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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, got the '89 back from the mechanic because of an erratic loping idle after they replaced the Headgasket (Boyds in SLC) and well the car won't start until there are multiple whacks from a hammer on the starter. The car was fine before it went into the shop as far as starting. Ignition key turn gives a click but no cranking whatsoever, but tapping the starter along with turning the key will eventually get the starter to crank and the car to start.

Now I just put this starter in about 6 months ago, but its a reman from eBay "Endurance" brand. Just want to make sure this is a stuck solenoid that can be confirmed by tapping causing it to start before going on a wild goose chase with wires. Boyds did all sorts of fooling around with wiring trying to solve the idle issue to no avail, so I want to make sure the tapping-to-start rules out a wiring issue. Still, I checked all visible starter contacts and wiring looks good.
 

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have they put all the leads on tight, give it a spray with wd into the gear /bear area. Should go bad in six months, and if it was working ok before you had something done, it's got to be something they have done, starter relay may be causing fault? what voltage to you have on battery at start up, and watch to see if it goes down just while at ign, as this may be signsd of battery failure
 

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Discussion Starter #4
have they put all the leads on tight, give it a spray with wd into the gear /bear area. Should go bad in six months, and if it was working ok before you had something done, it's got to be something they have done, starter relay may be causing fault? what voltage to you have on battery at start up, and watch to see if it goes down just while at ign, as this may be signsd of battery failure
have they put all the leads on tight, give it a spray with wd into the gear /bear area. Should go bad in six months, and if it was working ok before you had something done, it's got to be something they have done, starter relay may be causing fault? what voltage to you have on battery at start up, and watch to see if it goes down just while at ign, as this may be signsd of battery failure
Brand new battery, and I am going to hook a voltmeter up to the terminal 50 to check for ignition signal per the FAQ

But my simple question is doesn't the tapping of the starter to allow starting rule out electrical issues?
 

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But my simple question is doesn't the tapping of the starter to allow starting rule out electrical issues?
The starter motor is an electrical beast so simple answer is no...it does not rule out an electrical issue. It could be the armature is stuck or the solenoid is stuck or a loose connection that is making connection or or or...maybe when the shop didn't get all the grounds on right and tight the starter motor suffered and is now on the way to meet its maker.

Either way...secondsaab's advice is best. Tap it so that it will drive you to the parts store for a new one I think is what you are going to find to be the answer.
 

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Tapping the starter does give a strong clue to sticky solenoid. I would tend to rule out other issues at this stage. I've had a few sticky starters in my time apart from Saab. Coincidence is a strange beast. It does not mean conclusively that nothing else is wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The starter motor is an electrical beast so simple answer is no...it does not rule out an electrical issue. It could be the armature is stuck or the solenoid is stuck or a loose connection that is making connection or or or...maybe when the shop didn't get all the grounds on right and tight the starter motor suffered and is now on the way to meet its maker.

Either way...secondsaab's advice is best. Tap it so that it will drive you to the parts store for a new one I think is what you are going to find to be the answer.
Interesting - didnt know a loose ground could do that to a starter. This shop has been a nightmare. They also didnt reattach the heater control knob so I have no control over heat right now. So frustrating.
 

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Interesting - didnt know a loose ground could do that to a starter. This shop has been a nightmare. They also didnt reattach the heater control knob so I have no control over heat right now. So frustrating.
Every electrical circuit needs a positive and negative connection. A loose or bad ground can cause a drop in power, or overheat a circuit. Either of these conditions can kill a starter motor.

With the shoddy work this shop provided, I would say file a BBB report, Yelp review, Google review and move on. Sucks I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Every electrical circuit needs a positive and negative connection. A loose or bad ground can cause a drop in power, or overheat a circuit. Either of these conditions can kill a starter motor.

With the shoddy work this shop provided, I would say file a BBB report, Yelp review, Google review and move on. Sucks I know.
Thanks Steve, and who knows the idle loping/coughing may have been a result of some circuit frying from the loose injector grounds. Either way, I agree time to move on.
 

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Don't 'clean and check grounds.'
Look for voltage where there shouldn't be any (such as the engine block, negative battery clamp, starter housing) while trying to start it. This checks the whole ground circuit electrically, under full load. Visual inspection and ohmmeter checks don't do that.
Always use that technique when you suspect a bad ground. If the alternator case is live, it has no ground. If the taillight circuit board has power on both sides of the bulb, you have a bad ground. You can even see the voltage drop as you measure rear defrost lines as you approach the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Don't 'clean and check grounds.'
Look for voltage where there shouldn't be any (such as the engine block, negative battery clamp, starter housing) while trying to start it. This checks the whole ground circuit electrically, under full load. Visual inspection and ohmmeter checks don't do that.
Always use that technique when you suspect a bad ground. If the alternator case is live, it has no ground. If the taillight circuit board has power on both sides of the bulb, you have a bad ground. You can even see the voltage drop as you measure rear defrost lines as you approach the ground.

Hmm when they were trying to start the car they had the positive alligator clip connected to the positive on the battery and then when he tried to connect/ground the negative alligator clip to the head (that metal tab near where the injector grounds are) there was a spark, and he needed to switch do a different spot on the head for the circuit to ground out properly.... I'm guessing thats not normal.

Edit: They said they checked all grounds
 

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I may not be following... but I'm assuming the battery was dead, they were trying to jump start it, and on connecting the ground they got sparks? That would happen if the key was turned on (really not a good idea), or if there is some open circuit somewhere. The location on the head is an insane explanation. The sparks happen because some load is suddenly powered. With the key off, there shouldn't be any loads - maybe a little crackle from the clock getting power, but that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I may not be following... but I'm assuming the battery was dead, they were trying to jump start it, and on connecting the ground they got sparks? That would happen if the key was turned on (really not a good idea), or if there is some open circuit somewhere. The location on the head is an insane explanation. The sparks happen because some load is suddenly powered. With the key off, there shouldn't be any loads - maybe a little crackle from the clock getting power, but that's it.
Honestly I dont remember, but yes I think so as they said the battery was bad (which I replaced yesterday) - or it may have been when he jumped two terminals at the lambda sensor in this fuse box with this powered device to hot wire the starter to fire without the ignition.

I did have the key on at the time - not sure why he didnt ground at the battery.
 

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Grounding at the battery is a good way to have your face blown off by a battery explosion!
Just an eyebrow if you're lucky. You won't forget it.
There's a right way to do it, and a wrong way.
You can learn the easy way or the hard way; your choice.
 

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Just an eyebrow if you're lucky. You won't forget it.
There's a right way to do it, and a wrong way.
You can learn the easy way or the hard way; your choice.
Reminds me of a time when I was working on (fighting with) one of my Grand Wagoneers, finally got it to cooperate, jumped inside and turned the key. Followed a second later by a huge (or yuge as it's now called) explosion.

I had left a wrench lying atop the battery and as the starter turned, the wrench wriggled itself to make perfect contact with both the positive and negative terminals :roll:
 

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Reminds me of a time when I was working on (fighting with) one of my Grand Wagoneers, finally got it to cooperate, jumped inside and turned the key. Followed a second later by a huge (or yuge as it's now called) explosion.

I had left a wrench lying atop the battery and as the starter turned, the wrench wriggled itself to make perfect contact with both the positive and negative terminals :roll:
Bet you couldn't do that again if you tried. Not that you'd want to.
 

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... Not that you'd want to.
Well you know what they say: Good judgement comes from experience, and experience often comes from bad judgement :lol:
 

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Well you know what they say: Good judgement comes from experience, and experience often comes from bad judgement :lol:
yes, also a good reason there to have good hood struts...there's was a time I jumped a car and the hood closed on the jumpers and terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well you know what they say: Good judgement comes from experience, and experience often comes from bad judgement :lol:
Ha yes, electronics are a mystery to me, Ive tried to read up a bit, but the knowledge seems to drift away - definitely need some experience. Or I should find a good youtube video and watch that :D

In other news, the starter randomly started working regularly as of yesterday afternoon :D
 
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