Starter Issues

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Aug 26, 2019
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Follow up issues with the replaced starter in our 88. After replacing the starter 200 miles ago we had zero issues until yesterday after a 200 mile road trip. She failed to start. I crawled under and seated the connecting wire and she fired right up. Happened again after finishing the return trip but seating it didn't fix it. Kept trying and eventually it made connection and started.

So my question is am I missing something else it could be? Is there a way to clean these things out or replace it all together? I included photos of the connector. Hard to tell, but it appears pretty gunked up in there, but that isn't experience speaking. Still new to all this and learning my way around her.

Thanks for any recommendations

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OSS

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Plug might have grime in it. Try spraying it clean with contact cleaner or if it's really messed up, cut it off & install a new connector.
 
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What he said. ☝ Also the grounds from the battery and the ground on the starter can become unbelievably grimy and corroded. I good cleaning of the ground cables and the area where they attach sometimes has great results.
 
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Having a similar issue. I let my truck sit for a few weeks and went to start it and nada. Radio fine, everything else lights up but just a single click when I turn the key. Cleaned the ground wire and saw the wire you are holding seemed lose, so pulled it and reconnected it. Fired right up. Second time I tried fired right up. Third time after traveling a few miles and parking I went to restart and again with the click. My wire doesn’t seem to fit super tight on there either. Anyone have a part number for the connector? Or a connector type name?
 
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4Cruisers

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Having a similar issue. I let my truck sit for a few weeks and went to start it and nada. Radio fine, everything else lights up but just a single click when I turn the key. Cleaned the ground wire and saw the wire you are holding seemed lose, so pulled it and reconnected it. Fired right up. Second time I tried fired right up. Third time after traveling a few miles and parking I went to restart and again with the click. My wire doesn’t seem to fit super tight on there either. Anyone have a part number for the connector? Or a connector type name?
@ToyotaMatt
@Coolerman
 
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@wrc3 - exact same. Whenever the truck warms up it seems to suffer the problem. I had the same experience though with reconnecting and starting right up. So I am going to replace the wire all the same, but also found a lot on the neutral start switch. Going to post another thread asking that question.

Thanks for the input guys
 

Seth S

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Consider replacing the trigger wiring and connector. The wiring gets old, the resistance increases, when the engine gets hot the wiring cannot carry enough current to properly trigger the solenoid and start the truck. alternatively you can install an aftermarket fender style relay, use the stock trigger circuit to trigger the relay and run new larger gage wire from the battery through a fuse through the fender relay to the back of the starter solenoid
 
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@Seth S - Thanks for that insight. I had to google trigger wire and connector as that went right over my head. Sorry learning here...

I found a few diagrams online, but could you expound on that? Which one is the trigger wire? And by replace do you mean replace the entire wire? Thanks
 

Seth S

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Starters have two wiring systems:

1: Primary circuit is the heavy gage wire that runs directly from your battery to the starter motor and the heavy gage wire that runs from the starter case to the frame. This is the circuit that might see hundreds of amps of draw when cranking...and thats why its direct wired and heavy cable.

2: Secondary circuit is the small wire that comes from your ignition switch and connects to the back of the starter solenoid. Turning the key energizes this circuit and sends power to the starter solenoid. When everything is healthy the starter solenoid fires and this starts the starter and eventually the engine.
 
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Thanks for the info, Seth. Makes sense now and that is definitely my problem. Ill try to run a new wire and connector first and see if that cures it. If not Ill go the relay route. I am friggin terrible with electronics.
 

Seth S

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I'd honestly suggest just doing the new relay modification. Unless you are trying to keep your truck showroom original. I think it will be easier to just used your stock wire and add in the extra parts....its a pretty simple solution and easy to put together...$30 or less.
 
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Is there a particular relay that is recommended? I would be afraid down there the relay would get infiltrated with gunk over time.
 

Seth S

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One like this:

Amazon product
I bet your local napa has one that works just fine. They are usually mounted to the firewall or a fender where they are out of the way.

Here is a good picture overview:
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Seth S

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I had this exact problem on an old Saab model 99 I used to have. the starter in that car sat directly behind the exhaust manifold...or in my case the header and it got very hot after running down the interstate on long drives. Car would always start cold but hot starts were a negative until the car cooled down. I replaced the starter under warranty about 6 times and got quite good and changing out the starter....before someone else showed me this trick and explained the real issue. That was 20+ years ago and I've always remembered it. After I did that mod I never had a hot start problem with that car again.
 

John McVicker

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Starter Failure?

See posts 29 and 32.

If old wiring is your problem, and I believe that it is, this will fix it. $10 relay, some wiring, follow the post directions and done. It’s a permanent fix, mine lasted over a decade on my 62 and now going several years on my 60.

Prior to the fix had constant click, click. Did the relay fix, never, ever clicked again. Never.
 

Godwin

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Starter Failure?

See posts 29 and 32.

If old wiring is your problem, and I believe that it is, this will fix it. $10 relay, some wiring, follow the post directions and done. It’s a permanent fix, mine lasted over a decade on my 62 and now going several years on my 60.

Prior to the fix had constant click, click. Did the relay fix, never, ever clicked again. Never.
^^^This.

I have had starter issues with a 3FE and 80 series and have cleaned terminals, upgraded wiring, rebuilt starters, installed OEM rebuilt starters only to have the click, click issue return. For both of these Cruisers I installed the type of relay and wiring that John McVicker is recommending and that has cured the problem in both of these trucks.

Installing a relay is easier than it appears.
 
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Ya I did a relay for a set of hella horns I installed. So I have done one before. Just wasnt sure what type to put down there given the location. I hate doing wiring but it seems like the way to go.
 
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