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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rabbit = not starting. I'm stumped

So i have a '77 rabbit. it decided to stop starting for me. here are the things i have tried so far:
-new fuses
-battery
-starter
-cleaned all grounds
i let a friend borrow it before it stopped starting, he said he pushed started it, but i couldnt get it to start by push starting. the engine does turn over by hand.
when i turn the key, the fuel pump turns on, power turns on, and theres a "click," but the starter doesnt engage. with the old starter, i tried jumping the starter, nothing new happened. the starter i just put in was tested and is good, but the car still wont turn over.

what am i missing?! i need this car to run!


Modified by rsclyrt at 7:14 PM 3-17-2008
 

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Re: Rabbit = not start. I'm stumped (rsclyrt)

did you put in a new, known good battery? i know it's obvious, but it sure sounds like it's getting just enough juice to pop the solenoid but not enough to spin the flywheel. voltage across the terminals? put some good jumpers on it just for fun?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Rabbit = not start. I'm stumped (tkic)

Quote, originally posted by tkic »
did you put in a new, known good battery? i know it's obvious, but it sure sounds like it's getting just enough juice to pop the solenoid but not enough to spin the flywheel. voltage across the terminals? put some good jumpers on it just for fun?

yes, it is a brand new, GOOD battery. and i tried using my jumper box on it, still wont crank.
 

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Re: Rabbit = not starting. I'm stumped (rsclyrt)

i'd get the meter out and make sure i was getting 12.4v (or so) at the red wire into the starter, and the same at the red and black wire when the ignition is switched to the start position. that, or run a jumper from the pos terminal to the starter? in neutral!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Rabbit = not starting. I'm stumped (tkic)

Quote, originally posted by tkic »
i'd get the meter out and make sure i was getting 12.4v (or so) at the red wire into the starter, and the same at the red and black wire when the ignition is switched to the start position. that, or run a jumper from the pos terminal to the starter? in neutral!

well like i said, i tried to jump the starer, still nothing, but i will take a meter out and see how many volts im getting at the starter terminal.
 

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I had a similar issue 2 days ago... cleaning up the starter connections fixed it. I had 4.3 or so volts at the starter before i cleaned it up, and a full 12.+V after....also check the wires connection on the other end, its easy for a battery terminal issue to develop without being obvious. sometimes wires get corroded inside the ring connectors that hold them to the battery posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: (SGLoki)

Quote, originally posted by SGLoki »
I had a similar issue 2 days ago... cleaning up the starter connections fixed it. I had 4.3 or so volts at the starter before i cleaned it up, and a full 12.+V after....also check the wires connection on the other end, its easy for a battery terminal issue to develop without being obvious. sometimes wires get corroded inside the ring connectors that hold them to the battery posts.


already tried that
 

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so when you try to push start it it has compression?
you can feel it trying to start?
If it just stops dead when you dump the clutch your engine is siezed and needs rebuilt/replaced.
Get your battery tested, it may say 12V or better but not have the cold cranking amps required to turn the starter over....if its bad, replace it.
your car should start fine if thats the issue...
once its running again pull the negative terminal off the battery while its running. if it dies your alternator needs tested and or replaced. if it stays running your charging system is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: (SGLoki)

Quote, originally posted by SGLoki »
so when you try to push start it it has compression?
you can feel it trying to start?
If it just stops dead when you dump the clutch your engine is siezed and needs rebuilt/replaced.
Get your battery tested, it may say 12V or better but not have the cold cranking amps required to turn the starter over....if its bad, replace it.
your car should start fine if thats the issue...
once its running again pull the negative terminal off the battery while its running. if it dies your alternator needs tested and or replaced. if it stays running your charging system is ok.


i tried push starting it, and it didnt try to start. i then turned the engine over by hand, and it did turn (but seemed like it turned way to easily) but did turn never-the-less. and the battery is brand new. i guess there is a chance i may have gotten a bad one, so i could have it tested.

im going to try and push start it again, because the last time i did, i was by myself and could only get it moving so quick. but, at the same time, i did just put in a good starter, and it still wont crank.
 

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I had almost the exact same problem and it turned out to be a bad ground in the starter circuit. I replaced the ground strap that goes from one of the valve cover mount studs to the coil mount bracket on the firewall with a heavy duty battery cable I got from a local auto parts store. It has started up fine ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: (Rich Williams)

UPDATE: i went a put a new ground cable from the battery to the trans. but, there were 2 small wires on the old ground cable that i didnt attached to the new one, because i didnt have wire cutters/stuff to splice it with at the time. i also put a ground cable from the top starter bolt to the trans, then another from the valve cover to the chassis, which i wanted to do from the engine to chassis, but couldnt find a good place on the engine to do this. i also found a 2 prong connector that was attached to the pos. battery cable that wasnt connected to anything. i took a picture with my phone, which ill post up shortly. im just not sure if that connector is important.
i then checked the batter with a multimeter. battery has 12.4v with the key off, and 11.8 (i think, or around there) with the key on. starter had 12.2 or so with the key off, 11.9 with it on. i couldnt check what it was getting with the key in the start position, because i was by myself.
alas, the car still didnt start, and has the same symptoms as before. wtf car?!
 

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Re: (vwsqrd)

So here's what we know
The car will push start and the engine runs, but the starter won't turn the motor.
- the battery is new
- the starter has been replaced and tested as working properly
- all wiring connections have been checked and cleaned
- grounds have been replaced/added
- the starter is getting twelve volts
To me the next thing I'd want to know is how many volts is the ignition switch sending to the starter? If you know for a fact from testing it before hand that the starter will spin and crank a motor but it still won't crank this motor when the starter is jumped directly, the only other thing I can think of is something going on inside the bellhousing.

Edit: definitely recheck neg battery cable and make sure it actually is providing ground. Check the Ohms with your meter. It's always grounds.

Modified by Rabbitoncrack at 6:53 PM 3-21-2008



Modified by Rabbitoncrack at 6:54 PM 3-21-2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Rabbit = not starting. I'm stumped (chickenfriend)

Quote, originally posted by Rabbitoncrack »

Edit: definitely recheck neg battery cable and make sure it actually is providing ground. Check the Ohms with your meter. It's always grounds.

Modified by Rabbitoncrack at 6:53 PM 3-21-2008


Modified by Rabbitoncrack at 6:54 PM 3-21-2008

thats what i was thinking as well. im going to do some more ground checking/adding. there is one ground missing from the valve cover, i need a better ground from the engine to chassis, and a better ground from the neg. battery cable to the chassis. if that doesnt help, then im ****ing clueless.
 

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Re: Rabbit = not starting. I'm stumped (rsclyrt)

Rather than clean/check wiring. Replace the primary ground strap (from the battery to the frame under the battery to the transmission)and replace the positive battery wire. You should not need additional grounds rigged all over. These can help when the wiring is already on the outs, but they aren't necessary. If adding a ground strap to your valve cover makes the car run, there's something else wrong...the problem wasn't solved but rather, postponed. Have you tried running the starter when it's not bolted to the tranny? (using your own wiring of course)
I've seen this same scenario numerous times and almost every time, it's a wiring problem (ie. factory 1980 ground strap). Good Luck and keep us posted. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: Rabbit = not starting. I'm stumped (scirocco16v)

^Agreed, but the connection points are the most important. usually insulated wire does not go bad unless the insulation comes off or the wire gets severed.
Make sure both body and tranny are grounded. If there is only a body ground, then you will have issues.
I'd love to come by and check it out. I don't make it to Seattle that often. Have it towed to my house and I'll put it up on the rack and check it out.
 
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