Starter Issue. Need help!

NRG

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Howdy,

I have searched and searched these forums in regards to my issue. I have seen many different types of solutions but none that totally match my problem. This is what happened to me...

2 days ago I went to start my deuce. turned the dash power on and hit the start button... only a click happened and no start. I thought it must have low batteries or something. So i charged the batteries and clean all the battery contacts. Went to start it again and still only the one click. The volt meter goes from green to yellow while i'm pushing the button. I get under the truck and smack it with a hammer and poof problem solved! It started for the rest of that day, i shut it off and started it 4-5 more times during that day.

Yesterday, went to start the truck after sitting over night. Turn the dash power on, hit the start button, no click, dash power dies and I hear some weird fizzing noise for a second. Turn off power to dash. Let it sit for a minute and try it again, power to the dash is back now and hit the button, makes a clunk sound like it almost tried to turn the motor over for half a second and then everything goes dead.

Get out, check on the batteries. The negative on the right battery is melted. That would explain why I have no power now. So.... I just pulled out the starter tonight and I am planning on taking it to go get it rebuilt but.... what if it isn't the starter? What do you guys think it is? I have seen other posts for starter problems saying " check the starter button itself " " check the starter relay " " check the solenoid ". Is it possible that it is the button, relay, solenoid or even the frame contacts? Thanks for your help and guidance on this issue that I have.
 

cranetruck

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Whenever there is enough heat to melt a terminal, suspect a high ohm connection, that's how the heat is produced; high resistance, high voltage drop, high amperage = lots of heat.

It reads like your jumper cable between the batteries had a bad crimp.
The volt meter (Batt/Gen gauge) needs virtually no current to display a reading, so the drop across a bad connection doesn't show up until the starter is engaged.

Your starter should be okay, along with the other components of the system, just make a new jumper cable, also referred to as a "dog bone". Hopefully your battery terminal is still servicable...
 
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NRG

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So you think this has nothing to do with the starter and the culprit is the small link connecting the two batteries? It pretty much ruined my right side battery and the post is not serviceable now. I'll have to get another battery and connector. The small link didn't appear to be crimped or anything and the heat did not transfer to the left side battery and it's posts.

Also, what about hitting the starter with the hammer on the first day? Do you think that was a pure coincidence that it started working again? And thank you for your help! I really am lost on this one.
 
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cranetruck

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Following up on the above post, the military is very precise in specifying how the connections are supposed to be, including the correct plating of the hardware to minimize galvanic action, or corrosion.
The battery clamps are made a little different for the positive and the negative terminals and need only be slightly more than hand tight to perform (note the steel insert inside).
Crimping the cables the correct way is also important. In the second image below, compare the mil spec crimp to the NAPA "hand tool" crimp.
A good connection should have no more than a few thousands of an ohm in resistance.
 

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cranetruck

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About hitting the starter, yes, you may have wiggled the other connections in the process. Check all of them!
Sorry about the battery...the way the batteries are charged in series (and used), make sure they are both the same size/capacity when getting a replacement.
 
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NRG

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About hitting the starter, yes, you may have wiggled the other connections in the process. Check all of them!
Sorry about the battery...the way the batteries are charged in series (and used), make sure they are both the same size/capacity when getting a replacement.

Geez I had no idea about this info for the cables and clamps on these trucks. Thank you so much! It would be really awesome if getting a new cable, clamp, and battery fixes the issue. Thank you again for the solution and the tip about getting the correct matching battery!
 

M35Brown

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Most all electrical problems are on the ground side!
After checking the cables that cranetruck talked about,
Check all grounds, Battery, Frame, Frame to engine, etc.
Dont just look at them, Pull them, Clean them, and reinstall with new hardware if needed.
Good Luck.
 

Heavysteven

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Had a similiar problem with mine. So far i have only had to repace the battery connections. Its only clicked once sinc then. I am still debating about having the starter rebuild. The local rebuilder only want $65 and i have seen his work excelent BP Rebuilder in Marietta GA.

How long and how hard was it to remove the starter?
 

rchalmers3

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Boy, I dunno. If he's having to beat on the starter to get it turning, he may have a failing starter that has now shorted and is flowing battery current through the cables and starter to ground.

If that's the case, he will be changing a lot of cables, switches and solenoids until he measures the current flow and corrects whatever issues that are discovered.

Point: smoked connections are collateral damage, not the original fault.

Rick
 

wikallen

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I would have the starter gone through as well. Bad starters will draw a large amount of amperage from a battery.
 

NRG

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Had a similiar problem with mine. So far i have only had to repace the battery connections. Its only clicked once sinc then. I am still debating about having the starter rebuild. The local rebuilder only want $65 and i have seen his work excelent BP Rebuilder in Marietta GA.

How long and how hard was it to remove the starter?

As far as skill/difficulty, it was not difficult to take off, but it was time consuming. Mainly I had to keep going and looking for big enough sockets and wrenches. There are 3 large 15/16 nuts holding the starter on. You will need a socket with swivel for those. 3/4 wrench for the connections on the starter solenoid, and one phillips screw driver and one standard screw driver. You will also need to completely take off the air cleaner system off the firewall, those bolts were 9/16 if I remember right. The only difficult thing about taking the starter out was uninstalling that by myself. I pulled it up and out so it was is very heavy for my finger and forearms. once I could get the rest of my arms and shoulders into it then it was fine. I usually pick up and carry 2 50lbs bags of dog food on one shoulder and it felt about as heavy.
 

NRG

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So I went to go get the starter tested because it was already out of the truck. The starter checks out great. Went and look for the stupid cable that ruined my battery and wasted 2 hrs of my life pulling the starter out. Well I found it. It was the " dog bone " cable that connects the 2 batteries together.

Also the rebuild shop also said that it was probably the cable as well. He stated that if its a 24v starter and you push the button and it tries to work but only one battery has a good connection then it fries the first battery and not the second since the second battery has little or no connection.
 

hklvette

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I pulled my starter yesterday because it would "click" but not engage. Found out that the copper disk inside the solenoid was pretty well toasted, so I pulled it apart (be careful as it has a spring inside) and reversed the disk. works great now, and if it gets messed up, all i have to do is pull the plastic cover and rotate the disk to a fresh section.
 

jollyroger

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With all the MV's and farm equipment we have the battery connections are the first place I look with a starter problem. Great advice from Cranetruck. If they are loose or corroded I clean and replace as neccessary. Secondly the ground connections at the chasis for cleanliness and tightness. Then I check the batteries themselves. They can have a plate separate so they don't make contact or don't make contact under load. That's why a load tester for the batteries is important and not just a volt meter. If that does not fix it I radiate out to the controlls for the starter and then the starter itself. USUALLY a starter will give you some warning before it goes completely dead. It slows down or growls and the engine cranks slow. However one can break a brush wire in the starter or have a brush wear out or hang in the case which will stop it dead. But this is not nearly as common as the other things.
 

Dodge man

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I pulled my starter yesterday because it would "click" but not engage. Found out that the copper disk inside the solenoid was pretty well toasted, so I pulled it apart (be careful as it has a spring inside) and reversed the disk. works great now, and if it gets messed up, all i have to do is pull the plastic cover and rotate the disk to a fresh section.
Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth uses the same disk arrangement in the starters in their old V-8s. You shouldn't have to rotate the disk, it's supposed to rotate on it's own to spread the wear and tear evenly around the disk. But there's nothing to make it rotate so it seldom moves very far!
 
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