Author Topic: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c  (Read 7062 times)

rgp717

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« on: April 20, 2011, 05:27:24 PM »
Hi, I need help. I have a 92 Chevy G20 conversion van. It has a 350 in it. Good solid car. The problem is that turning the key does not crank the engine; all I hear is a single click. So, here's my story.

About 1 month ago, I replaced the starter. My son has driven the car for several weeks with the new starter, and now it won't crank: When we turn the key, all we get is a single click. All other electrical work fine.

So, first I checked the battery. It's good ... pulled it, put it in another car. Worked great. Even charged it some more while it was out.

Then we pulled the starter. First let me describe the starter (someone help me out with my girlish description). The starter consists of two cylinders, a large cylinder on the bottom which has a single electrical bolt (let's call that bolt 'C'), and a small cylinder on top, which has two smaller electrical bolts. Let's call the two bolts on the smaller cylinder 'A'  and 'B'.

The starter has 3 wires going to it: two smaller wires that connect to one of the smaller bolts on top of the starter ('A'), a thick wire that connects directly from the positive terminal of the battery to the bottom of the starter ('C') and nothing is connected to B. I tried to upload a picture but couldn't do it.

I disconnected the starter and pulled it free from the engine. Then as a bench test, using jumper cables, I connected the negative to the casing of the starter and the positive to the bottom bolt ('C'). Using a screwdriver, if I cross A to C, the starter appears to work well (it turns and it pushes out). To me, that says the starter is OK.

I've checked all the fuses. They are good. So, what the F? I'm stumped.

Linkback: http://www.trustmymechanic.com/forum/b1/92-chevy-g20-350-good-battery-good-starter-starter-wont-c/33684/

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

losmaster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2745
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 09:15:00 PM »
Battery cables and cable ends is a good place to start if you're pretty sure the battery is OK. The wire that goes to the small post on the starter solenoid(small cyl on top of the starter) should be a purple wire with a small loop connector,I think? I didn't think they used the other small post on a 92, this one was used as a 12 volt bypass to the pos side of the ign coil back in the old days before electronic ign...anyway, I think you should have the large battery cable and maybe one more smaller wire hooked to the big post on the solenoid....might even have a fuse link in the smaller bat wire(can't remember?)....the way it works is,when you hold the key over to start ,power flows from the ign switch down to the neutral safety switch(or clutch pedal switch,if a manual trans) then on to the small post of the solenoid....this causes the plunger inside the solenoid to move forward(and the starter drive pinion to move to the rear,engaging the flywheel ring gear)....theres a copper disc at the front of this plunger that completes the curcuit internally, between the big battery post on the solenoid to the other post that has the strap going into the starter....this makes the starter armature turn.....which cranks the engine over.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

rgp717

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 07:39:18 AM »
losmaster,

Thanks for the reply. I've already checked the battery connections, cleaned and sanded and cleaned them, ditto for the battery terminals. You've described my connections correctly, although I have two small wires going to the solenoid and the large wire going from the starter (C) to the positive terminal of the battery.

So, I am certain that (1) the battery is good and (2) the wire ends are good and well connected.

What's else? I have a voltmeter, is there a way to put it to good use in this diagnostic challenge?

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

conniecartech

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4433
  • Karma: +28/-2
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 08:00:46 AM »
will it start with a jump?

them side terminal batterys are bad for corosion on the terminals. i know u said u cleaned them, but u gotta be sure to clean all male and female metal parts on both the cable ends and the battery terminals.

if it starts with a jump, and the terminals is cleaned properly, use your meter to do a 'load test' on the battery. put the meter leads on the terminals and make sure its fully charged, which is around 12.6 volts. then keep the leads on the terminals while someone trys to start it. if the voltage goes below 10 volts with the key in the start position, the battery is bad. even tho it worked in another vehicle, u need to do this test in its 'home' vehicle.

if u can jump start it and the battery passes a load test, its possible the starter is bad.  even tho its only a month old, it can happen. in fact in the shop, we see lots of times when a new part is doa right out of the box. the best thing in this case would be to pull the starter and take it to one of the parts stores and have them bench test it.

if it wont start with a jump, u need to do a 'voltage drop' test to test the cables and connections. let us know if it gets to this point and we can help u with it.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

rgp717

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 11:14:02 AM »
Thank you conniecartech. No, the car will not start with a jump. Also, the connections have been changed to use the top-posts of the battery, not the side posts, and they are all clean and the connections good.

You mention a bench test: I did a "bench test" myself using cables (as I mentioned above). Do you think I need to do something more than that? It sure looks to me like the starter is good ... would removing it and taking it to a parts store be any more thorough?

I'll do the voltage check thing this afternoon and post the results.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

conniecartech

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4433
  • Karma: +28/-2
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 12:19:00 PM »
well, u cant tell if a starter is good by looking at it unless u got x-rays eyes  Confused  so have a helper to hold the key in the start position while u do the tests, thatll have the same affect.

if it passes all the voltage drop tests, that pretty much narrows it down to the starter. that would be the time to take it out and get it tested. course, u could do this first, but if the starter is good youll still need to do the voltage drop tests to find the problem. so its your call. if it was me, id test voltage drop first.

let us know what happens.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

losmaster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2745
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 09:07:34 PM »
Well, connie hit most of the highlights on checking the high amperage part of the curcuit....you can test the control part of the curcuit with your voltmeter. Get a helper to hold the key over to start while you probe the small wire at the solenoid with the red lead....you ground the black lead....this is dc volts on the meter.....whenever they hold the key over to start you should have a constant 12 volts(battery voltage) on that terminal....if theres any disconnect in that part of the curcuit,the voltage will drop or fluctuate,then you'll know theres a problem from the ign switch on down thru the neutral switch to the solenoid terminal.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

conniecartech

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4433
  • Karma: +28/-2
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2011, 04:26:57 AM »
losmaster is right about how to check the control side of the circuit. but i ruled it out at this point since theres a click noise when the key is turned to start. that tells me power is getting to the solenoid, if so the control side is good and the problem is on the power side. but in this business anythings possible... Shocked

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

rgp717

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2011, 12:27:51 PM »
conniecartech and losmaster

Excellent advice ... if it ever stops raining here in Ohio, I'm first doing conniecartech's tests, and I'll probably also do the test at the solenoid too (what the heck, as long as I'm crawling around, might as well check all I can). Weather here is predicted to stop raining on Tuesday. I'll post then.

Thanks again for all the advice. It's gold.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

discretesignals

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10556
  • Karma: +37/-2
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2011, 12:58:34 PM »
Does this have an after market alarm system installed?

You can also jump the battery lug on the starter to the solenoid terminal just like you did when you bench tested it with it bolted up to the engine with the ignition turned off, so the engine doesn't start.  If the engine cranks, you know your battery cables and connections are good and you should be looking at the starter solenoid circuit.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

conniecartech

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4433
  • Karma: +28/-2
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2011, 01:26:25 PM »
if u dont want that rain, send it down here to texas. severe drought and it seems like the whole damn state is on fire... Smile

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

rgp717

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2011, 08:55:05 PM »
conniecartech, I'd love to send the rain down there ... it's been raining every day and night for a week. My grass is approaching jungle proportion.

discretesignals ... excellent question. Yes, there is some hunk-of-junk alarm system on the van. Actually, I had forgotten about it as we never use it. However, my son did manage to kick loose some switch under the dash. Funny thing about the switch is that I've driven the car with the switch in either position and it never seemed to make a difference. Forgot about that goofy thing.

Again, still waiting for the rain to stop ... weatherman says it should stop after tuesday.

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

rgp717

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2011, 03:52:21 PM »
Sorry for the delay: this friggin rain has been non-stop for 45 days (no biblical reference intended). However, the last 2 days it's been nice.

So, I've had the starter checked at NAPA; they said it failed, so I put another starter in. Turn the key, exact same symptoms: Turn the key, receive a single click. Then I took the battery to BatteryPlus and they say it's fine ... a good battery.

Next, I tried the voltage drop test. Connected one prong of the voltmeter to the positive connection on the battery (the connector itself, not the battery), touched the other prong of the voltmeter to the big connection of the starter (the exact same cable connects both ends of the voltmeter), and had my son turn the key (by the way, this is step 1 of http://www.excelauto.com/online/Tech.d/strvdt.html). The voltmeter registers 1.2, which according to the instructions (thank you conniecartech) exceeds the .2 limit.

Also, I did a separate voltmeter test: One prong of the voltmeter to big connection of the starter and the other prong to the engine block: 13.25 V.

On my 92 Chevy G20, there is NO junction box for the positive cable: It connected directly from the battery to the starter.

So, what does that mean?

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

conniecartech

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4433
  • Karma: +28/-2
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2011, 04:45:55 PM »
welcome back. glad u didnt get washed away in the flood  Very Happy  to be on the safe side, take losmasters suggestion about checking the control side of the starter circuit. put one meter lead on the small purple wire terminal on the solenoid and the other lead to a good ground, like the engine block. have someone turn the key to start and see if u get 12 volts.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by conniecartech »

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter

rgp717

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 92 Chevy G20 350 Good battery, good starter, starter won't c
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2011, 11:06:06 AM »
Thanks conniecartech ... I shall do it all, just as soon as I get back from my youngest son's soccer game. A thought occurred to me last night: Perhaps everything is working but my son managed to totally screwed the motor (as in overheated it)? I will try to turn it by hand before going any further. He's new and not the brightest teenage driver (are any of them?).

Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via twitter


Share Topic

Share via delicious Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via stumble Share via twitter

Similar Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post
xx
Battery good. Gas good. Radiator good. Won't start.

Started by

1 Replies
1578 Views
Last post December 02, 2004, 11:21:46 AM
by GM_Mech_319
xx
Good Battery - Good Alternator - Dead Car?04 Nissan Sentra

Started by femmegyrl

0 Replies
422 Views
Last post January 19, 2013, 01:39:18 PM
by femmegyrl
xx
91 Camry with good battery sometimes will not turn over

Started by

2 Replies
1805 Views
Last post September 16, 2010, 01:41:11 PM
by
xx
Good battery and alternator, car still won't start

Started by

9 Replies
10468 Views
Last post June 03, 2010, 07:02:53 AM
by conniecartech
xx
Alternator and Battery test good, but still having trouble

Started by nkynak

1 Replies
249 Views
Last post August 26, 2013, 05:26:26 PM
by discretesignals