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starter cranks with key off

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 89Jimmy, Oct 25, 2000.

  1. 89Jimmy

    89Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    New problem today. I've had some intermittant starting problems with my '85. 350, coil in cap distributor. It would crank great but not fire. I found that the harness terminal that supplies 12v to the distributer seemed to be sloppy. I could start the truck if I wiggled the terminal.
    I cleaned it with an emery board, put some of the electrical clear grease on it, and taped it in place to loose some "slop". This morning I stopped at the store on my way to work and the moter cranked and wouldn't start, but when I shut the key off,the starter continued to crank. I'm thinking that the possabilities are:
    Ignition switch
    Wiring short
    Solenoid or starter short

    Has anybody had this happen? If so, where was the problem? Any other ideas? Thanks.
    John

    So Much to do, So LITTLE cash.
     
  2. Woodman89

    Woodman89 Registered Member

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    Check to see if the solenoid ignition wire is getting juice from the ignition with the key off. This will test the solenoid. If there is no obvious damage to the wiring I would suspect ignition switch. I doubt it is the starter.
     
  3. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    If that terminal is loose, try tightening it up by carefully pinching it closed a little tighter while it is not attached. This should tighten it up and prevent intermittent contact. If it is badly corroded, you should probably replace it. I am pretty sure that the terminals coming out of an HEI are compatible with commonly available push-on terminals.

    New 4x4 driver: "A lot of money in that truck, eh?"
    Me: "Oh, about 1/4 of a new one"
     
  4. SilverSolder

    SilverSolder Registered Member

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    I've experienced the same problem on my '82. The solenoid was sticking. Even though power was removed when the key was released, the sticking solenoid would keep the contact closed that supplies juice to the starter. The only way to stop it was to disconnect the battery. Being the cheapskate that I am, I took the solenoid apart and cleaned it.

    SilverSolder
     
  5. 89Jimmy

    89Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Guys,
    Thanks a lot. Think I'll start by replacing the solenoid.
    Or maybe I'll do the F*$d solenoid thing.
    John

    So Much to do, So LITTLE cash.
     
  6. 89Jimmy

    89Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Guys,
    Thanks a lot. Think I'll start by replacing the solenoid.
    Or maybe I'll do the F*$d solenoid thing also.
    John

    So Much to do, So LITTLE cash.
     
  7. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    That is a fire hazard! Remove your battery now! Disconnect one of the cables RIGHT FRIGGEN NOW! You have either a burnt up solenoid, a shorted solenoid wire, or a bad ignition switch. In any case, REMOVE A BATTERY CABLE NOW. If it starts turning the engine over, and the battery starts to fade (it will in not much time), it will overheat and MELT the battery wire to the starter! IT WILL!

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  8. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    My truck caught on fire in a similar way. I changed the starter at a friend's house but in an oversight, I didn't route the always live batter cable away from the exhaust. It melted onto the exhast manifold in just about a minute and smoke was bellowing out of the engine compartment. When I opened the hood, I had to disconnect the wire quickly - no permanent damage, but it could have easily burned the truck to the ground if I hadn't stopped it as quickly as I did.
    -- Mike
     
  9. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    I installed a Ford solenoid on my firewall and it seized closed when I was starting my fresh 454 (in 40 degrees temp, mind you). It fried the positive batery cables and a couple others that were zip-tied to it. It got so hot in about 15 seconds the it melted not only the insulation, but the solder I had used to put the battery teminals on.

    The ford solenoid is not rated as high as the starter can pull, and certainly not continuously. I have a new solenoid that i've yet to install that will handle much, much more continuous current. I can't remember the specs, but it was $35 from McMaster Carr.

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  10. 89Jimmy

    89Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I appreciate the input. It appears that the solonoid is "sticky" and didn't release when the switch was shut off.
    I'm curious about your post though, Realsquash. Did I get you right? Your cable started melting in 15 seconds? That seems really fast. Mine cranked way longer than that while I got over the surprise of the problem, got the back window down to get a wrench,opened the hood, and took off cable. I didn't have any cables hot enough to even smell. I have #2 gauge cable to the starter.Maybe I just got lucky. Thanks again to all!
    John

    So Much to do, So LITTLE cash.
     
  11. tom

    tom 1/2 ton status

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    I had a truck do that to me. A good rap on the solenoid jarred it loose. Did it a couple of times before I got it changed. Glad it didn't have the old chevy sticky hood release problem at the time or it might have burned down too.
     

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