Summershandy

Starter/starting issue

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Sometimes when starting the car the starter would just click. This didn't happen too often and never stranded me. I figured I'd let a shop take a look at the starter this winter hoping it was dirty or worn out. They said it looks great inside and tested it numerous times. All connections (at least under the hood) are clean and tight. Wiring looks in good but I could double check. Could the ignition switch be giving some grief instead? Nothing like leaving a car show with a "click click click"........any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Solenoid?

You wouldn't get the click if its the switch.

First check for corrosion at the battery cables. Especially if it has those cheesy clamps with the two screws holding the cable to the lug at the battery end.

This is just general stuff, I am not Pontiac specific.

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Thanks for the switch thought Jack. I was just asking generally anyway. The shop commented on how new the solenoid is. Sometimes someone else had the same issue and found the cause, thus throwing me an option. All my connections are immaculate. I'll try to inspect the wiring closer and make sure there aren't any strands broken. 

Cheers Mark 

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Go to You Tube and look up how to do a "voltage drop" test using a volt/ohm meter. It's a simple test method that will show you exactly where the problem is.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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let me make three suggestions, 1) check the wire connections on the backside of the ignition switch for being clean and tight. 2) make sure the neutral safety switch is adjusted properly when you're placing the gear selector firmly in neutral. 3) check the neutral safety switch connections for being clean and tight.

 

charles l. coker

1953 pontiac technical advisor

technical advisor coordinator

pontiac oakland club international

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Thanks Charles - 1) definitely will be checking the ignition switch. 2) Funny you brought up the neutral safety, I had removed it last winter to clean it up and discovered the engine wouldn't turn over because it was out of adjustment so I learned about that one. 3) I had cleaned those said connections.  

Good hearing from you!

Mark

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Sometimes the armature in the starter needs to be turned to have good connections to the brushes.

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Check the copper disc and the copper bolts in the back of the solenoid. "New" or not, I would check it. Is the solenoid plunger threaded and adjustable? If so, double check that too.

 

If you can catch it in the act (hold the key in "start" position while it is screwing up and not cranking), PFitz's suggestion of a voltage drop test will lead you right to the cause.

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I checked the copper flat bar between the starter and solenoid and cleaned it up. I checked and tightened the ignition switch wires and they looked good. Double checked the neutral switch connections and they still look good from last summer. I'll re-adjust it when I fire it up this spring. I did question a connector that goes to the starter. Looks like some heat build up. The protective sleeve just crumbled off. I opened up the connector and did find it was soldered but in my opinion it sure didn't seem like a whole lot of contact. I'll pick up a new connector and hook that up. These pictures aren't the greatest. 

 

 

IMG_7533.JPG

IMG_7535.JPG

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2 hours ago, Summershandy said:

 

IMG_7535.JPG

 

High Corrosion = high resistance = large voltage drop = low current flow

 

I agree with John Mereness.  Soldered terminals are best.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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On 2/7/2019 at 6:35 PM, pontiac1953 said:

make sure the neutral safety switch is adjusted properly when you're placing the gear selector firmly in neutral.

 

So you're saying the switch can be improperly adjusted? Meaning it may only work hit and miss? I assumed once you find the position that the engine will turn over you're there. Guess I have to find that "sweet spot?" Unfortunately I'm still getting the odd click. I work alone and therefore impossible to any voltage drop tests. 

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Posted (edited)

Usually, the offer of a free meal, or 6 pack, will bring lots of offers of help when an extra hand is needed just to turn a switch or press a pedal.

No one needs to work alone as long as there's still food and booze in the world !  ;)

 

Paul 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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This is not common but sometimes it happens. The ignition switch can be worn so that the key turns slightly past the contact for the starter. You get the click as it momentarily makes contact then goes past. It might happen very seldom. It could be heat related. When it happens try playing with the key to find the sweet spot.

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16 hours ago, Summershandy said:

 

So you're saying the switch can be improperly adjusted? Meaning it may only work hit and miss? I assumed once you find the position that the engine will turn over you're there. Guess I have to find that "sweet spot?" Unfortunately I'm still getting the odd click. I work alone and therefore impossible to any voltage drop tests. 

yes, the mounting bracket that is fasten to the steering column jacket has a slot, so it is possible to be misadjusted.

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I wonder if the neutral safety switch can be dismantled and inspected? I had the inkling to open it up when I had it off but scared something might go "BOING" then I'd be stuck looking for another. 

 

 

 

 

1953-Pontiac-Delco-Remy-Neutral-Safety-Backup-Switch.jpg

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I need someone to re-read a step in the manual page 12-24.

Step 2. Place manual control lever in DR Left position. 

Step 4. Adjust neutralizer switch bracket to a position where starter will not operate when ignition switch is actuated. 

 

I can adjust the switch from one end to the other and the starter will not turn over regardless. 

I can however, make it work or not work in the neutral position. I moved it about a 1/4" so we'll see if the clicks have gotten better or not. 

 

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5 hours ago, Summershandy said:

I wonder if the neutral safety switch can be dismantled and inspected? I had the inkling to open it up when I had it off but scared something might go "BOING" then I'd be stuck looking for another. 

 

 

 

 

1953-Pontiac-Delco-Remy-Neutral-Safety-Backup-Switch.jpg

I wouldn't attempt to take that neutral safety switch apart unless I had a replacement on hand. Crimped together switches like that weren't made to be serviced, only replaced. I've never taken a switch exactly like that apart but a disc or something inside there turns, there may not be a BOING but a bunch of little springs and copper pieces are gonna be coming apart. They'll fall out and then if you don't get them back together in the exact right spot it won't work. A bigger concern would be that one of those outer case mounting ears that hold the bakelite top on break off, they're not made to be repeatedly bent back and forth. If that happens, you're done. Even if you reassemble it correctly the bakelite might be loose or something inside could be worn or out of whack. That neutral switch is P/N 1998039 and it only fits Hydramatic Pontiacs from 1953-1956. If it were me I'd make absolutely certain the starter motor, solenoid and wiring connections are good. Fooling with the internals of that switch would be an absolute last resort. 

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When I get suspect of a switch like this I drown it in WD40.

Most of these are not tight to liquid so a couple of good douches in key areas may let the WD in.

Then work it a lot. If it seems to have left over WD in it let it lay in several positions until it quits leaking.

Saved may switches like this.

 

55er is right, a bunch of tiny springs and loose copper contacts in there and are a biotch to put back together. Especially if it does the BOING or you are holding it wrong when it finally opens.

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I will NOT be taking the switch apart! Nice idea with the WD....thanks guys.

 

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I had the same problem     Brought the starter back 5 times  and finally he discovered that the alignment of the bolts on the starter (positive and negative)  2 bolts on the bottom of the starter were not aligned internally in the starter--   instead of being 180 degrees transverse internally they were not making contact fully enough to start the gear push to the flywheel     So align bolts internally and externally       I tried everything  also

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27 minutes ago, gregchrysler said:

So align bolts internally and externally    

 

Thanks for the suggestion!

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I adjusted the switch a good 1/2 inch down and went for a cruise today. Not nearly as many click restarts as the first time. I did have one however. I'll keep trying and post any results as I can find them. I'm feeling this helped. 

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I probably already asked this, but are you COMPLETELY SURE the copper bolts in the starter solenoid don't have their heads burned off?

 

That is by far the most common cause of "Click Click Click". The bolts lose enough of their heads that the copper disc no longer contacts them when the solenoid pulls in.

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