Help with 95, went crazy this morning (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 14, 2008
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265
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Alton, IL (near St Louis, MO)
 
 
So I'm leaving for work this morning, get in, turn key, doesn't start, doesn't crank, just hear a click. Turn key off and try again, same thing. I play around with it and finally it starts but some of the dash lights stay on such as the A/T, oil, and one other don't remember. Take a left out of my drive and starts to die, lights go dim and I'm coasting to a stop when I hear the starter crank, it starts, no dash lights on and I drive to work without issues. Weird thing is I wasn't turning the key.

Had a very similar couple of instances 3 months ago where it didn't want to start and when it did it wanted to die, fine when on the gas but when I stopped at a stop light it died. Flat bedded to a shop and they could not duplicate the problem. Shop kept it for a week and couldn't duplicate, alternator checked out but brushes were badly worn so got them replaced. Fine until now. 95 with 192,XXX miles and I'm sure lots of stuff that has never been replaced, have owned it for 3 years. Help!!!! This is my only road worthy vehicle.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
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Colorado Springs, CO
 
 
I'd guess that you have something loose or corroded in your charging/battery cable system. A very low battery will behave in a similar way with respect to the dash lights. Not sure about the self-starting though.
 

LINUS

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
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I'd guess that you have something loose or corroded in your charging/battery cable system. A very low battery will behave in a similar way with respect to the dash lights. Not sure about the self-starting though.
I'd be checking grounds, and loose wires in general too. It's got to be a little more than just starter brushes if the dash lights are acting irregular as well.

It gets time consuming & doesn't seem like a rewarding thing to do, but keeping the grounds good (even covering the terminals in a coating to keep corrosion from developing inside a contact - I use simple grease coating on all my grounds/battery terminals - it'll stave off things like this.

I'd spend some quality time underhood checking grounds & connections if it was my 80.

If you know nothing about the starter, you could order the brushes & rebuild it just to rule it out, that's a job that the parts cost less than a trip to Starbuck's.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
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Location
Alton, IL (near St Louis, MO)
 
 
I'd be checking grounds, and loose wires in general too. It's got to be a little more than just starter brushes if the dash lights are acting irregular as well.

It gets time consuming & doesn't seem like a rewarding thing to do, but keeping the grounds good (even covering the terminals in a coating to keep corrosion from developing inside a contact - I use simple grease coating on all my grounds/battery terminals - it'll stave off things like this.

I'd spend some quality time underhood checking grounds & connections if it was my 80.

If you know nothing about the starter, you could order the brushes & rebuild it just to rule it out, that's a job that the parts cost less than a trip to Starbuck's.
Electrical has always been my weakest link (coming from a 2 :banana:guy) so how do I go about checking grounds? Please no flame just never been shown. I can read about some things all night and still get it wrong but if someone shows me, I got down. Thanks in advance.
 

LINUS

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
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Electrical has always been my weakest link (coming from a 2 :banana:guy) so how do I go about checking grounds? Please no flame just never been shown. I can read about some things all night and still get it wrong but if someone shows me, I got down. Thanks in advance.
No worries - just start by visually giving everything a once-over, if it looks good & when you wiggle it, nothing moves, makes noise, falls apart - generally those problems will make themselves appearant.

If you did any work recently, what was it & are you sure EVERYTHING went back as it should have? Any wires you disturbed need looking at.

Once the engine bay passes the visual/shake test, then come back through & plan on pulling apart any connections that have any level of corrosion showing & sanding off the corrosion & a quick dab of grease & reattaching. Do these one at a time at first, so that you can then run the motor, or whatever the connection is tied to, so you know that everything still works as it did beforehand - or that it needs more help - or best case scenario - you found the problem.

Your battery cable connections need to be tight on the posts, twist each & see if they move - if so, tighten. Or better yet, pull 'em, sand them lightly till clean, then install & cover in grease so stray acid won't corrode on the posts/clamps.

I never have had any issue with my fusible links, but they are worth looking at - I'd search those as I know nothing there.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
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Camas, WA USA
 
 
 
Starter contacts. First they were sticking "open", so it would not engage the starter, then when you finally got it started, they stuck "closed" and the starter remained engaged while you started to drive off, this will light up dash lights, and cause problems when you try to drive, because the engine and starter are fighting each other. Fortunately the contacts unstuck at some point and you were able to operate as normal. I had this happen once, and immediately put the starter contact replacement to the top of the priority list. Unchecked, you could burn your cruiser to the ground, so fix your starter contacts ASAP ($20 and an hour or less of work, check faq). Until it is fixed have a wrench/socket and a plan to disconnect the battery cables, if the starter ever remains engaged again
 
Joined
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Puerto Rico
 
 
Just putting this out there, dont know if it applies...

Problems with your alternator will cause almost all dash lights to come on while the problem is present. This problem might be intermitent and be causing charge problems (ie: low battery) and you might be even be runnig off the battery at times (causing a lot of lights to come on on your dash) until you kill the battery and off goes your truck.
 
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Didn't see the "Self Starting" bug... This would have nothing to do with charge system.

I Guess my 2 Posts are about the same as the topic in Post #3

Sorry... for some reason the forum will not let me edit my first post.:confused:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
5,698
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Camas, WA USA
 
 
 
Did see the "Self Starting" bug... This would have nothing to do with charge system.

I Guess my 2 Posts are about the same as the topic in Post #3

Sorry... for some reason the forum will not let me edit my first post.:confused:
Check the help forum, new "rule". Time to buy a star!
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
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Location
Alton, IL (near St Louis, MO)
 
 
Starter contacts. First they were sticking "open", so it would not engage the starter, then when you finally got it started, they stuck "closed" and the starter remained engaged while you started to drive off, this will light up dash lights, and cause problems when you try to drive, because the engine and starter are fighting each other. Fortunately the contacts unstuck at some point and you were able to operate as normal. I had this happen once, and immediately put the starter contact replacement to the top of the priority list. Unchecked, you could burn your cruiser to the ground, so fix your starter contacts ASAP ($20 and an hour or less of work, check faq). Until it is fixed have a wrench/socket and a plan to disconnect the battery cables, if the starter ever remains engaged again
Just ordered the contacts and was looking at the FAQ for the repair. Is the plunger also needed? Is prolly too late to add the plunger to get it tomorrow. Lots of good info/advice (as always). I appreciate everyones input.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
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5,698
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Camas, WA USA
 
 
 
Just ordered the contacts and was looking at the FAQ for the repair. Is the plunger also needed? Is prolly too late to add the plunger to get it tomorrow. Lots of good info/advice (as always). I appreciate everyones input.
I would get the plunger as well. You will probably be alright for a few days, just make sure you can disconnect the batt cables if needed.
 

landcruising

Mud User Not Abuser
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Feb 1, 2007
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San Diego
 
 
Sounds like you are on the right track with the starter.

For laughs I will add my experience on an old dodge truck I had as a teenager. Was driving down the road and coming to a stop and heard a loud grinding noise, lunging and the truck began to slow quickly, and then I could not stop. It just kept rolling while the starter was engaged. Pulled the e-brake to stop the truck and popped the hood, the wires from the battery terminal were melting and on fire, disconnected one, and through dirt on the fire. Turned out the starter was engaged and would stop. The current flowing to it through the wire terminal got too hot and caught fire. Replaced the wire, and starter and all was good.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
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Camas, WA USA
 
 
 
No it won't grind, if it is engaged, as the gears should still be meshed from starting. This is different than when you accidentally engage the starter when the engine has already been running, that will grind
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
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Location
Alton, IL (near St Louis, MO)
 
 
Just an update, pulled starter yesterday, replaced the contacts and plunger. My 2 cents on the job, nothing at all mind boggling about it but had lots of trouble removing the 2 bolts that secure the starter to the bellhousing. Those bad boys were so tight/frozen and in a tight spot to get my big a** hands on them. Lots of swearing going on for a Sunday, lol. Prolly would have helped if I would have had a bent handle ratchet with a flex head, but I don't.

Also, found a cable in the same area that looked like it should be connected to something but wasn't. It had a small red tag near the end. The end looked like a bicycle brake cable with the "barrel T" at the end. Sorry no pics as my camera is crap. Any ideas?
 

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