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  1. #1
    Hagar's Avatar
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    Starter issue - won't turn over.

    OK, I've searched and read the posts on starter issues and I still have a question.
    Right now my 1999 SC2 automatic won't start, turn over, or even click.
    It started fine last week, moved it down the driveway and back, shut it off to get something from the house, and hasn’t started since.
    I had my son check the starter per Richpin’s video and he said it had power so I changed the starter with one from another car that was working properly. Not a starter I had laying around - I went out and pulled a working starter from another SC2. No change – no click at the starter and the engine doesn’t turn over. The lights dim when the key is turned and I hear the fuel pump run for a few seconds.

    Additional steps I’ve taken so far:
    Checked all fuses in UHJB and passenger compartment fuse box – all good, including the big green ones under the hood and the chime fuse inside. I even rearranged some like fuses just in case.
    Disassembled and cleaned grounds under hood: on body by UHJB, under air cleaner housing, where engine and transmission bolt together, and both ends of wire at upper motor mount on passenger side.
    Also disassembled and cleaned positive lead where it connects to UHJB.
    Starter relay under dash – clicks when key is turned. Jumped the contacts just to check – no change.
    PND switch – unplugged and jumped – no change.
    F5 issue – pulled connector from rear of passenger fuse box – all looked good. Reassembled - No change. (No aftermarket parts added anyway.)
    Cleaned ignition cylinder – grasping at straws – no change.
    Voltage on primary lead at starter is 12.6 volts (same reading when checking battery).
    Voltage at back of alternator is 12.6 volts.
    The weird one is checking voltage on the purple wire at the starter solenoid. When I put the Fluke there and the key is turned it reads about 10.5 volts and the starter turns slowly while the meter is connected. When I lift the meter leads the starter immediately stops even if the key is still turned to start.
    Any thoughts - what am I missing?
    Don't just embrace crazy, snuggle up next to it and lick its ear.

  2. #2
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    Voltage drop the purple wire from the starter back to the relay. If it only has 10.5v then i suspect that it has some high resistance in it somewhere. A voltage drop test will confirm this. If it doea have high resistance then run a new length of wire.
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

  3. #3
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    Also make sure your main engine grounds are clean... A loose connection or corroded wire will limit current and can cause it not to be able to draw enough current to spin the starter.
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

  4. #4
    Hagar's Avatar
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    I already disassembled and cleaned all the grounds I could find under the hood.
    I was thinking about running a wire to bypass the relay, UHJB (shown on wiring diagram in manual), and PND switch due to the low voltage. I don't think I'll have time tonight - hopefully tomorrow.
    I just don't understand how having the meter connected between the purple wire and ground allows it to turn over, even if it is slower than normal.
    Don't just embrace crazy, snuggle up next to it and lick its ear.

  5. #5
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    Is the purple wire connected to the correct post on the starter solenoid?
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

  6. #6
    Hagar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thoughts. Yes, the purple wire is on the smaller terminal where it should be.
    Update:
    I used a jumper cable to connect the positive battery terminal to the primary terminal on the starter to see if the main battery cable might not have been passing enough current. No change.
    Used a meter to verify which wires on the starter relay connector and PND switch have voltage when the key is turned. Pulled the starter relay, disconnected the PND switch from the transmission, and ran a wire from the relay connector to the purple wire that goes to the starter. No change.
    Pulled the starter back off the car and tested it with jumper cables. It does work correctly.
    Tested the original starter too and it is definitely dead.
    That’s as far as I got last night before I ran out of daylight.
    Don't just embrace crazy, snuggle up next to it and lick its ear.

  7. #7
    Hagar's Avatar
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    Last night I put the starter back in, but before I did I cleaned the bolts and nuts where the wires connect, made sure they were all tight on the solenoid, and cleaned the ends of the wires that connect to the starter. I also wiped off the surfaces where the starter bolts to the engine/transmission to make sure there was no oil or dirt to help ensure a good ground connection. I put everything back together and the car turned over like normal.
    I’m still not positive what made the difference, but if I had to guess I’d say it was making sure the terminals on the solenoid are tight before putting the starter in. Hope this helps somebody.
    Don't just embrace crazy, snuggle up next to it and lick its ear.

  8. #8
    SMGordon1259's Avatar
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    neutral safety switch? Try changing gears a few times ?
    2002 Saturn SC1, Metallic Orange , L24 1.9 , 201,250 miles

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