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tdillingham85 11-15-2009 06:01 PM

77 starter problems
Hey everyone,

This is my first post and I must say i am so glad there is a forum for bonnevilles, I cant find any help where I live.

My problem is my starter went out on my 77 (4.9L) one day at the store. When I turned the key I could here it spinning but it engine wasnt turning over. So naturally, I went to the Auto Zone an bought me a new(rebuilt) starter motor. After installing it and hooking everything back up the way it was I was getting nothing after turning the key. I checked all my cables and still nothing. no spinning, no clicking, i took it back up to the auto zone and they tested it and it cranked right up??? now im stuck i dont know where to look at. is there a fuse or a relay somewhere that may have blown? or am i just overlooking something? someone please help or give me some troubleshooting advice. Ive never had a issue installing a started before as it was pretty straight foward..take old one out, put new one in and off i ride.

any help is appreciated..

Danthurs 11-15-2009 07:00 PM

Been a long time sense I worked on a car that old. But if I remember right, there is a starter relay. I seem to remember a large cable going from the battery to the relay and then to the starter. I think it was on the right side wheel well or in that area. I could be wrong, it's been a long time.

2kg4u 11-15-2009 11:14 PM

I think Dan may be right about the starter relay. Follow the positive cable from the starter back to the battery. If you find it goes to a small device, probably on the inner fender, and then to the battery, that device is the relay. Replace it.

tdillingham85 11-16-2009 07:25 AM

thanks guys, i woke up early this morning just so i could get a jump start on looking at it..actually called into work this morning cuz i have to get this thing fixed..ill look for that relay an let yall know what i find

Danthurs 11-16-2009 07:27 AM

Good luck, keep us updated.

tdillingham85 11-16-2009 11:04 AM

ok after looking at the cables this is what ive found. the positive battery cable appears to run straight to the starter..there is another smaller cable that attaches to the same terminal on the solenoid that runs up along with the wiring harness and either goes into the firewall(where the fuse box is located) or around to the fender well where it attaches into a small plastic lookin thing where a bunch of other cables run into also. there is another cable that attaches to another terminal on the solenoid that also appears to run the same route..either to the fire wall or into this plastic harness lookin thing...someone help..also might i add it has started raining so im out gettin wet tryin to get my baby cranked...

Danthurs 11-16-2009 11:32 AM

I'm not finding any relay for your starter, so guess we should move on. Have you checked the voltage at the cables with the key off and on? If you have voltage then the problem is the starter or how it's connected. Recheck all connections, did you miss any? Hooked up wrong? It's odd that it spun with the old starter, but not the new. New checks out as good, that only leaves how it's connected.

tdillingham85 11-16-2009 11:45 AM

i upoloaded some pics maybe they can help out with..hopefully they show up.

this is the little plastic harness thing on the fender well.

where the wiring harness goes into the firewall(right in front of the fuse box)

and the battery cable runs down a tube right next to the engine block right to the starter..there is another cable the runs from the positive side to the alternator..would that affect anything?

Danthurs 11-16-2009 11:48 AM

Your going to need to start testing cables for voltage.

tdillingham85 11-16-2009 11:49 AM

i hooked the starter up exactly like the old one was in..there was two cables that ran to the bigger terminal on the solenoid..and one smaller one that runs to one of the smaller terminals on the solenoid..there were two smaller terminals on the starter..if i hook the smaller cable to the other one could that cause a problem?? just to see if it is hooked up wrong? i dont have a voltage meter to check the power any other ways to do so?

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