Good battery, rebuilded starter and alternator: car still won't start
Lately I have been trying to figure out why my 86 rx7 won't start by itself. If I jump the car it starts fine.
Here is the history:
The car: 1986 rx7 base model with a 13B-RE engine and an Haltech E6K.
The problem: When I turn the ignition switch to start I hear a click. If I try 3-4-5-... times the starter starts to turn slowly but not enough fast to start the car. If I jump the car, it will start. I noticed that when I take a ride of 15-30 min than stop the car, it would start easily the next few hours. However if I let the car sit 2-3 days it won't start.
First suspect -> Battery:
First I though I had a drain problem. I did a leak test and I got 0.035A. Then I tested my battery at the auto shop and they told me it was good.
Still have the problem.
Second suspect -> Alternator:
The light circuit of the alternator was blown. The alternator has been rebuilded and installed correctly.
Still have the problem.
Third suspect -> Starter:
The starter has been rebuilded also. The brushes were worn out.
Still have the problem.
Fourth suspect -> Interlock switch:
I don't have it since I have a 86.
Fifth suspect -> Ignition switch:
I unplugged the blue connector under the Trailing coil. I jumped a wire between the battery + and the black/white wire from the other half of the blue connector. This wire goes to the small blade of the solenoid of the starter. I tried about 10 times and the starter turned each time. This would mean that my starter/solenoid are fine and that the ground of the starter is correct. This would point me directly to the ignition switch. I verified if I always see a voltage when I turn the key to START. With a multimeter I put the + on the black/green wire of the other half of the blue connector and the - to the negative of the battery. When I turned the key to START I had a voltage of about 1.75 to 2 volts less than the battery. Is this normal? Could that explain why my car doesnt' start everytime and why it would crank slowly? Does that mean that the ignition switch is the problem?
Since you did the blue jumper thing and it starts each time, try this: See the attached jpg first.
Pull the ignition switch leads apart at the ignition switch pigtail. Find the single B/R connector and then the B/W and B connector as shown in the jpg.
Transmission out of gear and NO expectations of the engine starting, do the following. Jumper a wire b/t the connector with the B/R, and pure B wire in the other connector. The starter should spin each time just as it did when you did the Blue jumper jobber.
If it does, then I'd say it's a bad ignition switch for sure. Write back on how it turned out. Should take but thirty minutes on the outside, since you know where the igniton switch pigtail is. DO NOT go to the small wires inside the ignition switch itself, only the pigtail connectors.
I'm fairly sure the BR wire is in the single connector and not the connector with two wires ( BR and L). That BR and L wire connector feeds the interior fuses (some of them anyway).
The BLACK wire comes from the eighty amp MAIN fuse and is also connected to the alt output wire. Just FYI. Has batt voltage all day long, even with the key in the backyard, buried with that hundred g's you buried there last year from the train robbery. It's a shame you didn't bury the house and senate leaders there with the gold. black humor.
--86 GXL 6 port Turbo: 305 whp@10psi SOLD
--94 Miata R Edition: Autox wannabe SOLD
--87 K5 Blazer: 350 CID of DD SOLD
--86 Turbo Corolla GT-S (AE86): 133whp@6psi SOLD
--97 528i: "Her (but I still paid for it ) car"
--95 318ti Clubsport: A work in progress...
Thanks for replying. I know what you said make sense however I'm not sure that I fully understand.
From what I understand I have to jump a wire between the B/R wire (START on the ignition switch) and the B wire? I will take a picture tonight to show you what I understood.
If the starter turns every times the ignition switch is not the problem.
Just the opposite. IF the starter turns each and every time, then the problem IS the ignition switch. Your bypassing JUST the ignition switch when you jumper the BR to the pure Black wire. All the other wiring is in place, so it can't be that wiring. It could only be the igniton switch itself.
Tell you what. I've never done that jumper job before. I'll go out to my car and jumper it just as I described. All I need is, is a piece of wire of 18-22 gauge bare at each end. One end to BR and the other to B. All the other connectors disconnected from the ignition switch . Later, it might take a while. The guy on TV is talking sense right now.
I just did this on my 87 non turbo car. One wire is on a connector by itself and is black/red. The other wire you want to jump to is in a two wire connector. One of the two is pure BLACK. I got a piece of wire about four inches long. Crammed one end of the new wire into the connector with the black/red. Then touched the other end of that new wire to the pure black wire. Engine turns over each time.
I first tried this on my 87 turbo car. Can't do it. MR I DON'T KNOW SQUAT owned this car prior to me a fucked up the single black/red wire all to hell and back and it's since been changed in color........so I pressed on to the non turbo car. So? How long did that take? Twenty minutes? I took the steering wheel off so I wouldn't have to suffer cramps.
Here's a jpg of the wires on the connectors you should jumper. The are NOT a part of the ignition switch pigtail. They are the plugs you connect to the igniton switch pigtail.
One is a single wire connector with a black/red. The other is the two wire connector with the pure black and the black/white wire.
The Blue wire is a scrap piece of wire with both ends bared.
I disconnected the battery to take this picture so the starter wouldn't be turning over and over and over and over while I focused. Just jumper those two wires together and the starter spins til you remove the blue wire or disconnect the battery.
My clutch interlock switch is disabled for this to happen. Else you would have to depress the clutch when doing the jumper job. If I remember right, you have no interlock switch. Thank goodness. By the way.......shifter in neutral when you do this and even though the starter turns, the engine will not start if all the plugs are disconnected from the ignition switch pigtail.
Ok I tried what you said and nothing happened. The starter didn't turn at all and my battery was reading 12v.
However I'm not sure if I jumped the good wires.
I saw a female connector with a pure black and a black/white wire but the male section is not like the diagram you attached. On the diagram the male section is black/red and L (L means blue right?), on my car there is no blue on the male connector of the pure black and black/white connector. Maybe I didn't find the good connector or on a 1986 the colors are different?
I also found the black/red single wire connector. The other part of the connector is black/green. Is it the right one? The black/red wire goes to the ignition switch, is it normal? I though that it would go to the opposite of the ignition switch.
If I did the right thing maybe I forgot to reconnect something.
Here's the deal. When I talk about colors, the colors are NOT on the wires that are a part of the igniton switch pigtail.
The ignition switch pigtail are the wires that are a part of the ignition switch. Pay no attention to those wire colors.
The wire colors I refer to are on the plugs that attach to the igniton switch pigtail.
There should be a connector that has a black/white wire and a pure black wire.
EDIT: Hmmm. You have no interlock switch. So I see the problem. I THINK that on those cars the wire color is Black/Green instead of Black/Red.
So. Jumper the pure black to the black/green. The starter should turn over.
In my jpg the connectors are the connectors that are a part of the Front harness, not a part of the Igniton switch. You disconnect the three ignition switch plugs. Then jumper b/t the pure black to the Black/Green. Starter will turn over.
In my jpg, the BLUE wire is a spare piece of wiring that I cut up and bared both ends. In the jpg the BLUE wire is jumpered b/t the pure black and the Black/Red (again, in your case it's black/green).
That should have shown up in my Turbo car, except the previous owner was clueless jerkoff who installed a Theft device and BUTCHERED the ignition wires all to heck and back. That car also has no clutch interlock switch. A common thing with early 86-87 cars.
The diagram I attached earlier is faulty in the wire color Black/Red. ON non clutch interlock it is Black/Green and the clutch switch should not be shown. Other than that the diagram is correct.
Well, darn. I've a 86 non turbo that has no interlock switch. If I'd had taken pictures of that car all the colors would have been right in the jpgs. Oh well.
EDIT: Just FYI..the BLACK wire goes directly to the MAIN FUSE in the engine bay. So, later if you find you have no igniton at all, but the headlights work up/down etc, then go look to see if the MAIN FUSE is blown. Just in case you accidently touch the Black directly to gnd and pop the Main Fuse in the engine bay.
Just FYI: IF you had jumpered the pure Black to the factory BLUE wire, you would power up the ACC and the radio would now work (if stock).
If you jumpered the pure black to the black/white on that same plug, the MAIN Relay would pull in (click, click). And any fuse on the same line/row of the interior fuse box with the ENGINE fuse, would now have power. As in ...the gauges would now work also and the turn signals would now work.
None of this has much of anything to do with your problem. You did mention the Blue (factory) wire though.
I had the click start problem too. When ordering a rebuilt starter at work there as a note on the computer that said to check the solenoid wire for degradation. The rebuilt starter did nothing, so I replaced the solenoid wire (just split it until the insulation and wire looked good) and it fixed the problem.
Ok, been a long time but I have done what you said HAILERS. I jumped the ignition switch by plugging a wire between the pure black and the black/green wire. This makes the starter turns. However it still doesn't turn enough fast.
This makes me think that the problem is in the wiring somewhere and that I don't have enough current to turn the starter fast enough. I really doubt the problem is related to wires directly connected to the starter except if they are too long (which could cause a too big resistance) because my battery is relocated behind the passenger seat. I have double-triplechecked the connections and they are all fine. I took the voltage at the battery than at the starter and it reads the same voltage.
With jump cable I connected the battery of my daily driver (still in the daily driver car) to the rx7 battery connectors (not direct to the battery). The starter still doesn't turn enough fast.
During my test I noticed that a wire that goes to the fuel pump was squeezed, it was flat. I though that it could be broken inside so I changed that part of the wire. Could something similar be the cause of my slow cranking starter?
I also noticed that my wideband plx-300 light on when I was cranking. I made an error during the installation. I unplugged it to make sure it was not causing the problem.
I charged the battery and tried to start the car with the fuel pump relay unplugged (I have a haltech e6k). The starter turned fast the first 2 times I turned the ignition switch to start than the third time it began to turn slowly.
This makes me think that the problem is in the wiring somewhere and that I don't have enough current to turn the starter fast enough. I really doubt the problem is related to wires directly connected to the starter except if they are too long (which could cause a too big resistance) because my battery is relocated behind the passenger seat.
Well, there was what amounted to a TSB about the solenoid wire on worldpac and it turned out to be my problem.
They put things like this note/TSB on there because they have had many RX-7 starters returned to them because they were ordered and did not solve the problem. This costs them money. The solution to most of these cases was the solenoid wire, so they decided to do themselves and the shops a favor and put a note about it.
I'm not talking about the positive battery cable either. I'm talking about the solenoid wire.
Why not trigger the solenoid directly from the battery with a heavy guage wire? That will tell you whether or not it is the problem.
What is your battery voltage after you try to start the car?
*****Why not trigger the solenoid directly from the battery with a heavy guage wire? That will tell you whether or not it is the problem.*******************
You could do that by getting under the car (car out of gear), and with a common screwdriver, bridge it's shank b/t the small blade of the solenoid and the large wire on the solenoid. Starter should crank over. How fast? Got me. If it's just as slow as before, either the ground wire at the starters long bolt is not connected good or the positive wire on the solenoid is not *right* in some way.
I'm curious. When you do that jumper at the ignition switch, does it work everytime or do you sometimes still get the click/click/click/start?