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 Post subject: Crank, but won't start
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:31 am
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 1995 SE
I was driving around a couple weeks ago when my 95 SE died at a stoplight. Lights worked, radio worked, but it wouldn't start when cranked, power windows didn't work and power locks didn't work. I took it to the shop and a few days later they said it was fixed. They said that there were loose connections in the fuse box near the firewall, so they took it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together. I went to start it and it worked like a charm. Then died a minute later. They continued to work on it for another week when again, they said it was fixed. Apparently, water was getting into the left kick panel and causing ground issues. I started it, and it was great. Didn't die. In fact, it ran better than before.

Fast forward to last night. My girlfriend and I go to go meet some old friends at a bar. I crank the car... doesn't start. Cranks, but never actually catches. Power locks, radio, lights, power windows, everything works, it just doesn't start. I checked on the boards here, searched elsewhere, but didn't see any real useful ideas.

I pried up the left kick panel, but I couldn't make heads or tails of the wires underneath. It wasn't damp though.

I'm a bit reluctant to take it back to the shop (considering it's expensive and they have already failed twice).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Retired Gearhead
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 2:14 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Orlando Fl
Year and Trim: '00 SSEi (proj), '99 Tahoe & '05 Bonne GXP
First....welcome!

Now then, does your security light come on when there is no start? You mention it cranks, so I don't think security is the issue, but it never hurts to ask.
Second, does it ever die, or does it not want to start back from a key-off condition?
Third, when it does crank, do you hear the fuel pump whirring in the back?

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2005 GXP - White Gold Pearl, no mods...yet.
2000 SSEi - Resurrection in progress. Built L67 w/L32 fuel rail, ported heads, and cam. Camaro front brake system, GXP cluster, and much more in planning.

BonneMe wrote:
Looks like a Volt, Sonata, and Taurus got it on.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:16 pm 
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Retired Gearhead
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Location: Buffalo New York
Year and Trim: 99 SSEi
Sounds like your mechanic found the problem but may not have fixed it properly. The door locks, power windows, fuel pump & a few other devices share a ground bus under the driver's side door sill. Its a fairly common problem that we seem to see a few times a year.

You need to find the ground bus & see what the mechanic did. In most cases you simply remove the metal bar from the bus, clean the bar & the female terminals inside the bus. Coat the bar with dielectric grease to help prevent future corrosion & reassemble.

In cases of severe corrosion you may have to cut out the bus and solder all the wires together. Coat all the wires with a liquid insulation to prevent water from creeping into the wires and corroding the wires.

Here are a few pics to help you locate the ground bus:

Image

Image

Image

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Last edited by Mechanical Mike on Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:31 am
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 1995 SE
I don't think I've ever seen a security light light up in that car (i.e. it doesn't have a security system). the cranking went from perfectly normal to harsh clicks/clunks. Either the battery is being drained or starter is dead.

I looked under the door sill (that was what I was calling the kick panel), but it looked like the mechanics put the wires together with electrical tape, so I didn't want to mess with it. I could be wrong. After I get back from easter festivities today, I'll give it another look. Those pics are amazing!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Location: Orlando Fl
Year and Trim: '00 SSEi (proj), '99 Tahoe & '05 Bonne GXP
If the starter is dragging like you say it is, your problem won't be in the ground buss. I'd make sure your battery cables are tight. Sometimes sidepost batterys have issues with overtorquing the terminals, and once it's stripped it's very difficult for the terminal bolt to get a good enough bite to conduct the necessary amps.

Other than that, take the starter off and have it bench tested. If it's bad or going bad, invest in the smaller torque reduction starter. It uses less current and fits much better, and it's a direct replacement.

_________________
2005 GXP - White Gold Pearl, no mods...yet.
2000 SSEi - Resurrection in progress. Built L67 w/L32 fuel rail, ported heads, and cam. Camaro front brake system, GXP cluster, and much more in planning.

BonneMe wrote:
Looks like a Volt, Sonata, and Taurus got it on.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:31 am
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 1995 SE
I didn't get home in daylight today, so I didn't get a chance to take a look at the car today. I did try a crank, and every light was flashing (including the security light I hadn't noticed before). I get the succinct feeling that I've been draining the battery while I've been working on it, and since I no longer have my car charger (gave it to my sister when her accord was dying a year or two ago), I'm a little cautious about working on it any more.

If it comes to mechanical issues in classic cars (as in no extraneous plastic and such in the engine compartment) I can manage, but I'm as ignorant as it gets when it comes to cars with computers and such. I'm going to try disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it tomorrow morning to see if it won't start. If it does, do y'all reckon it will be safe to drive for the time being?

If not, I'm gonna have to tow her.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:45 am 
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Location: Aguanga, CA USA
Year and Trim: 1994 Bonneville SE 240k Hot Rod
First thing to check is "available voltage". Check battery condition and connections, then all grounds.


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