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Old 03-21-2020, 01:57 AM   #1
car_termite
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Default 98 SC2 no crank, no start

Hello,
I just purchase a 98 SC2 with only 96K miles on ebay. Everything on it was original but it started and ran fine. Once I got it home I did a full tune up ( plugs, wires, both engine and tranny fluid change, drained and flushed coolant). I also cleaned the TB and EGR and I had no problems starting the car. FYI; The car has the brass ECT and the cooling system rises to a little more than a quarter on the gauge. I was unaware water seeped in the trunk until it rained and the water got in and the fuel pump connector got wet. Again, I was unaware water drained in. I let it dry for a day but when I tried it no crank and no start. I thought it was the starter and swapped it out with a 95 sl2 starter but no luck. When I turn the key the cluster lights up and the fuel pump sounds but nothing happens. I don't know if the water damage the connector. About the water getting in, I sealed it with silicone. All of this has happened this week. If anyone know what could be the issue it will help me tremendously. Thanks
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

Automatic or manual? I doubt the water in the trunk is your issue. Maybe one of the starter interlocks, like the clutch switch for a manual or the neutral switch for an automatic.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

If I remember correctly - the fuel pump wiring comes through the body well forward of the trunk....


Check those side posts on the battery.

They are notorious trouble points.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:56 AM   #4
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

As other members mentioned, examine main power and connections. Is the battery dead, dying, worn out or needs recharging? Standby voltage should be 12.5v. Engine running/alternator outputting, 14.5v. Are both battery cables clean and free of corrosion?

A no crank, no start issue can be; dead battery, corroded battery cables, park/neutral safety switch or clutch safety switch, worn out starter. If you can boost the battery with another one from a car or boost pack, try it.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

It's an automatic. The starter that I replaced it was working in the previous saturn. I'll check the voltage on the battery and for corrosion.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

With automatics, there are two positions to start - Park or Neutral. Try neutral position. If still no start, check for a blown fuse.
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

I checked the battery voltage and it's at 12.45 on standby. The cables to the battery have no corrosion but I cleaned the grounds which were a little corroded. I'm checking the fuses.
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

If fuses are ok, next steps are trying a start with shifter in Neutral position. If no starting occurs (starter engages and cranks the engine), you may have to jack up the car for access to the starter. Presuming battery, battery cables and their connections are ok, you can bypass the starting circuit by shorting two terminals on the starter. The large terminal (outer one with battery cable and fusible link wire) shorted to the small terminal with a single (purple) wire on it - a screwdriver, needle nose pliers, a short piece of 10 gauge wire, to short these two terminals. Battery power will power the starter solenoid to power up the starter. Be aware while under the car when trying this; leave ignition OFF, auto in Park position. You're testing the starter, battery and cable connections without needing the ignition switch and starting circuit.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by car_termite View Post
.... About the water getting in, I sealed it with silicone. ...
Please clarify that sentence.
...
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Oil use is 1 ounce per 100 miles with ~230,000 miles on the engine
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

I checked the leak and it happened to be the areas where there is like tar or some kind of sealant and also there is some kind of vent that the gasket was dried up ( rear left side of the trunk). It was all cracked so I just cleaned it and placed silicone along that.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

All the fuses checked out okay. Still no crank no start. I'll check the starter cables tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't rain so I can check that. Thanks
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

There's only one large gauge red battery cable to the starter. Engine ground to starter ground thru its case. Battery negative goes to the chassis first then a ground cable from chassis to engine block. If battery cables and connections are fine, shorting the starter terminals will either power up the starter or not.

If the starter runs and cranks the engine, the starting circuit is suspect. If the starter doesn't power up, the starter is faulty. Banging the starter frame with a piece of 2x4 sometimes gets it running (worn starter brushes).
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

Fdryer, I been researching and saw a few post saying that the RKE could create a no crank no start, can this happen? I swapped out the rear seats and opened both panels and on the right side there is a black box. At the time I had no clue what that was until I found out that's the RKE module. I didn't unplug or remove it but could just moving it around could have cause to trigger something to disable the starter?
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:26 AM   #14
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

Forgot to mention that I only have 1 RKE remote and it's empty inside, so it doesn't work.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

As I'm reading more about the RKE I did install an aftermarket radio. I read that can create a problem with the RKE. Wow, I owned an SL2 without that RKE option and had no issue installing a radio but reading this made me wish I had not installed it. I had no clue some add on could create such big headache.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

Worth a try. Here is your key fob programming guide:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59192

Here are your remotes:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/291665664214

I just programmed my one remote from a couple years ago, and a couple new ones to option 11. No alarm!

Edit: jumper needed for programming.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

I jumped the starter and it want to engage. So I went to look inside at the RKE and it seems the previous owner had the issue cause there is a relay that has a jumper cable on 30 and 87 (which is grounded). Is there a fuse between the RKE module and the relay. There is no corrosion but I still cleaned it but when I turn on the ignition there is no crank no start. I'm at a loss. The car had an aftermarket radio which was unplugged when I acquired it. Then I replaced it with a newer one I had on my 95 sl2 before the car would start. Any suggestions. Thanks
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

The RKE module works with the remote to disable the starting circuit. The previous owner bypassed this rke module by jumpering the relay under the steering column, pins 30 an 87, to allow the starting circuit to operate without using the remote. The remote performs two things - enable the alarm system and disable starting. When the rke module fails, it sometimes keeps the repay from closing to close contacts 30 and 87 to allow starting. The starting circuit is basically the ignition switch sending 12v (during START) to the starter solenoid to power the starter up. When you jumpered across the two starter terminals and found the starter does work, this points to the starting circuit as the problem.

The remote keyless entry system is spliced into the starting circuit to open it and disable starting. Simply adding a jumper across relay pins 30 and 87 bypasses the rke and remote function for everyday starting using the ignition key and turning to START. Search for the wiring diagram within these forums if you need it. The jumper should not be grounded at all as this sends 12v to ground. One fuse powers the ignition switch so there may be one blown fuse preventing the starting circuit from operating. This jumper across relay pins 30 and 87 should not be grounded.

When the ignition switch is turned to START, 12v is sent from the switch to to the fuse box then continues to the relay under the steering wheel and on to the Par/Neutral safety switch. From the P/N switch the wire color turns to purple and goes on to the starter small terminal. The 12v powers the starter solenoid pulling in the starter gear while closing two heavy duty electrical contacts in the starter relay to send battery power to the starter motor. You can check for 12v on the small wire (purple) when the ignition switch is turned to START position. If 12v isn't measured on this wire, this verifies why starting failed - no 12v from the ignition switch. A break in wiring occurred.

You can check for 12v with ignition turned to START on the ignition switch with a yellow wire, at the jumpered relay on either 30 or 87, the P/N switch and finally at the starter terminal. The START signal (12v) starts out as a yellow wire and turns to purple at the P/N switch.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

This is a real hack job. The relay has was moved from the left side to the the right of the center console. The IRS sensor is zipped tied in the steering 86rack. The relay is as follows: 86 is grounded and jumped with 30. 87a is a black wire coming from the sensor. And 85 is spliced with a pink wire. There is a brown wire from the sensor that is spliced with a white wire. I'm trying to upload pics so you guys can see this but I can't. Thanks.
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: 98 SC2 no crank, no start

I tried replying but somehow my reply was lost. COVID-19 attacking at random?

Virtually every cellphone and digital camera takes snapshots creating very large individual files numbering in multiple megabytes. These cannot be attached here as restrictions are limited to 150 kilobytes. The simplest work around I've used many times is resizing each image to less than a megabyte using Windows Paint or whatever image handling software that allows resizing images to reduce file size. I also reformat (as necessary) into jpeg for easier handling. Other file formats may not be accepted when around a megabyte and may have to be reduced further before acceptance.

Whoever hacked this wiring must have had a different agenda as I do not know what sensor was wired into this circuit on terminal 87A. For '98 rke use, 85 and 86 are pcm control to power the relay, 30 and 87 are the electrical contacts inside the relay. 30 and 87 are the only important terminals for this discussion as well as bypassing the remote rke module. Both wires should be yellow and simply disconnecting them from the relay and twisting them together, soldering and shrink wrap is all that's needed to repair the starting circuit.

If I can, I'll try searching the threads for the starting circuit and post it unless another member can point a link to it.
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