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O/T Help with '96 Suburban

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by ec90t, Sep 17, 2008.

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  1. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    I haveing a bit of a time diagnosing my '96 Chevy Suburban. It doesn't want to start when its been setting for a while, as in starter won't even turn over. Just a slight clicking sound when you turn the key. I can eventually get the engine to turn over and start and everything is fine. While the engine is still hot, it will turn over at the hit of the key and everything is just fine. Once it cools down, its back to the same old click. I've had different kinds of starter problems over the years, but nothing like this. Any help would be appreciated.

    ec90t
     
  2. BL350

    BL350 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    244
    Dear ECT,
    You have a bad connection in the ground cable or positive cable.
    Disasssemble terminations and wire brush all surfaces (15 mm. nut on starter, not 9/16 or 5/8!!)). If this doesn't work, your starter solenoid needs replacing/rebuild the starter. If problem persists, may be the ignition switch assembly on top of the steering column. If you live in the NE US, may be salt corrosion has entered the aluminum battery cables. This problem can be some of the listed problems or combinations thereof!
    Good luck!!
    Jet Boat Bill
     
  3. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    4,226
    poor grounds, relays can be temp sensitive. ignition switch. what is clicking is it a relay click from dash or under hood. or is the starter clicking and not engaging? Check battery all grounds and a voltage drop test from battery and point along the way to the starter. 96.....12years old wires can be very corroded up and into the sheathing. here in the north east the aluminium housing up against the steal block can get pretty rotted and creat a poor ground. more times than not it is poor grounds that cause such mysteries.
     
  4. emm2

    emm2 Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    318
    Sounds like a bad spot in the starter armature but first take the battery bolts out and check for corrosion(very common). If that's good take a multimeter and ground the negative and put the positive on the small start wire at the solenoid. While someone holds it in the start position when it won't start check the voltage at that wire. It needs at least 10.5 volts the consistantly engage the starter. If you have 10 plus volts replace the starter, if not backtrack to the starter relay and check voltages. If you need any specifics or wiring diagrams let me know.
     
  5. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    A bit more info.

    Battery is less than a week old. I throughly cleaned the terminals prior to install. Battery was replaced due to a dead short.

    The clicking seems to be coming from underhood, but not in the starter area.

    I checked to see if the connections to the starter are tight, and they are.

    I really haven't noticed any corrosion problems on the connections.

    Is there a test for the starter relay?

    ec90t
     
  6. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    Start with checking the battery cables and their connections. Make sure the battery is fully/adequately charged before trying to do these tests. A voltage drop test across each cable while cranking is usually the best way, even if it won't crank. Anything over 1/2 volt under load is too much. 12 Volts across a cable and you've found your problem. If they are the side mount battery terminals, they are notorious for problems with corrosion. I have seen some that will not make good contact with the battery, despite being tightened well. Voltage drop tests for these cables are difficult, since you can't contact the battery terminal directly. Connecting to the terminal's center bolt is sometimes misleading, since it is not the battery itself. Check the voltage at the battery cold, after getting it started (running), and before a warm start. You also need to test the charging system and also be sure there is minimal resistance between the Alternator and the battery. Doing a simple ten minute test routine can reveal a lot. A starter relay test can be done, depending on the type of starter. I probably wouldn't do that until I was sure the basic wiring in the vehicle is good. It takes longer to describe than to actually check the cables and wiring.
     
  7. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    4,477
    Maybe is has a bad case of GAS!
     
  8. trappug

    trappug TS Member

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    It needs a new starter
     
  9. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    To check the cables get a set of jumper cables and connect to the starter hot and ground and to the battery + and -. If vehicle starts you know one or both are bad. Disconnect one at a time to find out which one is bad. I have found bad cabels that looked good with no corossion showing. Ray........
     
  10. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Near but not in chicago
    New battery? May have a parastic drain drawing down the battery. Usea volt ohm meter disconnet the negative cable connet the volt meter set for amperage 2 to 20 connet the negative lead of the meter to the battery post and the positive to the cable end. You should see no numbers on the meter if you do, pull one fuse at a time replacing each until you pull the one that stops the draw thats the problem circuit. Keep in mind this is only one test, there are several others that you can run. With out starting or trying to start the car turn the headlights on for 60 seconds this will burn the surface charge off, now check the battery for voltage any less than 12 volts on a new bat and u have a problem. You may have a fly wheel that is flexing from heat and cold. But start with these and let us know. A word to the wise look for the simplest solution to the problem.
     
  11. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    back yard diag,,,,,,,,replace relay with known good relay. I believe the wire from relay to starter is purple? jumping 12v to that will trip solenoid.
     
  12. foghorn220

    foghorn220 Active Member

    Joined:
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    I ahd about the same problem with my Jeep but really it didn't matter if it was cold or hot I did replace the starter and selonid and it done the same thing a few days later Took the starter off and took it in and it checked out good so I thought the cables to the starter might need replacing ended up I put a push button under the dash and wired it direct to the starter incase if my iginition switch was bad after I put the push button on then I never had to use it so I don't know what the deal was guess if it anit broke no use in fixing it now.

    Fog
     
  13. JPK1957

    JPK1957 TS Member

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    Messages:
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    I'd first check the ground cable at the block, and starter ground to block (the bolts)physically or buy voltage drop. This vehicle does not have a starter relay, that is the duty of the solenoid mounted on the starter. I'd almost bet that the brushes are worn out in the starter.

    If you have a helper (spelled WIFE), When failure is occuring, have her hold the key in the crank position while you rap the starter with a hammer. 99% of the time it will crank. New starter is in order or rebuild the old one. If you do replace/rebuild the starter, replace both bolts too, as they also align the starter to the block.

    If you can run a starter draw test, draw should be around 150 Amps cold, maybe 200 Amps hot. If the draw is low when the starter is failing to spin, and the grouns are OK, a remote starter button between the solenoid wire(purple) and the battery cable at starter is an easy test.

    Had one GM C/K that the alternator was actually locking up the engine when cold. Removed the belt and it would crank. It's a longshot, but so is 40yards!!
     
  14. ccw1911

    ccw1911 Member

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    Do you mean if it sits overnight it doesn't want to start or is it if you drive it a pretty good distance and then let it sit 15 or 20 minutes and come back to it then you have the starting problem? If that is the case it's called a heat soak problem that is common especially on big blocks. What happens is the underhood temp actually goes up from what it was while running for a certain amount of time. The starter solonoid gets so hot it sticks and can't move to engage the starter making the clicking noise.
     
  15. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    Well thanks for all the help guys! When the battery shorted out, it did some funny things to the relay. Replaced the relay and all is well. I guess the voltage spike must have taken a toll on the relay.

    My old 'burb is ready for a couple of hundred thousand more miles now.

    ec90t
     
  16. Superdog1

    Superdog1 TS Member

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    just a thought- the vortec 350's are known for bad lower intake manifold gaskets- they leak antifreeze down the back side of the block. If this is leaking, it could cause problems with corosion in the starter/solinode, which will in-turn cause relay problems. this would be more evident if the vehicle sits (corrosion will have time to set in)and would go away when vehicle is warm, and used more often. This intake leak is hard to notice- the only symptom would be missing anti-freeze. The leak does not mix oil and anti-freeze, nor does it allow antifreeze to be burn in the engine. Usually it just leaks and evporates, showing no noticeable puddle.

    Just my 2 pennies- I own a 97, and have gone through this twice!
     
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