Starter Issues

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting & Diagnosis' started by Go Hawks, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Go Hawks

    Go Hawks New Member

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    I have a 1970 Camaro RS with a 350 small block with 4 speed manual. A few weeks back the starter died. The starter was ancient... an old Delco Remy starter. I initially tried to see if I could find an exact replacement only to find they don't make starters like this anymore. They couldn't even find the part/model number in their systems.... Anyways I just put in my new starter this afternoon. The new starter is a Power Master 3689. Everything went together perfectly. After everything was wired and hooked up two things happened. First I noticed my emergency brake like was lit up. The keys were out of the car and ignition was off. I thought that was odd because previously it would only light up when the ignition was on. The car started just fine, but when I turned the key off the engine kept on running. I had to dump the clutch to kill it.

    At first I thought maybe I wired it incorrectly, the two little wires on the solenoid. So I jacked the car back up and switched them thinking that might be the issue. When I tried to start the car again there was nothing nada zilch. Car wouldn't turn over and I couldn't hear the starter engaging or anything.

    Does anyone have experience with this or have any ideas what could be the issue I have going on? I'm not sure if the original wiring isn't up to "grade" with this new starter or if perhaps there is some other kill switch I need now with this new starter? Any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    It sounds like your ignition switch is out of adjustment or simply worn out.

    The ignition switch is the electrical switch on top of the steering column, under the dash near the firewall.
    (Not to be confused with the ignition cylinder where the key fits.)
     
  3. Go Hawks

    Go Hawks New Member

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    Would that also address the issue with my emergency brake light being lit up even when the car is off and no keys in it? I'm assuming that is all together a different issue? It is odd timing that it just now did that when I put a new starter in.
     
  4. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    There is a test circuit through the ignition switch which shows you the brake (and Oil) indicator lights are working when you turn the key.
    It's behaving like the ignition switch isn't going back to the "Off" position when you turn the key to remove it.

    Yes, the ignition switch being out of adjustment would explain both issues and probably isn't related to the starter wiring at all.
    (Unless you burned something in the switch when you swapped wires around at the starter. But that's an off-the-cuff wild-azz guess.)

    If adjusting it doesn't work, the switch is cheap enough to replace.
    Rock Auto carries the switch for tilt and non-tilt steering columns... Probably around $20, shipped.
     
  5. McCune

    McCune Veteran Member

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    There is power running through the R terminal of the starter, either you have the wire touching the main battery cable lug on the starter or the solenoid is powering up the R terminal. The R terminal is the outside lug and the S terminal is the inside closest to the block. Ifyou un hook the R terminal and try it agian the problem may be solved. The Larger of the two wires is the S wire.
     
  6. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    ^ Good advice!

    More than likely correct since the starter is where you were changing things.
     
  7. Go Hawks

    Go Hawks New Member

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    I'm going to try that after work today. I'm pretty sure I had it hooked up the correct the first time... the larger of the two wires was closest to the block and the smaller wire on the outside. I also had to put new connections on the ends of the wires as the original ones were in bad shape. I'll make sure they're not touching and let you know what happens. Twisted_Metal and McCune - Thank You for your help!!
     
  8. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    If you still have the old Delco starter, open up the end of it. These old starters are pretty much bulletproof, and if they stop cranking after 50 years, usually all they need is a cleanup, lube in the bushings, and new brushes which are available cheap at the auto parts stores. You can also buy rebuild kits that include the brushes and all the other small parts to rebuild the starter.
    There should be nothing odd about your original starter and this way if the new replacement one is different in any way, your old one might fix your starting/running issues.
    The brake light is most likely a separate issue.
     
  9. Go Hawks

    Go Hawks New Member

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    McCune -
    Tried out deleting the small wire on the solenoid and it fixed the issue. No lit up brake light and turns off and on just like before.

    Thanks for the help everyone.
     
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  10. McCune

    McCune Veteran Member

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    Glad to help!
     

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