Not cranking over

Tiny
97 FIREBIRD
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
The problem I am having with my car is that I am getting no power to start it. When I turn the key to the on position, the dash cluster does not light up. The radio, headlights, windows, horn, cigarette lighter, and inside lamps all work, but when I turn the key to the on position right before I turn the key to engage the starter, there is no power. I can hear the fuel pump engage, but there is no power to the ignition. I had the headlights turned on while I tried to start the car and the lights did not dim at all. That is telling that there is no power being pulled from the battery to engage the starter. The battery is good. I tested the starter and it is good. I replaced the alternator because it was bad. It will be helpful to know that I had my car running and tried to jump off my riding lawn mower. The symbols for the posts were worn on the mower battery and I ended up putting the cables leading from the car on the wrong posts of the lawn mower, but it was only for a split second. The car continued to run and I did not think anything of it. Once the lawn mower was cranked, I turned the car off and mowed my lawn. When I went to start my car the next day is when I noticed the problem I now have. I bought an ignition relay switch, but I cannot find out where to install it. I have checked the fuses by the driver's side door and under the hood and they are all good. Has anyone experienced this problem also and solved it? If so please help me out here. I really need my car back up and running. Thank you in advance.
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Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 AT 1:40 PM

29 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
It sounds like a starter motor has gone bad, but to be sure let go over this guide to see if it helps.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/starter-not-working-repair

Please run down this guide and report back.

Cheers
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Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 AT 2:24 PM
Tiny
97 FIREBIRD
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the advice. I did that and yet the problem still persists. I bought a new ignition switch. I will put that on today to see if that works. Hopefully it will. If it does not I am still going to need your help and that of anyone else who has any ideas of what the solution to the issue with my car might be.
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Thursday, March 16th, 2017 AT 8:43 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Looking at the diagram it looks like it has a junction block after the battery where the fusible links are on this one, not at the starter. Here is the starter wiring diagrams so you can see how the system works and a guide to help you see where you are losing power.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

Check out the diagrams (below). Please let us know what happens.
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Thursday, March 16th, 2017 AT 10:01 AM
Tiny
97 FIREBIRD
  • MEMBER
Yup. I tested every single fusible link with the test light. They were located by the battery. They were all good. Also, I got the ignition switch because the AutoZone tech said that was the problem. After I found out that it was not, I returned the switch. So do not assume I just throw parts at a problem. So after the fusible link junction, the pink ignition wire has no power at the fuse box under the hood. Do you know if there is somewhere else that wire goes before reaching that fuse box?
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Saturday, March 18th, 2017 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
The power feed for the ignition switch comes directly from the fusible link on the red wire, from there the ignition switch feeds all the "keyed" fuses.

http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa448/Wrenchtech/62461479.gif

https://www.2carpros.com/images/external/62461480.gif

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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 5:26 AM
Tiny
97 FIREBIRD
  • MEMBER
I am accustomed to solving issues on my own and I do not ask for assistance likely, but in this case I need all the help I can get. Just like I am taking your advice and I have never met you. Anyway, this morning I ran a wire straight from the fusible link from the junction box to the under the hood fuse box to the ignition fuse. The car started (as I suspected it would) but it would not turn off. That is a problem. Like I said, all the fusible links from the junction box are good and hot, but the pink wire at the ignition switch is not hot. Between the fusible link at the junction box and the ignition switch there has to be a fuse, relay, or something, because there is no pink ignition wire coming from the fusible links. What does the P100 symbol mean on the diagram you posted? The diagram is accurate, but that P100 could be exactly where my problem lies. Thank you so much for your help so far. I am confident you can help me pin point exactly where the open circuit is in my ignition system.
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 10:24 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
P100 is the bulkhead connector at the firewall.
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 10:33 AM
Tiny
97 FIREBIRD
  • MEMBER
Thanks Wrenchtech. Can you tell me exactly where this connector is? I am getting really frustrated here. Nothing has ever had me stumped like this. When I am standing at the front of my car looking under the hood, I see my battery on the left. The wires feed into the black insulator and then disappear under the front fender where the hideaway lights are and then come back up on the right side at the under the hood fuse box. This is the first time I see the pink ignition wire and it is not hot. This is when I have the key in the start position where it should be hot. Exactly where is this bulkhead connector and what does it look like? According to the diagram you provided for me, this is the place where the circuit is open.
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 11:47 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Please follow the harness and where it meets the firewall is the component you are looking for.

https://www.2carpros.com/images/external/62461835.gif
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 12:05 PM
Tiny
97 FIREBIRD
  • MEMBER
Thanks. Although my engine is a V6, finding the bulkhead connector is not as obvious as you would think considering it is very compact in the engine compartment and the wiring harness seems to disappear into the abyss after leaving the under-hood electrical center. So, Wrenchtech, with the flow of power does the power go to the ignition switch from the under-hood electrical center or does the ignition switch feed the power to the electrical center? Again thanks a lot for all the help and diagrams Wrenchtech.
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 2:42 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
The main supply goes into the ignition switch and then the ignition switch feeds the inside fuse box. Access that connector from under the dash. It is probably bolted together with a single bolt through the center, accessed from under the dash.

Please check fusible link "E". Here is a wiring diagram below so you can see what I am talking about:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

This guide should help as well.

Check out the diagrams (below). Please run some tests and get back to us.

Cheers
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 2:52 PM
Tiny
97 FIREBIRD
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the guide and wiring diagrams. You hit it on the money the fusible link was out. I replaced it and the ignition switch and the car works great! I love this site.
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017 AT 3:26 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Glad you could get it fixed, that kind of problem can be tough. Please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help.

Cheers
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Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 AT 1:59 PM
Tiny
BARBNAW
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • 145 MILES
Phoenix, AZ. My Firebird has not been run for more than two years. New battery installed, but no electrical response to key in Aux or ignition-start. No radio/fans/lights, etc. Nothing! Pass Key checked by dealer = Okay. Dealer suggested that it might be wiring in steering column (small gauge wiring breaks.) How can I narrow in on problem? Who has experience with resolution?
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Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 AT 9:55 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check fuses pointed out in drawing under-hood fuse box.
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Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 AT 9:55 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARROLLGUILLORY
  • MEMBER
  • 1984 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 140,000 MILES
The battery is good, new, the started is hot if manually tested.
Nothing has power, the lights, ignition switch horn or radio. It acts as if the battery was not connected.
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Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 AT 9:55 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Double check the battery connection.

Inspect and test all fusible links-the power has to go through it to get in the vehicle.
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Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 AT 9:55 AM (Merged)
Tiny
GJBR79
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
I have a 1997 Firebird, just replaced the transmission and the heads on the engine, was driving to break them in and there was a noise and now the engine just makes a loud clinking noise while running, after a week now the car does not start. I get the electrical wining sound, but no turn over. What do you think this all might be from?
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Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
TEAG
  • MEMBER
Did you check your starter and flywheel? Look and see if any of the teeth are grind ed off or chewed up looking. Maybe the starter was not tightened all the way. Also, try to look up in the bell housing and make sure all the bolts on the flywheel are still all there and tight. Good luck. :)
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Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MONTEJ23
  • MEMBER
Sounds like there might be a rod thrown in your engine or it locked up. Try turning the engine over by turning the crankshaft. If it moves then the engine is not locked up. Look for any cracks or metal protruding the block itself.

Try the starter it might just be the starter is not connected well enough to turn the engine. Hope it helps.
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Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)

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