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Technical Chevy 350 starter woes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Clint86, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I am at a loss. I have a Chevy 350 with starter issues. I have a new optima yellow top battery, a new starter switch, and a new mini torque gear reduction starter. My alternators output is 14.5 volts, the batteries big ground wire is bolted to the starter, the alternator is grounded to the battery using the small ground wire. The large red wire goes directly to the starter solenoid, there is also a smaller red wire from the alternator hooked up to the start solenoid. The starter solenoid ignition wire puts out 12 volts. However, when I turn the key I get nothing, absolutely nothing. I've checked the grounds, I've checked the connectors, I've checked just about everything I can think of. Any ideas or suggestions?
     
  2. I don't see any mention of the wire coming form the ign switch or is that what your referring to by the starter solenoid ignition wire putting out 12v. If its wired like below then I would start thinking about a bad solenoid or starter motor.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,100

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    is the small wire from the ignition switch connected to the small terminal closest to the block?
     
  4. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I've got 12 volts coming from the ignition wire
     
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  5. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    The ignition wire is a spade connector, It's connected to the spade terminal on the starter solenoid. The only other post is the terminal for the battery wire.
     
  6. what are the markings on the solenoid?
     
  7. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1422154912.747552.jpg

    This is my old starter, everything is the same on the new one
     
  8. Are you getting signal from the key in the crank position at the spade terminal? if you do do you have 12v or so at the strap going into the starter when key is in the start position?.
     
  9. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    When I turn the key to start I get 12 volts on my volt meter.
     
  10. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I got it to start by jumping it, but only when it was pushing 14 volts. It wouldn't start with 12
     
  11. The big wire is bolted to the starter? What is your ground path? Most ground cables go to the head, with the starter grounded through the block. Try another location for the main ground is my thought based on your wiring description.
     
    primeisnotacrime likes this.
  12. I agree with eric, check and or make corrections to grounds!
     
  13. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,995

    rfraze
    Member

    Disconnect all connections to alternator. The only one that sounds right is big red to solenoid, but only if it is the big red connected to the output lug on the back of alternator running to the battery cable stud on solenoid. Consult a wiring diagram before reconnecting the other two. One should come from IGN side of key switch, the other runs to an idiot light.

    How about some pics of alternator and starter or a diagram of how yours is wired. I have read your description a few times and can see it being wired several different ways depending on this big red wire and that big red wire. I am not sure where the positive battery cable is connected.
    If you are getting 12v from the battery to the stud on the solenoid (one on left) try a test wire connected to that lug and touch the other end to the spade connector. That should activate solenoid and starter.
     
    hipster likes this.
  14. How did you jump it and how are you checking it for voltage when you turn your key to start it. If your pulling the wire off the starter to check the line voltage (from ign) and then pulling the ign wire off and jumping it there. I would check to make sure it's a good connection at the ign terminal on the starter. Also You should run a few ground wires, battery to frame, frame to motor (both in at least 4 gauge), then frame to body.

    Lastly put your meter on the battery with everything hooked up normally and try to start it. If your meter stays around battery voltage then it's not pulling any power like there's a open somewhere or if it goes below 9-10 volts the battery needs to be recharged or replaced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,429

    squirrel
    Member

    that's my question, also. Do you get 12v at the spade terminal on the starter?

    My other question is, why do you have a funky starter? I get by just fine with old Chevy starters, instead of that modern funky ferrin stuff.
     
  16. Squirrel is right about the starter. Those gear reduction starters can also cause damage if they malfunction . I have been there. Chevy starters work very good, even on highly modified engines.
     
  17. Most GM starters are adequate enough in stock form, unless its like a 12:1 big block motor. If you're getting 12-14V to the spade coming from the ignition switch to the starter, check the solenoid lug and see if you're getting voltage from the stud to the starter motor itself, if not, solenoid is the issue. If you are getting voltage to the starter motor itself, and still nothing, wrap on the outside of the starter with a hammer and see if the windings are sticking internally or the brushes are corroded preventing contact. Try and see if it'll start after you hit it a couple of times. Find a different location for the ground also. Might be causing resistance loadup. Check to see if the alternator "ground" wire is warm when cranking, it's a telltale sign.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  18.  
  19. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Grounding to the starter is as good as you can get. You say it will start by jumping it and I assume you mean jumping the battery with a charger. If so, your wiring is correct. The solenoid on the new starter must need more voltage to pull in. When it pulls in you should hear it. Maybe the drive isn't engaging the flywheel correctly and the extra voltage gives it that much more power. You often have to shim the starter for clearance. Are your battery cables in good condition and large enough?

    Another thing that can happen is the battery voltage might be dropping when the starter tries to draw current. Try a different battery. The Optima Red top is supposed to provide the most power for starting and the Yellow top is more of a compromise between starting and deep cycle.

    I assume you were having a starting problem which is why you changed almost everything.
     
  20. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 654

    birdman1
    Member
    from USA

  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,429

    squirrel
    Member

    There is no need to have the ground cable attached at the starter mounting bolt, and I would not do it because the starter mounting bolt needs to hold the starter in place. I'd run the ground cable to the engine block.

    Please tell us again, how exactly you determined that you have 12v at the starter solenoid spade terminal?
     
  22. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    My battery is grounded directly to the starter using the starter mounting bolt.

    Attached is the diagram of my wiring set up. Its a Painless universal GM harness set up as the directions dictated.

    I used a Fluke 77 III multi meter. I disconnected the ignition wire from the starter and attached it to the lead and watched the display as I turned the key. It read 12 volts.

    Starter setup.jpg
     
  23. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I should probably mention that when the starter is removed from the block and wired back into the system to perform a crude manner of "bench test". The key turns it over every time without fail.
     
  24. DoubleJ52
    Joined: Jul 15, 2007
    Posts: 238

    DoubleJ52
    Member
    from Belton, MO

    Try measuring the voltage drop on your negative cable. Should be close to zero. Check the positive also

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  25. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,995

    rfraze
    Member

    This appears to be a diagram for a "1 wire" alternator and seems to suggest the case be grounded back to battery, which is typically done back thru block and ground strap back thru frame to battery. 1 wire alternators have a plug over the hole where other alternators would have the exciter connector and telltale connector. If you have the output wire run from output lug to starter lug like this, that is probably right.
    Did you try a jumper from battery cable to spade connector on solenoid yet?
     
  26. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I crossed the solenoid terminals with a screw driver, kicked over no problem.
     
  27. Do you not even hear the solenoid attempt to engage the starter drive into the flywheel? The starter shouldn't crank unless the drive gear is meshed with the flywheel ring gear. Any chance of some mechanical interference when the starter is bolted up? Does the engine turn freely by hand? Any chance of misadjustment of a neutral safety of clutch pedal switch?
     
  28. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I completely eliminated the neutral safety switch, I didn't see the need for it. Just one more component to eventually fail. The engine turns freely by hand, nothing is binding up. I do suppose I could try to shim the starter though, a few people have mentioned this now, it'll be my next thing to try. But no, I don't even hear a click from the solenoid.
     
  29. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I have 2! A 59 Fairlane and a 59 F100!
     
  30. Clint86
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 93

    Clint86
    Member

    I have this starter because it's the only one that fits. I have a bell housing adapter that doesn't allow for the stock Chevy starters nose cone. It had to have a flush gear face for it to fit.
     

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