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Weak starter?

This is a discussion on Weak starter? within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; Is it possible for a starter to be just weak (not completely dead, but weak)? My battery is fully charged, ...

  1. #1
    Registered User prerunfw's Avatar
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    Weak starter?


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    Is it possible for a starter to be just weak (not completely dead, but weak)? My battery is fully charged, yet I cant get the engine to crank over. Maybe the computer ain't happy, I'm not sure...

    also, do the tbi and vortec engines use the same starter? ..I have a newer engine, and I might just pick the starter off of that.


    thanks for reading
    Professional Oil Spiller/Blender

  2. #2
    USN SAILOR jared1217's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    More information please...
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    USN SAILOR jared1217's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    As for the starter yes it can be "weak" it could be running at low volts, or not fully engaging/disengaging
    Proud to be an AMERICAN, Proud to serve AMERICA, and Proud to be an owner of three AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIERS.
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    Custom User Title '95-Silverado's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    Could be bad starter solenoid? The starter solenoid is a large coil that, most often, sits on top of the starter and engages the Bendix drive with the flywheel and sends power to the starter. If the internal coil goes bad, the solenoid won't engage the Bendix or turn the starter on. This condition will not cause any noticeable noise. Less common, but by no means rare, is a problem with the starter electrical system. There are several components between the battery and starter that can fail and cause a "No Crank" condition.
    If it ain't broke, fix it till you are...

  5. #5
    Registered User prerunfw's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    Ok, It's on a 4.3L tbi. The battery is fully charged. I notcied the solenoid is working, I can see the starter gear engaged (no tranny on right now..). I hear a click when I try to start it, and find the starter gear engaged.
    Professional Oil Spiller/Blender

  6. #6
    Registered User prerunfw's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    *a few days ago it was cranking very slow/barely
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    Custom User Title '95-Silverado's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    It may not be getting enough power somewhere. The best place to start is at the starter. (look at picture; may not be same as yours, but you can get the idea) Check for power at the "S" terminal of the starter with the key in the START position. If you have power there, then you know the electrical system is good and the problem is with either the starter motor or the starter solenoid.

    If there is no power there with the key in the START position, then something in the electrical system is bad. The next thing to check is the fuse (look at second picture) Determine which is the starter fuse and check that it is good. If not, replace it. If it burns out when you go to start the engine, there is a short circuit in the system. Using the wiring diagram you will need to isolate sections of the starting system to locate the short circuit.

    If the fuse is good, the ignition switch is the next place to go. (picture 2) There should be power going into the ignition switch (2). If there is no power there, you have an open circuit in the wiring.
    If its automatic check the NSS (Nuetral Start Switch; Picture 3) if its Manual it will be a CSS. (Clutch Start Switch)

    Using the wiring diagram as a reference, check for power into the NSS or CSS (1) and out (2) with the key in the START position. If there is power in, but not out, the NSS or CSS is bad. (picture 3).

    If there is no power in, you have an open circuit in the wiring between the ignition switch and the NSS or CSS. If you have power out, but not at the starter "S" terminal, you have an open circuit in the wiring between the NSS or CSS and the starter motor.
    That's the most information I can give you. Hope this helps you!
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  8. #8
    Registered User prerunfw's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    Thank you for the info.
    I'm gonna check it out again this afternoon.
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    Get in sit down hang on. SolMan98's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    yes, starters can get weak. be warned, a bad starter can kill a battery quick.

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    Registered User prerunfw's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    Today I put in the starter off my 99 4.3L, didnt solve the problem. So I got a new battery and then it started right up. Apparently the battery was fully charged voltage-wise, but down to 70 amps (of a 780 amp battery).

    Thanks again.
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  11. #11
    Custom User Title '95-Silverado's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    Congratulations. Batteries are little devils, aren't they? :)
    If it ain't broke, fix it till you are...

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    Registered User bobbyspaghetti's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Weak starter?

    I am glad to hear that you got your problem fixed but I would like to share a similar problem I had on my 96 2500 4x4 5.7L encase others have the same problem I did. My truck was like yours it cranked over very slowly but would fire in the end. First off the truck is old and very used like 250 000 kms all of which are in the bush as a work truck. Any way I suspected the battery was the problem but left it till I had more proof. So one day the truck dies on me after like 5 seconds of cranking (it was pretty cold -25 C. and wasnt plugged in) so I said time for a new battery. Put it in and now she dont crank at all it just clicks. Just 1 click though. Now I am mad and go buy a starter. I am now lying in the snow (cause I cant start the beast to get her in the garage) in -25 pulling off the old starter and putting in the new one. So now frozen, wet and even more angry, I Turn the key.....click! I have now spent $100 dollars on a battery and $180 on a starter and she is still flatlined. So now I have got a rag in the gas tank and my zippo out (to teach her a lesson) when I decide before I explode the old girl (and probably myself and the house) I should just check for corrosion on the battery wires just in case. So i take off the side mount (screw in type) bolts and they are a little corroded but not bad I thought. So I scrub them up with a baking soda and water mix and my gf's toothbrush (to teach her a lesson too :), I also scrub the metal rings inside the red and black rubber boot type things. Screw them back in put the key in the ignition and it fires right up without turning the key!!! Okay I'm joking but she fires like never before. So all that money, time and work and all she needed was her teeth brushed.

    So the moral I learned from this was don't spend all the time and money on the first thing that comes to mind, try the cheap ones first and maybe it can be fixed with the help of the ol' ladys bathroom supplies for free.

    PS. If the ol' lady asks I never use her toothbrush, cause that would be wrong, and I never use the butter knives when I am too lazy to get a screw driver from the garage.

  13. #13
    Custom User Title '95-Silverado's Avatar
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    Re: Weak starter?

    Bobby, at such an old age, It was probably best to go ahead and change the starter. Atleast you have the security of knowing it shouldnt go out for a while now. It's always good to have a new battery aswell, keep the old one if it's still good inside your truck just incase. Sounds like the many problems I have, I replace something only to find out later it was a fuse, or a shorted wire. Ha.
    If it ain't broke, fix it till you are...

 

 

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