Click Click Click... vroom

Started by Chris Braun, February 15, 2006, 07:09:07 PM

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Chris Braun

Ok.. lemme explain this one.

Starter is giving me trouble too...

it typically takes a few cranks to start the ole caddy

but lately, its not cranking at all... just clicking

itll do that 4 or 5 times, and then, it cranks fine and starts

its not the battery, or the alternator(Yeah I know.. I said alternator...I upgraded to 1 wire), its charging well, and battery is holding fine.  

So...  do I have a bad starter solenoid? or a bad starter? or what?  Where should I start?

Suggestions appreciated and desired!!!

thanks in advance
Chris

Chris Braun

forgot to mention, its the 60 sedan again... only one Ive got :)

Michael Stamps 19507

Id say selinoid.  Just make sure they hand you the correct one.  The napa guy here just assumed that it was the same as a chevy.  

Stampie

Bruce Reynolds # 18992

Gday Chris,

Dont forget to check out the main battery lead to the starter, and the earth (ground) as well.   You may have a slightly corroded terminal and the "surging" of power as you click the starter might just encourage it to allow full contact.

The clicking is the starter solenoid is getting power, but not enough to really pull the gear into mesh with the ring gear.

Further, if the one way clutch in the bendix is sticking, it might be trying to engage, but the starter gear isnt "loose" enough to allow the teeth to slip a bit to allow meshing with the ring gear.

The Starter will not start to turn over until the gears are fully in mesh via the solenoid, as it is the completion of the solenoid movement that completes the circuit from the battery to the starter motor windings.

You may even have a jambing solenoid plunger.

Bruce,
The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV

Ivan Zanatta

While youre trying to crank, give the solenoid a "tap" with a hammer Handle, see if it springs to life. If it does, you have a bad solenoid.Some can be taken apart and rebuilt(not sure of Caddies)

Geoff Newcombe #4719

The easy part is to unhook, clean the connections, and reinstall your battery cables just to eliminate that possibility.  But it sounds very much to me also that the real problem is the solenoid is "bad".  I was able to disassemble and clean the big copper ring and its contact point inside the solenoid on a 62 Corvette I owned and it worked perfectly as long as I owned the car (wish I still did).

Rhino 21150

I agree with Geoff, sounds like the contact ring (washer? Disk?) in side the solenoid. They slowly burn away. A Caddy that old should come apart. Phords still did until the early seventies. Clean up the disk and the contacts with 220 or finer emery cloth or wet sanding paper. Aluminum oxide paper will gunk up instantly cleaning copper. Clean everything and use "electrical grease" to protect the parts, except INSIDE the solenoid.

Porter 21919

Bruce,

As you well know I had problems with my 67 CDV, intermittent cranking but there was a noise in the dash.

Best bet is to remove the starter and bench test it, hook up some jumper cables, a ground to the case and a positive cable to the "P" terminal, take a screwdriver and jump the "S" terminal to the "P" terminal, get a good grip on it with your foot, it will have some kick. My starter was fine.

I replaced all my battery cables but the problem came back which indicates a neutral safety switch, yet to be tested.

My Redneck jumper from the "S" terminal to the battery "P" terminal with the key on works fine for now.

HTH,

Porter

Chris Braun

Havent had time to check this one out yet, as it started again just fine on the way to the store, and then gave me some trouble, but started again to get me home.  Ill let everybody know what I find out.  

I also looked at the good ole 59 and 60 caddy manuals, to check out everything I could on the starter.  Seems most everything should come apart pretty easy, if I could only find those old tools.....  so Ill have to macgiver it, and see what happens.  

Worst case I end up needing a new starter and solenoid...  cant be that expensive... right...  

(Man do I hate having to tell anybody its a caddy...  should tell em its off a buick or olds...  might be cheaper)

Michael Stamps 19507

In your case here dont expect it to be that expensive.  I do know that I didnt have to hit the ATM before heading to NAPA to get mine.  I do remember that the starter was a heavy SOB and after taking off and putting it on a few time my arms were hurting.

Stampie

Bruce Reynolds # 18992

Chris,

The Solenoids on all GM type Starters that are fitted to the 60 Caddy, are the same all the way up to the last time GM used that type of Starter.   I cant tell you anything later than 1976, as I have never seen any later than that.

But, the Solenoid that you buy will only be the steel case with the bakelite end with the terminals.

If your car is starting now, then the Solenoid is definately not the problem.   So why waste hard earned money?

The Solenoid is easily tested with a multi-meter.   If the winding is  not short circuited, then there is nothing wrong with that part.

The next thing is to carefully remove the bakelite cap.   To do this, undo the "S" Terminal nut, the large nut closest to the starter where the Field link was detached from to remove the solenoid.   Then undo the two retaining screws and slip off the cap.

Inside, there is a pair of brass terminals, one thin and springy, which is the R terminal, and a heavy brass one that the Battery Cable is connected to, which is usually corroded on one side.   That corrosion is from the arcing of the circular contact which is pushed towards the cap via the action of the magnetic field on the plunger that is attached to the bendix lever.

The only thing you can do in the cap is to undo the nut holding the big terminal, and turn it 180 degrees, so that the contact disc hits a fresh face.

Bruce,
The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV

P.S.   You can tell them it is a GM, but you will have to look at yours, and see if it has a long or short terminal that the Field strap attaches to.   Some have short, and some are long, but a short one can be used on one requiring a long if a longer screw and spacer is used, as on some starters.

Usually, the short ones are for the normal starter, and the longs are for the HD starter, but, as I said, the short can be used with the spacer and longer bolt.

The Solenoids do the same job on both starters.

 

Porter 21919

Chris,

As Bruce stated that is a generic GM starter, Napa has them and all the rebuild parts.

I think you have weak electrical connection somewhere.

Porter

Chris Braun

Replaced the Solenoid...  10 bux at advance auto, what a pain in the butt that was!!!  Its the story of the 4 hour "easy" fix.  Back up the car (pushing 3 tons is fun), up on jacks, up on jack stands, find the tools, correction, search a while, to the RIGHT tools.  Disconnect battery, crawl under, and waddya know.. cant get to it.  Id been looking at the 59 manual, (nice that the 60 has TWO manuals), and the 60s oil filter is in the darned way.  SO... walk to a friends house, borrow an oil pan. (I live in an apparment, they dont allow working on cars.. ha ha ha...), come back, only to find a maintenance man standing by my car.  HE says they will have to right me up for working on my car.  I explain that its the STARTER that is messed up, therefore I CANT very well drive somewhere else to work on it!!!  he then asks why the oilpan filter.  I explain that the darned oil filter is the way of the starter.  He finally gets under the car, looks for himself, and agrees.  So..  he lets me get back under my car, and get back to work.  Drain the oil, take off the filter.  Then I undo the wires from the solenoid, remove one bolt holding the starter, and find that the other bolt is pretty much SOLID in their.  SO..  back up to third floor, grab penetrating lube, 30 minutes later its worked enough to get the blankety blankin bolt out.  Oh.. one more thing...  if youve never done a starter, THEY are HEAVY lil sons of gons when you are working on your back under a car.  So.. take the starter up to the 3rd floor, put it on the deck, in a bucket, and GO TO BED, as I started this project at 9pm, and its now midnight, and Im tired.  Ok next day.  4pm, I finally, get a chance to work on this thing again.  More penetrating lube, as the screws holding the solenoid to the starter are also... pretty much solid.  15 minutes later, get the solenoid off.  Pop the new one on, down the steps, under the car, attach the 2 cleaned up bolts, attach the wires, put the oil filter back on, fill the car with 5 quarts of 5w30, sit in the drivers seat, turn the key...Nothing.  OOOOOps, forgot to reconnect the battery.  So.. Connect the battery, back in the drivers seat, turn the key.. and VROOOOOmmmmm   back to life again.  

So..  to thank you all.. it was the solenoid... and Im back in business.  

Only things left are the engine idle prob (running awful fast), carpets, recoverin the front seat, a new paint job wouldnt hurt, replacing all the rubber gaskets around the doors and windows, new trunk seal, new exhaust, probably rebuild the brake cylinder/booster again, just found a new (used) engine, so gotta swap that in, hmm.....  sounds like fun!!!  :)

I love my caddy.

Rhino 21150

Now that it is too late to matter Ill toss in my two bits (two cents aint enough!). Any time the starter comes off be sure to clean the parts that make electrical/mechanical contact. Where the starter presses against the engine be sure to use fine (150) sandpaper on the mating surfaces after you clean with a strong solvent like rubbing alcohol. Just a little insurance. And of course all the obvious contacts.

Chris Braun

Rhino...  not too late, never too late.  But...  I did clean the electrical contacts, and so far as mechanical contacts, I cleaned the starter from end to end before re-installing it, and used carb cleaner to clean most of the bottom half of my engine.  So.. I think Im covered.  Thanks :)

Quote from: Rhino 21150Now that it is too late to matter Ill toss in my two bits (two cents aint enough!). Any time the starter comes off be sure to clean the parts that make electrical/mechanical contact. Where the starter presses against the engine be sure to use fine (150) sandpaper on the mating surfaces after you clean with a strong solvent like rubbing alcohol. Just a little insurance. And of course all the obvious contacts.

Bruce Reynolds # 18992

Chris,

Why did you have to remove the Oil Filter and adaptor, and drain the sump to remove the Starter Motor?

Bruce,
The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV

Chris Braun

Bruce,

I had to take off the oil filter, but not the adaptor.  I didnt drain the sump, just drained the oil from the engine so I wouldnt make a mess when I took off the filter.  Removing the oil filter made it a lot easier to fit my wrench in and undo the bolts on the starter.  Hope that makes sense.  

Chris



Quote from: Bruce Reynolds # 18992Chris,

Why did you have to remove the Oil Filter and adaptor, and drain the sump to remove the Starter Motor?

Bruce,
The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV