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Old 03-13-2005, 05:09 PM   #1
schultp
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Default Starter changed, still no start

I finally go around to changing the starter on my 93 SL2a.

The battery is 6 months old and I checked it and it is good.
The alternator was changed 2 months ago and is also good (I have a load tester).

The symptoms: When I crank the engine it would have a very weak crank. At first I could get it to catch after several attempts. Then it progressed to only giving one or two feeble cranks and the car wouldn't start.

At the moment, I've got the battery on the charger (just to make sure!) and I'll go for a full attempt at starting in the AM. But, after installing the starter I did give it one attempt. Several cranks...seemed "more vigorous"...but still no start.

All connections look good (I used dielectric grease).

Any other thoughts? I did have the starter replaced about 8 months ago. So I was hesitant at first to think this could be defective. I finally gave in and replaced it since everything else looks good and are fairly new (battery, alternator). I even bought a new battery from K-mart and tried that and still got the same symptoms (returned battery the next day!...fully charged).

One minor thing, I'm missing the bottom bolt that the starter bracket slides under (on the passenger side). Does anyone know the size of this bolt?

And, how important is the starter shield? I no longer have one.

Thanks,

Paul.

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Old 03-13-2005, 05:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Try flooring it while you crank it.

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Old 03-14-2005, 08:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Tried flooring it already. No help.

Paul.

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Old 03-14-2005, 09:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

May be time to start checking grounds. Make sure that you have the heavy ground cable from the battery to the trans to engine upper bolts, that there is no corrosion. chack the other battery/engine to frame grounds as well.

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Old 03-15-2005, 08:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman
May be time to start checking grounds. Make sure that you have the heavy ground cable from the battery to the trans to engine upper bolts, that there is no corrosion. chack the other battery/engine to frame grounds as well.
I checked and cleaned these grounds a couple months ago but I'll check them again.

After charging the battery the new starter basically did the same thing (with more vigor!). It cranks a couple times. Then, I would only get the clicking of the starter solenoid.

I guess I should start to check for other reasons besides the starting/charging system.

I did have a flicker of the oil light at idle only the week prior to this happening. With one of the times I was able to get it running (after an oil change with MMO added) it had a noticeable ticking.

I bought a mechanics stethoscope to find the area where the ticking was coming from. But, without being able to start it up I can't confirm the ticking is still there or where it is. I hope it isn't associated with the starting issue. But at this point I need to keep my mind open to the possibilities.

Paul

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Old 03-15-2005, 08:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

I call a dead battery. The clicking may be coming from the lifters. Since you haven't started the car in a while, they have probably bled down all their oil and are a little noisy on startup.

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Old 03-16-2005, 12:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by geartooth94
I call a dead battery. The clicking may be coming from the lifters. Since you haven't started the car in a while, they have probably bled down all their oil and are a little noisy on startup.
Battery is 6 months old and was checked as good at Autozone on their machine. I even went as far as buying another battery but it didn't make a difference (I then returned the battery!).

I was also thinking the lifters may be causing the ticking. But, to verify I have to get this darn thing started!

Paul.

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Old 03-16-2005, 05:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

If you are getting it to turn over, I would check the crankshaft position sensor. To test it, remove the #1 and #2 plug wires from the posts, have someone crank the motor over, and if no spark jumps from one post to the other, it very well could be the sensor.

But if it is not even turning over, this is not the problem.

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Old 03-16-2005, 07:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

If the solenoid is clicking, that means there is a bad ground or +12V to the starter. You might want to check the connections at the battery. Examine them closely and make sure they're making good contact with the battery. Clean them if necessary. If you still have problems I'd suggest replacing the cables going to the battery.

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Old 03-16-2005, 08:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by LowSC2
If the solenoid is clicking, that means there is a bad ground or +12V to the starter. You might want to check the connections at the battery. Examine them closely and make sure they're making good contact with the battery. Clean them if necessary. If you still have problems I'd suggest replacing the cables going to the battery.
I've loosened and retightened the battery post connectors several times. I have dielectric grease at the battery connections and at the starter connections.

I did have to build a new wire to connect between the alternator and starter. I used 8 gauge wire, crimped and soldered the end connectors. It looks better than what I had on there and it worked for a month after I installed it buut do you think this could be a factor?....I'm grasping at straws here....

Paul.

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Old 03-17-2005, 07:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by schultp
I did have to build a new wire to connect between the alternator and starter. I used 8 gauge wire, crimped and soldered the end connectors. It looks better than what I had on there and it worked for a month after I installed it buut do you think this could be a factor?....I'm grasping at straws here....
Ahh, I bet that is the source of your problem. That wire is supposed to be a fusible link...

Electrical System: Fusible Link

From the FSM:

In addition to circuit breakers and fuses, a fusible link is used between the starter motor solenoid and generator to protect the wiring. Like fuses, fusible links are "one time" protection devices that will melt and create an open circuit.

Not all fusible link open circuits can be detected by observation. Always inspect that there is battery voltage past the fusible link to verify continuity.

Fusible links are used instead of a fuse in wiring circuits that are not normally fused, such as the ignition circuit. Each fusible link is four wire-gage sizes smaller than the cable it is designed to protect. Links are marked on the insulation making the link appear to be a heavier gage than it actually is. When replacing a blown fusible link, use only parts purchased from an authorized Saturn Retailer.

IMPORTANT: If a fusible link is blown, don't just replace it. The most probable cause is an internal generator failure. Verify that there is no external arcing or shorting of fusible link with other wires and/or components. If no problems are found, replace generator.

Last edited by Razorbak; 03-17-2005 at 07:21 AM..

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Old 03-18-2005, 12:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Sounds like weak contact to the power source (Battery).
Make sure both Red & Black Cable Bolts are not stripped and they are tight and secure to the battery terminals.

Check all Ground bolts to the car frame, also the one on the Tranny-to-Engine bolt stud (under the top radiator hose), no corrosion.

Have you also Load-Tested the Battery?
Having 12V coming out doesn't mean the battery carries enough juice to crank the motor.

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Old 03-18-2005, 10:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qlara
Sounds like weak contact to the power source (Battery).
Make sure both Red & Black Cable Bolts are not stripped and they are tight and secure to the battery terminals.

Check all Ground bolts to the car frame, also the one on the Tranny-to-Engine bolt stud (under the top radiator hose), no corrosion.

Have you also Load-Tested the Battery?
Having 12V coming out doesn't mean the battery carries enough juice to crank the motor.
My battery is 6 months old and passes testing with both my own load tester and the one at Autozone.

I'll recheck my cables and connections again. But, I don't think this is the problem. All grounds were checked, cleaned, tightened recently.

Paul.

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Old 03-19-2005, 11:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by schultp
My battery is 6 months old and passes testing with both my own load tester and the one at Autozone.

I'll recheck my cables and connections again. But, I don't think this is the problem. All grounds were checked, cleaned, tightened recently.
Any thoughts about the fusible link info I posted above?

If you had to change out that wire, it failed for a reason. If you've already eliminated the root cause, it would be helpful to post a response rather than just ignore the issue.

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Old 03-19-2005, 05:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razorbak
Any thoughts about the fusible link info I posted above?

If you had to change out that wire, it failed for a reason. If you've already eliminated the root cause, it would be helpful to post a response rather than just ignore the issue.
Whoa there Razorback...too much caffiene?

I haven't had time to go out and follow through on any of the suggestions. As for the wire, I changed it because I weakened the connection between the wire and lug on the end of it. I wasn't aware it was a fusible link. It didn't fail on its own. I just didn't trust it after I mechanically stressed the lug-wire connection. There wasn't a failure of the wire on its own. So, I don't think there is a 'root cause' related to it.

I originally asked about the wire more for completeness and out of frustration. However, I do need to get the proper replacement for this.

I may be able to get out for an hour today or tomorrow and verify that all the grounds/connections are proper. I'll post an update then...honest Razorback...I will!

Paul

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Old 03-19-2005, 05:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by schultp
Whoa there Razorback...too much caffiene?
Sorry, dude. Didn't mean to jump the gun on you. One of my pet peeves is people ignoring posted suggested, yet continuing to ask for help.

Anyway, thanks for your response. I understand your rationale. Good luck with the troubleshooting.

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Old 03-19-2005, 06:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Razorback,

I pulled out my FSM for my 93 SL2 and don't see a fusible link between the starter and alternator. Only an 'alternator cable' on the schematic. And, no mention of a fusible link in the install/removal instructions for the starter or the alternator. What section did you find your info in?

Perhaps you are looking at a different year/models FSM?

Paul.

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Old 03-19-2005, 06:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by schultp
Razorback,

I pulled out my FSM for my 93 SL2 and don't see a fusible link between the starter and alternator. Only an 'alternator cable' on the schematic. And, no mention of a fusible link in the install/removal instructions for the starter or the alternator. What section did you find your info in?

Perhaps you are looking at a different year/models FSM?

Paul.
You're probably right. My FSM is for the 96 model year. Maybe the fusible link between the starter and alt is post-93 development?

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Old 03-19-2005, 07:14 PM   #19
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Post Re: Starter changed, still no start

Quote:
I have dielectric grease at the battery connections and at the starter connections.
Try going with an ungreased connection and see if that makes a difference.

Pull the plugs and see if the motor turns faster. If not I would swap out the battery cables.

My 2 cent.
BTW how did this all start?

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Old 04-14-2005, 10:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: Starter changed, still no start

Well, I wanted to give an update on getting this car back on the road. It has been sitting up on jack stands....feeling neglected for the last 3 weeks. A victim of my work schedule and my lack of motivation. A couple times I went out during this time and still couldn't get it to turn over.

I went out today (warmer weather...about 55-60) and used the battery charger to fully charge the battery. The car started right up!

But, it still has a VERY LOUD ticking sound (really a clacking sound) from the engine. I used my mechanics stethoscope and it is coming from the upper engine and doesn't localize under a specific area beneath the valve cover. Are ALL my lifters failing? This dilema does follow a short period of time where my son drove the car and experienced the oil pressure light to flicker on during idle (it would go off with acceleration). I changed the oil, filter, and added MMO to the oil. Then the starting problem developed and I couldn't pursue this issue.

Is it possible I have an oil pump problem and the lifters aren't getting enough oil? Would the flickering light support this?

Could my timing chain have skipped a link causing the ticking sound? I replaced timing chain about 500 miles prior to the problems and the car ran great.

I have removed the timing (front) cover twice in the last 8 months...I don't really want to remove it again. How can I check if the oil pump is functioning adequately? My wife is starting to hint at getting rid of the Saturn since it is taking up room in the garage. I want to keep it so I'm motivated again to get it running smoothly.

Thanks,

Paul.

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