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Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 16, 2020 03:51PM

When I first got this Lakewood the started was grinding so I replaced the drive, setup the internal clearances to make sure the drive would kick out as far as possible and rotated the converter 1/3 turn in relation to the flex plate. Everything worked perfect for a while. Never any grinding but on a really hot soak restart it was weak and would barely turn over the engine, sounded terrible but would start. Cold and normal heat starts were fine. Then a couple of times it acted like the solenoid contacts were bad. Turn the key, get a good solid clunk with the dash lights dimming but not going out but the starter wouldn't turn. A couple of trys and then it would start normally. Today I tried maybe 50 times with just a solid clunk each time. I gave up and pushed it out of the way. Came out a few hours later and it fired right up so I put in in the shop and pulled the solenoid off. It looks perfect inside and it a nice heavy USA made part. I suppose the problem could be the armature, brushes, windings or pretty much anything in the starter with a bad connection.
The problem is finding it when it is working fine. I was actually glad it quit completely this morning because that would make it easy to fix.
Any ideas on figuring it out?

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: November 16, 2020 04:19PM

Weak battery?

Car would not start if you did a quick in/out at the store. Wait 10 - 15 minutes and it would start fine. Battery was 9 years old, so I replaced the battery and problem went away.

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 16, 2020 04:19PM

Growler says armature is good.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 16, 2020 04:20PM

The battery could be weak but the starter motor isn't powering up at all. Just the solenoid.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: November 16, 2020 04:23PM

Second guess is brushes? But why did you not check the brushes when you had it apart?

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: November 16, 2020 04:32PM

joelsplace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The battery could be weak but the starter motor isn't powering up at all. Just the solenoid.

More than 25 years ago, what starter sounded like has long been erased from the memory banks.

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 16, 2020 04:35PM

New brushes back when I rebuilt it. They aren't even broken in yet.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: November 16, 2020 04:54PM

Here is the trouble shooting that you need.
First off have jumper cables ready with a good battery in a car that is running. Now go drive your car until it has the good heat soak and you are sure it will not start on it's own. Do not shut it off until you pull up next to the other car. Have the other car running with cables attached, Shut the other car off and try to start on it's own. If it fails to start immediately hook up the jumper cables and try to start the wagon(?).

IF it starts like it should replace the battery.

IF the engine still does not start double check the jumper cables and if it still does not start then you have a starter problem.

I'm not there to look at the starter so can't help any farther. You are asking for electrical troubleshooting without any specifics OR pictures!

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: November 16, 2020 05:06PM

Don't forget the solenoid has two coils. If one of them goes it will work but not good enough or all the time. I had one that would work if I had my charger connected, but would pull all the way with a perfectly good bettery.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 16, 2020 05:45PM

I'm not explaining this sufficiently. This is a starter issue not a battery issue from the way I understand how it all works.
I've run plenty of weak batteries but I've never had one that would engage the solenoid strongly but not the starter motor.
I've had this exact problem many times over the years but 99% of the time it was bad solenoid contacts not getting power to the motor. A few times it has been a bad armature. Neither seems to be the case this time.

J.O. You got me thinking about something. Since the solenoid sounds perfect with a good hit but it isn't running the motor I'm wondering if maybe something is keeping it from traveling all the way to hit the contacts? I don't think that is possible since the drive has a spring that should allow the solenoid full travel even if the gear doesn't mesh.

Ken, what pictures would be helpful?

Thanks!

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 16, 2020 06:13PM

My starter machine says it pulls about 100A and then tapers off to about 65A.
Ken, I can't do the test you suggested because so far it fails at random. I have no way to predict it. The last dozen or so times I've driven it with probably 3 dozen plus start worked fine until this morning.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: November 16, 2020 06:20PM

I guess you understand this, but I will say again for other guys. The primary solenoid winding goes straight to ground. The boost coil or winding goes though the starter brushes and winding to ground. When the solenoid contacts make it parallels the boost coil turning it off. If its not working or weak the contact ring will not hit hard enough to activate the starter motor. So bad brushes or starter windings the solenoid may not work well. If there is a bad winding or poor internal connection in the solenoid the same thing. it will give that solenoid click, but not enough for the contacts to make.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 16, 2020 06:59PM

I could easily be wrong but I think it is hitting plenty hard. It sounds better with the new brushes and of course I didn't find anything wrong and it works perfect right now. I guess I get to drive it until it gets worse or at least predictable.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: November 17, 2020 05:44AM

If it does it again and you are anywhere that you can connect your charger, give that a try without doing anything else.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 17, 2020 05:53AM

After sleeping on it my feeble old brain remembered that this thing has a Ford solenoid in the engine compartment. That changes everything with added complication. All the wiring at the starter looks normal but obviously it isn't. Depending on how the PO is getting power to the purple wire this could be as simple as a bad connection at the output of the Ford solenoid. I think I'll remove all that nonsense today if I can make time.
Thanks and sorry for the confusion.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: Grandpacorvair ()
Date: November 17, 2020 05:53AM

The next time it happens....

Can't you SAFELY reach in and jump out the solenoid by using a disposable winking smiley wrench between the red lead from the battery and the contact that enters the starter....IF the starter runs, the solenoid is bad... if not the issue is internal to the starter...(or there is a problem in the wiring between the starter and the battery..)

Note that obviously when doing this the starter will not engage with the ring gear..and of course don't accidentally short the wrench between the battery wire and ground.... the battery is quite capable of supplying all the current needed for a rather impressive fireworks display..or worse! Be careful...

Kerry Borgne
Birmingham, Michigan

1963 Spyder Convertible

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: November 17, 2020 06:08AM

Has this car always done this since you've owned it?
Perhaps the PO added the Ford solenoid, chasing the same issue you're having!

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 17, 2020 06:08AM

IF the PO wired it correctly the starter will engage the engine since the switched side of the Ford solenoid energizes the Chevy solenoid. I really don't like the Ford solenoid "fix" because while it does is take some load off of the ignition switch wiring it also adds an additional switch and resistance to the high current battery cable and more points of failure.
My question is why not only use the Ford solenoid to switch the purple wire? Is that the way the "fix" was supposed to be done and the ones I've seen were done wrong?

Wagon - that is very possible. It happens rarely so it may have been doing it since I've had the car. I did change the starter right after I got it because of the bad ring gear.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2020 06:12AM by joelsplace.

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: November 17, 2020 04:31PM

Sorry I have been busy all day. Pictures would be of the armature, field windings and the one you did! LOL

So now it comes out there is an extra POS, Fix Or Repair Daily relay added. Either fix that with a proper low current relay to control the purple wire only and make sure the battery is direct connected to the starter solenoid.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Starter fun
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 17, 2020 05:19PM

I think I found the problem. This is the wire from the battery to the Ford solenoid. A white wire for positive off of the battery? No way that will work so I replaced it with the proper red color.

Ken, The solenoid actually was connected correctly. The positive cable is about 2 feet longer than it should be so I'm looking for a 2 gauge one the right length. What type of relays do you use? (if you were to use one)

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 113 Corvairs and counting...

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