Starter wont stop turning

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Dec 29, 2005
Craig, CO
Well I have a major problem. Week ago or so I left work and my 73 FJ-40 started perfectly first try. I get to my destination, and let it sit about an hour and then go to leave. When I tried to start it, there was nothing, no clicks or anything. So I check lights, fan blowers all that, I have juice, no fuses blown. However there is no fuse between the ignition and starter I have learned. So I try a few more times, maybe bad contact or something you know. After a few turns of the key, the starter motor starts spinning un-engaged, and won't stop. So I took the steering column off and check the ignition switch with a test light, they seem okay, none are broken loose like I have had before, and each key position appears to power the right wires. So I try again with several turns of the key and same thing, motor is pinning un-engaged and won't stop. Long story short, it melted the contacts together and burned the rod in half. So I figure it is a simple malfunction of the 6 year old starter, NAPA rebuild. So I take it off, turn it in for another on a lifetime warranty. I put it on, rig starts right up, perfect, good revolutions etc... I drive it two days, and last night, same thing happens again. The starter starts spinning uncontrollably, with the key off. I hurried and opened the hood, pulled the selenoid wire off, but it keeps running, probably cause the contacts have remelted. Before I could get a wrench out and get the battery cable pulled, everything was smoking, starter, cables, etc...

I didn't get much time to troubleshoot last night, I need to pull the ignition switch and look at it some more, but with the key clear off, I can't see how that simple little switch would stick in the on. Did I just get unlucky on a new starter, or is this truely electrical on the rig. Everything is stock, no mods to the wiring of any kind. Any suggestions. I think if I had rubbed through wires somewhere it would blow the fuse in another curcuit, but maybe not. HELP

Thanks, G. Roberts

Ignition switch, or you have a short in your signal lead to the solenoid.
Stuck solenoid maybe ? Pull the signal lead to the solenoid and see if it sill does it, if it does it's a bad solenoid if it doesn't then you have a problem on the lead.


Wired incorrectly? The black wire with white stripe goes to the solenoid coil. The black wire with yellow stripe is the ballast bypass wire that goes to ignition. Reverse these wires and the starter will spin when you turn the key to ignition on.
Ohm out the ignition switch......that would be a good place to start. Disconnect it and turn the key and then back off while it's being ohmed out. You quickly find out if you have a bad ignition switch. BTW, that would my first guess, it may be bad. This actually happened to my 79, starter would not stop turning unless I put the key in the off position. Anyhow, once I figured out it was the ignition switch I took it apart and it was pretty had a short in the on position.
I think I fixed it, Update

I checked and rechecked the iginition switch, it is fine, even took it apart!!!!, that was trickly, anyways, no short in the switch whatso ever, pretty hard to get a short in it, it is designed not to short across and probably won't, it has good return action.

So I talked to a mechanic here locally, and he started explaining volts and amps and all that good electrical theory that I wish I knew more about. Basically a bad positive cable, or bad negative cable or ground can hinder your power flow enough that you start to loose volts at the starter. This drop in power causes the contacts to not contact crisply. It will also cause them to stick and hence make the starter run. Once they are stuck they keep the selenoid hot for some reason and it will not release.

So I got another starter, gear reduction this time, new battery, mine was dead after this ordeal and was probably weak anyways and ran all new cables. I had neglected my ground wire contacts to the frame. Now I'm running the ground strap from the starter back to the same bolt as the battery neg. Hopefully they will keep a better curcuit this way.

And so far, so good, happy to have it fixed.
OK. I don't suppose you know whether it was the starter or the
cable? I have the same problem but the odd thing is that the
starter will stop running as soon as the motor runs.

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