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Starter wont engage


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23 replies to this topic

#1 Subie2Go

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:47 PM

I have a '93 Loyale that had a push button 4WD 5 MT in it and I replaced it with a lower mileage engine and transmission (my engine died and I swapped in a D/R 5 MT).

The engine was from an '89 Loyale FWD automatic.

The Transmission was from an '87 GL.

Got everything swapped over, ground wires are checked, starters are checked and working and wires are connected, power works, battery is charged.

Problem: When trying to start the car, the starter will not engage and will not turn the engine over.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

#2 Prwa101

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:19 PM

Try jumping the starter? It ilimanates the ignition switch and should turn it over. You can use jumper cables, one on the starter wire going to the ignition and the other on the power going in (red) from battery, I'm pretty sure, then at the other end of the jumpers touch them togeather and it should turn over.
Good luck

-Prwa

#3 Subie2Go

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:48 PM

Try jumping the starter? It ilimanates the ignition switch and should turn it over. You can use jumper cables, one on the starter wire going to the ignition and the other on the power going in (red) from battery, I'm pretty sure, then at the other end of the jumpers touch them togeather and it should turn over.
Good luck

-Prwa


Yeah that will start it once but i want to be able to start the car by turning the key every time.

#4 nipper

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

Does the starter motor spin and the engine not turn over or does it just sit there and look at you funny?

#5 Subie2Go

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:48 PM

Does the starter motor spin and the engine not turn over or does it just sit there and look at you funny?


Lol it just sits there and stares @ me funny. I can hear the starter clicking, but its not actually engaging and turning the engine over. It is the factory Subaru Starter and I had it checked already, which it passed and tested good.

I did put a new instrument cluster in from an 89 Loyale also, could that possibly contribut to the issue? I don't know why it would but just a thought.

#6 nipper

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:53 PM

Try Neutral (amuse me).

To me this sounds like a bad starter....or... You did the jump test, now try clamping a jumper to the engine block and the other side to the negative terminal

#7 Prwa101

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:54 PM

Yeah that will start it once but i want to be able to start the car by turning the key every time.


Edit: I'd go with the bad starter. You can take them to napa and they'll test it for you. Or you could just throw the other starter from the prev engine in it and see if it works if you still have it?

Edited by Prwa101, 30 September 2012 - 11:00 PM.


#8 Subie2Go

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:33 PM

Try Neutral (amuse me).

To me this sounds like a bad starter....or... You did the jump test, now try clamping a jumper to the engine block and the other side to the negative terminal


Tried Neutral, unfortunately nada. need jumper cables first, well another set anyways, the set I have is with another vehicle in another city.

Edit: I'd go with the bad starter. You can take them to napa and they'll test it for you. Or you could just throw the other starter from the prev engine in it and see if it works if you still have it?


I tried both starters, both are factory Subaru starters and I had both tested. They tested good and do engage outside of the car. The original starter from the 93 before the new engine started every time. The 89 starter has only 53k miles on it and did test good also.

The battery is brand new (less than a month ago) and was test for my amusement again and that also tested good and has a good charge on it.

Cleaned all the terminals and searched for corrosion, what little was there was taken care of, to my knowledge without cutting the insulation off of all the wiring.

#9 nipper

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:40 PM

Have you tried hitting the starter?

What is the voltage reading at the solenoid wire (disconnected of course). I am wondering if you have a tired iggy switch assuming the starters are not stuck somehow.

#10 nipper

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:43 PM

Exactly how are these passing testing, what are those tests.

#11 Subie2Go

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:55 PM

I will get some more info on it tomorrow and I have tried hitting the starters, no luck on that either.

Not sure on the tests, the have a bench/cart with test equipment on it, hook up the starter and press a button to see if they engage or not, so far they do, at least on their tester, and the original starter did start every time just prior to the engine being replaced.

#12 nipper

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:56 PM

have the original one?

#13 Subie2Go

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:29 AM

Yeah the starter from the 93 is the original

#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:43 AM

Will the engine turn if you turn it by hand with a wrench/breaker bar?

#15 Subie2Go

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:46 AM

Will the engine turn if you turn it by hand with a wrench/breaker bar?


Yes it does, we were turning it when installing it in the car to get the clutch to line up with the transmission. It also turned freely with a wrench before installing it.

#16 TomRhere

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:18 AM

What is the voltage reading at the solenoid wire (disconnected of course). I am wondering if you have a tired iggy switch assuming the starters are not stuck somehow.


That, or the switch on the clutch pedal has failed, came un-plugged.

#17 nipper

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:48 AM

That, or the switch on the clutch pedal has failed, came un-plugged.


Except he said he is hearing a solenoid click when he turns the key. At least thats what i thought he said :)

#18 Prwa101

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:17 AM

Yes he said it'll click, when means he dosnt have enough power going to the starter.... If he can get it to start by bypassing the ignition switch with the jumpers his issue prolly lies between the starter wire and ignition switch.

When my loyale was having this simmaler problem, although I couldn't even get it to click, but could get it to start by jumping the starter, I just wired in a new wire, from the starter to the 12v "start" position on the ignition. All this does is bypasses every switch in the car that's between the starter wire and the ignition switch.

This is a quick fix, it worked for longer than a year untill I sold it :headbang:

I'd check you voltage on the "start" position wire, you may have a faulty ignition switch. Ignition relay could also be the issue.

-Prwa

#19 rdweninger

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 01:38 PM

click, click. No Start. Pull the starter. Remove the 3 screws holding the cap on. Replace the 2 copper starter contacts inside. They are about 3/4" L-shaped. The Battery side will be the worst one... but replace both sides. Also, file down the round copper contact plate... looks like a big washer. This will fix your problem.
I've done 4 of these in the last year. Hope this helps... Ron W.

#20 Subie2Go

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 02:08 PM

Thank you for all the replies and information, I will be working on this during the week in-between work and school.

I will keep everyone posted, hopefully its because its running :headbang:

#21 Fairtax4me

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:35 PM

As long as the engine turns by hand, then I vote poor contact at/in the starter or poor connection between starter and battery.
Starter needs lots o' current to engage and turn the engine. It might just not be able to pull enough current through the battery cable to engage the drive motor.

#22 nipper

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:45 PM

Bad battery cable is another possability

#23 Subie2Go

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:15 PM

So i was able to go through everything and diagnose it as a bad battery cable, both ends looked good, but the center was pretty corroded so I replaced that and it started right up.

thanks again for all the help and comments. In the long run it think it will be better off since i now have the right information to check for other solutions if something else were to cause this to happen again.

#24 nipper

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

I would replace the ground cable too as it is just as worn.




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