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Starter doesn't crank, no noise at all, intermittantly

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  • Electrical: Starter doesn't crank, no noise at all, intermittantly

    Twice now I have tried to start my 62 Lark 259 with automatic, and when I turn the key, I get nada: The starter does not engage, and I hear no clicking as if the battery is weak. The ALT light goes out as it should when I turn the key, so I assume the ignition switch is working properly. I checked to ensure that the gear selector was properly seated in Park, but that seemed to make no difference. I checked all the cables from the battery to the solenoid and the starter and all seem tight. Then, after a minute or so, I try the key again and voila, it works fine. BTW, both times have happened when the engine is warm.

    My guess is the solenoid. Could that be the culprit?
    Mike Davis
    Regional Manager, North Carolina
    1964 Champ 8E7-122 "Stuey"

  • #2
    Could be, but be sure to check the connections, (especially at the battery) first. Acid shell=black skim.

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    • #3
      Listen very carefully for a click at the starter relay when you turn the key to START. If no click, then look for voltage feeding the starter relay. If you hear the click, then the heavy washer may not be making a good connection when it's pulled in. You could try jumping across the input and output of the replay to engage the starter, but remember this is a lot of amps, so you'll see some sparks and you'll need a good sized jumper wire to jump across the two connections.

      If the relay makes good contact and you have voltage going into the starter, then it's most likely worn out starter brushes.

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      • #4
        The relay or solenoid switch. I've jumped it with vice grips or a screwdriver. Replace.
        Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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        • #5
          When I bought my 50 Champ 8 months ago, it had various electrical problems. One was a bad brake switch, even though it looked brand new. Another problem was a burned out taillight. The main problem was a loose connection on the ignition switch, which caused excess heat and corrosion. I tried to remove the nut to clean it and the terminal, but it would only back off about one turn, then it got so tight I was affraid it might snap off, so I just retightened it, and so far all is good.

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