Strange Starter Issue

Tech tips and how to's

Moderators: notoptoy, garth, S Allen

User avatar
Skyman
Roadster Fanatic-Site Supporter
Posts: 2449
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Strange Starter Issue

Post by Skyman » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:50 pm

When starting my car lately, sometimes it acts like the battery is low. Real slow turning, stopping and clicking. I turn the key of and try again and it starts just like it is supposed to. The battery is fully charged, and I get 14V to the battery from the alt. I have redundant grounds, and everything looks good as far as all the grounding and positive terminal connections at the battery and starter. Any clues on what to look for next? It doesn't happen every time so it has me baffled.

Thanks!
67.5 SRL311-00060
67.5 SPL311-14241
2008 Volkswagen R32
2003 Ford Powerstroke; Piped & Chipped

User avatar
DCooke
Roadster Fanatic
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 10:58 am
Location: Cary, IL

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by DCooke » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:19 pm

Interesting, mine is doing the same thing, except I just get a click sometimes, then the next turn of the key, she fires right up.
Dave Cooke
Cary, IL
1968 1600
1969 1600
2016 BRZ
Chicagoland chapter of the Dairyland Datsuns

User avatar
GeoffM
Roadster Fanatic-Site Supporter
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Vancouver BC

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by GeoffM » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:50 pm

Yup...me too.
Geoff
1969 SPL-311

User avatar
Nissanman
Roadster Fanatic-Site Supporter
Posts: 3010
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Model: 1500/1600
Year: Low Windshield-64-67.5

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by Nissanman » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:00 pm

If you [all] are satisfied that electrically everything is as good as it can be, then the fault may lie in the starter solenoid.
That click you hear when you turn the key to START, is the signal from the ignition key contact energising the starter solenoid.
The solenoid makes the click as it draws the copper bridge onto the HT contacts.
Ideally, once that happens, the starter then gets the full 12V applied to the windings and away we go.
However, dirty or worn out contacts will reduce the current to the starter resulting in anything from ZIP to erratic performance.
We are talking a LOT of amps here so any degradation of the HT circuit will have an undesirable effect.
Similarly, worn out brushes for the starter rotor will result in erratic performance until all goes quiet down there.
If the car is used regularly and has suddenly developed this symptom, I suggest removing the starter and having it bench checked.
Once again, make sure that all the primary wiring and switching is in tip top condition before pulling the starter.
Nissanman, just trying to help.
1965 SP310 Engine No. G-93326 Car No. SP310-10817
http://nissanman.shutterfly.com/117
McQueen!
He's on the road again!

User avatar
fj20spl311
Roadsteraholic
Posts: 4886
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: San Diego, Ca

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by fj20spl311 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:02 am

One additional idea is to add a starting relay.

If the voltage to the solenoid is low, the contact may not make a good connection.

http://www.oldvolkshome.com/hardstart.pdf
Phil
67.5 SRL311-00148 Blue (FJ cruiser VOODOO Blue)
67.5 SPL311 FJ20E teal SDS EFI
69 SRL311 SOLD
19 Raptor SCAB

User avatar
Roman
Site Supporter
Posts: 1221
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:41 pm
Location: Shasta, the lake, in the state of Jefferson!

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by Roman » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:11 am

My bet is if all the connections are good, it is an ailing solenoid or ign switch itself
Will trade guitars for roadsters, food, shelter, clothes, etc, etc.

User avatar
Nissanman
Roadster Fanatic-Site Supporter
Posts: 3010
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Model: 1500/1600
Year: Low Windshield-64-67.5

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by Nissanman » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:18 am

Typical Starter Wiring Detail.jpg
The basic starter schematic.
Typical Starter Wiring Temporary Jumper.jpg
If you suspect the Ignition switch, you can try a temporary jumper to test the solenoid and starter.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Nissanman, just trying to help.
1965 SP310 Engine No. G-93326 Car No. SP310-10817
http://nissanman.shutterfly.com/117
McQueen!
He's on the road again!

User avatar
Skyman
Roadster Fanatic-Site Supporter
Posts: 2449
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by Skyman » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:16 am

The starter was new when installed 5 years ago. I did need to rebuild the ignition switch and re-solder all the connections a few years back as well. Maybe the issue lies in the switch?
67.5 SRL311-00060
67.5 SPL311-14241
2008 Volkswagen R32
2003 Ford Powerstroke; Piped & Chipped

User avatar
Nissanman
Roadster Fanatic-Site Supporter
Posts: 3010
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Model: 1500/1600
Year: Low Windshield-64-67.5

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by Nissanman » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:50 pm

Could be but if you hear the solenoid operating, that's all the ignition switch contacts have to do.
Next time the switch/starter play up, verify the integrity of the switch contacts as in the schematic above.
Nissanman, just trying to help.
1965 SP310 Engine No. G-93326 Car No. SP310-10817
http://nissanman.shutterfly.com/117
McQueen!
He's on the road again!

User avatar
DCooke
Roadster Fanatic
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 10:58 am
Location: Cary, IL

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by DCooke » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:59 pm

I pulled the 2 year old battery & had it tested at the store I bought it from, results came back as good, just a little down on voltage. so they charged it up for me. I put it back in and she fired right up. But, after sitting for a few days, I'm back to getting the same intermittent click, click, then it starts. So, I'm going to try leaving the battery on a Battery Tender when I'm not driving it. I'll report back my results in a few days...
Dave Cooke
Cary, IL
1968 1600
1969 1600
2016 BRZ
Chicagoland chapter of the Dairyland Datsuns

User avatar
GeoffM
Roadster Fanatic-Site Supporter
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Vancouver BC

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by GeoffM » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:54 pm

Nissanman wrote:Could be but if you hear the solenoid operating, that's all the ignition switch contacts have to do.
Next time the switch/starter play up, verify the integrity of the switch contacts as in the schematic above.
With my intermittent issue, it seems like the ignition switch provides an instantaneous open/closed circuit to the starter. You hear the solenoid and a half a crank, then nothing. It's like the switch goes beyond the closed position and back to the open position when you turn the key. A few more tries of the key with your tongue in the right position and it catches. I hope that describes it a bit better. That's why I have a hunch it's the switch and the integrity of the contacts.
Geoff
1969 SPL-311

User avatar
mellis18
Site Supporter
Posts: 505
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:07 pm
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by mellis18 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:03 pm

I am experiencing the same symptoms so it will be interesting to see how this plays out with all of you.
Robert Ellis
Saratoga Springs, UT
1969 SRL311


1969 SRL311-07332
Matching numbers
1966 Mustang Coupe

User avatar
OldYeller
Roadster Fanatic
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 10:24 am
Location: Mpls MN

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by OldYeller » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:23 pm

The starter and solenoid get a lot of heat next to the exhaust so they have a short(er) life. Mine did the same thing. Acted like the battery was dead but it wasn't. Put in a new starter and it fired right up. Too bad I had to remove the intake and exhaust manifold to R/R it. I see on this forum that you can get a high torque and smaller forklift version so if you choose to take it out and aren't concours restoration guy, it's a good option.
Steven
69 SRL311

User avatar
Bwana
Roadster Nut
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Conroe, TX

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by Bwana » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:12 am

OldYeller wrote:The starter and solenoid get a lot of heat next to the exhaust so they have a short(er) life. Mine did the same thing. Acted like the battery was dead but it wasn't. Put in a new starter and it fired right up. Too bad I had to remove the intake and exhaust manifold to R/R it. I see on this forum that you can get a high torque and smaller forklift version so if you choose to take it out and aren't concours restoration guy, it's a good option.
Yes, I think the heat is the cause of the problem. Mine works great until I drive it around a lot. Then the starter engages OK but pulls really slowly for the first few revolutions. No problems when it's cooler. Isn't there a heat sheild solution I read about some time ago? Pulling the starter is a PITA.
1969 2000
1972 BMW 3.0 CSi Coupe
2006 FJR1300AE
1978 Ducati Dharma
Sears rider lawn mower (weekend commuter)

User avatar
DCooke
Roadster Fanatic
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 10:58 am
Location: Cary, IL

Re: Strange Starter Issue

Post by DCooke » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:00 pm

Well, the car has been sitting for 6 days on a battery tender and today, it fired right up, no clicking issues. I took a short drive to run to the store and it when I returned from inside the store, I jumped in & it fired right up. Not sure if the clicking issue is resolved, but today's results are encouraging. I'll be leaving it plugged into the battery tender during the week when I'm not using the roadster.
Dave Cooke
Cary, IL
1968 1600
1969 1600
2016 BRZ
Chicagoland chapter of the Dairyland Datsuns