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no start - cranks a few times then an abrupt stop

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"daily driver" XT6 won't start. turns over a few times, then abruptly stops, lights on the dash go out at the same time it stops turning over. once warmed up this doesn't happen - but haven't been able to start it for awhile now, want my daily driver back.

 

the abrupt stopping pretty much rules out fuel/spark issues i believe - with those it would at least keep turning.

 

new starter, not the battery, no check engine light, timing belts are golden.

 

no overheating, engine issues, liquid coming out the pipes so hopefully it's not hydrolocking.

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My '85 BRAT does simular on occasions.

 

I'm convinced that it's the whole ignition assembly on the steering column, and it's wearing out.

 

I have to work the key to find the "right area" in order to turn it. It will also stop cranking the starter if I turn it to far while trying to start it.

When that happens, all dash lights go out until I twist the key back slightly.

 

May be what is happening on yours.

 

I had another BRAT where I pulled the switch itself off the column after Del tried using the wrong key and jammed the key in the lock. I used a screwdriver to work the switch, and you can turn it to far while cranking, losing all functions.

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It will also stop cranking the starter if I turn it to far while trying to start it. When that happens, all dash lights go out until I twist the key back slightly.
indeed that's what mine does, except mine isnt' "out of limits" like yours where i twist it back and it change. but still really similar, probably same stuff failing in slightly different ways.

 

how sure are you it's the ignition? i'm least familiar with electrical stuff like this.

 

is there any way to test, quick work around to verify, or alternate way to start the car for now?

 

swapping ignitions is really annoying, don't look forward to doing that.

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I have an 81 GL that gad a similar problem, sometimes crank ok and start, sometimes when I'd go to crank it everything would go out. Wait a bit, or turn key off then on, dash would light up, but when cranking suddenly everything go out. Turned out to be a rotten neg battery cable, not obvious from the outside of it. New cable, no problems since.

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I'm totally convinced it's the switch on mine. I've already bypassed the overheated connector for it. When it does it, a slight twist towards "RUN" position gets it cranking again.

 

Been a couple years since I've had an XT6, so can't really recall how things are on one.

But you could pull the lower dash trim and locate the switch connections, un-plug them and see if there is any evidence of the terminals getting hot. Melted or discolored plastic is what you'd be looking for.

 

As for a quick test of switch and wiring to the starter issue.

Turn the key to the "RUN" position, pop the hood and jump the terminals at the starter (make sure trans is in neutral)...

That would tell you whether or not the engine will actually crank over long enough to actually run. Hopefully, it does so..

 

You may need to wire up a relay for the starter circuit, if the above gets it running. That "FIX" has been covered on here a few times, but I can give you the "How-to" if you need it.

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thanks Tom, i'm not comfortable with electrical/ignition.

 

okay - key in RUN makes the ECU/fuel/spark plugs all fire up when the starter gets going? now that makes sense, i wasn't sure how that stuff got fired up.

 

jump the starter - 12 volts to the spade terminal (for the solenoid) right?

 

Leaving for a week and a half in an hour, I'll finish this up when I get back as it's one of my two daily drivers.

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I got a parts steering column, let me know if you need anything from it. I would think the ign switch part is universal in all models

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Yep, 12 volts to the small terminal on the starter.

I have an old beat-up screwdriver I use for jumping the starter connections. Just slide the boot off the main battery cable, lay screwdriver blade against it and touch the smaller terminal.

 

Check the tightness of fit on that small terminal on the starter also.

I've had a few of them that were somewhat loose fitting.

That,, could cause a loss of power to the starter solenoid.

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