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Old 10-17-2020, 06:58 AM   #1
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Chevy 454 7.4 Vortec not starting - weird

Hello forum,


I have a weird problem where I kindly ask for some advice. The vehicle a 2001 Condor R-Vision. Imported to Europe. Almost finished the renovation.



Now my problem: A few weeks ago, the Condor didn´t start. No solenoid clicking - problem identified and the starter exchanged. Since then, starting immediately.

A few days ago, one click or a series of (solenoid?) clicks. Otherwise nothing. The starter switch turned off. Battery disconnected/ connected and then started. At my destination the same. I got help from a local garage with a power pack. Cranked and started finally.

I thought, simply the battery. Despite its a 2019 Duracell. Battery exchanged. The same. Now one click. No cranking. Except, the switch for the driving battery turned off. This has been repeted. Nothing different. I removed the starter. To isolate the problem further. But at least the starter engine itself is working. Tested with a sep battery.



I´m lost.



Rüdiger
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:15 AM   #2
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It sounds like a connection issue to me. I guess I would start at the battery cables and work my way back, to everything.

This sounds like a real automotive puzzler.

The odd thing is it started with a jump pack while you reported having the problem. That seems to me to be a clue.
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:33 AM   #3
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That being said if there was one connection that wasn't obvious or out in the open where I could see it that I would want to check it would be the ground strap. On your make I don't know where it is but its the only connection I would make a beeline for if I had your symptoms and I've already double checked the starter and battery connections.

I hope I read your post correctly and I hope this helps.
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:37 PM   #4
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Check the ignition switch at the base of the steering column by the drivers right knee for signs of overheating.
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:26 PM   #5
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My first question would be if the battery is side post. If it is a side post the first thing I would do is pull the positive cable and do an inspection of the layers of washers and terminals for corrosion.

What happens is corrosion creeps in between the terminals and creates an open circuit. When you jump the battery and attach to the bolt you bypass the battery, start up, and run off of the alternator.

My experience is sometimes there is enough of a connection for low draw applications like lights etc. But when a high draw like a starter the circuit opens up.

If the battery isn’t side post then the old clamp on cable clamps will fail the same way.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:12 PM   #6
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What I did over the weekend: Replacing the battery. Examining all connections from the battery for corrosion. Nothing. Checked the ignition switch visually. Looks juvenile. Removed the starter. Either the engine but also the solenoid working. The starter is almost brand-new. Interestingly, the first time I replaced the starter last June, that one also working. My electrical failure as far as it looks like not new. I also checked the voltage at the starter. 12.4 V at +. But for now no real progress. When I try to crank, I hear one click. All lights in the panel turn off. Also the light at the starter battery switch. I need to disconnect the battery to return to normal. My thoughts going to a corroded ground cable. But nothing visible.
I thought about connecting the starter to an external battery. And then trying to fire up the engine. Does anybody has experience with such a procedure?
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:15 PM   #7
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Chevy 454 7.4 Vortec not starting - weird

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruediger View Post
What I did over the weekend: Replacing the battery. Examining all connections from the battery for corrosion. Nothing. Checked the ignition switch visually. Looks juvenile. Removed the starter. Either the engine but also the solenoid working. The starter is almost brand-new. Interestingly, the first time I replaced the starter last June, that one also working. My electrical failure as far as it looks like not new. I also checked the voltage at the starter. 12.4 V at +. But for now no real progress. When I try to crank, I hear one click. All lights in the panel turn off. Also the light at the starter battery switch. I need to disconnect the battery to return to normal. My thoughts going to a corroded ground cable. But nothing visible.
I thought about connecting the starter to an external battery. And then trying to fire up the engine. Does anybody has experience with such a procedure?


If you have jumper cable attach it negative post on battery and case on starter. If it starts right up then the issue is ground system, chase it down.

If nothing changed then go to positive post to starter. If it starts right up then the issue is that circuit.

What can happen is the heat from the electrical current can distort the contact surfaces causing an open circuit, one click and nothing defines this.

The solenoid is energized by the ignition switch. Energized solenoid supplies high amp voltage to the starter spinning over the motor.

The old shorting across the solenoid eliminates the ignition switch and solenoid.

Now if your new battery has a bad cell it can read good voltage until a load is placed on it. Same one click and nothing. Many of us here can verify new isn’t a guarantee of good
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:31 PM   #8
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There is a ground strap that connects the engine or possibly trans to the frame/body. Trans & engine are on rubber mounts so that strap has to exist. Usually a braided flat strap. That is the first place that I would look for your bad connection. You have already disconnected and reconnected the cables at battery & starter and I would assume that those connections were cleaned. That leaves the ground strap as the most likely suspect.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:30 AM   #9
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Yesterday I jumped in the little red pickemup farm truck with the 8.1 liter (496 aka 454 with lungs and legs) and it didn’t want to start.

Ongoing issue that I usually remedy with spray on battery cleaner but yesterday I pulled the cables, cleaned them and replaced the battery bolt.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-19-2020, 07:32 AM   #10
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Click image for larger version

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ID:	305234 I don’t know why this happens to me, other vehicle was a 93 LeSabre. Life in the city this close to the country I guess.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:00 AM   #11
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I installed a ground beeline between battery and engine block. At the engine block next to the starter. And it fired up right away. Such a good feeling. The RV not drivable made me a great headache. Many thanks for all the valuable tips. Next weekend I check the ground strap from the the central port (at my P30 closely above the starter battery itself) to the engine block. And examine and clean everything. This forum and your ideas such a great help. Thanks to all.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:09 AM   #12
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My vehicle over the last weeks in a very humid environment. Countryside. I´m sure that accelerated the corrosion quite a bit. Symptoms at the beginning intransparent. But now and with the knowledge I have now, all clear.
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