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 Post subject: That was not expected
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:01 am 
Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4441
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
I was working on a '96 SSEi last weekend and this weekend where the starter motor had apparently frozen up or any number of other things. It would give off a puff of smoke when you tried to start it, and wouldn't turn.

When I pulled it, and bench tested it, same thing. Basically done for. Except I noticed that the drive was stuck half engaged. So I forced it back down in, and sure enough the starter was working again. Worked about three times before it got stuck again and locked up. Whatever, junkyard starters are like $25, and I can replace the massive stupid starter that requires removal of the front exhaust manifold to R&R for the gear reduction starter motor that is small enough to squeak between the subframe and the bottom of the radiator support.

I grabbed one last weekend, bench tested it, checks out ok. Strip it down to check the brushes and put a new solenoid on it, clean it up, paint it, etc. It works like a champ.

Go to install it in the car, and it doesn't work. It clicks like the battery is low or dead, which is not the case. I was slightly confused as to how this new issue happens while that car sat for a week...

The DMM told me I had +12.6v at the starter and +12.2v on the solenoid trigger when the key was turned to start. If I have +12v there, the only other thing to check is the ground. Quick and dirty way, use the jumper cable to connect the battery ground to a stud on the block. Starter comes to life and everything works! Amazing!

I removed the negative cable from the battery, I couldn't find any corrosion in the wire, so cleaned it up and it was still acting finicky. Ended up basically replacing it with a new ground strap that is located in a spot that is easier to access. Not sure what was wrong with that strap, but I've never seen that before.

Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!

'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:03 pm 
Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 10:45 pm
Posts: 5550
Location: CHICAGO
Year and Trim: 2006 STS-V, 2004 GTO, 2009 G8 GT
I hate chasing bad grounds... It could be that the connection at that ground strap to the vehicle, just became a bad connection. I'm finding that a lot with the RGC.


Retired Bonneville Owner and former GM Tech:
2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP: Black/Ebony *SOLD*

Summer Toys: Combined 827 RWHP / 877lb/ft RWTQ
2004 Pontiac GTO: Impulse Blue Metallic/Black/M6: lots 'o mods, 415 RWHP / 405lb/ft RWTQ!
2006 Cadillac STS-V: Light Platinum Metallic/Light Gray/A6 - Spectre CAI, Magnaflow exhaust, Speed Inc. tune, 412 RWHP / 472lb/ft RWTQ

Daily Drivers:
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited Platinum: Mommy's NEW RGC
2007 Chrysler Town & Country Limited: Daddy's beater affectionately called the Rolling Garbage Can or "RGC" for short
2009 Pontiac G8 GT: L76, Sport Red Metallic
2009 Chevrolet Impala SS: LS4 V8, Victory Red
1999 Chevrolet Suburban: Sunset Gold Metallic - Daddy's winter beater and plow truck

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