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 Post subject: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:03 am 
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Location: Racine, Wisconsin
Year and Trim: 97.2 40th SLE
68 w/400
94 SSEi
1992 Regal with the L27.
Just got done swapping the engine and now the car won't start.

Initially it seemed like it cranked for maybe a second. Them on subsequent tries it would only click and then nothing. I tried jumping this starter with jumper cables from another car and it functions properly.
Swapped out a spare battery and same issue.
Swapped out the positive battery cable, did not help.

Pulled all grounds, cleaned and replaced, didn't help any.

Using a smaller starter from the newer 3800s but that shouldn't make any difference?

I'm completely stumped on this. But here's the kicker if I try to jump the solenoid it will NOT kick with power from the car. With the cars wiring disconnected and hooking the starter to battery cables, jumping the solenoid makes the starter kick.

So it seems like it's not getting enough power to kick over?

The only thing we have not tried is swapping the negative battery cable/ground for a fresh one.
But this car started and ran perfectly 2 weeks ago so I can't pathom why it doesn't run now.

Any advice GREATLY appreciated!!

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1997.2 40th SLE-138k
1968 Bonneville 400ci w/TH-400-40k
1999 GMC Suburban SLT-191k
2005 Escalade 253k-GINA


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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:20 am 
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
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1994 Buick Regal Custom
Make sure you can turn the engine over by hand. If you can't, try pulling spark plugs and then turning over by hand.

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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:59 am 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 3:53 pm
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Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Year and Trim: 99 Regal GS
What position was the key in when you tried to jump it with the car's own power?

Sounds pretty similar to the kind of thing I dealt with in my old 94. Sometimes in order to start my car I had to manually supply 12v to the solenoid to trigger it to start. Eventually I just put my own relay under the hood with a switch in the car to make it start. Had to put the key in run and use the manual switch to start the car sometimes. I suspected the ignition switch was the cause of the problem, but I never replaced it since I acquired my other 99.

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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:16 am 
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Location: Midland, Michigan
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Check the ground strap from the body / frame / engine. Make sure it is clean and not ripped as well as the bolts clean and not rusted / corroded on contact surfaces.

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2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:33 pm 
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Location: Racine, Wisconsin
Year and Trim: 97.2 40th SLE
68 w/400
94 SSEi
Ground strap that goes to frame had a small bit of corrosion so we did remove that and clean it with no change.

The engine is definitely not locked up I had to turn it over to get the torque converter bolts in.

Had the key in the on/run position where it would be after the car is started. I tried jumping the solenoid with the screw driver and I would just get a couple tiny Sparks like it isn't getting enough power. But when I hook the starter up to jumper cables it sparks a lot and kicks over just fine.

^^^^^
This is what blows my mind. It just acts like it isn't getting enough voltage to the starter to start it. It sparks a little so obviously there IS power but just not enough.

I hate electrical/wiring issues. Any advice on how to manually supply 12v like you mentioned?

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1997.2 40th SLE-138k
1968 Bonneville 400ci w/TH-400-40k
1999 GMC Suburban SLT-191k
2005 Escalade 253k-GINA


nos4blood70 wrote:
Literally, cars are drugs.


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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:09 pm 
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Where are you hooking the jumper cables, positive and negative on the starter itself?

I just swapped starters in the Cutlass, would start great and run, shut it off and try to start it again and nothing. Swat it and start fine again. I pulled the bolts out and hit them with a wire wheel on the threads and any contact point for the starter, starts flawlessly now. The starter gets it's ground through the engine, I would pull the starter and clean the bolts really good as well as the pad on the block for the starter and the contact area on the starter itself.

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2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:11 pm 
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Location: Racine, Wisconsin
Year and Trim: 97.2 40th SLE
68 w/400
94 SSEi
Yes hooking the jumper cables directly to the starter. By swat it I assume you mean hitting it when trying to start it? If I hit the starter with the hammer while turning the key to try to start it sometimes we get a clicking/clunking noise but it will not turn the engine.

Thanks for the tip Ryan. I completely overlooked cleaning the block and mounting surface itself for the starter.

Being that this is a Regal it is a complete PITA to do anything with the starter as the exhaust manifold and/or AC compressor has to come off to get the starter off. Hopefully we'll have some luck today with getting this thing running.

Greatly appreciate the tips!! :beerchug:

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Clay
1997.2 40th SLE-138k
1968 Bonneville 400ci w/TH-400-40k
1999 GMC Suburban SLT-191k
2005 Escalade 253k-GINA


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Literally, cars are drugs.


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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:07 pm 
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I would swat the starter, not even hard or necessarily with a hammer, but anything laying around even a screwdriver. Must have jarred it just enough to get connection again. After I tapped it I was then able to start it with the key just fine one time. After I cleaned the bolts really good I haven't had an issue since.

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Check out my detailing page on facebook! --> Next Level Detailing
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2003 Bonneville SSEi - The Black Mirror SOLD!
2002 Bonneville SE - The Mutt Complete 2004 SLE interior, drivetrain, and body harness swap, ECC swap, HUD swap, black GXP wheels, GXP headlights and tinted tails - SOLD
2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

MattStrike wrote:
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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 3:53 pm
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Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Year and Trim: 99 Regal GS
sounds like you're on the right track.

What I meant by manually supplying 12v in my case was that I manually put 12v on the solenoid. The small wire that triggers the solenoid to turn on is what worked in my case. Somehow putting the key into the start position didn't supply enough power to the solenoid to engage it so I used another relay to give it 12v. Basically the equivalent to using a screwdriver to bridge the constant 12v and the post that engages the solenoid.
I know it's a silly idea but at the time it seemed like the easiest solution. I'm pretty sure one day the aftermarket relay failed one day though because when one of my brothers was driving it the starter was turning on by itself while the car was running and eventually the starter gave out. This issue & another issue where it would start and run for a second and promptly die ultimately led to me turning that car into a lawn ornament.

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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:22 am 
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Location: Racine, Wisconsin
Year and Trim: 97.2 40th SLE
68 w/400
94 SSEi
Well I pulled the starter and cleaned the block and starter and bolts really well. No change. Tried beating it with a 2 lb sledge while trying to start it, it would make some noise but no start.

So I tried hooking up a battery charger to the small terminal on the solenoid and it would just make this noise (reminded me of a buzzer like opening a door). And it seems there was no power at the small wire. There is supposed to be 12 volts supplied to that small wire/terminal when trying to start, right?

I'm wondering if it's time to just swap the starter and see what happens next. Will be trying that tomorrow. If a new starter doesn't fix the issue then I know something must be screwy with the wiring somewhere.

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1997.2 40th SLE-138k
1968 Bonneville 400ci w/TH-400-40k
1999 GMC Suburban SLT-191k
2005 Escalade 253k-GINA


nos4blood70 wrote:
Literally, cars are drugs.


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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:38 am 
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You don't want to really beat on the starter to much, just stick to a few swats from the handle of a hammer or just light taps from the head of a hammer if you must. The magnets inside will break and then the starter is nothing but a paperweight. Yes, the small wire on the solenoid should have +12v when the key is in the start position which supplies voltage to the solenoid connecting power to the starter motor and also kicking the starter gear out to the flex plate. Any other position other then start for the key that wire will have no power.

_________________
Ryan
Check out my detailing page on facebook! --> Next Level Detailing
Image
2003 Bonneville SSEi - The Black Mirror SOLD!
2002 Bonneville SE - The Mutt Complete 2004 SLE interior, drivetrain, and body harness swap, ECC swap, HUD swap, black GXP wheels, GXP headlights and tinted tails - SOLD
2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

MattStrike wrote:
It was the worst week of my life! *pause, drinks beer... smiles* But I'm better now!


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 Post subject: Re: 3800 Won't Start
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:23 pm 
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Location: Racine, Wisconsin
Year and Trim: 97.2 40th SLE
68 w/400
94 SSEi
That small wire never gets power but still. The starter SHOULD start the engine when I jump the terminal and all it does is make a buzzer noise.

_________________
Clay
1997.2 40th SLE-138k
1968 Bonneville 400ci w/TH-400-40k
1999 GMC Suburban SLT-191k
2005 Escalade 253k-GINA


nos4blood70 wrote:
Literally, cars are drugs.


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