Starter/flywheel

Tiny
GYHANDY909
  • MEMBER
  • 1979 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 189,000 MILES
1979 Chevy suburban 454/7.4L with 4 barrel carb. Recently purchased and installed a new starter. Turn the key, engine turns over and starts 3 to 4 consecutive times and then it seems the starter sticks because then turn the key, and nothing. Lower the starter a quarter inch, re-tighten, engine starts 3 to 4 times and sticks again. HHEEELLLPPP
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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 AT 3:09 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sounds like it might have a bad solenoid. The problem is there's two coils of wire in it so if one is open, electrically it will test okay. The magnetic fields of both of them are needed together to pull the plunger into engagement and turn on the starter motor contacts. Each time the solenoid is energized the current flowing through the coils creates heat which can cause just enough distortion to prevent the plunger from moving freely. The cure would be a new solenoid but since the starter is under warranty, I'd get a replacement starter.
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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 AT 3:47 AM
Tiny
GYHANDY909
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your insight into my dis-function I guess now I'll become a member for sure. MUCH THANKS
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Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 AT 2:37 AM
Tiny
GYHANDY909
  • MEMBER
1979 Chevy Suburban 454/7.4L. Again I've replaced the starter, new battery, alternator and nuetral safety switch. Truck started fine, drove about three minutes turned it off about half an hour came back and no start. Engine doesn't turn over but red dashboard lights come on when the key is turned again another walk home, will return later to lower the starter re-tighten to see if it starts. Please. Do you have any more suggestions. Thanks for your HHEEELLLP.G
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Sunday, August 7th, 2011 AT 8:50 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Rather than try to make it work, the goal is to keep it in the defective condition so you can diagnose it. Given that it works for a while when moving the starter, I'd be inclined to look for a corroded battery cable at the starter. To find that, connect a test light to that fat terminal. You can connect the test light's ground clip to that terminal, then connect the probe up on top of the engine where you can see it.

The light should be bright all the time. It will normally dim just a little during cranking because the battery voltage gets drawn down a little, but if you see the light go out completely, you know there's a bad connection. Then it becomes a matter of narrowing it down. The least confusing way is to start at the battery with the test light's ground clip and probe on the two terminal bolts. Have a helper try to crank the engine. If the light goes out, you have bad connections right there at the battery. If the light stays bright, move the clip from the negative terminal to the body and try again, then to the engine block and try again. Leave the clip on the engine block, then move the probe from the positive terminal to the starter. You're looking for the point at which the light goes out when trying to crank the engine.

All of this assumes the starter solenoid is kicking in with a fairly loud clunk. If it's not, head for the starter relay. We'll have to determine which measurements to take there. Feel if that relay is clicking when your helper tries to crank the engine.
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Sunday, August 7th, 2011 AT 9:22 PM
Tiny
GYHANDY909
  • MEMBER
Sir, thank you for your timely response and knomledgeable insight, some times it's not knowing how to repair a problem but knowing what to repair and your insight has proven to be of great value. Thank You Once Again.G
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Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 AT 2:43 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Just proves I got another one fooled. I only know three things, and you asked about one of them, but if you feel like thinking I'm a genius, you just go right ahead and think that.
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Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 AT 7:38 PM
Tiny
GYHANDY909
  • MEMBER
Battery cable it was. Drove my truck to work for the first time in nearly a month.I get off at ten tonight and I'll see if I make it home. Wish me luck and I'll be praying. Thanks again for your help.G
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Thursday, August 11th, 2011 AT 4:01 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Gots my fingers and toes crossed!
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Thursday, August 11th, 2011 AT 4:05 AM

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