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Old 01-17-2017, 09:54 PM   #1
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1989 Sprinter motorhome starter disengage problem

I have a 1989 Sprinter Mallard class a 28 foot motorhome with a 454 Chevy engine hasn't starter that is only 3 years old had it checked a year ago starter is good but I am having a starter disengage problem sometimes when I turn the key I get nothing sometimes it will turn over but then click like a dead battery and then sometimes I'll turn it over and it starts great but the but the starter will not disengage that we have a kill switch on the positive battery post that will kill everything but I can't get the starter to disengage so I can start my coach is this an ignition switch problem. I
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:57 AM   #2
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First, clean every battery connection you can find. Both negative and positive. Make sure the terminals are crimped properly and not failing.

Corrosion on any of the connections will give you the intermittent, no crank and or the clicking noise when trying to crank. After a few tries, the current burns thru the corrosion and it cranks. Feel the cable ends, after cranking, for one that is warmer than the others. A warmer one is suspect.

As far as the starter running on, that can happen with low voltage cranking. The contacts weld themselve in the solenoid holding the bendix drive engaged. A rap on the starter should make it stop, when it happens.

Second, if it's a " bolt up " starter, not a bolt on style, you may be missing a shim between it and the engine. Without the shim, the bendix and flywheel gear spacing, is so close that the gears will mesh, but will not dis-engage. See if it originally had a shim.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:13 AM   #3
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After following Twinboats suggestion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skooby1715 View Post
. sometimes when I turn the key I get nothing sometimes it will turn over but then click like a dead battery

Have an assistant hold the key to crank position and use a voltage meter to check voltage at the large terminal at the starter solenoid for at least 12v, then close to engine side at the small solenoid terminal on solenoid for 12v.

and then sometimes I'll turn it over and it starts great but the but the starter will not disengage that we have a kill switch on the positive battery post that will kill everything but I can't get the starter to disengage so I can start my coach is this an ignition switch problem. I
Next time it is a complete no crank attempt to short across the solenoid terminal and the batt terminal on solenoid, it should crank.

With all the symptoms your describing, it is more likely a starter solenoid and should be replaced. But I encourage you to check for voltages and corrosion. If the starter is not properly shimmed as was suggested the starter can either grind from lack of contact or be extremely loud from improper clearance but it is worth checking as Twinboat suggested. Get back with us with the voltage checks etc...
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:04 PM   #4
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Thank you I will check it
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:15 PM   #5
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Feed the starter is only about 3 years old and I had it checked about a year ago and they said it was okay but it is a starter that you have to bulk up and I'm not 100% sure but it might have to be shimmed but it happened even with the old starter how I don't know how to shim a door how you go about shipping it but I have a feeling that might have something to do with it and the starter and the solenoid are all one right so that means that I would have to get a new starter cause the solenoid is on the starter I'm a woman so that my husband is blind so I will have to do this myself I need some help figuring out how to do that thank you
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:24 PM   #6
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Starter

Okay that didn't come out right the starter is 3 years old and I had it checked about a year ago and they said it was good and this problem persisted even with the starter before the new one. It is a bolt up starter.. it wasn't too bad with the old switch that we had on the battery , you could pull the kill switch and it would kill the starter but then you put the kill switch back down and the motor would keep running but now with this new Killswitch when you pull the kill switch it it kills everything you put it back down and now the motor won't continue running. And now it it just happens all the time before it was intermittent but now it's just steady every time you try and start it the starter just keeps going. My husband is blind so I'm doing this on my own I've had people tell me it's in the ignition switch but the consensus is that it is the cell annoyed and that is on top of the starter right so I would have to pull the whole starter. The connections are very good on the battery because when we put the new Switch on we made sure of that and they're clean. In the manual for this motorhome it says that this engine tends to have a starter disengage problem and says it can be solved with a magnetic relay. There is a relay on the firewall with a whole bunch of wires connected to it and when I talked to the auto parts store about a magnetic relay they had no idea what I was talking about.
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