RWD - Dragging Starter, No Start, and it was a Stinkin Ground wire!

Volvo RWD 200 Forum

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Dragging Starter, No Start, and it was a Stinkin Ground wire! 200 1986

Found a good one this weekend.

Had a lady at the church that has a gold 86 244 and she is on a limited income. Several members help out with keeping that car on the road (she calls her Goldy). The car had a no start last Saturday. I told the guy helping her to tap the starter with a dowel rod and sure enough it stated up. Well it happened again the middle of the week and Friday night went over and took a look at it. The starter was really dragging and sure enough while I was there a no start. Nothing at all when you turned the key. Did the starter tap and it did start right up but slowly. Drove the car over to the house and decided it was a bad starter based on the thumping working. Checked the alt voltage and it was putting out 13.2 volts on a VOM. Should have payed attention to that, but more later.

Went down to the Eurohouse and picked up a rebuilt starter Saturday morning. Got lucky and that top bolt came loose with the BB swivel and long extension trick. Bolted the new one right in, connected up the wires jumped in to start it up and nothing. Ok, hooked up the battery charger and the battery as down a bit up did take a charge quickly. Still no start, so looked up the neutral safety switch and found the connector. Jumped the switch and hit the key and nothing. Checked the positive terminal and it was old and worn replaced the connector. Same problem, nothing when you turned the key. Checked the cables for continuity and all checked out on both the ground and positive connections. Took the battery down to the local auto house and it tested good.

Popped the back hatch of Inga open and pulled out the manuals (Hayes and Bentley) Opened up the Bentley to look up more starter stuff and there is was. No Start or Dragging starter - Loose or corroded ground or battery cable. Pulled both terminals off and started checking out connections. All the cables looked good but decided to chop off the terminals on the engine to battery ground connection and replace with new. It did have zero ohms to all the other ground points. Sure enough the inside of the crimp lug on the block ground connection was all green and white inside. After chopping off both ends saw thatit was going to be short. Went down to the store, got a new cable and put that on. Full of confidence jumped in and hit the key and nothing at all. Tried the old touching a wire to the 12 volts on the battery to the solenoid terminal to see if it was ignition or starter. Nothing dang it and I was about to run out of options and give up, when I decided to put the old oily starter back on. Took maybe twenty minutes to unbolt and put the old one back in and get it connected. Hit the key and that bad boy started spinning that motor like a new one. In a cruel twist of fate that stupid rebuilt stater is bad and the old starter is good. Checked the alternator for voltage and it is now putting out a whopping 14.3 volts. Should have paid more attention to that early on in hind sight.

Cleaned the flame trap, spayed out the throttle body and took Goldy back home today.

The lesson is that it looked like a good cable that tested out. But there was so much corrosion on the copper on the wires that there was not enough of a path to carry all that current from the starter. So if you voltage is a bit low, if your starter is dragging, or if you have a sudden no start when you turn the key. Check those ground cables really good inside and out.




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