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Guest Message by DevFuse

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more electric stuff........

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34 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 03:15 PM

Ok, remember I'm not an electrical genious (can't even spell it). My car, 86 turbo GL10 wagon with XT6 alternator is eating starters. Put the key in, turn, nothing for several seconds then it starts. Progessively gets worse till it wont start at all. I can get out and jump across the battery wire and the selanoid and it starts. Now the guy at the alternator shop told me that if your idiot lights don't come on when the key is turned then the alternator is not being regulated properly, well mine usualy don't and I have to rev it up to 22-2400 rpm to get the thing chargeing (lights come up). I've tried to play with the conector on the alt (two small wires in a"T" conector) does it sound like time to have the alt rebuilt??? any ideas are welcome. Thanks guys, Tim

#2 Guest_McBrat_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 03:47 PM

did you get any mud stuck in that thing in WA?

#3 Guest_Bill Putney_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 04:52 PM

Tim -
I'm not quite understanding some of your statements. Could you elaborate on "I can get out and jump across the battery wire and the selanoid and it starts." Exactly what points do you jump from and too - especially at the battery? By that, I mean do you touch your jumper to the post of the battery, or to the cable clamp? What happens if you do one, and then the other - do you get the same results?

Your other puzzling statement: "Now the guy at the alternator shop told me that if your idiot lights don't come on when the key is turned then the alternator is not being regulated properly...". Is this when you turn the key from off to run (engine off), or from run to start, or what. The statement doesn't make sense.

You might have more than one problem (alternator plus a wiring,poor connection problem, and/or bad solenoid).

You said: "...I have to rev it up to 22-2400 rpm to get the thing charging." Now we're getting somewhere - that is an indication that, yes, the alternator is not putting out. To confirm that, measure the voltage at the battery with the engine running at idle and at about 2000 rpm. Should be between 13.2 and 14.8 volts or thereabouts if it's working correctly. But, as you indicated, low alternator output is not necesssarily an indication that the alternator itself is bad. Pull that "T" connector off, and look into it at the metal terminals. Are they corroded? Are the sides of the terminals that wrap around and are supposed to apply spring pressure against the mating terminals spread to too large of a gap so they don't make good contact? If either of those things is true, try cleaning them with degreaser or contact cleaner, and then squeeze the sides with a pair of needle nose pliers to close the gap somewhat (don't over-do it - i.e., don't squash them flat). Then push some silicone grease (dielectric grease, ignition grease) into the ends of the terminals to prevent future corrosion - then reconnect it to the alternator.

If that doesn't fix it, remove the alternator and take it to your auto parts store and have them test it. If it tests bad, and they seem to know what they're doing, then replace the alternator.

Report back at that point and let us know what you've found. It still could be other things, but there is a good chance that the problem is in the alternator or that connection causing the battery not to be charged enough.

#4 Guest_kelowna kid_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 05:18 PM

If your car starts everytime w/solenoid hotwired then your starter is fine and the
problem is with a fusable link,ignition switch,or other wiring
Check voltage at solenoid while having problems(not hotwired)
Above problems may affect alternator/idiot light
Fix starting problem first
Alt. may also have problems,90% of time only worn brushes(under $5)

#5 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 06:13 PM

I'm useing an old screw driver and touching the battery cable conection on the starter and the selinoid wire.

Turning the key from off to the run position...... when the brake light, oil light, etc etc come on.

I will take a multi meter reading before and after reving it up and report back.

I've cleaned all the contacts and use dielectric grease on almost all of my conections, squezed it tight too, repaced the positive cable and the negative battery terminal.

This is why I hate messing with electronic stuff, thanks for the help so far guys, Tim

PS it's not any of the stuff kelowna mentioned. I forgot to say this is the third starter I've put in, they get progressively worse the longer I use them. They start out fine then slowly stop starting the car with out being jumped across. Thanks, Tim

#6 Guest_NanoSoob_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 08:05 PM

I'm assuming that when you are jumping the starter with a screwdriver, you are touching the terminal that the battery cable hooks to to the terminal that feeds power to the starter. If this is not the case, disregaurd the following:

Just out of curiosity:
When you've replaced the starter, did you: simply have it rebuilt, toss on another one from a junk yard, put on a rebuilt one that you bought, or put on a brand new one?
The reason I'm curious is I'm wondering how the solenoid contacts look, if you are having your old one rebuilt or just tossing on another from a junk yard. As time goes on, copper slowly wears away from one relay contact, while the other stays about the same. Take a look at the contacts and see what condition they are in. If they are worn unevenly, then you aren't getting good contact when the relay (solenoid) engages. If you can't find a starter repair shop that can get new contacts, then simply switch them around to get a little more life out of the old ones.

Hope this helps,

#7 Guest_kelowna kid_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 09:58 PM

Still think you have high resistance somewhere in the ignition switch solenoid circuit
Proof lies in the fact that you can always start w/a screwdriver
As for the reason a new starter works for a while,that is certainly more mysterious
but here is a wild guess
Solenoid circuit supplies enough current to pull in a new solenoid but as solenoid
wears current supply becomes marginal

#8 Guest_ShawnW_*

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 10:31 PM

Tim Tim Tim...when are we going to find you a hatchback?

You say you like 4 wheeling, mud, and in this post you say you dont like or know about Electrical Stuff. Egad a Turbo Wagon aint the way to go :) .

Get a hatch and put all them goodies on it. Make your Wagon a street rod again.

Still have my hatch 4 sale btw, plug.


#9 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 06:32 AM

ok Kelonwa, where and what should I look at??? I have been useing starters from my "stock pile" LOL.

How much for that hatch in the window???

#10 Guest_SubaruBob_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 07:33 AM

hatch in the window... that's funny... LOL

#11 Guest_doctor_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 08:46 AM

If you can always start with a screwdriver then the voltage must be low at the starter solenoid. This is a common problem with automatic transmissions. Subaru routs the voltage through about 10 feet of wiring to the transmission saftey switch and voltage loss occurs. If you have a manual transmission, the voltage is being dropped somewhere else (big help right?). If you can measure the voltage at the solenoid that would tell us a lot. If its around 8V, and you can't find the loss, then you could add a relay in line with the starter solenoid. Many guys with automatic transmissions have done this. Good Luck!

#12 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 09:12 AM

@ start w/nothing on, 12ish volts
W/lights, blower, radio on.....drops to 11ish
After a rev to 2400rpm w/nothing on.......18ish
W/lights, blower, radio on.........18ish

Belt is alittle loose, I'll tighten it up but I think the Alternator is the culprit. What do you guys think???? Still don't know why I'm not getting any idiot lights. Could the regulator be doing this??? Thanks, Tim

#13 Guest_McBrat_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 10:10 AM

18 is too high. if the regulator was working properly it should stay at about 14 the whole time the car is running....

#14 Guest_Bill Putney_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 10:17 AM

Yep - regulator/alternator. And then a second problem with the starter, solenoid, and/or cabling.

#15 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 10:23 AM

On my way the the wrecking yard right now. Gonna replace the alt and see if this starter is salvageable (it is still starting the car ok, only had to jump it twice) I'll let you guys know how it goes when I get home. Thanks, Tim

#16 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 12:21 PM

Got a new looking rebuilt alt at the wrecking yard, put it on start up the ru. Put on Mr. Multi-meter and the thing is only putting out 10volts. Had to jump across the starter after I shut it down after running for a couple of minutes. Really getting iritable now, LOL. Next suggestion????? Thanks, Tim

#17 Guest_doctor_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 03:00 PM

You definetly have a problem with the alternator, and you need to replace it again, but I don't think its related to the starter problem. Can you tell us the voltage at the starter solenoid when the car starts and when it doesn't start? I still believe voltage drop to the solenoid is the reason the starter won't work.

#18 Guest_doctor_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 03:10 PM

I just read that you replaced the automatic transmission with a manual, so my question is how did you wire around the saftey switch that was under the shifter console? In order to remove the 10 feet of wiring going to the switch, you must jumper a two wire connector under the dash on the drivers side. Both wires should be basically black with a white stripe and a yellow stripe. If ypou jumpered where the saftey switch used to be, this will cause a voltage drop to the solenoid. Let me know Good Luck!

#19 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 03:13 PM

Ok Doc, when I get an extra hand around here I'll have them turn the key while I read the volts. I assume thats how to do it, put the multi meter on the wire to the selinoid??? There's nothing there when the car is running. Took that alt back and put on the XT6 one again...... now i have idiot lights in the on position....... May be from cleaning the contacts inside the alt real good. Thanks again guys, Tim

#20 Guest_Bill Putney_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 04:26 PM

Take my earlier advice and have the battery checked. Like I said before, if you have a bad battery (shorted cell), you might put a perfectly good (even new) alternator in, and it will be ruined in short order.

Here's the order you need to do things in so as not to perpetuate the existing problem(s) or cause new problems:
1. Put charger on battery - give it plenty of time to charge up (like overnight).
2. Take car to auto parts store and have battery tested.
3. If tests bad (even after being charged up), do not pass go - replace the battery. If tests good, do not replace the battery.
4. Regardless of results of step 3., *then* measure output of alternator with engine running and/or remove alternator and have it tested off the car. Replace alternator if it's bad. Do not replace if it's good.

After doing the above, then tackle any remaining problems. There is a chance your other problems will have magically disappeared by fixing whatever is going on with your alternator and/or battery - but no guarantees.

You've gotten good advice from others here too - but I would do the above stuff *first* in that order, then tackle any remaining problems. Doing it out of order is just going to cause confusion and possibly do more damage.

Let us know what you figure out.

#21 Guest_bajavwnsoobnut_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 04:56 PM

Hey Tim I am having the same problem as you are with the starter and I finaly made a permanent fix by instaling a relay inline with the wire that goes to the solinoid from the ignition switch area (cause I do ave a auto and you guys hafta remember tims rig is a cohnvert from an auto to a stick) so basicaly I wired it up as hot leads going from the batt to the starter and the trip side from the ignition wire to ground and starts up every time now :)

#22 Guest_NanoSoob_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 05:05 PM

Once you have your alternator problems solved, and you're ready to move on to the starter problem, this may help:
When you turn the key and hear a click, but the starter doesn't crank, you either have a bad connection with the battery or your solenoid contacts are dirty/old/bad.
When you turn the key and hear a rapid clicking sound (kind of a buzzing), the solenoid is faulty. The pull-in windings are working fine, but the hold-in windings have a break/short somewhere.
When you turn the key and hear no click whatsoever, but are getting 12+ volts to the solenoid activator terminal on the starter (the little one), then the solenoid is faulty. You have a break/short in the pull-in windings.
To test the condition of the solenoid contacts, you'll need someone to help. You need to place one contact of your multimeter on the connection on the starter that comes from the battery. The other contact of your multimeter you'll need to place on the contact that is on the very bottom of the starter, it should be covered with a little rubber protective boot (this is not the solenoid contact). Once you have your multimeter connected, making certain that your hands/other body parts/tools are out of the way of any spinning objects, have your friend hit the key to roll the engine over. If the multimeter is reading a voltage of any higher than 1/2 volt, the contacts are bad or are getting there fast.


#23 Guest_doctor_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 05:41 PM

Just one more thing, also disconnect the wire to the solenoid and take a voltage reading while turning the key. It won't start of course, but you should get 12V. I'm just trying to see if there is a voltage drop. The responses given will solve the problem, just follow them. Good Luck!

#24 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 06:01 PM

Hey Tim, this is even better than WCSCC3! :lol: Good luck, hope you get it fixed soon. Can't be for want of trying.

#25 Guest_chef tim_*

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 07:04 PM

OK Gang, I'm gonna start with Bills tips and work back from there. The battery will get checked tomorrow morning after a good all night trickly charge. If the battery is bad I'm gonna be mad...... just over a year old 1000cca winter beater. I'll post when i get home in the morning.

As for by passing the nutral safety..... I just put the shifter into park and then disassembled it as far as I could and shoved it under the new council. By-the-by it took me a day and a half to figure that one out and fix....LOL

Thanks for the help and patiants, Tim

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