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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Crazy battery.....super secret start mode..solenoid contacts

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91 replies to this topic

#51 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 08:56 PM

Well.....just borrowed a friend...haha

I tested the voltage at the pos starter lead, the neg tester lead was on neg bat terminal. Voltage was same when it was sitting there. When we tried to start it....it acted up again....voltage drop was only about 1 volt or so.

When it finally started, and starter turned over. Voltage drop was about 2 volts.

So cable is good......starter is bad....

Is the solenoid contacts the same problem smash posted in the archives......?

Can I just replace the contacts and such. I don't want to pull the starter out....but I suppose I should when weather gets better.

I think the lights thing is completely coincidental.....who knows.....

#52 Guest_Cougar4_*

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 10:28 PM

Well it seems you have cleared the battery as a problem but did you check to see if you have an excessive voltage drop on the lead to the starter? If not, you should make sure it is ok before looking at the solenoid or motor. Measure how much drop you have across the lead while the problem is occuring during cranking. More than 2 volts across the lead is not good.

Another thing that may be the problem is the motor brushes.


#53 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 10:20 PM


As mentioned in my post above. There was about a 1 volt drop at the starter lead when it was acting up.

When the starter actually cranked and started the car, voltage drop was around 2 volts.

So this, and doing a resistance measurement on the wire, I'm confident the cable is fine.

#54 Guest_Cougar4_*

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 02:25 AM

Hi Josh,

Ok on the testing of the lead. I was confused by your statement saying you had the tester lead on the negative battery post. You must have moved it later.

I guess by now you may have fixed this problem.


#55 Guest_TinyClark_*

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 02:54 AM

A good way to check the ignition circuit is to disconnect the solenoid wire going to the starter. Hook it up to an old headlamp bulb to see if it lights up when you turn the switch to the start position. That will put a good draw on the circuit to let you know if it's good or not.

I would take the starter out and clean the solenoid motor contacts.

#56 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 08:35 AM

I haven't fixed ityet......it's too cold to mess with the car right now......

Cleaning the solenoid contacts is probably what i will do. Just gotta find the time to do it.

#57 Guest_Frag_*

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 02:12 PM

You have all the symptoms of a starter solenoid contacts problem.
Before you take the starter out, i would recommend you find a starter rebuilder place and buy two new contacts and the center pluger with copper disk (it's this disk connected to the plunger that bridges the two contacts and sends voltage to the starter motor.
I bought all of this for 20$ Can. So why not replace with new and have peace of mind for a while.
The guy at the rebuilder's told me that the brushes almost never need replacement.

#58 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 03:14 PM

Are the contacts and such all pretty much generic? Or would I need specific ones?

Anyone have any specific places where I could find these. I personally don't trust many of the shops here in Houston.....too many incompetent people running them.

#59 Guest_Cougar4_*

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 07:14 PM

We have a good auto electric parts store here in Anchorage and I would think you should be able to find a good place where you are at Josh. There must be shops that specialize in electrical parts there.


#60 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 10:30 PM

only problem is I'm not sure what I'm looking for........

#61 Guest_Cougar4_*

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 02:07 AM

If you asked them for the starter solenoid contact bar I think they would know what you are talking about. First, I would check out the inside of the motor to see if that is really what is needed. I suppose though you could have them on hand if needed in case this is your only transportation.


#62 Guest_TinyClark_*

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 06:48 AM

Josh, I still have the new starter I ordered from Autozone on my bench in my garage. The contatcts in the solenoid I cleaned up are still working fine, so if you can't locate a starter rebuild place to get the parts, try to clean them up as I described in an earlier post.

#63 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 08:25 AM

This is my only means of transportation.....so I'm not rippin the starter out without something to stick in the starter.....or another starter to stick in.

As long as the stupid thing keeps starting.....I'll ride it out for a while.....I don't have the time to deal with it right now......however it would be nice to find parts in case I had a moment of time.......

#64 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 09:39 AM

Jus to make sure....

In Russ's post he's talking about the same thing you guys are correct? pub1.ezboard.com/fultimat...D=45.topic

I guess I'm just having one hell of a time trying to visualize what's actually bad in there. I'm very visual learner....so until I can see something and such.....things just don't click.....(pun intended)

#65 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 09:58 AM

Did some calling around......didn't really have any luck.....some wanted to sell me a new starter.....

Hell....I'd probably be better off, seeing if someone can get it, mail it to me.....and I'd pay for it.....there's nothing but mainstream auto junk stores around here.......

#66 Guest_Frag_*

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 11:24 AM

What I bought is specific to my Legacy but I would suspect some of these parts are generic and can fit many starters.
I'll call the place I went to and might be able to send the parts to you if you still can't find them in your region.
As for visualizing the thing, imagine a steel rod about six inches long with a copper disk at one end. This rod is magneticaly pushed forward when current is sent to the starter's solenoid. At the end of this movement the copper disk hits and bridges two copper contacts on each side of the disk closing the circuit with the battery and sending big amps to the starter motor.
Hope you can picture something out of this description :D

#67 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 14 January 2003 - 12:22 PM

Gilles if you don't mind at least callin them and see if they have anything.....I would appreciate it. The dealer needed to know some info, so I'll assume you'll need the same, it's a 90 MY FWD...don't think that would matter....& auto....

#68 Guest_TinyClark_*

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 02:30 AM


I will take my new one apart tonight and send you some pictures of the solenoid's inner sanctum...


#69 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 08:33 AM


Thanks Tiny!

and I think I have a lead on some parts....

#70 Guest_Frag_*

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 04:04 PM

Josh, the guy at the starter rebuilder says there is
two different production model for your MY.
The first one is shorter and painted gray (the motor).
The second is longer and painted black.
They have contacts for both.
The two contacts + plunger and disk would cost around 14$ US + shipping. That would not be very costly I presume.
Waiting to hear from you.

#71 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 06:26 PM


Thanks for checking that out for me. I've got a possible lead down here.....need to do some more checking. I will let you know ok.

I'll try and take a look at which starter I have......not sure if manufacture date has any affect on that.....but it was manufact 7/89.

#72 Guest_intrigueing_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 11:50 AM


My wifes 95 legacy just started doing the exact thing your car does! The odd thing is that my wife used to just leave the lights on and let the ignition switch turn the lights off (the lights and fogs were always on when the ignition switch was on) and she had no problems. We live in northern Minnesota - hence it is very cold here. It seemed logical to harp on my wife to turn the lights off, so no additional load is on the battery during cold starts, and bam the same starting problem you have! The car has a brand new battery and the alternator checks out fine. The starter seems a logical place to look.....Let me know if the starter solves the situation, I may be up for a cold garage repair.

#73 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 11:56 AM

Everything is pointing to the starter, I just haven't had time to do it....and yeah....it's too cold to be messin with it now :)

#74 Guest_Frag_*

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 03:31 PM

Quite cold here also ! I'm seeing all sorts of old cars caked in white salt and making all sorts of unhappy sounds. :(

#75 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 19 January 2003 - 06:21 PM

I found the contacts. Didn't find the plunger though. I'm probably going to just do the contacts, and clean the plunger up.

Hopefully that'll take care of things.

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