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Unread 09-29-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
sparkz
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1985 CJ7 grinding or buzzing during start

Hey everyone. I am somewhat new to jeeps and most of what I have done has been completed by reading through the post on this forum. However, I have one that I haven't been able to figure out yet or at least I am hoping it is not a new starter that is needed. Below is a summary of what I have done so far. It sat for 8 years in storage so I have been trying to get it back into shape. I am handy but by no means a mechanic. I know what I know mostly by reading through these posts and than doing it.

1985 CJ7 258 I6, 5 speed manual, 3.31 gears, 33 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ, Motorcraft 2150 Carb with RAM air filter, Nutter Bypass, Larger Distributor and new coil battery is 6 months old.

After the above it was running great. Started up nice as long as it didn't sit for the week. If it sat I would have to get some good pump of fuel first and she was sluggish to start. About 1-2 weeks after I did the Nutter, I got stranded with what I assumed was a dead battery. Got a jump and it started right up. I drove it again a few days later without issues. When I got it home I was curious if it would start up several times. It did, but on the third try, I got an awful grinding or buzzing noise when I turned the key and no start. I assumed the battery was dead again. I threw the charger on it and set out to buy a new alternator because I assumed it wasn't charging the battery. I put in the new alternator and she started right up again. I didn't drive it after that so I just left the battery charger on, but it would never say I had a full charge. After a day I figured it was good, tried it and awful grinding noise was back. I left the charger on it again but never said it was fully charged. I kicked the charger over to 50 amp start up and I was able to get it to kick over and start. The battery was only 6 months old so I checked the water level in the cells and they were low, filled them up and now the charger says I am good and have a full charge. But now I can't get it to go. Just get the awful grinding or loud buzzer noise when I turn the key. I cleaned all the solenoid post and cables...Same noise or nothing at all. I got a new solenoid and same thing but the new one wasn't marked so I might have hooked it up backwards the first time I tried it. Put old solenoid back in and same noise. Tried 50 amp start with the charger and I got it to turn a little but not enough to start and than noise is back. When I would drive it every day she would start up pretty easy before all of this. If it sat for the week it would take a bit for it to go but it has always made it before.

Battery is always at 12 volts before I try to start it and when I replaced the alternator I had about 14-15 volts when it was running. After each grinding noise incident the battery voltage drops to about 11 volts. The new alternator is a 62 amp and the original was a 42 amp, They look identical.

Seems odd that I was able to get it to go with a jump or with the jump start on my charger, but now it won't turn over.

Any thoughts? Could it be the larger alternator have fried something? Could hooking up the new solenoid backwards have caused it (anyway to tell which side is which if they aren't marked). Starter? If so, how might I tell. Can the Nutter cause the ignition module to go bad?

I was getting ready for an off road trip but right now I can't even get it to go to the corner store and even if I could I can't trust it to get me back. Any help would be greatly appreciated?

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Unread 09-29-2013, 11:41 PM   #2
BagusJeep
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Find the source of the buzzing noise first.

I suspect you will find the noise is the solenoid but it is not the problem.

Your battery sounds fine, it is possibly the cables and grounds that are causing issues and limiting the amount of current getting to the solenoid. How old are the cables, what size are they and where do they connect?

A cable corroded internally will look OK and test at 12V but under load will not allow the current to get to the end of the cable and the solenoid will open and close due to lack of current. If this is the case the extra current you are applying will also mostly be lost in the cable but enough is getting through to operate the solenoid.

Placement wise the main ground should go to the starter mounting bolt.

Alternatively it could be the grounding of the solenoid body. Depending on model it will either have a ground tab (automatics require this for the Neutral Safety Switch) or the body will ground through the fender. Rust on the fender will stop it grounding. Either way it needs an effective path back to the battery negative.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 06:30 AM   #3
sparkz
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Thanks. Battery cables were replaced in April 2013. I think they are a 4 gauge. Buzzing/grinding is coming from the solenoid. I can check the signal wire to the solenoid since I did not replace it but it is a small wire (looks like a 16 gauge or so). Battery has started to not show a full charge from the charger again this morning.

Battery is grounded to the block not the starter but that had been common.

No rust on fender. I cleaned the area when I replaced the solenoid. It is painted there. But again, that is not a change.

Also, when I do hear the grinding/buzz the tach goes crazy. I also noticed the clock second hand will stop while I am trying to turn it over and when I stop it moves backwards slightly for a second or two and than it goes back to normal.

Battery was a cheap one but only one sears had that they said would fit.

Thanks
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Unread 09-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
MoneypitCJ5
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Have you tried jumping the solenoid?
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Unread 09-30-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
LumpyGrits
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Get a new battery. Volts are not as important as amps. You ain't got the amps needed
Did you even bother to have the alt tested for out-put amps??
You want at least 900+ CCA rating on your new battery.
Gnd battery to starter mounting bolt.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
sparkz
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I will change the ground over to the starter this week and see if it changes anything. I didn't check alternator since the battery was new, had been working and a jump got it going.

I didn't try to jump the solenoid since I replaced with a new one. Most stuff I read says the the solenoid might now be getting enough juice, so going to check that too.

I had the battery on trickle charge for 3 days now and it never says it is fully charged. I suspect it is the cheap battery sears sold me, but they said it was the only one that fit. When I do searches for batteries they all end up with 550 CCA or so. Any recommendation on a bigger one that fits. I have a stock battery tray. Thanks.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 10:58 AM   #7
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Definitely start with moving the ground and testing the battery. A load tester is better, but take it to Autozone/Oreilly/NAPA. Both of those things are easy to do and free.
You will have a hard time finding a standard liquid cell battery with 900 CCA. The only one that comes to mind is a Group 34/78 and I don't know if it fits the stock battery tray. Of course there's always Optima batteries.
If memory serves, the OE battery size is a Group 24. They are typically the cheapest batteries at most auto parts stores and are rated at about 500-600 CCA.

If the battery checks out and you move the ground and you still have the same buzzing noise, jump the solenoid. If the starter doesn't spin over that way, the starter is junk.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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Of course check for any loose or corroded connections as well.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
LumpyGrits
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Take the little plate out of the b'tray base, and you can mount a larger size battery with ease.
I run a red top Optima.
The higher the CCA rating the better for to winter cold.
LG
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Unread 10-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #10
Ken4444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LumpyGrits View Post
Take the little plate out of the b'tray base, and you can mount a larger size battery with ease.
If the little plate is removed, how is the larger battery secured to the tray?
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Unread 10-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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Fab-up, an overhead clamp
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Unread 10-02-2013, 09:02 PM   #12
lucdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkz
I will change the ground over to the starter this week and see if it changes anything. I didn't check alternator since the battery was new, had been working and a jump got it going.

I didn't try to jump the solenoid since I replaced with a new one. Most stuff I read says the the solenoid might now be getting enough juice, so going to check that too.

I had the battery on trickle charge for 3 days now and it never says it is fully charged. I suspect it is the cheap battery sears sold me, but they said it was the only one that fit. When I do searches for batteries they all end up with 550 CCA or so. Any recommendation on a bigger one that fits. I have a stock battery tray. Thanks.
Instead of just changing the ground, add another. 1 to the block/head, the other to the starter.

I would put the second ground behind the nut of the battery clamp. A better way is to add a brass bolt and take all the grounds to there respective spots.

Sounds like the battery has bit the dust. I don't have exact figures, but you get the idea. A battery will lose 1% of its charge per month. It's my understanding this 6% in your case, can't be brought back.

On one of my trail Jeeps I used a 1/8" x1 flat steel with 3 90 bends and 2 drilled holes to hold the battery in place. 1 hole goes on the clamp bolt, the other to the firewall ( self tapping machine screw)
This is to securely hold the battery in place.
Bill
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Unread 10-02-2013, 11:04 PM   #13
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You are in the autumn, the battery should be expected to work at the current temperatures you must be enjoying with a much lower CCA value. CCA is a measure of cranking amperage at 0F. You live in Kentucky, how cold does it get? If it is rarely down to 32F you do not need that great a CCA because you will not see the drop off in battery performance as temperatures drop. If you live somewhere very cold in winter and drive the CJ in winter it is a lot more important in battery selection.

If it is not energising the solenoid, all the cables are good and the battery has been charged it is just duff.

It is 3 years old which is about right for the battery to fail if you do not use it very much or trickle charge when not. I have my Jag's battery on a solar charger in a cool garage so every year or six months it will start the Jag and I have had my current battery for 5 years. Out here batteries last 12 - 18 months due to the heat.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 06:42 AM   #14
sparkz
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Thanks everyone for all the help. Kentucky has been pretty warm 80s plus recently so cold temp hasn't been the issue. I checked the battery last night. I was getting 14.6 volts from the charger to the battery which is about what I should see from the alternator if it was running. I took it off the charger and it was at 12.05 volts and started to drop immediately. It slowed down around 11.6 volts. Under the 12v battery load test it showed 10.65v. These are all low. Battery is only 6 months old in vehicle but was manufactured in 12/12.
This leads me to believe it is the battery, so I tried to jump it with the charger and got it to turn with a little drop or lag in engine (like it was shutting down or stalling) every few seconds while trying to start. Never turned over and when I tried to turn it a second time I buzzed from solenoid again.
Concerned about the immediate drain of voltage at battery right after I took off the charger. Might have a battery drain somewhere. Haven't been able to find much about battery drain after a nutter bypass online.
Taking battery to sears today to have them test and hopefully give me credit towards a new bigger diehard.
Thanks for the help.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 06:45 AM   #15
keith460
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Every time I hear about starter solenoids buzzing and poor turning of the starter, it is usually associated with poor battery cables and or grounds.

Run a dedicated ground to the base of the solenoid were it mounts to the fender first and see if that solves the problem. I have fried a few in my days due to the solenoid poor grounding, especially since you are hearing the buzzing coming from the solenoid, you are losing voltage from either the poor ground or through the starter circuit.

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