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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is my problem? Besides the obvious!

Hey gang!,

A couple of years ago I purchased that Rallye that you see for sale on the Ad Board. I'm thinking of keeping it if I ever get it to run. The engine is complete and the fuel injection works. The problem is that the engine now turns over so slowly that it will not start. I've put on two starters so far. One is newly rebuilt. The same result, the starter spins the engine slowly and it will not start.

I've cleaned the battery terminals and the ground at the firewall. No significant improvement. I've even had another car, running with jumper cables attached and no luck. The engine has high compression pistons and I'm wondering just how much compression it is running. The head is stock so there is no valve clearance problem. I've had it running in warm weather and it will run I know that, but now in 40-50 degree weather, no luck.

I'm tempted to pull the engine and install another rebuilt one that I have in the inventory. That or go with a complete build on an E block that I have in a parts car. That one would have .030 over flat-top pistons and the roller rockers with 2.0L valves. That's a few dollars and several man hours away.

Any clues on the slow turn over problem. Also appears to be blowing a little oil out the dipstick tube. I'm stumped! :confused:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :D
 

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What weight oil you running in the engine? We had a guy drive from here in sunny SoCal to NoDak in the dead of winter with 30 weight oil in his car. It would not even turn over the next morning. The oil was so cold and thick in the subzero temps. Perhaps you need to go to a lighter weight oil, say 5-20. HTH
 

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Pathologic Opeler
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power wire

how about a new power (positive) wire from the battery to the starter? or at
least cut the ends off,get some of those inexpensive clamp -on ends..and beef up the connections with some lead solder.my main power wire came from a walmart stereo relocation kit..for those 200 amp boosters..kit was
$20... i soldered on clamp on ends with a small butane torch...if your ground is good..wouldnt it have to be your positive?
 

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When I get into something like that I use jumper cables straight from the battery. First ground as close to the starter and try it. Then try adding the positive side. It doesn't fix the problem but helps find it.

Another thing to check is the starter bolts, if thier loose it won't get a good ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Slow starter.

Thanks for the suggestions. Could be that there is a weak ground to the chassis from the battery. I'm going to try a cable from the negative terminal to the block. The starter is torqued up correctly, along with the owner being just plain torqued! The oil in the crank case is a 10-W30, so I'm not thinking oil. If the new ground doesn't help, I'll probably pull the engine and build one than I know more about. This one is a total mystery. It came in the car and hasn't really run right yet.

Thanks for the tips.
 

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help

I've got a similar issue to the one described above. My starter turns over slow, sometimes it wont even kick out the gear to engage the flywheel. Cranks better when warm outside but with temps in the upper 40's in the morning its been hard to start.

The battery cables are new, the engine ground is new, the starter is new/rebuilt. All connections are clean. I'm lucky the engine runs so well, it only takes about a half crank most of the time to start it. The battery is a couple year old optima red top, shouldn't be an issue there but I'm going to pull it out this weekend and have the local Auto Zone test it. I stuck a volt meter on it the other day and it read 13.4 volts...I guess that doesn't necessarily mean the amps are there though...

Where else should I look? There isn't much else in the loop...

Thanks,

Matt
 

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Matt, sounds like you have some oil or grease on the piston inside the starter solenoid, if it doesn't engage the starter pinion gear into the flywheel ring gear. If you're using a 30W oil when it gets cold, the oil becomes like molasses and the crank has a hard time spinning in it. Same with the rods and pistons trying to move in it. Had a guy drive to NoDak from CA in the dead of winter and couldn't figure why his car wouldn't turn over the next morning. The starter would just click, but wouldn't turn over. Changed his oil to 5W and the problem went away. HTH.
 

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The starter hasn't been on the car long enough to really get gunked up so I don't suspect that is the case. I feel like it just isn't getting the power it should. I'll check some things with a volt meter tomorrow and see if I can figure anything out and get the battery tested as well to rule that out.

I had an old starter in it up to a couple months back that turned slow as well, thought it was because the starter was old and was disappointed to find this one to only do a little better. Maybe the starter isn't grounded to the engine block as well as it could be???

I'll keep your oil suggestion in mind, I'm running 10W-30 but it hasn't been cold enough lately to make that a factor...
 

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tomking
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It sounds like it might not be getting good electrical connections. Why dont you try using jumper cables from a good battery connecting both + and - directly to it. If that doesnt make it whirrr real good, then the starter must be defective.
 

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Solenoid contact disc (inside)

Like Tom and other's have already said, it's a current (AMP) problem. You can have good voltage readings everywhere, but if any connection in the starter current path is not a ZERO OHM connection (maximum current transfer), the starter wil NOT work properly.

That said, if you're sure of all your current connections and the starter is known to be good, then the ONLY thing left is the contact washer inside the starter solenoid not making good contact to allow full current to pass from the top solenoid contact where the battery cable connects to the bottom solenoid contact that is the current source for the starter motor!

Most of the time when there are starter problems and after all the connections are verified to be good, people change out the entire starter . . . and solenoid, when the whole problem in reality is that contact washer inside the solenoid!

Back in the day when none of us had the money to just nilly-willy replace starters, we used to repair the solenoid by filing the two contact posts inside the solenoid flat (remove pitting) and flipping the contact washer over so that the non-pitted side faced the contacts.
 

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Opeler
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Back in the day when none of us had the money to just nilly-willy replace starters, we used to repair the solenoid by filing the two contact posts inside the solenoid flat (remove pitting) and flipping the contact washer over so that the non-pitted side faced the contacts.
Did you ever, back in the day, just replace the starter clutch? My original starter's clutch is bad. I keep meaning to take it to a shop to see if I can get just the clutch so I can rebuild the starter at my leisure (odd leisure activity, no?) but if it can't be had...... or exchanged easily......I won't bother.

Sorry, bit off topic.
 

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Back in the day when none of us had the money to just nilly-willy replace starters, we used to repair the solenoid by filing the two contact posts inside the solenoid flat (remove pitting) and flipping the contact washer over so that the non-pitted side faced the contacts.
Oops, you mean that isn't still SOP? Somebody forgot to issue me money so that I wouldn't have to do that anymore. :haha:

Harold
 

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Yep, starter 'overrun' clutch too!

Did you ever, back in the day, just replace the starter clutch? My original starter's clutch is bad. I keep meaning to take it to a shop to see if I can get just the clutch so I can rebuild the starter at my leisure (odd leisure activity, no?) but if it can't be had...... or exchanged easily......I won't bother.

Sorry, bit off topic.
. . . yep, lots of times. All the older FSMs and even general car repair manuals had detailed procedures with pics in them how to do it, too . . . basically the same for all starters, regardless of manufacturer. Up until a couple of years ago, starter clutch was still available from NAPA . . . it's just not an "in-store" stocked item anymore, it has to be ordered from a warehouse, if available . . . same for the starter solenoid!

I still prefer to repair things - because I can! - rather than just replace whole assemblies, but it's totally dependent on being able to get the bit parts!
 

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I still prefer to repair things - because I can! - rather than just replace whole assemblies, but it's totally dependent on being able to get the parts!
I sure hear that Otto, every chance I get. Used to be, you could pull the circlip on the washer and flip it over, turn the contacts 180 and be good to go. Then the bean counters got in to the mix and now the washers are not removable, some contacts aren't full circle so you can't rotate them. All just to save a penny or two per starter. Bummer.
 

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Thanks for all the guidance guys! I should have some time tomorrow to look more at this issue. I'll let you know what I find. Hope it's not the starter or solenoid, I just replaced it with an OGTS rebuilt starter and the solenoid that came with it looked new! Seeing as I had the same issue with the previous one, I can't imagine thats really my problem.
 

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Opeler
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Maybe Just Maybe...

Here is my question. Have you recently done a tune up, distributor swap, anything that effect timing, or firing order? If you say yes to any of these things, then advance may be a problem. I remember reading a long while back how the #1 cylinder is not what we would consider to be in the right place. Apparently #1 is in the back and not the front. So, you might want to check your timing and/or firing order. That only applies if you answered yes to my question above. HTH.

Shawn
 
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