Starter **Update** - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 06-18-2005, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default Starter **Update**

*sigh* one more problem for justin.

Starter took a dump last night. Battery is fine, solenoid engages, but the ****** just won't turn. Hit it with a hammer while someone tries to bump it over. Tried manually turning the engine over with someone on the starter [I know this is dangerous.. don't say anything]. Can't get the damn thing to work, not for the life of me.

Since I can't even afford a new set of plugs, I know I can't afford a new starter. Is there ANYTHING I can do to fix this, with nothing more than $10? I'm thinking of just pulling it, and cleaning up the armature [I have electric motor experience..]. There may be oil on it or something that I can fix.. or something. All I know is I really want to drive that car!

One last thing, is it possible for me to give power to the motor, but not to the solenoid? Like to turn the motor over without the solenoid [without cranking the engine], maybe without any load it'll turn over and magically fix it or something.


-justin
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:02 PM   #2
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Could still be the solenoid or the clutch fork may be binding. You hear the "click" but nothing happens right ?

Have to understand how a GM starter works. When you turn to start, power goes through the solenoid electromagnet which pulls in the fork wheich slides out the clutch to engage the ring grear. The very last part of the movement the plunger hits a button at the end of the solenoid well that makes a contact that applies power to the starter motor.

First thing to check with a voltmeter is if the starter (the metal strip that goes from the stater to the solenoid) is getting 12v when the solenoid pulls in. If it does, the problem is in the starter. If not it is either the fork binding so that the plunger does not bottom (hammer usually frees) or the contact in the solenoid is burnt.

Either way the starter and solenoid are going to have to come off but at least you will have some idea which end to look at.

GM solenoids are pretty much GM solenoids. If the starter, check the brushes. If worn out they are available for a couple of bucks. If you know what you are doing you can ofter mix and match parts from two starters and make one good one.
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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Alright.. I think I know what you mean. Is there a section on this in the FSM? I'll check it out when I get back from the Driving Range --going to **** out some of my anger on those damn balls!

I doubt it'* the brushes, because the starter is less than 2 years old.. and for the past year, it never really got a whole lot of work [I don't regularly drive the car].


-justin
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Old 06-18-2005, 03:27 PM   #4
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On page 6D2-3 in the Cranking System, there is a diagram at the top of the page. For the #12, on the diagram, is it the top, or bottom terminal that I should test for 12v? I see the bottom terminal connects to the starter body.. so I am going to guess it is that one? Is it grounded all the time, and the starter switch gives it 12v, or does it always have 12v and the starter switch grounds it?

<-- thinking about jumping the starter.


-justin
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Old 06-18-2005, 07:31 PM   #5
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Look at that.. tripple post!

Took starter apart, cleaned comm, brusted, whole armature, magnets, everything. Four paper towels full of dirt. Everything was shining. My time kinda got cut short, due to me breaking my finger.. so I haven't tested everything yet. But so far, it doesn't work like it normally should.

For all you guys working on your starter, be careful. I had mine lined up, all ready to go in, and it was held up by some loose bolts [which I thought were on good], and when I was ******* around with placement and whatnot, it fell on my pinky, and pinned it against the main front crossmember thing. I beat the pain to get it installed, but it'* pretty bad, as far as pain goes.


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Old 06-18-2005, 09:58 PM   #6
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Ain't that a bitch? Sorry about that man, but good luck hope it works! I know GM starters are just the goofiest things. I've had ones that have been in cars for 10 years before they quit and i've replaced others only 3 weeks after installing them because they fry! But i hope it works, at least 3800 starters are easy to do. And just because i like to mess with ya, you DID put that shim back in between the starter and the block RIIIGHT? Ha good luck again.
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Old 06-18-2005, 10:22 PM   #7
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**** *******, no I didn't. I remember finding that with blood all over it while I was cleaning up. Is that important to the motor working [remember, motor no work]

I'm picking up a replacement tomorrow. Maybe somehow I will magically get it for free.. I don't know. God will hopefully strike down, and screw something up, and make a new one magically appear in my hand.


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Old 06-19-2005, 12:35 AM   #8
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Well i've never gotten a new one in the box, but that could just be our parts supplier at the shop. Maybe a different brand will provide it. I'm not exactly sure what the shim does, but my boss always tells me to put it in so i do it. I guess if you think about it it would adjust the clearance between the starter gear and the flywheel. Wether that few millimeters makes a big difference i don't know but it'* not tough to put it in, one side of the spacer is notched so you only have to remove one bolt and loosen the other one. But i understand with the ahh... finger and all... that might suck. Well you might just have to let 'er sit for a little bit.
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Old 06-19-2005, 09:14 PM   #9
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Yep, I am officially an idiot.

Bought a new starter today, installed it, same ****. Solenoid clicks, engine doesn't turn over. Try all this ****, eventually check voltage at the solenoid. 12.6v [battery] at the main connector. Have a friend bump the starter, check voltage at starter [the tab thing that goes from the solenoid to the starter], 7v. So now I figure out why the hell it isn't starting. Grab my jumper cables, and hook the positive cable from the battery to the voltage input on solenoid. Car cranks fine.

Clean the battery cables, car runs fine.

The car showed no signs of having corrosive battery cables. 12.6v at battery, voltmeter looked perfectly fine, dropped significantly when I went to crank the engine [the amount it always does], but the current wasn't getting there. Locking my doors didn't even make the courtesy lights dim. I also have a write-up for a 'poor mans starter fix.' That I shall put the finishing touches on tomorrow evening. Just so all us poor guys can have a working starter .
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Old 06-19-2005, 09:50 PM   #10
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Have had to clean the positive cable stack on our '90 twice now - I mean to the disassembly/acid dip/grinder/file level of cleaning. It just happens.

BTW many aftermarket/rebuilt starters come with a slip of paper saying not to install the shim.
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