couldn't say, as it was done before I bought it.

I can swap in a replacement starter (I still have 2 other Galants in the yard) if it turns out the wires or relays aren't the problem.

Thanks for the speedy replies. I may not be able to troubleshoot this for a few weeks, though... (go Navy!)

BTW, I can't ditch the clutch switch, as I need it for the NLTS and stutter box. With it unplugged, I have a 5k rev limiter.

Ren



1078/2k-sold, 733/2k, 224/2k, 1571/2k (AMGVR4)-sold
74 Mazda REPU; 87 CRX Si; 95 Ford Aspire (x2); 92 Laser RS AWD; 94 GMC Sonoma; 96 Miata M ed (turbo); 02 Vespa ET4 150 (new daily)


Edited by turboren (01/20/09 09:37 PM)

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