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Old 09-12-2017, 08:21 PM   #4
fdryer
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 40,848
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 99 L won't crank, can't hear a click

Ahh, an old school man willing to wack a mole!? I did this just once years ago with perfect(?) results - no starter operation at all and simply concluded a dead starter. I can recall that day as it occurred on the same day when the entire North East suffered a blackout of major proportion - the electrical grid was lost the whole day as I suffered from heat and humidity bicycling to a store for a replacement starter....... The only time I whacked the starter a few times without testing the START wire for 12 volts. Small assumption on my part as I figured the wiring wasn't damaged but the starter was a good possibility. One other car I worked on did suffer wiring problems -the end terminal broke and didn't allow 12v to the starter solenoid. Simply rearranging the terminal allowed the starter to work again until I was able to crimp on a new spade lug. Starters and starting circuits are simple when some previous experience exposes the possibilities to learning things not taught in any school electrical class.

The best way to assess and separate a starter from starting circuit problem is clipping a positive meter probe to the small terminal on the starter solenoid, ground probe clipped to chassis ground. A make shift wire extension into the car from the starter terminal is one way so the meter probes stay inside the car. Just be sure this wire never touches any bare metal and is tape insulated to the meter positive probe. Be sure a good alligator clip or second nut is used to tie the wire extension onto the terminal. Running an extension wire anywhere in the floor board holes to the starter and inside where you can connect a meter probe will make it easy to verify either the starter failed or the starting circuit is faulty. Even a simple 12v test light will work in place of a multimeter.

Whenever the ignition switch is turned to the START position, 12v is sent to the starter solenoid purple wire to power the solenoid coil. The coil pulls the starter gear into position to engage the engine flywheel as the solenoid closes a set of heavy duty electrical contacts to allow battery power to run the starter motor.
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