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More elecrical puzzles


Fairwater
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When my 84 Avanti is at operating temp it will not start after being left off for over 2 minutes or so. After she cools off she starts right up,sometimes. I have replaced the starter solenoid, the battery,the battery cables, the alternator and I have taken the ignition relay apart and cleaned the points. The only things left are the wire to the S on the starter solenoid and the ignition switch itself. Any suggestions?

This kept me from taking "Chaiya" north to Cape Cod two weeks ago. The trip was not as much fun in a Toyota Avalon.

Thanks!

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Sounds like you might have an oil soaked starter. The symptoms sound classic. Get another starter...either a direct replacement or a high torque mini-starter. The advantage to them is they're smaller, lighter and are somewhat more resistant to heat.

An outside possibility is the ignition condenser inside the distributor, but that's a way outside possibility.

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Assuming that the starter turns the engine normally (that it just shows no sign of firing) It may be the distributor's electronics. I just cured that problem on mine by replacing the distributor.

If it acts like the starter is dead, then starts fine after it's cooled down,I've had that too. That was explained as a "common GM small block problem". Starter getting so heat-soaked that it shorts or binds or whatever when you go to start the car. Let the car cool for a while, it starts fine. New starter solves that problem - for a while. On my '83 - yours should be the same - the starter's so close to that side's exhaust pipe that they put a sheet metal "heat shield" on the pipe. I suppose that helps some.

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Well after replacing the whole system piece by piece I still had the problem and my battery capacity was worse and worse.

Voila! whilst routing around behind the instrument panel I found the leads to and away from my ammeter were loose.

When the battery was really up and the circuit was cold it functioned. After running and meeting with high resistance at the poor connection the starter would not connect and the battery current was just turning into heat. After tightening the ammeter connections all is well, in fact better than well because all is new. I guess it would have been cheaper to check the terminals first!

Live and learn.

Thanks for your input guys.

Geo.

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Thanks for that tip. It got me under the dash to try to tighten connections the ammeter and voltmeter. The ammeter had been registering apparently normally (maybe 10-15 amp initial charge, subsiding to not much past neutral after some running). Did yours give normal readings before you tightened the connections?

I'd been dissatisfied with the voltmeter from the time I'd bought the Avanti 2 years ago. It always indicated between 10 and 11.5 volts, but when I put a meter on its connections the meter would show normal charging voltages so I'd assumed the voltmeter was just inaccurate. The connections seemed pretty tight, but I moved them enough to jam them very firmly - this at the same time I was trying to tighten the ammeter connections. when I was finished, the ammeter behaved as it had before, but the voltmeter now shows between 12.5 and about 13.7 volts. Having messed with both instrument at once, I wonder whether the voltmeter connections were just that bad or if the ammeter connections improved enough to make the difference in the voltmeter readings.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My volt meter always indicated correctly as did the ammeter or at least I thought so. However the current was being turned into heat instead of making it through to the battery. A tight connection is a happy connection they say.

George Fredlund

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