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Old 11-28-2020, 11:37 PM   #1
Trob
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Default Just clicking when trying to start

Pulled motor and put back in. Not first time. Now I turn the engine over and it just clicks. Kind of like when you have a bad battery. I missed the ground on the top bolt of the starter. It is on now but still the same problem. It sounds like it is clicking on the passenger side foot well. As well as out under the hood. Lost on this one. Any help appreciated. Where to look next?
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:24 AM   #2
Trob
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Anyone?
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Old 11-29-2020, 01:20 PM   #3
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So I'll ask the question, do you have a bad battery? If you haven't already done so, measure the voltage at the battery while trying to start and see how low it drops. If it goes much below 10V you may have your answer. If it doesn't drop much at all, check at the starter to see if the voltage is making it there. Use the starter ground for this test.
The results of these checks should point you in the right direction.
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Old 11-29-2020, 04:05 PM   #4
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Another thing you can do to prove the starter is ok is apply power directly to the starter solenoid connection. Make sure the transmission is in Park or Neutral before you do this test and be clear of the car. If the starter is okay then making that connection should turn the engine over.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:06 PM   #5
Trob
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Could this be a sign of a bad ground?
I will test the starter out of the vehicle. If not the starter or battery. What next?
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:21 AM   #6
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I doubt there is a ground issue causing this problem. If you want to prove it just connect a jumper cable from the negative battery post to the case of the starter and then try to starter the engine. Instead of removing the starter I suggest you just run a power jumper to the solenoid wire connection on the starter solenoid. If the starter runs that way the starter isn't the problem. Just be sure to be clear of things when you make the connection and the transmission is in neutral.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:12 PM   #7
Trob
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So if I pull the starter.

Do I have to hook jumper cables from pos battery to constant power on starter?

Then jump power from the constant on starter to 12v not constant?

Probably worded wrong but hope this is right.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:34 AM   #8
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Why remove the starter as it can be tested in place. Simply disconnect the small ignition wire going to the starter solenoid and apply 12 volts to that connection on the solenoid. If the starter is good it will crank the engine.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:39 PM   #9
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A "bad" starter can still work if you jump the terminals with the starter on the ground. This recently happened to me. The starter would just click, and every once and a while it would turn the engine over and fire up. Jumping the car worked sometimes but eventually, I had to start clutch starting it when that stopped working. I replaced the starter and it fires up no problem now.
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:59 PM   #10
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One other common issue that can cause your kind of problem is worn out starter solenoid contacts. The starter just makes a load click. The solenoid works but the starter can't run due to the high resistance of the contacts. This is a very common problem with starters over 10 years old. The contacts can be replaced.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:20 PM   #11
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I tested the starter and it is good. It is getting 12v to it.

This problem is causing the headlights to flicker. The clinking noise is not just one click. The is more a rapid clicking like a dead battery does. However the battery is good and have a booster battery charger for starting. Does not help.

Any idea to try next?
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:09 AM   #12
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Is that 12V measured at the starter terminal and starter ground while trying to crank the engine?
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trob View Post

Pulled motor and put back in. Not first time. Now I turn the engine over and it just clicks. Kind of like when you have a bad battery.
From a recent thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver98STi View Post

Often, battery cables corrode internally and cause starting issues. Try at least cleaning the terminals and battery posts to find out if that helps.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:25 PM   #14
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In your last post you didn't tell us what you did exactly that makes you think the starter is okay. You stated that it was getting 12 volts but when the starter is running the battery voltage will be lower than 12 volts.

Since the headlights are flickering I assume they are flickering at the same rate the starter is clicking. In order for that to happen either the battery can't handle the load and is faulty OR, the starter motor has a direct short on the connection to the armature and is shorting the battery out when the solenoid is ON. I worked on a similar problem some time ago where the solenoid connection from the battery lead got shorted to the case of the starter because the stud bolt nut for the cable terminal was over tightened and it turned the square head of the stud bolt into the case of the starter, which is supposed to be insulated from the case. To correct the problem I loosened the nut and turned the stud bolt slightly counter-clockwise in order to move the bolt head away from the case, and made sure it didn't move when I retightened the nut that holds the cable terminal. This may be what is happening on your solenoid, but on the other side of the solenoid contacts, that are connected to the armature of the starter motor. Check the resistance of the motor side of the solenoid contact to case ground and see what you get. I am not sure what the normal resistance will be but it will normally be very low also and it may be difficult to determine the difference between bad and normal by checking the resistance to ground.

Last edited by Cougar4; 12-02-2020 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:57 PM   #15
Trob
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Thanks for all the information Cougar4.

I pull the starter out but tested on the bench. Hooked power for battery to 12v constant in starter. Took a screwdriver and jumped the power to the no constant 12v. This worked for three tries. Put starter back in. Changed the end of my alternator wire. It was not looking good. Hook battery up and what do you know. If turns right over. Not sure what did it. However it is fixed!!
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:10 PM   #16
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I suspect that you cleared a short issue when you removed the starter and put it back in. I assume the headlights don't flicker now which would confirm my explanation of the issue. Glad you got it going.
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Old 12-03-2020, 03:45 AM   #17
Vancouver98STi
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Good chance it was nothing but a poor connection between the battery cable and the starter (if that's all you disconnected). Removing the starter and reinstalling it could've simply renewed and improved the connection/continuity. Not an unusual occurrence.
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