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xntryk1

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About xntryk1

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/27/1958

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Bonsall, California
  • Vehicles
    1995 Legacy L Wagon
  1. FINAL CHAPTER (I hope): Well, after months of the car starting just fine (after cleaning all the outside connections), it finally stopped starting altogether. No amount of cleaning would fix it. So I went ahead and yanked the starter and replaced the contacts inside the solenoid. I was going to replace the plunger too, but naturally the cheap-o set of parts I got on eBay included the WRONG size plunger (too short)! Too late to anything about it, so I just shined up the old plunger (which thankfully wasn't too worn) and re-used that. Once I got the old copper contacts out, it was obvious why the car refused to start. One side was was worn down to almost to razor thin and the other side about halfway (see pic). Put it all all back together and VROOOOM! Instant start, just like it's supposed to. Hopefully, I can get another 219K out of those contacts. :-)
  2. Yeah, no worries. I've noticed he doesn't always have the correct answers. That's why I come here. But in this particular instance, his advice seemed harmless and actually worked! Thanks for the warning.
  3. Follow-up on my starter problem. Got the plunger/contacts set from eBay and was all set and mentally prepared to go through the hassle of yanking the starter and rebuilding the solenoid. But then, in my never-ending search for easy ways out, I decided to try something else first. If that failed, I could still do the solenoid job. There's a guy on youtube - "MercedesDieselGuy - who uploads a lot of videos of work he does on his 1995 Subaru Legacy. In one of those videos, he talks about a starter job he was going to do (because of the same problems I was having). But he had trouble removing the starter, so he tried something else. He cleaned up the outside posts and wire connectors on the starter, put everything back together and the problem went away! So I tried the same thing. I wire-brushed both the posts on the starter and the wire connections thereto. I also completely cleaned the battery connections. And when I clamped everything back together securely, lo and behold, the car started right up. And it has started up every single time since them. It went from absolutely ZERO starting ability (requiring a bump start every single time) to normal starting on the first turn of the key! Now, at 215K, I'm sure that starter will probably still need to be rebuilt eventually. But this is something that's worth a try, first. I was shocked that it actually worked. I hardly ever get off that easy!
  4. Thank you! I can find and feel the bottom bolt from above (without seeing it). So I should be able to get some kind of socket setup down there. I'll probably go with a wire backup (to lower/raise it) in case I lose that game of Tetris.
  5. '95 Legacy L wagon. There's all kinds of hoses over the starter (heater, a/c, etc.). It turns into a real pain if I have to disconnect all of those. But there does seem to be enough space below. I'm thinking maybe hook some kind of wire to the starter so that I can lower it down slowly and then pull it back up the same way...
  6. Alright, I think I've talked myself into replacing just the solenoid contacts, instead of the entire starter. I can pick those up - with a plunger - for under $10 on eBay. It's not that complicated, I guess. And I have to pull the starter either way. Now my big concern is, can I replace the starter from the top? I don't have ramps or jack stands and I try to avoid climbing under cars that are only held up by jacks. Getting it out doesn't look too difficult (famous last words). It looks like there's enough room to lower the starter down after removing the 2 bolts. Then I could simply reach under there and grab it. But putting it back in could be a problem, though...
  7. I'm just leery of it, because there's too many little areas where I could screw up something. Insert a washer in the wrong order or something. K.I.S.S. usually works better for me. And with any luck, maybe I could get a cheap used starter that doesn't have 215K on it...
  8. Dang. I was afraid somebody was going tell me that. Yeah, I've looked at a few threads and videos about that replacing the contacts thing. Simple enough, I suppose. But still a lot more complicated than just buying another (used) starter and slapping that in there. I can pick up used starters for under $25 on eBay (total price, including shipping).
  9. Here's the short version. At 215K, I'm pretty sure the starter solenoid contacts and plunger are shot. I just need some kind of emergency fix, until I've got the time and $$ to replace the starter. I'm getting real tired of having to push the car to bump start it. Way too many completely flat parking lots in my area. When you say "the battery cable on the starter", you're talking about the little spade on the solenoid that has a plug attached to it - right? Not the bigger one that's bolted down.
  10. OK. See? That tells you how much I know. Not much. And since my old "remote starter" doesn't seem to have wires long enough to connect to both the starter and battery, would just a "jumper wire" work (as described above)?
  11. Found this advice somewhere online: "...get a jumper wire long enough to reach the small terminal on the starter and tap the the battery positive terminal with the other end - did the starter crank the engine over? This is the only wire we need you don't even have to put key in the ignition switch it'll crank the engine over if the battery is good." Is that something that might work? I just don't know enough and I don't make things worse by shorting something out.
  12. Thanks. OK, now I'm not seeing a way to connect one of the alligator clips to that negative spade on the solenoid - at least not while the plug is connected to it. Can I connect to ANY grounded surface? Or does it have to be that one on the solenoid?
  13. Hmmm... on the old "remote starter" that I've got, the wires don't seem long enough to connect to both the battery and the ground on the solenoid. I'm guessing there's probably a good reason that I should NOT try to clip at the positive connection on the starter? And I don't mind codes. I can clear those.
  14. Yeah, if I knew what I was doing, I'm sure it would be that easy. But I don't.
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