Ok, so after the starter issue the other day.

Tiny
ANONYMOUS
  • 2000 DODGE RAM

Ok, so after the starter issue the other day, its been running fine, except whenit gets warm it wont start again. So lastnight I was poking around, and found that when it is warm and I try to start it the smoke comes from the ground strap from the motor to the firewall/hood area and is very hot after turning the key for just a few seconds. So tonight I was out and it cooled down and when I went to start it it wouldnt start, didnt see any smoke but could smell it and the ground strap was very hot, I wiggled it a little bit (not rough) and it crumbled in my hand, now I dont even get a crank just turn the key and nothing. Obviously I need to replace the ribbon wire there, but why would the ground be getting hot like that, and is that ribbon wire that important to starting the truck.

Monday, January 14th, 2013 AT 11:55 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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That is a body ground, but I believe the ground from the battery to the engine block is more important when starting. Have you checked it?

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 12:27 AM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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No havent checked that yet. Will do first thing tomorrow after work. Now is that where the body ground connects to? On the engine block, same spot as battery? Perhaps the ground from the battery is no good and in turn grounded through the body ground, and not being a good enough ground source "shorted" it and burnt it? I am going to trace the battery ground anyway to make sure. Or is something else causing it to burn like that? And just curious might this have been my problem all along and not the starter? Dont matter either way as I replaced the starter last week. And it worked sort of, as I only drive the truck to work (less than a mile) and home and park it. But today had some other stuff to do and thats when it quit/broke the wire. But even since replacing the starter it cranked slowly and after I drove it it wouldnt start it only clicked like a dead battery and then after 2 or 3 tries wouldnt do anything.

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 2:05 AM
Tiny
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There are several body grounds. My concern is the one to the engine block. Check it to make sure it is clean and tight. Think about it, The starter is bolted to the trans which inturn is bolted to the engine. That ground should be the best one on the vehicle.

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 2:14 AM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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So I obviously need to replace the burnt/broken one from the hood/firewall to the engine block, and also check the ground from the battery to the engine block, which is essentially the same end point on the engine block? I will look at it tomorrow. If they are going to the same point (engine block) are those the only two that connect there? If so, i'll just replace both to be safe, dont think they cost very much and would be better to do both at once as it looks like a pain to get to the bolt on the engine block., This should be fun

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 2:24 AM
Tiny
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Let me now what you find.

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 2:33 AM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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Will do

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 2:35 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
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OK----THIS HOLDS TRUE FOR ABOUT ANY VEHICLE

THE POSITIVE BATTERY CABLE GOES TO THE STARTER----IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER

IT NEEDS A GOOD STRONG GROUND

SO WE GROUND THE BATTERY DIRECTLY TO THE ENGINE

DEPENDING ON THE VEHICLE WE HAVE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS JUMPING FROM THE MOTOR TO THE FRAMEAND SOMETIMES OFF OF THE NEG BATTERY CLAMP TO THE BODY AND OTHER STUFF----THESE SORTA RUN ALL OF THE ACCESSORIES

NOW THEN.....HERE'S A SCENARIO TO THINK ABOUT

LET'S CUT THE NEG CABLE TO THE ENGINE IN HALF (HYPOTHETICALLY)

WE NO LONGER HAVE THAT FAT CABLE CAPABLE OF 10 BILLION AMPS OF DRAW AND ABLE TO SUPPORT THE NEG SIDE OF THE STARTER'S DEMAND

SO WE TURN THE KEY TO START ANYWAY!

MR. STARTER SAYS, "I NEED A GROUNDLOOKY HERE!!!!THIS LITTLE BITTY STRAP AND 2 16 GAUGE WIRES ON THE BODY GO STRAIGHT BACK TO THE BATTERY!......IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY"

IT'S A LONG WAY......AND TEENY TINY WIRES....BUT IT WILL CONNECT ME BACK TO THE BATTERY!

SMOKE----RED HOT WIRES---FIRE???YES, THAT CAN HAPPEN TOO!!!!!!

NOW BACK TO THE REAL WORLD...........

............CUT THE NEGATIVE CABLE??????

MIGHT AS WELL

---IF THE BATTERY CLAMP IS NOT CONNECTED TO THE FAT CABLE---OR THE CABLE IS LOOSE OR ON A PAINTED SURFACE AT THE ENGINE----OTHER POSSIBILITIES ARE THERE TOO----IT'S THE SAME AS NOT HAVING THE BIG CABLE THERE AT ALL!!!!

SEE THIS LINK----LOOK IT OVER, ALL THE WAY TO THE END

http://www.2carpros.com/questions/1996-chevrolet-tahoe-wont-start-sounds-dead-battery-jumpbox-get-same-reults

ANY DAMAGED WIRES OR INSULATION WILL NEED ATTENTION....A WIRE HARNESS FIRE KEEPS FEEDING ITSELF AS IT SHORTS MORE AND MORE WIRES!

RETURN WITH GOOD NEWS AND A GRIN!

THE MEDIC

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 2:39 AM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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Ok so, I put a ground wire on to replace the crispy one. Truck started and I at least got it home. Turned it off tried to start again, nothing. Wire isnt cooked though so thats good. I did notice the 2 ground wires off the battery, one is a lil broken so im gonna replace that tomrrow and the other looks god, the broken one is a small one the goes tothe frame, the big one that looksgood goes to the engine blck on the front. The ground I replace I used a jumper cable wire that I had cut and put the ends on, cleaned the surface I could reach and the other well I couldnt get to it. There is something somewhere (thinking other than that particular ground) that is causing this issue. Just not sure where to go from here other than the ground off the battery, if that dont solve the problem then I have no clue.

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 11:12 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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The one that is broken is a body ground strap. The only other thing I want you to have checked is the starter. It could be drawing too many amps. Most parts stores will check it for free.

Keep me updated

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 11:18 PM
Tiny
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Ok so just saw your reply (medic). Makes sense, and hoping no fires occur. Im going to take the grounds off tomorrow and clean them real good, (the big one from the battery) and make sure it is on a clean surface and a good wire (gonna buy a new one) cause the current big ground wire looks good, for the most part but there are at least 2 of the many itty bitty wires that are broke (just the ones I can see) and the little wire off the battery negative pole is about to fall off with just a couple wiggles, maybe held on by 4-5 itty bitty wires of the many. After I found that today I was thinkig that might be a problem. Only thing that doesnt make sense is that ive been driving the truck for about a year after having the engine replaced and its been fine other than the weak starts, but never had a problem with anything else til now. Is this something that just happens. Because from what I can tell these wires have been broke for some time. Also could the grime and such on the engine interfere with the ground there? ( I know kinda a dumb? But had to ask anyway) should I replace the ground starp I put in today with an actual ground strap or would the jumper cable wire be ok?

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 11:23 PM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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I will take it to have it checked tomrrow, if I can get the truck started, I would assume that it is ok as I just bought the starter and put it in about a week ago.

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 11:25 PM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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Ok medic- read the posts you linked. After the doctors tomorrow I will be going out to look at it, I will clean and make sure every connection is solid and clean, and hopefully with new cables (to eliminate that thought(dont think they cost too much anyway)).

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 AT 11:33 PM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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So low and behold, you guys were right about the ground. I replaced the main ground off the battery and it started better than the day I got it (2 years ago). I also cleaned all the connecions real good. I think the lights are even brighter. Now my next thing is to get the fog lights working again. Oh that reminds me. There is at least 1 small wire within a bunch of wires running every which way that is not connected. Looks like it was connected at one point but fell out of the connector (possibly the fog light wire?) Anyway there is another thicker wire running with another wire 1 goes to the fuse box under the hood (black) and the other has been cut. Does anyone know where this cut wire goes? It connects to the front of the motor along with another wire running to the back somewhere when I lost track of it. I assume its another ground (important?) The truck is running and I ran it for a bit and shut it off and restarted with no hesitation. Just dont want any more issues for awhile. Tried looking in the hayes manual but it only says g109 g110 g111 off the (-) battery and I have no clue what those mean. Decided to just leave the jumper cable wire on the one ground anyway. So again I say thanks for the help guys.

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Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 AT 9:55 PM
Tiny
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NOT WANTING TO SOUND PESSIMISTIC

JUST A GLANCE AT A WAD A WIRES MIGHT BE HARD TO FIGGER OUT

UNLESS YOU COULD DEFINITELY SEE THE OTHER END OF A CONNECTOR OR THE MATE TO THE WIRE DANGLING

ABOUT THE ONLY WAY TO GET ANYWHERE WOULD BE HAVE A WIRE DIAGRAM, START FROM A "KNOWN POINT" AND TRACE TO THE OTHER ENDTHIS ONLY WORKS WITH "FACTORY INSTALLED WIRING". THE STUFF "JIM-BOB", THE PREVIOUS OWNER INSTALLED IS GONNA BE A FIGGER IT OUT YOURSELF KINDA THING, AS PEOPLE WILL DO STUFF EVERY-WHICH-AWAY. CORRECTLY OR INCORRECTLY!

ONE OF THE WORST THINGS YOU CAN DO IS "ASSUME" SOMETHING GOES HERE OR THERE AND "BLINDLY" HOOK IT UP. NOTHING MAY HAPPEN. SOMETHING COULD SHORT. YOU COULD RUIN SOMETHING EXPENSIVE (LIKE THE COMPUTER). MELT WIRING. SET THE WHOLE DANG TRUCK ON FIRE!

SO IF IT'S HANGING. FIGGER IT OUT 100% BEFORE YOU HOOK IT

FIGGER OUT WHAT STUFF AIN'T WORKING, TRACE IT'S WIRES WITH A DIAGRAM

A REALLY EZ THING TO DO IS FIND A "LIKE TRUCK"----ASK THE OWNER IF YOU CAN DO SOME COMPARING---EVEN A PHONE NUMBER FOR LATER COMPARING.I'VE MADE JEEP FRIENDS LIKE THIS. MONKEY SEE. MONKEY COPYCAT, WORKS FOR ME SOMETIMES!

LAST CASE---IF IT AIN'T HURTIN' NUTHIN' TAPE OFF THE OPEN END AND LET IT CONTINUE TO DANGLE!

GLAD YOU GOT IT FIXED THUS FAR----JUST TOOK A LITTLE "PUSH". HUH!

YOU'LL BE THE "HERO" IN THE WAL-MART PARKING LOT, WHEN SOMEONE HAS A SIMILAR PROBLEM AND YOU BECOME "THE MAN!"

THE MEDIC

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 12:56 AM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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Thats kinda the same thoughts I was having. If aint broke dont fix it. So far everything but the a/c and foglights work, I can do without both of those. Would be nice to have a/c but been doing fine without. The foglights heh this is the first vehicle I have ever had that has them and again been doing fine without, so really if either of the wires are for those two things I think i'll just leave them be and like you said tape them off (didnt think about that) until I can get ahold of a good diagram or make some new friends with similar trucks. I appreciate all the help.

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 1:49 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
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LOOK OVER THE A/C STUFF, FOR STUFF NOT CONNECTED (WIRES AND HOSES AND FUSES)---IT COULD JUST BE A LITTLE LOW ON FREON

THIS MAY HELP AS FAR AS A DIY FIX----TAKE IT ALL IN---JUST CONNECTING THIS THING UP AND READING THE GAUGE MAY PROVE IT ***DOES NOT*** NEED FREON!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn0C9jPOAAQ

GOOD LUCK

KEEP US UPDATED

THE MEDIC

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
JOEDANESI
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The refrigerant levels are good as far as the compressor not being on. Wiring is the next step. But gonna wait til it gets a little warmer to check all that. Was reading the manual and said could be bad water pump, and I did have that replaced a year ago, never checked the a/c since I had all that work done to the engine and such. So for all I knwo it does work now. Lol. To cold to test now though.

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 10:19 AM

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