Starter intermittent start

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

WarDamnEagle

SILVER Star
Joined
May 20, 2007
Threads
185
Messages
7,126
Location
Auburn
So I've read many threads on the dreaded click when you try to start your 80 but thought I would canvas the experts for further suggestions. 1997 80 that my son drives keeps having this issue and unfortunately I cannot lay hands on the vehicle myself so we're talking dealership at this point for repair. We have replaced the starter twice and changed the contacts twice and are still having issues. Problem goes away for a while but then reoccurs with a vengeance. I appreciate that it could still be the starter but are there other possibilities? I've heard "ground wires" but which one or ones? I have new main cables from the battery but haven't changed anything else. Other possibilities? Contacts in ignition switch? The starter definitely clicks hard but won't turn over until you try it many, many times. It is intermittent as sometimes it will crank right up.

Thanks!
 
I had the same issue even after rebuilding the starter with new contacts, etc., plus swapping in a new OEM starter. The problem was intermittent but often enough to need to be addressed. My solution was to wire in a relay into the ignition circuit and since then, several years, have not had any other problems with the starter.
 
I have been experiencing similar issues. Turn the key, click and nothing for a second, then it turns over. Happens once in a while. Would really love to figure it out.
 
Thanks everyone. Battery is good. I’ve read many threads on this issue. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t overlooking something. Of course, magic would be nice as well but i’m sure this one will come down to science.
 
Thanks everyone. Battery is good. I’ve read many threads on this issue. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t overlooking something. Of course, magic would be nice as well but i’m sure this one will come down to science.
Post #2 in this thread.
 
I would guess the relay. I confirmed this on my truck by attaching a single wire to the positive contact of the starter and ran the other end up next to my battery. Then when it acted up and wouldn't start I would leave the key in the 'ON' position, pop the hood and take the wire and touch it to the positive terminal on the battery and bam- started every time.
 
I would guess the relay. I confirmed this on my truck by attaching a single wire to the positive contact of the starter and ran the other end up next to my battery. Then when it acted up and wouldn't start I would leave the key in the 'ON' position, pop the hood and take the wire and touch it to the positive terminal on the battery and bam- started every time.
No starter relay on a US spec 80 Series.
 
I had this problem that came an go making my life miserable until i changed 84450 unit

sw.jpg
 
Are fusible links in good condition? If old, they may be making intermittent connection.

It's worth $15 to find out.
 
I have been having this same issue. When I put a jumper from 12v to the starter it started every time. With the key, only like 1 in 50, or everytime, depending on how I held my tongue it seemed. So today I finally decided to investigate the ignition switch. When I tried to remove it, the white plastic cover stuck in the steering column and all the little pieces fell out. The little bolt was in all the way but I'm guessing that the plastic was just a little bit out of shape from the spring tension behind it for so many years in the heat maybe. Either way the contacts were charred a little bit.
IMG_20190508_125302.jpg

There is a noticable amount of material missing on the circle where the arcing was happening on the starter circuit. (Edit: That is not a shadow on the black part. It is soot.) I cleaned it off and put it together with new dielectric grease. It starts more regularly. 6 out of 10 times just now. But I guess I'll be ordering the new switch.
 
Last edited:
Short term update. Success. 10 out of 10 perfect starts. The first 6 out of 10 was with the switch still in my hand. I makes sense that with it installed the bolt holds the cover tighter so the contacts make better contact.

I'm still ordering a new switch, but it might be a bit longer before it actually gets replaced.

So maybe for a temporary fix for anybody that is trying to get home with the annoying starter "one click", try tightening that little bolt that holds the switch to the steering column just a little bit more. I didn't try that with mine. I put up with the annoyance for over a year until it would hardly ever start. But it might work and make troubleshooting that much easier if it does change things.
 
Cruzer971, I had this problem as well a while back, I replaced the starter with a new denso, fusbile links, checked the NSS, grounds, and finally gave in and purchased a kit
http://www.painlessperformance.com/Manuals/30202.pdf

I wish this post would have been out there last year. Now im debating on removing the kit and putting back to stock with a new ignition switch. I can't remember which oem wires I had to cut for the install so don't know if I should leave it, DAMNIT. Can you provide the part # of the switch?
 
Last edited:
84450-60180 is the part number for the ignition starter switch I ordered. Mine is a '93 without airbags. I thought I saw a different part number for airbag equipped models but I'm not sure?
 
Last edited:
My '94 272k was getting bad about a month ago. swapped starter after it started with whacks and still did it. Great battery. Decided to take a look at the Neutral switch on the trans after it would SOMETIMES start when in neutral. Illinois so had to soak shaft etc to try to loosen switch on rust and never could get it loose. reinstalled bolts etc and after all that NEVER has done it again in 3 weeks. IDK if I slightly moved adjustment or PB got into switch, wires wiggled. Had to fix as I had surgery planned and so I got lucky for now. Keep in mind I have 442 trans so Im sure a different NSS. there are threads on this.
 
Another update on mine:
I used to just hope that my 80 would start so I could get it out of the way to get my 40 out of the garage. Now I'm happy to drive the 80 again. The 80 starter was 12 out of 12 today.

Over the past two years I have replaced the battery even though it tested good. I replaced the starter, but they covered it with the warranty. Knocking the starter with a hammer never helped. Jump starting it usually worked but sometimes it wouldn't 🧐. I guess the circuit was able to jump the gap better with the higher voltage of the running engine.

Looking at it now, it seems weird that the spring tensioned switch is pushing directly out against a snap in plastic cap on the switch assembly. One side is held together by the fastening screw, but it seems like it should have a screw on both sides (maybe 3 because it has 3 springs) to keep it together better.

Oh well, if this can help others diagnose their issue easier then I am happy. I'm already happy that I found these threads and posts like Desert Dino's to steer me in a better direction. Even happier still that my Cruiser starts every time now.
 
How ironic! I received my new switch on Friday. Then my parents came to visit on Saturday and guess what they brought. I had an old steering column from my '91 but I thought it got lost in one of my many moves. Turns out it was at my parents house the whole time. They found it when they were clearing out some stuff from the garage and thought it was mine so they brought it with them. Ignition switch and everything was still installed. I guess I have a spare now too!🙄
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom