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Strange no start problem

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by dapert, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. dapert

    dapert Registered Member

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    Have an 85 Sub that won't start.

    About a year ago it had a problem where it had full power but would do nothing when I turned the key. Similar ussie to what a lot of people experience when the starter gets hot and won't start back up until it cools down. I replaced the starter, selenoid, ignition switch, key tumbler, battery. Basically everything but it still didn't help.

    I ended up getting a push button starter from Autozone and wired it directly to the starter and everything worked fine. I used to turn the key and push the button and everything was great.

    For some reason the other day I wondered what would happen if I just pushed the button without turning the key. It cranked over like it normally does but wouldn't start and then just stopped. Now I can't get it to crank over at all.

    I had the battery tested and it came back fine. I get full power to everything but when I turn the key and push the button it tries to crank the starter for about a second then starts to click. If I try it a second time it does nothing. No click, doesn't try to crank and the dome lights and dash lights go out.

    Now obviously there was some problem in the first place because I had to use the push button and bypass the problem but I think this is something different.

    Anybody have any advice or tips on what could be wrong here? My battery tested as good but had a low charge. I charged it but is it possible that it could still be bad and show good? ANy advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. norville

    norville 1/2 ton status

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    maybe the nutral sefety switch?? Or check you grounds?


    bob
     
  3. dapert

    dapert Registered Member

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    Neutral safety switch is new and the grounds are good.

    This truck is stubborn as hell. I tought maybe I killed the starter solenoid but that wouldn't cause the intermittent power loss to the lights and gauges would it?
     
  4. norville

    norville 1/2 ton status

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    How about the connections at the firewall? Do you have a multimeter? Maybe stary checking Ohms and voltages, Do you have a haynes manual? There basic but you should be able to follow signals around.

    bob
     
  5. ChickenRammit

    ChickenRammit 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I Get Similar Symptoms On My K3500. It Always Happens When There Is Too Much Corrosion Build Up On My Positive Battery Cable That Goes From The Battery To The Starter. The Selenoid Will Click Over But Then No Cranking. Then I Get The Clicking Noise That You Described. Makes You Think The Battery Is Dead. I Would Follow The Cable From The Starter And Make Sureits In Good Shape And Clean Off Any Acid Buildup With Baking Soda Mixed With Water.
     
  6. dapert

    dapert Registered Member

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    I replaced the cables and battery post connectors and it didn't help.

    I'm thinking I had to fry something or at least damage it when I hit the start button without turning the key. I just don't know what else it could be other than the battery. But yet I have full power to lights etc until I try to crank it more than once. Then I lose all power for several minutes.
     
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    fuse links??

    I have seen the fusible links at the starter fry internally,and make only partial contact,which sometimes breaks the flow of current under heavy loads only,or when they heat up...could be the problem..

    Could be voltage drop in the purple wire that goes from the ignition,to the neutral safety,to the solenoid..its a long wire,with many connections and potential voltage drops..a starter solenoid can do this too,when exposed to extreme heat from headers..it'll not even click when hot,but wait 10 minutes and it spins over fine!..the magnetism in the solenoid is too weak at high temps to engage the solenoid properly...a heat sheild ,and painting the starter with aluminum paint helps keep it cool enough to stop this..:crazy:
     
  8. dapert

    dapert Registered Member

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    would this partial contact with the fusible link kill all power or just prevent the solenoid from engaging?

    how difficult is it to get to and replace the fusible link you are talking about?
     
  9. norville

    norville 1/2 ton status

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    The other day the wife had a battery problem. She dropped the kid soff at school and shut the vehicle off, she normally doesn't. When she got back in car no workey. She had lights radio windows ect. I thought bad started or something. Here the batt dropped a cell. It look a while to jump it and she only drove 2 miles w/bad battery.

    Do you have a power jumper or a spare battery??? I know you said it checked out but ya never know.

    bob
     
  10. Dallin

    Dallin 1/2 ton status

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    It could also be the ignition switch. Sometimes adjusting the linkage between the key and the actual switch will fix the problem.

    It could be lots of things. Get out the voltage meter and take a few measurements. The voltage meter will help eliminate a lot of possibilites.
     
  11. maynardogle

    maynardogle 1/2 ton status

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    Get a voltmeter..or even a test light, and work backwards from the starter. If you are sure the fuse links are OK at the starter, check the yellow wire on the outboard ((I think) terminal of the starter solenoid and see if it goes high (+10 volts or so, when you turn the key to crank the starter. if it doesn't go high, next go to the ignition switch. Ignition switch failure is common after twenty years on a daily driver....
     
  12. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    It depends on which fusible link is burnt or partly burnt is faulty that determines what loses power and what doesnt..there are 2 located in thick red wires that bolt onto the stud on the solenoid,and the positive battery cable also bolts on there..if those burn,you'll lose ALL power to everything inside the cab..they look like wax candles or firecrackers made into the wires (OEM ones anyway)...

    There is another fusible link located in the red wire, near the power brake booster,where a plastic junction block bolted to the firewall joins that red wire to others..if only that one fails,power can still get to the cab,but not to all accesories,and it can cause some strange things to happen..

    The way you describe it,it sounds like its losing ALL power as soon as a load is thrown on the battery,due to a bad terminal connection,bad ground,no ground wire from engine to frame and firewall,or the fusible links are partly toasted ,or the wires mentioned in this and my last post are corroded and gangrene somewhere,or chafed thru and grounding out..

    The thick purple wire at the solenoid is what engages the starter..try jumping the starter solenoids positive battery cable stud to the post the purple wire plugs onto with a screwdriver or heavy wire (make sure its in neutral!),and see if it'll crank normally then..if it does,its a wire problem,between the ignition and starter..good luck..
     

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