Starting problems..... - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Starting problems.....

OK everyone.....you were helpful to get me on the right tract for my speedo issue, now here is an issue I'm sure some of you have encountered. My 66gto has a newly re-built 389 and I'm continually having starting issues. I first thought it might be the common"Hot Start" problem that many GTO's have. When it occurs it usually happens after I have driven it a bit and try to re-start it after a short break. The solenoid doesn't even make a sound and the amp gauge pings over to about -30 amps when turning the key. I replaced the starter with a high torque type and it still happens. Now it is happening even when the engine is cold.....the first start up. If I put a battery charger on the battery it seems to help most of the time...but not always.....Oh ya, I replaced the battery too and the negative ground cable. I thought I would try a remote solenoid, but it doesn't seem to be a "Hot Start" issue..... I'm thinking it might be either a bad ground somewhere....maybe put a ground strap directly from one of the starter bolts to the body of the car ...or maybe the neutral safety switch is grounding out or soomething............any ideas?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 08:05 AM
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Do you have points or Electronic Ignition? If you have points, what kind of shape are they in they opening and closing ok?

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 08:24 AM
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I`d check for voltage at that purple wire going to the starter when this happens. If you do have voltage, then maybe dissconnect it from the starter and test for the same condition you have with the volt gauge inside the car. If so, then you have some short inside the car, if not, then try to jump the starter under the car by shorting out the battery post to the purple wire post to see if the car starts.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 08:26 AM
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Whatever is going on is progressing, which is good. Once it quits completely, it is more easily found.
I would start by eliminating the amp gauge first, as it can be the problem and usually carries the power thru it for the entire car. If that doesn't help I would use a test light at the start terminal on the solenoid, which should be the purple wire. Have someone turn the key and see if power is even getting to the solenoid. IF NOT, I would suspect the ignition switch itself may be shorting internally or a wire in the stream is grounding out. If the light comes on, it gets a little harder. Remove the wire from the terminal and place a volt meter between to measure how much voltage is getting there. If less than 10, it is grounding some where. If it is still the original harness, I would pull the wires out of the metal sleeve between the block and manifold first, as they will get brittle there and crack. It could be the purple wire is only holding on by a few strands.
Hope all this makes sense and helps....

Well, I see me and Rukee were on the same page at the same time......

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1967 Camaro ss/rs 350
1966 Chevelle SS 396
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 09:09 AM
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Good advice above, but I doubt it's the amp guage. These gauges don't run the full amperage like the old Mopars do that burnt up wiring and dashes. It sounds to me like a HIGH RESISTANCE problem in the "purple wire" part of the equation. If a remote starter hooked up to bypass the ign switch part of the system cranks the engine over, It is indeed that circuit. This is usually what the problem is with these cars: high resistance in the primary circuit from ign switch to the solenoid. Check the bulkhead connector at the firewall for corrosion, and remember to disconnect the battery from the car when using an ohmmeter. Good luck. All due respect, but the type of distributor it has has nothing to do with the cranking over of the engine. It doesn't even need a distributor in place to crank over.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Wow ! You guys have given me much to think about and test........Given your responses I'll give you all a little more details........The shop that put my engine in wanted to give me some added protection from a possible theft....first of all, I have electronic ignition so there's no wire going to the starter for the added voltage...just the ignition switch wire and the battery positive cable.......I understand that with normal point ignition you need the other wire to temporarily boast the voltage from 8 to 10 volts for the solenoid to kick in.........with pointless ignition, that's not an issue.....The other thing is...the theft issue...my buddy that owns the shop had a dead switch button installed.........so..I don't have a purple wire from the harness anymore going to the starter....I have a wire..I think white in color.....coming from the ignition switch to this button that must be depressed while turning the start key...I do understand ALL of your comments and will try to isolate the issue........If I understand this process...I'll first disconnect this button thing that was installed and see if that is the issue....if not ...then see if the car will start by jumping over the ignition directly at the solenoid with a remote starting switch.......
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 06:52 PM
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That's the ticket. Check the kill switch first, then see if the starter/solenoid is okay by using a remote. In my past experience, it is usually a resistance/bad connection problem in the bulkhead connector, park/neutral switch, ign. switch itself, or the wiring from the switch to the solenoid. Voltage drop testing (if you know how) is a big help here. (google voltage drop test to learn how). You're not getting the current to the starter because the path is restricted by corrosion or a bad connection. If it was a short, you'd have power all the time, or smoke and a fire. You'll find it.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks again.....It will be a few weeks before I get to it....but will definitely report back......
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:41 PM
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The reason I suggested bypassing the amp gauge is because you mentioned it pegged at negative 30. I assume it is an aftermarket add on under the dash. I've seen them go bad quite often. If your test of bypassing the remote start button still results in a neg 30 reading, try the gauge before you tear anything else apart. It sounds more like a dead ground than an open circuit. Could be the wire to/from the remote switch is pinched too..... Don't ya love trouble shooting ...

Mitch
1967 GTO; Gulf Turquoise on Black, 4 speed, buckets SOLD
1967 Camaro ss/rs 350
1966 Chevelle SS 396
1966 Chevelle Malibu
1970 Chevelle SS 396
1962 Impala SS
1952 Chev 2 ton flat bed
1938 Chev coupe
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:56 PM
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I thought a dead ground ( no ground) IS an open circuit. At least that's what I've always run across! You need a voltage source, a load, and a ground to complete the circuit. And yeah, if the ammeter pegs on discharge with the remote starter, he's got serious voltage drop problems! Let's hope not.............
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