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Starter won't engage with swich


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19 replies to this topic

#1 brat1709

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 09:13 PM

Just wondering if anyone has encountered this problem. I've had may subarus and othe models,and two have completely left me clueless. Problem is the starter will engage at times and others it won't, followed by the clicking sound of the solenoid. Whats odd is, I've gone as far as replacing the starter 4 times, and same problem. I usually can start the vehicle, by numerous attemps at the ignition swich. I've also made sure starter is well grounded, replace the ignition swich 3 times.Whats odd is, when the problem arrised, I can bypass the ignition swich , by adding 12v+ from the + side of the battery, utilizing a jumper cable to the Solenoid on the starter. It will crank over with no problem. This leave me with the conclusion, that I must either have a problem with a break in the wiring from the ignition swich harness to the wire that connects to the solenoid, or does subaru use a resister between this connection or other, which may be causing my problem? Any suggestion , would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. Hugo/ So. CA:cornfuzz:

#2 Adam N.D.J.

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 10:45 PM

Lemme guess, automatics?! Pretty much every auto I've owned has had this problem. And it doesn't fall in the starter, or the solenoid. It's actually in the ignition switch it's self, it gets a lot of carbon build up in there, and then you don't get enough voltage to the solenoid for it to engage. I haven't taken a switch apart, or even tried to take one apart so I'm not sure if there is a way to fix it other than replaceing the switch.

#3 brat1709

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 11:15 PM

Hi Adam. Thanks for your interesting insight. Automatic it is. Whats odd is, it happens to the same one all the time. I've used the others ignition switch, and still have the same problem.I don't have any problems with the stick. I have to agree with you . It must be an Automatic problem. Anyone has any other suggestions. Hugo/So. Ca

#4 electryc_monk

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 01:00 AM

hehehe

here's a thought.... more of a hey this is what i did and now its fine.

the wagon was a auto tranny (now its a stick) did the starter interupt wires to a manual SPST switch and there is a couple of wires that i jumpered from there and out to the starter with a new relay to the starter's single rear wire( that 14 gauge? one) well haven't had a problem since. esentially ran a new relay to the starters solinoid.

make sense? I hope so because now I'm feeling cornfuzzled.

#5 calebz

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 01:23 AM

Or you could do it the easy way and cut the two wires for the starter interrupt(neutral safety) switch and hook them together.
Thats how I did mine and it works great.. besides.. butt connectors are cheap!.

Note.. before you cut anything, wiggle your shifter while trying to start the car.. maybe try putting it in neutral before starting.

#6 VaporTrail

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 01:27 AM

I have a similar problem with my turbo Brat. thankfully a previous owner installed a starter switch under the hood that works when the key in "on" have had to use it several times.... :)

#7 Skip

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 05:13 AM

good reponces all, you might want to read this post also
http://usmb.ultimate...p?threadid=5420

The nuetral safty circuit is the culprit, I bet

#8 MilesFox

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:39 AM

zANNY DOOKS WAGON DID THE SAME THING. WE RAN A WIRE TO THE SOLENOID AND MAD A PUSH-BUTTON START, and it never had a problem after that

#9 brat1709

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 07:58 AM

Thanks guys for all good responses. I agree, it must be an automatic tranny problem, and also the fact that all checks out, then I must conclude the culpret must me the neutral switch. Thanks again. Will try all suggestions and see what the problem is. Many thanks to all. Hugo/So. CA

#10 Meeky Moose

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 08:18 AM

just another thoguht, had this problem on another car i had.. the battery cable would glaze over once ever week or so, causin the same hting, just a click... so i'd have to pull the cable off the battery clean it real good and it would work for another week or so.. ended up just replacing the cable entirely..

the + post on the battery was glazing also.. not sure why it was doin that but that was my culprit..

#11 Hodaka Rider

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 02:33 PM

My '83 manual just did this to me. Short story: The + cable from the batt to the starter is aluminum wire. The battery end of the wire (where it attaches to the post clamp) was a little loose, and had been causing a little arcing. Arcing on aluminum wire= aluminum oxide, which is an insulator. Cut the end of the wire off, strip back some insulation, new connection!
The long version of the story includes suspecting the battery, changing the starter, and scratching my head a bit.

#12 VaporTrail

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:42 AM

almost had a catastrophy in the garage!!!! I put new connections on all the wires to the solenoid, and found a few other bad connections and fixed.

was able to then repeatedly start the turbo brat... then...

pulled out the stereo console to check out the wiring there, as it keeps cutting out. pulled the shifter back to make it easy to pull out....

while sitting there, decided to try and start again. no dice. so I pop out and kit the button under the hood. starts fine, then starts moving forward :eek: I tried to hold it back, and could actually hold it in place, but if I moved a little, it would creep on me... finally made a dash around the door while it smashed a stand w/parts on it against the rear garage wall and stops there. I backed it up once I got in it... maybe sustained a bent stand, but I never liked it anyway....

earlier I tried a different ignition switch, and same thing. looks like mine is the neutral safety switch as well...

gotta get this thing all ready for Winter. don't want to have to pop the hood to start it all the time!!!

#13 brat1709

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 01:17 AM

Thanks Mcbrat, and all you have contributed to this problem.Its all pointing to the Neutral safty swich, or better said, is it what Subaru call the inhibitor switch. I believe this problem plegues all the automatics, never figured it could be this switch. Where does this swich live? Below the shifter lever. Or, like other automatic trannys, at or near the shifter lever , on the side of the tranny.
Hugo/So. CA

#14 VaporTrail

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 01:47 AM

Hugo, you still working on the turbo brat project?

I fixed my no-start on the turbo brat tonight. the switch is under the shifter cover. I removed the switch assembly, and cleaned it a bit, but then I remembered I had another assembly from a turbo brat with only 96k on it, so I pulled it out. contacts looked like new. installed it, and it still didn't work. there is some play in the switch assembly mount holes, so I slid the assembly up as high as it would go on both bolts, tightened it up, and now it works great! no more having to pop the hood :)

#15 electryc_monk

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 06:20 PM

... a SPST switch thru the two wires in the "auto tranny's selector switch" That thing that you two are talking about in the center console under the actual shifter arm that you move thru P-R-N-D-D1. Under it is this "selector switch thingy" that has the "inhibitor switch as part of its internals" There are some (I'm guessing here) 12 or so wires in the 2 row clip.

Does that make sense?

I'd cut the two wires that allow juice to flow from the hot wire thru to the starter (in either P or N) and then cut that wire and splice in some equally heavy guage wires and there is your manual "Starter interupt switch" .

if you want I can go look to see the color of those wires and reprt back. either tonight or tomorrow.

#16 gbianchi

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 09:37 PM

Mcbrat, I can feel your terror when your brat started without you in the cockpit, I had a simular experience in my driveway. But mines a manual tranny, Heres a tip don't start your brat from outside the drivers door with it in reverse with the door open next to a fence post !!! Tore out the gate at the end of the driveway and wrapped the drivers door around almost to the left headlight, fortunatly it stalled or it would be on the run by it self..............now thats a BRAT!!

#17 brat1709

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 12:24 PM

Atten electryc_ monk- Any wireing color diagram would be greatly appreciated.

Atten Mcbrat: Still working on the Turbo Brat. Its going to be a project. Very rusty. I'm currently dissassembling the Turbo brat, very slowly, so I won't miss any detailes. I purchased a black 1984 Subaru, and have spoken with the state smog referee. I've been told its OK to ulilize all the turbo parts onto the CA brat, and all modifications will be excepted, as long as it was a dealer option for the year. Both are 84's so I shouldn't have a problem. Will probably need the boards assistace in the near future for turbo connection. I've also just located a Japanese E-81T, and there going to let me have it for $550. Its going to be a difficult task, but I'm willing to do the trasplant , for the joy of driving a very neat toy. Will keep you informed as to the status. Just started tearing into the rusty brat 2 wks ago, so I'm kind of behind schedual. Did have a question for you tho' Mcbrat. I noticed the graphics on the side of the regular brats for sale, but no one has said anything about the Turbo Graphics. The Graphics appear to be intact on this model. How does one go about reproducing the graphics? Or is anyone out there offering them. Attached is a picture of the intact graphics on side, for turbo.
Hugo/ So. CA

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#18 electryc_monk

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 11:02 PM

um okay... consider it "in work" as of tomorrow.

#19 VaporTrail

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 12:40 AM

there is a guy who has reproduced the targa stripes, and the horizon stripe with the "TURBO" on it. the horizon stripe can be had just plain, with "Turbo", or with the stars logo on it....

he can be reached at dahled@aol.com

#20 89urabus

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 02:42 AM

my gl is doing the same thing at first I thought my amps were draining the battery down found out that wasn,t the problem and I was getting ready to buy a new starter I guess I won,t now this will save me some money guess I will try wiring it different now




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