Starter Issue - No Crank

Tynan918

Master Mechanic
Thread starter
Aug 2, 2021
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'84 Monte Carlo SS...

My starter isn't cranking when I put the ignition switch in the crank position... It's how I start my car until I can afford another steering column.

I also have a bump starter button under the hood that isn't cranking the engine over... I used this to start my engine for months.

Only time I can get it to crank over and start the engine is if I jump it using a screwdriver, with the ignition switch in the on position.

I know it isn't the ignition switch because I have two of them, and 1 is brand new...same results with both.

The purple solenoid wire is getting power to it.

Used to start up just fine, until I over flooded the engine in the middle of traffic and continually kept trying to crank over the engine. My last attempt during that time, the starter continued to crank itself over on it's own for a good 30-45 seconds after I put the ignition switch back in the "OFF" position..

Had it towed home and replaced the oil and got the flooding to quit and carburetor under control...

Went to start it using the ignition switch and nothing happened...

Went to start it with the bump starter and nothing happened...

Jumped it with a screwdriver and it fired right up, but not with the bump starter or the ignition switch.

I don't trust to keep starting the engine like this as the starter may give out on me anywhere leaving me stuck and require another costly tow I can't afford...

My starter is good for a free replacement under warranty, and I'm thinking the solenoid gave out on it causing the issue I'm having now.

Anyone else think the same thing ?

Any other suggestions are considered. Thanks in advance.
 

LeftLaneOnly

Greasemonkey
Mar 20, 2020
153
63
I'm thinking the solenoid gave out ... that would be my guess after checking all the wires are in the correct place and tight on the starter itself.

Where are you jumping with the screw driver ? inspect the bump switch and wiring you have for burnt or broken connections.

Next crack open the starter and look at the brushes ( I'm sure there are vids on the tube) on how to do that.
rebuilding them is not that hard if you can get the rebuild kit.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,901
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If it doesn't even attempt to engage the solenoid, then it sounds like it could be the fusible link is toast.

Not sure, because I'm not there, but if you can jump it and it starts normally, I'm betting your fusible link is burnt. It's a safety switch of sorts.

fusible_links-jpg.52729
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
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Jan 2, 2006
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*If your headlights work, and it is a fusible link, then likely it's just ONE fusible link. If the headlights don't work either, then that fusible link is likely toast, too. There's 2 down by the solenoid. Know where they go. I think there's even a third on later models, but not sure. I'm not familiar with Monte Carlo/Chevy wiring in general. But I CAN tell you where the fusible links on a VIN Y/9 Cutlass are. Been there and done that.

Another option is to install regular wire in where the fusible link is- Graft in normal wiring where the fusible link is, or run a complete section of wire to the solenoid, BUT....somewhere in that line you should install MAX fuses inline on the same circuit. I know others have done this and you want to easily change fuses because replacing a burnt wiring harnes isn't easy.

The fusible link for the starter basically provides battery power to the ignition switch. When you rotate the switch to start, without the power there, you have nothing to energize the starter motor and pull in the core to engage the starter. The screwdriver method basically bypasses the fusible links. So it sounds as if your starter/solenoid is ok.

*Disclaimer- I'm not an electrician, but this isn't an unusual condition and likely the majority of non-start issues like you describe ends up with fusbile links fried. Just anectdotal evidence.

Here's a diagram for an 84, but if you have an 84 ESM (electrical service manual) you'll find diagrams for your particular car. Maybe it will help out.

2008-07-02_224401_2008-07-02_194247.png
 
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Tynan918

Master Mechanic
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Aug 2, 2021
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Where are you jumping with the screw driver ? inspect the bump switch and wiring you have for burnt or broken connections.
I'm jumping it on the power and "S" terminals, touching them both with the screw driver to jump it.

The bump starter is in working condition... when I attempt crank it with either the ignition switch or bump starter, my dash lights dim a little and my external fuel pump stops humming... And when I stop cranking, the dash lights brighten up and the fuel pump hums again...

I'm going to check the fusible links that are connected and post pictures of what I can see
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,901
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They typically are red or black depending, but normally you couldn't see them if the factory didn't use the "beer can" silicone bulge making them easy to locate. Most of the time you can tell when they fry because they'll be heat damaged in that area and/or very very mushy there.

This is NOT from a G-body, but it shows what the factory style you may encounter may appear as. If your wiring is no longer factory, it may not have these little beer cans, just to note as aftermarket style fusible links look basically like a regular piece of wire.

images
 
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Tynan918

Master Mechanic
Thread starter
Aug 2, 2021
270
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If your headlights work, and it is a fusible link, then likely it's just ONE fusible link. If the headlights don't work either, then that fusible link is likely toast, too.

They typically are red or black depending, but normally you couldn't see them if the factory didn't use the "beer can" silicone bulge making them easy to locate. Most of the time you can tell when they fry because they'll be heat damaged in that area and/or very very mushy there.

This is NOT from a G-body, but it shows what the factory style you may encounter may appear as. If your wiring is no longer factory, it may not have these little beer cans, just to note as aftermarket style fusible links look basically like a regular piece of wire.

images
I have 1 purple wire running from the starter "S" terminal to the ignition switch... I ran it all...

No fuseable link attached to it, just a bundle of electric tape wrapped around a piece of it close to the wire... 👇🏾 20220106_104012.jpg

Also, at the ignition switch, the purple wire is cut in two and a piece of speaker wire is connected at the split ends. 20220106_104152.jpg
 
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Tynan918

Master Mechanic
Thread starter
Aug 2, 2021
270
28
I have 1 purple wire running from the starter "S" terminal to the ignition switch... I ran it all...

No fuseable link attached to it, just a bundle of electric tape wrapped around a piece of it close to the wire... 👇🏾 View attachment 189802

Also, at the ignition switch, the purple wire is cut in two and a piece of speaker wire is connected at the split ends. View attachment 189803
Not too long ago I installed this push to start button ( posted in this forum: https://gbodyforum.com/threads/84-monte-carlo-ignition-switch-harness-wire-color-codes.82658/ )... 20220106_110150.jpg

... After a couple of months of use, while I was driving, the wires on this burned up and I had to walk to the nearest parts store to buy an ignition switch to start it again because my old ignition switch was at home. 20220106_110209.jpg
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,901
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As I said, I'm not an electrician. So if it's outside the realm of what GM gave it, I can't tell you squat about how to rig up whatever it is that's going on under your dash. It appears a wire has come loose or not connected well. Good wiring techniques and good insulation usually will not result in stuff burning up.

At this point, if there's no power to the ignition switch circuit, I'm thinking you're not starting it with a key or the remote switch.

I wish you luck. This is above my skill set.
 
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