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I'm trying to figure out an annoying little problem that's been occurring with my '41 Saratoga over the past several months, and would love some input...

 

About half the time I try to start the car, I get nothing but clicking from the starter. Immediately I thought solenoid, but I had just had the starter and solenoid rebuilt less than 2 years ago. I've checked all the wiring with a meter (all good), and then used a set of jumper cables to bypass everything, first checking the solenoid (intermittent), then bypassing the solenoid to see if the starter would spin (intermittent).

 

I took the starter off, opened up the solenoid, and everything looks pristine - all contacts, point, plunger moves freely. I'm wondering if one of the brushes in the starter is a little dirty. Anyway, I reinstalled the starter, with the same results, and noticed that if I turn the ignition key to accessory mode, then press the starter button, the car cranks. If I immediately turn the key to the right, the car cranks and starts. This works 100% of the time.

 

So a few questions come to mind (and forgive my ignorance!)...

(1) Should the engine turn over when the key is in accessory mode?

(2) Is there any damage I might do by starting it this way?

(3) Is there something I might be overlooking before I pull the starter again and send it back to the rebuilder?

 

Appreciate any suggestions you might have! Thanks!

 

Dave

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Thanks Jack and '61. The battery cables are new, and I've cleaned the battery and starter terminals very well. I've thought about the ignition switch myself, but I've bypassed the switch and tested both the starter and solenoid with jumper cables directly from the battery. That was intermittent as well.

 

If someone holds the starter button down and I tap the solenoid or starter with a rubber mallet, it starts - so I wonder if the starter has a flat spot. That would be disappointing, since I had it rebuilt 2 years ago.

 

Thanks for your input!

Dave

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On ‎31‎/‎03‎/‎2016 at 0:18 AM, 1941_Saratoga said:

I'm trying to figure out an annoying little problem that's been occurring with my '41 Saratoga over the past several months, and would love some input...

 

About half the time I try to start the car, I get nothing but clicking from the starter. Immediately I thought solenoid, but I had just had the starter and solenoid rebuilt less than 2 years ago. I've checked all the wiring with a meter (all good), and then used a set of jumper cables to bypass everything, first checking the solenoid (intermittent), then bypassing the solenoid to see if the starter would spin (intermittent).

 

I took the starter off, opened up the solenoid, and everything looks pristine - all contacts, point, plunger moves freely. I'm wondering if one of the brushes in the starter is a little dirty. Anyway, I reinstalled the starter, with the same results, and noticed that if I turn the ignition key to accessory mode, then press the starter button, the car cranks. If I immediately turn the key to the right, the car cranks and starts. This works 100% of the time.

 

So a few questions come to mind (and forgive my ignorance!)...

(1) Should the engine turn over when the key is in accessory mode?

(2) Is there any damage I might do by starting it this way?

(3) Is there something I might be overlooking before I pull the starter again and send it back to the rebuilder?

 

Appreciate any suggestions you might have! Thanks!

 

Dave

In part answer, I think you will find the starter will turn even if you don't have the key in the ignition switch, the starter Solenoid circuit is normally direct wired to the battery and the ignition switch actually serves to connect the ignition circuit whilst the starter is cranking.

 

The fact that you are able to go from accessory position to the run position and have the engine fire up sounds like a previous suggestion that the ignition switch is at fault.

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HChris, I think you and 61Polara are probably right. Even though I initially suspected a connection or the ignition switch, I dismissed it because I had jumped the starter directly from the battery. I took the ignition switch out, cleaned the terminals and noticed that the set screw that holds the key switch was a size smaller than the threads in the key unit. I never noticed that the key might have been moving slightly when I started the car.

 

I reinstalled everything, with the right sized set screw, and so far, the car has started every time...it's about 32 degrees outside too. I'll see if it continues to work over the next week - not discounting that I might have to replace the whole ignition unit, if the contacts are corroded inside.

 

Thanks for steering me in the right direction!

 

Dave

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