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Old 02-15-2016, 12:54 PM   #1
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HR Imperial no crank

I started this conversation on the welcome page, but now moved it here. I've tried forever to remove the ignition switch so I could test wires, but the bezel will not separate from switch and I can't get it apart.. So I gave up on it and went straight to starter which is accessed under bed. Turned ignition on and used a screwdriver between studs on starter. It seems to just spin freely without engaging motor, like the Bendix is not jumping out. The starter is huge with what looks like the solenoid on top. Is this correct, and is there an additional solenoid somewhere else (other than one on firewall @front driver side)? I hate to stand on my head to remove this starter if the starter is not the problem. Any suggestions??
It's a 1996 Holiday Rambler Imperial with 300 hp Cummins and Allison push button transmission (which, in the past, has had problems lighting whenever I cranked... I'd have to turn off and recrank several times to get the pad to light).. Thanks for any help..

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Old 02-15-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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The large solenoid on the starter also engages the drive. When you jumpered with a screwdriver all you did was activate the connection to the starter and not the solenoid.
Not saying your starter is not the problem but I would look at the small solenoid you mentioned first. These are known to fail far more often than the starter.
Try giving it a tap with a screwdriver or just replace it. They are not that expensive. Take the old one with you to the Auto Parts store to make sure you get the right one.

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Old 02-15-2016, 01:33 PM   #3
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A test of the starter mounted solenoid would be to jump the large + battery post to the small screw terminal or post on the solenoid.

There are 2 small terminals. One goes to ground at the back of the starter. Don't use that one !!

What you are doing is bypassing most of the start circuit.

The starter should engage and crank the engine. If you have the key on it may even start.

If that works, you now need to follow the small wire you jumped back to, what is called, a slave solenoid.

To test that, jump across the 2 bigger posts and see if it cranks. If it does, check to see if power is getting to one of the small wires on it. The other is ground.

Good luck
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Old 02-15-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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Just a bit more on the starter mounted solenoid.

The small wires energize an electromagnetic coil, causing an internal plunger to pull a lever connected to the pinion gear.

As the pinion gear moves out into the flywheel, a internal contact plate connects the two large posts, sending current to the motor.

That is why crossing the 2 large posts made the motor spin and not engage.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:56 AM   #5
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My rig has an "ignition" solenoid mounted in the front basement electrical bay under the driver's feet.

Somehow, that ignition solenoid ground failed and gave me a no crank, no tranny lights result.

I accidentally discovered the failed ground and connected a fresh one. All is well.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:13 AM   #6
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If your ignition switch is like mine; out of a mid 70's Chev P/U ; the lock cylinder must be removed before the bezel will come off.
But as others have mentioned there are many possible causes for your problem.

Removal of the lock cylinder is best done with the batteries disconnected, because the removal process leaves the ignition switch in the " ON " position .
U tube videos on line of the process, look for 70's Chev P/U ignition switch replacement.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #7
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Thanks so much.. with all the new info, I'm going back in...and over... and under!! Will keep y'all posted...
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dragracer32 View Post
Thanks so much.. with all the new info, I'm going back in...and over... and under!! Will keep y'all posted...
Ignore the ignition switch for now. Either jumper the solenoid as Twinboat suggested, or use a meter and measure that you get 12v on the small stud when a helper turns the key.
Also measure the voltage on the other small stud when they turn the key...it should ALWAYS remain zero.

This proves that the ignition switch and wining are good back to the start solenoid.



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