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'76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness #727642
September 09th 2017 11:40 am
September 09th 2017 11:40 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 12
SF,CA
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Orange Offline OP
stranger
Orange  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2013
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SF,CA
Posted this in the Dodge trouble shooting section, but figured it might be a problem for anyone.
Any help would be appreciated.
Was almost home from a roadtrip and my van started making a weird blowing/whining noise, pulled over to check it out and while I was looking around it just suddenly stopped. No change in temp, oil pressure, acceleration while driving. Got it home and parked and shut it off. Just to check, I tried to start it and nothing-no clicks, nothing.
Today I put in a new starter. When I re-attached the battery cable it triggered the starter-didn't start but you could hear it spinning. Thought the relay might be bad, so I put in a new one. Same thing happened. No key in the ignition while this is happening, just putting the battery cable back on.
Any ideas on what's going on?
Thanks

Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727646
September 09th 2017 1:28 pm
September 09th 2017 1:28 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Sounds like a short in the starter motor circuit. The short caused the old starter to engage while the engine was running which made the blowing/whining noise you heard which was actuallythe old starter spinning WAY faster than it was ever intended to and eventually burning up. The short didn't go away, so when you hooked the battery cable back up after installing a new starter the new starter engeged. I would focus on the ignition switch and especially the ignition relay and wiring first.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727649
September 09th 2017 2:47 pm
September 09th 2017 2:47 pm
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 12
SF,CA
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Orange Offline OP
stranger
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Thanks Reed, I'm assuming the easiest way to the ignition switch is by removing the instrument cluster. Where is the relay located? anything to do with the ECU?

Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727654
September 09th 2017 3:36 pm
September 09th 2017 3:36 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
The starter relay is a small metal box bolted to the firewall, somewhere. There was no standard location, really. They usually wind up around the steering column. The easiest way to test the ignition switch is to unplug the harness for the steering column and connect the battery to see if the starter engages. If it doesn't, inspect the switch further. If it does, the short is somewhere else. The starter relay is separate from the ECU. Starting and ignition circuits are different. Only point of contact between the two systems is the ignition switch.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727657
September 09th 2017 3:53 pm
September 09th 2017 3:53 pm
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 12
SF,CA
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Orange Offline OP
stranger
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Changed the starter relay yesterday after changing the starter, I'll check the ignition switch. Thanks.

Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727658
September 09th 2017 4:39 pm
September 09th 2017 4:39 pm
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,626
San Diego
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wrcsixeight Offline
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San Diego
I recently had the occassional no response to the key when turned to start on my '89. i found the thicker red wire to the starter relay had green stuff growing from the connector.

When i removed wire I sometimes was able to get continuity, and sometimes not.

Replacing it was the cure.

Never overlook the connectors themselves. i opened up the relay and found the contacts heavily worn and oxidized but its resistance was still in spec before I cleaned them with Caig DeOxit d5 spray.

Anybody with weird electrical issues should have a can of this and not simply declare electrical connections 'just fine' but open them up and get some of this product inside them.

No other electrical connector cleaner does anything for actual oxidation on the conductive surfaces, though they are good for flushing out hardened grease and detritus.

The Ignition switch would be a good contender for inspection and connector cleaning, and look for discolored wire insulation near it.

And as always with weird electrical issues, clean the battery terminals, replace any ugly cabels which clamp onto battery posts, and remove file wirebrush shiny any grounds, especially those from battery to engine and battery to firewall, and consider adding one from frame to engine and battery to frame.

Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727666
September 09th 2017 10:55 pm
September 09th 2017 10:55 pm
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Posts: 12
SF,CA
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Orange Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2013
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This will be my first ignition switch replacement. I've been searching all over for "how-to's" but can't find anything relevant to Dodge B200's. My Chilton manual doesn't have anything on ignition switches. Not quite sure the best way to get to it and get it removed. Any tips or leads before I dive in blind on this?

Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727667
September 09th 2017 11:36 pm
September 09th 2017 11:36 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
DeOxit is the shizzle! Don't forget to separate and clean the bulkhead terminals, as well.

If memory serves, replacing the ignition switch on a mid dodge with a non tilt column requires pulling the steering wheel and removing the turn signal switch. You should really track down a factory service manual for your van. That will give you the best step-by-step instructions.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727671
September 10th 2017 8:27 am
September 10th 2017 8:27 am
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 2,005
Kellettville, PA
M
Meanmachine Offline
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Meanmachine  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
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Kellettville, PA
The switch is mounted on the dash. A lock ring on the outside of the dash can be loosed to remove the switch. Removing the gauge cluster will be the easiest way to access the wire connections on the back of the switch. Do a search on youtube, you possibly could find a how-to vid on the removal process.

Re: '76 Dodge B200 starter weirdness [Re: Orange] #727675
September 10th 2017 10:49 am
September 10th 2017 10:49 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Oh, yeah! I was thinking of my old 78. The 72-77 is exactly as Meanmachine describes.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
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