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Car STILL won't crank


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#1 TexasQuest

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 12:09 PM

I put a freshly charged battery in my car and it tries to crank but won't fire. I keep hearing a clicking sound coming from the ECU under the pass. side kick panel. Do I have electrical gremlins or something? I've never had this much trouble just simply trying to start the car? :wacko:
88 Fiji Blue-Tsi
Zoom clutch, Fidanza flywheel, Stedebani shifter, KYB's, ST springs, ST swaybars, abs delete, a/c delete, TEP steel brake lines, LSP braided cooler lines, MK1 silicone hoses, hard pipes, Turbo XS RFL bov, *DM 3" exhaust, Cusco front strut bar, TEP rear strut bar, SHP's, AEM wideband, AEM TruBoost
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View PostJohnnyWadd, on 04 March 2010 - 10:01 PM, said:

my shaft was big i dont know what your talking about.





#2 Indiana

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 12:41 PM

The clicking is the control relays, one when you turn the key on and another when you turn the key to start then they have to release when the key moves from start back to run and run to off.  

Your tach moving or jumping while trying to start?

Have spark?

Usually its a dirty fuse link, "ECI" behind the battery.

You have a primary injector clip fall off or its dirty?

You tried starter fluid?

#3 TexasQuest

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:32 PM

Tach is not jumping when trying to start.

Yes I have spark.

I've cleaned all the fuse links when my ETACS blew.

Clips are nice and neat.

No I haven't tried starter fluid.

I just tried to charge two batteries that were on the car recently with a brand new battery charger and they turned out bad. They wouldn't hold a charge......

BTW I also have a brand new alternator and battery cable ends.
88 Fiji Blue-Tsi
Zoom clutch, Fidanza flywheel, Stedebani shifter, KYB's, ST springs, ST swaybars, abs delete, a/c delete, TEP steel brake lines, LSP braided cooler lines, MK1 silicone hoses, hard pipes, Turbo XS RFL bov, *DM 3" exhaust, Cusco front strut bar, TEP rear strut bar, SHP's, AEM wideband, AEM TruBoost
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View PostJohnnyWadd, on 04 March 2010 - 10:01 PM, said:

my shaft was big i dont know what your talking about.

#4 vbrad511

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 06:20 AM

View PostTexasQuest, on 07 October 2010 - 10:32 PM, said:

Tach is not jumping when trying to start.

Yes I have spark.

I've cleaned all the fuse links when my ETACS blew.

Clips are nice and neat.

No I haven't tried starter fluid.

I just tried to charge two batteries that were on the car recently with a brand new battery charger and they turned out bad. They wouldn't hold a charge......

BTW I also have a brand new alternator and battery cable ends.


It won't crank, or it won't fire? There's a difference. If it won't crank, the motor doesn't spin when you hit the key. If it doesn't fire, it spins but doesn't "fire up" and start when it spins. Does it not spin fast? Are you sure yo've got spark? If you have spark the tach should jump. Put an extra plug on a plug wire and have somebody crank the motor and be sure you've got spark. What year is the car?

#5 TexasQuest

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 10:23 AM

Sorry. Yes it will crank but won't fire up. It just spins about 3 or 4 times and then quits like there's no juice or something to turn it over anymore. The car is an 88. Could the ignitor box be bad?
88 Fiji Blue-Tsi
Zoom clutch, Fidanza flywheel, Stedebani shifter, KYB's, ST springs, ST swaybars, abs delete, a/c delete, TEP steel brake lines, LSP braided cooler lines, MK1 silicone hoses, hard pipes, Turbo XS RFL bov, *DM 3" exhaust, Cusco front strut bar, TEP rear strut bar, SHP's, AEM wideband, AEM TruBoost
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View PostJohnnyWadd, on 04 March 2010 - 10:01 PM, said:

my shaft was big i dont know what your talking about.

#6 TexasQuest

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 10:53 AM

Just went out and tried it now at it just clicks, won't even turn over. The boost guage bounces when I turn the key but the tach stays still. Also the dash lights are dim when I turn the key to the ON position.
88 Fiji Blue-Tsi
Zoom clutch, Fidanza flywheel, Stedebani shifter, KYB's, ST springs, ST swaybars, abs delete, a/c delete, TEP steel brake lines, LSP braided cooler lines, MK1 silicone hoses, hard pipes, Turbo XS RFL bov, *DM 3" exhaust, Cusco front strut bar, TEP rear strut bar, SHP's, AEM wideband, AEM TruBoost
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View PostJohnnyWadd, on 04 March 2010 - 10:01 PM, said:

my shaft was big i dont know what your talking about.

#7 Indiana

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 02:11 PM

You have a volt meter?  Sounds like a dead or low battery.  Are your cables hot?  That short of period and a dirty cable will be hot from the excessive resistance.  Completely dead battery takes a day or so to recharge assuming your battery charger doesn't think its already charged and shut down or its drawing too many amps from being dead and it overloads and shuts down.

No tach signal and the ECU won't fire the injectors.  If the voltage is below 9 or so while cranking that's not enough either the ECU won't do anything because the voltage is too low.  You can start one up with a good battery and it will stay running without it as long as the altenator is good but it won't stay running with a crap battery in it with a weak charging system.

Edited by Indiana, 08 October 2010 - 02:14 PM.


#8 vbrad511

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 04:04 PM

Next time it does this , make sure the key is OFF, pull the coil wire,  put a socket on the balancer pulley and try to spin the motor..clockwise only. If the motor doesn't turn it's got problems internally (spun bearing).

More than likely though Indiana called it. Bad cables, bad grounds. You sure the starter itself is good?

#9 TexasQuest

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 10:45 PM

I know the car doesn't have any internal problems. Hell the thing has sat for 9 months mostly not driven due to a cracked manifold. The starter is good I can hear it engaging fine. Now the battery cables are the originals except for the end clamps. Could that be part of the issue?
88 Fiji Blue-Tsi
Zoom clutch, Fidanza flywheel, Stedebani shifter, KYB's, ST springs, ST swaybars, abs delete, a/c delete, TEP steel brake lines, LSP braided cooler lines, MK1 silicone hoses, hard pipes, Turbo XS RFL bov, *DM 3" exhaust, Cusco front strut bar, TEP rear strut bar, SHP's, AEM wideband, AEM TruBoost
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View PostJohnnyWadd, on 04 March 2010 - 10:01 PM, said:

my shaft was big i dont know what your talking about.

#10 Indiana

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:51 AM

You must have cut the ends off and used those awful bolt on ends that rust and last a very short time and it causes all the strands in the wire to corrode too.  Bad connection there could mean slow cranking, poor charging too.   Just get new cables and get fatter ones while you are changing them.  You need to strip the insulation from the negative cable and make sure the frame rail is clean and get a clamp to make that connection again you need it that's the ground for the entire car.  The one at the block is mostly just for the starter.   If you don't want to do it that way you can get one of the terminals that have the bolt on the end then get two cables for the negative wires, one wire lead to the block and the other to the frame.  This way also lets you reuse the ring terminals for the fuse link holder and the alternator charge wire.  They sell those cables with the mashed ends for using bolts in each end and that terminal end with the stud for attaching cables to even at Walmart.

Edited by Indiana, 09 October 2010 - 12:53 AM.





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