1990 Chevy Silverado Starter System

Tiny
PABOWSKIE
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 205,000 MILES
Here is the deal. I drive a 90 Silverado with a 350HP 5.7L. Everything comes on interior lights, exterior lights, dash, stereo, heater, air, etc, however, the engine will not turn over, it does not even crank. All I get when I turn the key is a mechanical thud nothing load or that sounds irregular but no slight turning.

I started by replacing my battery which was bad, however it made no change. I then changed the solenoid on the starter, after replacing this the car actually turned over and started however after putting it in gear and applying gas it died again.

Before replacing the solenoid I took the starter in with the solenoid attached to Autozone and had them test it. They placed it in the machine and told me that the solenoid was shorting out and that the starter was arching. Nevertheless, the mechanic at Autozone said even with the failing starter it still had enough life in it to atleast start the vehicle for a little bit longer. He said the starter would eventually die but that in its current condition it should still work for a few more months.

After replacing the solenoid and getting no response I opted to replace the starter entirely. I put the new starter in several times, using the gappers and attempting to get it positioned with the right clearance so that it would work properly. However, after putting in the new starter each time it would either not crank or turn only a bit but never fully kick over.

I then replaced all the battery cables and again no change. When replacing the battery cables I noticed that there was a smaller wire running along the +(positive) battery cable that was severely worn in one area. I spliced the wire exposiing clean copper and crimped it with a joiner. I covered w/ electrical tape and again got no change.

I have tryed everything I know with the starter system. I have done the work on my vehicle for the last three years, I own the Haynes manual and I am fairly familiar with my truck. I am pretty confident that it is an electrical issue but have no idea where to start.

Again, everything on the interior turns on and the exterior turns on as well, however, when I crank the engine nothing happens no turning. I would appreciate any guidance on this as I don't really have the money to get it towed and worked on at a shop.
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Thursday, July 1st, 2010 AT 10:51 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Hi pabowskie, Welcome to 2carpros and TY for the donation

after putting in the new starter each time it would either not crank or turn only a bit but never fully kick over.

Battery and connections are up to par-

Do this have helper hold key in the cranking position and check for battery voltage on the purple wire on the starter solenoid -no power here test the ignition switch there's is no park/neutral switch in between the ignition switch and starter motor


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Thursday, July 1st, 2010 AT 11:10 PM
Tiny
PABOWSKIE
  • MEMBER
Where is the ignition switch located. That is the only thing I have not checked or replaced. Is it an easy fix for a do-it-yourselfer?
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Thursday, July 1st, 2010 AT 11:24 PM
Tiny
PABOWSKIE
  • MEMBER
I apologize, not the switch itself but the wiring for the switch? Is it the smaller wire which connects to the starter solenoid. Also, what is the smaller wire that runs along the positive battery cable?
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Thursday, July 1st, 2010 AT 11:28 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
At the ignition switch wiring harness its either a purple or yellow wire this is your starting circuit that goes straight to the starter solenoid. When key is at starting position this wire should have power from the switch all the way to the starter solenoid

The smaller wire on the battery positive cable is the main fusible link wire
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Friday, July 2nd, 2010 AT 3:41 AM

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