My Starter only works 95% of the time -
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-15-2001, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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My Starter only works 95% of the time

Just last week I was working on my car in my auto tech class, and when i went to pull out, my starter wouldn't engage. I heard a click, So I think it was getting current, but it wouldn't crank teh engine. My radio, heater, and every other piece of electrical equipment in my jeep was working, but my starter wouldn't go. I got my friends to pop start me and I drove back to the student parking lot. I proceeded to park on a hill in the back of the parking lot, so I could roll down and pop start myself after school. It didnt' work.

My friend then helped roll me onto a paved surface with a slight incline. I tried popping the clutch but it wouldn't work. I decided to try and crank the engine, and miraculously it worked. It worked fine for about three days, then It didn't start. I got one of my friends to tow me backwards, I popped it, and know it works again.

What the hell is going on? I have heard of having a dead spot in your starter, but I don't know what it is or how to fix it. Could some one help me out on this one. Thanks in advance.


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post #2 of 8 Old 12-15-2001, 10:17 AM
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Sorry but your starter is probably on it's last leg of life. They are not expensive and only 2 bolts to change. If you are just going to drive it until it goes I suggest you take a rubber mallet or small hammer with you. If you get somewhere and it won't crank, just tap the starter a few times and it should crank right up. I would go ahead and replace it if I was you.

1: Unhook positive battery cable (just in case)
2: Remove wires from starter (remember where they go)
3: Unbolt starter 1 bolt in front and 1 in rear

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-15-2001, 10:39 AM
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While changing your starter, replace the posiive and negative cables on your battery. You would be surprised how bad they get, especially if they are still the originals.

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post #4 of 8 Old 12-15-2001, 11:11 AM
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I had the same problem on my 89 Cherokee. It would click when I wanted to start it, and I would need to go at it for a few minutes for it to start. I did that for about a month becuase I was too lazy to change the starter. Now it starts up every time with no clicking on the same starter. Weird...

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post #5 of 8 Old 12-15-2001, 02:47 PM
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I had the same prob almost but mine was the
solenoid you can check that out first if you do take out the starter you can have it tested a most auto parts stores first.Autozone,Pepboys,Advanced auto.Napa Places like that should be able to test them It will save you money if you test it first my starter use to not engage clean the wire than it did like yours after I change my solenoid and it works fine now no more started drags.Check all your wires and clean them real good the 4.2 needs the juice to get it going.Hope this helps.Later, Gary

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post #6 of 8 Old 12-16-2001, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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yeah, I took apart a starter once and I wouldn't trust myself to do it right. I like to stay away from mechanics for the most part. Bragging rights or something I guess. Anyway, I'm now gonna research my options for new starters. Thanks for the help guys


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post #7 of 8 Old 12-17-2001, 10:07 AM
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I've rebuilt my starter before (no problem with Jeep - yet) and it is really not that big of a deal to change the solenoid or even the drive. However, let me say that in my experience they don't last as long and you end up spending more in the long run trying to fix it (at least that was my experience with an '88 Grand Am). I suggest spending a little more and getting one with the lifetime warranty and then if it goes again in a few years you can get a new one for real cheap.


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post #8 of 8 Old 12-18-2001, 03:21 PM
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One of the most overlooked causes of this problem is crystallized battery terminals. Before I changed a starter, I would pull both cables and abrade the inside of the clamps and the battery terminals until everything is bright and shiny. Then reinstall them. If that doesn't work, replace the starter.

If you replace the starter, watch for shims where the starter mounts to the block. They can easily drop down inside the bell housing.

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