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starting issue
#782854 September 26th 2021 7:55 pm
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Kermit Offline OP
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I went to a cruise in today in my Dodge A-108, and a few hrs later it wouldn't start, no clicking, headlights didn't dim. The wire connections to the starter from the box at the back of the left side of the rear of the firewall were tight so I used a screwdriver to jump the two top terminals at the starter, and it started just fine. I drove him and turned the engine off. Just out of curiosity I tried starting it and it started okay. Could the problem be in the starter solenoid or relay, and if it's the starter solenoid is that the one that has the connections that I jumped with the screwdriver? If so do I have to remove the starter to replace it, or can I just replace it by itself?
Thanks

Here is a picture of the terminals that I jumped. This doesn't look anything like what is depicted in the photos at the standard auto parts places for starter solenoid switches. Is this something else?

[img]https://imgur.com/a/PqXr9wv[/img]

Last edited by Kermit; September 26th 2021 8:25 pm. Reason: added photo
Re: starting issue
Kermit #782932 September 28th 2021 6:52 am
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The little relay up on the firewall is what is actuated by your keyswitch. It would apply power to the large solenoid on the top of the starter. The relay does have factory style connectors on it, so it doesn't appear to have been hacked up. Perhaps someone swapped in whatever they could get easily? Functionally, the relays are a pretty generic part. Most of them have some letters stamped into the insulator adjacent to the individual terminals as identifiers, so it should be possible to swap one relay for another, keeping the wires matched up with the terminals with the same identifiers.


-It's been such a LONG TIME... BlueShift>> 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van


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It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?

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Learning from my own mistakes is good, learning from yours would be much better! [Linked Image]
Re: starting issue
Ram4ever #782947 September 28th 2021 3:48 pm
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Kermit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Ram4ever
The little relay up on the firewall is what is actuated by your keyswitch. It would apply power to the large solenoid on the top of the starter. The relay does have factory style connectors on it, so it doesn't appear to have been hacked up. Perhaps someone swapped in whatever they could get easily? Functionally, the relays are a pretty generic part. Most of them have some letters stamped into the insulator adjacent to the individual terminals as identifiers, so it should be possible to swap one relay for another, keeping the wires matched up with the terminals with the same identifiers.

I was able to use a screwdriver to jump the two terminals on top of the starter and it cranked fine and started (with the key in the on position) so I'm guessing that if the problem was the relay that jumping the starter wouldn't have worked? Or would it have?

So far it's been starting just fine with the key but I haven't driven it very far from home since that day.

Re: starting issue
Kermit #782982 September 29th 2021 2:04 pm
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Hey kermit! Is that the same A-108 I sold you years ago?


Nate Breece
--------------
1993 Chevy G20
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
Re: starting issue
NateB #782997 September 29th 2021 7:56 pm
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Kermit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by NateB
Hey kermit! Is that the same A-108 I sold you years ago?


Yeap, it's like the Energizer bunny, just keeps going and going. smile It hardly ever wins any trophies at car shows (except for a couple that had a "peoples choice" category but the kids love it. A few spectators like to take pictures of it, even if you don't see them taking pictures of fancy cars. If I'm driving down the road people off to the side stop what they're doing and look. I got to a car show late last weekend and had to part way away from the main show parking area, where spectators weren't generally walking over there. I went to the main area to look at the cars and saw a couple of times where kids would look bored out of their minds but when they saw the van in the distance they said they wanted to walk over there to look at it. Not just little kids but teenagers also. Some adults too. smile

Re: starting issue
Kermit #783075 October 01st 2021 8:45 am
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pooh-bah
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Kermit, I got so carried away with your observation that the relay looked unfamiliar that I forgot to say that I agree with your diagnosis that the starter solenoid is malfunctioning!

They contain a block or wedge of Copper which acts like your screwdriver did, to bridge the electrical contacts. Its surfaces can become pitted or contaminated. You can disassemble the solenoid and carefully file/dress the contact surfaces of the block and threaded studs. They should all be quite smooth; typically crocus cloth or denim are used to polish contacts. I'd use my Dremel with a cotton buff wheel after filing.

I've also seen cases where the yoke which couples the solenoid to the starter bendix can have its pivots, or the bendix sliding surface, become contaminated with grit like sand, or otherwise become worn and galled, preventing free motion of the solenoid into its 'run' position.


-It's been such a LONG TIME... BlueShift>> 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van


[Linked Image]

It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?

[Linked Image]

Learning from my own mistakes is good, learning from yours would be much better! [Linked Image]

Moderated by  Astro, Ram4ever 

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