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Thread: No start: Ignition Switch or Solenoid?

  1. #1

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    No start: Ignition Switch or Solenoid?

    Just double checking myself here before I tear into the steering column.
    Turning the ignition to start makes no click, and the dash lights (EGR, etc) do not dim when turning the key. Also recently it's done nothing when turning the key to start but after turning it back off a few times it would start normally.
    I'm 98% sure it would be the ignition switch, but as I'm new to D50's just wanted to double check my thinking before I start a 11pm investigation into the problem.
    Also, are there any funky screws to remove the column cover or are they standard Phillips? Gonna eat me some supper (just getting in from work) then start messing around with the truck.

    Thanks,
    eb

  2. #2



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    Use the search. There is another thread that describes your problem. There was a solution to it. It went through all the passable problems. Let me know if you can't find it.

    Found it.. See if this helps.
    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...hlight=starter
    Last edited by camoit; 12-09-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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  3. #3

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    I think this is the same article that helped me solve the problem when my 86 Nissan ignition switch failed, might help other too:

    http://autorepair.about.com/od/troub...s_no-start.htm

    The relevant bit here:
    Bad Igntion Switch: If your battery checks out, but the starter is still silent, it may be a faulty ignition switch. Turn the key to the on position (not all the way to start). If the red warning lights on your dash don't light up (and your battery connections are clean), the ignition switch is bad. If they do light up, turn the key to the start position. The dash warning lights should turn off at this key position (most cars). If you're not sure, turn on the headlights. When you try to start the car, the lights should either dim (a lot) or turn off completely. If they do, your ignition switch should be ok. If not, the switch will need replacement
    The question could have been solved easier in the other thread by just removing the cowling and crossing the connections on the ignition switch, if it starts you know its the switch, if not then move on to starter, etc.
    Anyways, still sitting on my ass drinking coffee, will head out to the truck in a bit as I gotta take it to work in the AM, at least its a full moon out there to work by.

    eb

  4. #4

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    Jumpered the ignition switch, still no joy, time to look at the solenoid, relays, etc...

  5. #5

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    Its looking like a wiring issue to the solenoid, found some wal-mart crimp-ons in the general area and it looks like the previous owner replaced the starter and did some wire cutting and bad splicing putting it back in. Too dark and cold to mess with it tonight, will take a closer look after work tomorrow.

  6. #6



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    also check your ground connections - if they are bad enough, it won't spin the starter
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  7. #7



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    I always jump the solenoid with a screw driver. If it jumps and starts then it is in the wiring. 70% of the time its the battery connections. 50% it's the connections at the starter. Someone loves to hack up a place that gets coved in oil and mud and it makes for problems. Use Solder type connectors and seal with heat shrink tubeing if you can, it will slow down the recurrence of it. 40% neutral safety switch at the trany. (automatic) It ties to the system under the passenger seat. 30% The extra wire that runs the truck, not the big one that goes down to the starter. The smaller one. Look for bad wires, corrosion, things like that. 20% is the switch. They hold up really good for what they do. But if you have a 3 lb ball of keys hanging off of there parts don't last as long. 10% Is the the fuse block. 5% Is the loop connection under the passenger seat. (manual trany) More places for water to take it's tole. 1% is the connection between the key switch and wiring harness.
    Last edited by camoit; 12-10-2011 at 12:59 PM.
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  8. #8

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    30% The extra wire that runs the truck, not the big one that goes down to the starter. The smaller one.
    Which extra wire is this?
    Just getting home from work, too beat to mess with it tonight, will deal with it on Sunday.
    Jumping 12v to the solenoid is on my to-do list. (connector with the black/yellow wire from the ignition switch).
    I noticed another wire running near the solenoid but couldn't tell exactly where it ended up, looked like a hack job with a crimp on splice. Starter isn't is a very accessible location from the top and didn't feel like crawling in the dirt last night to cross the connections.
    Will let you know what I discover when I start hacking into it tomorrow after work.
    eb

  9. #9

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    Was just checking starter prices (just in case) and Oriley's lists two starters for my vehicle (86, 2.0, Manual), one with an R terminal and one without.
    Not too sound too dumb, but what is an R terminal (I know S,M,&B) and would I need one or not? The one without the R terminal is a bit more than the one without.
    From the looks of the pic, the R terminal wire is the one I found badly connected when inspecting it last night.

    The FSM here doens't mention an R terminal and the Chilton manual I have is overly generic on the whole subject of starter motors.

    eb

  10. #10



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    The extra wire is the 8 or 10 gage that comes out of the + terminal clamp. It connects to the fusible links. It will get resistance from the corrosion build up and won't allow enough amperage through it. As for the R terminal I don't think mine had one. just a bat + and the connection for the switch. It might be if the ignition switch does not give power during cranking to feed power to the distributer.

    In the FSM pdf you can print out the wiring skimatic and look at what is used.
    Last edited by camoit; 12-10-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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  11. #11

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    Been messing with the truck for a while today. The R wire from the solenoid is frayed in several places and was probably shorting out. I disconnected the R wire, as it should only supply power to the coil and not effect the starter spinning, then jumpered the S connector directly to the battery with the switch in the ON position and the solenoid clicked but the starter didn't move. Tried again with the truck being jump started at the same time with the same results.
    Turning the key produced a click the first time, then sporadically after that, guessing there is a fusible link in the circuit that opens after a few shorts then closes once cooled down.
    I was unable to cross the B and M terminals due to the rather inconvenient placement of the starter directly under the carb and above the front wheel suspension. I did get a jumper clip on the M terminal (weak connection) and connected to the battery, got a nice spark but no movement from the starter.
    So anyways, assuming the starter is bad or has a dead spot. Will need to replace the wire that runs from the R terminal to the coil, which brings me to the question part of my rant:
    Does anyone have a wiring diagram showing where on the coil the wire from the R terminal connects to? The FSM here does not deal with R terminals, and my Chilton's mentions the existence of it but only says to 'properly label the wires before removing them' which really isn't any help.
    I'm guessing it goes to the ballast resistor, but not sure what end and the original wire near the starter was hacked by the previous owner so I can't really go by color codes.

    Thanks,
    eb

    (yes I tend to ramble on when I'm trying to figure stuff out)

  12. #12



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    You can try and bypass the starter wire with a jumper cable. Just hook it to the battery + and to the starter post. Then try and hitting the key. If you have a volt meter you can look for voltage drop when cranking. But it's starting to sound like a bad starter. How old is the starter? If you did not change it your self then it could be factory.
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  13. #13

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    Ya, pretty sure a new starter is in my future. Looks like its gonna be a pain in the balls to extract, top bolt is above the tranny right near the firewall, about 1 inch of clearance to get too. Seriously thinking removing the carburetor might make the job easier, but will try reaching the nut and see how it works out.

    On the bright side I figured out where the R wire from the starter goes too. Had to use an ohm meter, but found that it connects to the top post of the ballast resistor and is the black wire with red stripe. Will be running a new wire when replacing the starter, that one was beat to crap.
    Might also run a push button to the S terminal as that wire looked kinda messed up too.
    Last edited by Razmear; 12-11-2011 at 03:02 PM.

  14. #14



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    Upper bolt use a LOOOONG extension and a universal joint, short socket, 3/8" drive. Pops right off just be ready for the sudden release of torque. Some time you can get it started using just a box end. Once it gives a little the battle is won. It's not as bad as it may look. 45 minutes a small amount of blood and a broken tool at the most... OH use some degreaser first. Makes the world better.
    Last edited by camoit; 12-11-2011 at 11:59 PM.
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  15. #15

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    Will be working on it on Wednesday (next day off) and hopefully it won't suck as much as it looks like it's gonna.
    My last truck got stolen out of my driveway in October, along with all my tools, so I'm slowly rebuilding my 25+ year collection of essentials (like swiveling socket adapters and extensions).
    I'll let you know how everything comes out.

    eb

  16. #16

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    Spent the day working on the truck, still no joy.
    I have a basic starter question. With the starter removed and the frame grounded, should +12v to the S terminal spin the starter motor, with no power to the B terminal, or does that indicate a short in the starter?
    When I tested the starter it spun when power was put to the S terminal and to the M terminal, so I assumed it was good and reinstalled it. There were also several loose ground wires and the R wire from the starter to the ballast resistor was shorting to the frame.
    So I reinstalled, fixed all the other issues I could find, and it's still not starting or even making a Click noise when the key is turned.
    I did verify +12 to the S wire when the key is in the Start position.

    So you think it might still be the starter, or is there another relay or possible issue that could be causing this? If it is the starter I'll be picking me up one of them 3/8 swivel sockets cuz taking that top bolt off 3 clicks at a time wasn't a fun time.

    eb

  17. #17

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    I'm just throwing this out there, but is it getting enough ground? I looked though your posts and that is what it sounds like to me. I don't know why it wouldn't get a good ground, being attached directly to the engine. Is your main engine ground good? Just for shits and giggles, put a jumper cable on your "-" on your battery and clamp it on some part of the engine, maybe your engine isn't getting a sufficient ground? IDK how it couldn't, but it could be the problem.

  18. #18

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    The truck is running again, YaY.
    The problem ended up being the wire from the battery to the starter. It was putting thru 12v when tested, but not enough current.

    After pulling the starter again today (the swivel head socket adapter is now my favorite tool) I bench tested it again (properly this time) and the bugger spun right up. So then I bench tested it running thru the starter wire and got nothing. $8 fix instead of $50, so I'm eating Chinese tonight.
    I rerouted the starter wire so that it doesn't clamp to the engine, then used that mounting point to turn the old starter wire into a engine ground that now runs directly to the battery along with the frame ground.

    Abeemantor, I did try your suggestion before starting to tear everything apart again. Good call, it just happened to be the other 25 year old wire that failed, and now I have a backup ground in case the other engine ground fails.

    eb

  19. #19

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    So I was right? AWESOME!!

  20. #20



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    So it fell into the 70% range of the cable and clamp hu?
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  21. #21

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    Guess so. Seeing how they run the starter wire right up against the engine, I can see why cable failure would be rated so high on this truck.
    Had the chance to tighten a lot of other loose grounds and tighten a lot of other loose items in the engine compartment so was a pretty productive 2 days overall.

  22. #22



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    use this stuf to protect the termanals.
    NOCO CB104 NCP-2 Battery Corrosion Preventative.
    They also make the medicated pads. Not the cheep ones.
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  23. #23

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    Just an update, the truck is running again.
    After reinstalling the starter last time, it started twice, then failed again.
    I'm guessing the removal and reinstalls were the equivalent of hitting the starter with a hammer to knock it off a dead spot.
    Finally got a new starter (took a week to order) and the truck fired right up. It was kicking and sputtering so I checked the plugs and wires and found the wire to the 4th cylinder was totally corroded, the clip broke into pieces when I pulled it from the distributor. Put in new wires and plugs and it's running much better now. Still sputters a bit when cold, but after it warms up a bit it idles smooth. Thinking I have to lean out the carb a bit cuz it feels like it's running too rich.
    Last edited by Razmear; 12-31-2011 at 10:55 PM.

  24. #24



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    Good,,, I'm glad to here you got it working. I would play with the mix ether way to make it run when cold. Normally it will need to run richer when cold. Is the warm air tube hooked up? Some times freezing of the carb can happen if the water lines to the carb and intake are plugged.
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  25. #25

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    If by the warm air tube you mean the one from the exhaust manifold cover to the hole in the bottom of the air filter cover intake, that would be a negative as my exhaust manifold heat shield is missing and the manifold itself has several cracks in it. Finding a replacement seems nearly impossible so far.
    I didn't even know the carb had water lines going to it, will have to investigate that.

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