How does a starter work? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
Magus2727
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How does a starter work?

First I would like to say sorry this is not a queston proposed to solve a problem with my Jeep but my car. I am assuming that they generaly all work the same.

I upgraded the power wire on my 2001 focus and have had to take the starter out to run it. Upon putting it back in I just get a clicking from the solenoid. I pulled the starter and "jumpered the remote to see what was going on and the ring gear actuates back and forth (a few times a second)

The ring gear is meant to spin after it actutes right?

thinking it might be the battery (it has been trying to start the car for the last few days with no recharging.

I connected the starter to the red top that I have in the jeep and the starter behavior was similar, however it did not acuate back and forth, the ring gear just stayed extended with out turning.

so the question is what might be going on? I have 4AWG wiring with soldered terminals on each end. had the started tested this morning (before "jumping") it and it tested to be good.

Is there some sort of signal that is given on the remote to start the motor to turn the ring gear?

When tested the person put the ground cable to the casing and put the clips on the posts of the solenoid, should I have it retested but have the person put the clips on the ring terminals on my wiring?

thanks for any help!


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post #2 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 02:00 PM
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Let me see if i can help... There are 3 terminals on the starter solenoid. B+(battery) M(motor) and S(solenoid)

When you turn the key, battery power is applied to the S terminal, which actuates the solenoid and does 2 things. The solenoid pulls an internal lever which kicks the pinion gear out (which engages the ring gear on the flywheel) and closes a set of contacts in the back of the housing applying power to the M terminal which causes the motor to turn.

Usually a rapid clicking is a classic sign of a low/dead battery. If thats what it is doing i would try charging your battery and trying it again. Also make sure your connections are clean, corrosion can cause problems too.


~Chris
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And all of the diodes may have committed suicide, leaving you with a fun whirly thing under the hood that produces nothing.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 02:03 PM
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Another common cause of a starting click AFTER swapping parts is a poor or missing ground connection.

Good luck.

WTF-J - Bobbed Alu CJ-8 w/6.0L Gen-III, Atlas, AiRock, & ARB'd D60s
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 02:03 PM
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Clicking from a starter is usually low voltage, either from a bad wire connection (positive or negative) or low voltage from the battery (low charge or failed battery).

Jumping the solenoid should make the starter function. Take the starter to the auto parts store and have them test it. Keep in mind that some failed starters will still pass the test on a test machine.

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post #5 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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I have a charger on the battery now and will try it again in a few hours. I will double check all the wire connections.

The second battery tested on was not a low voltage situation, it did not click it stayed extended but did not turn...

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post #6 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 02:57 PM
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Did you have the battery connected to the B post or just the S terminal?

If you ground the starter and apply power to the S terminal the starter drive will pop out and nothing else will happen.

If you hook jumper cables to the B post and ground to the body then take a screwdriver or something similar and jump the S terminal to the B post it should kick the drive out then start turning (with some force i might add, might want to put a foot on it to keep it from jumping).

If it turns slowly or not at all following ^^ then you might have a bad connection (or if not then a bad starter).

~Chris
Quote:
And all of the diodes may have committed suicide, leaving you with a fun whirly thing under the hood that produces nothing.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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I did not ground the starter by its case. I have a 4AWG power to the large post and 4AWG from battery to negative large post. the large post also has a braided cable going into the starter. this braided ground also grounds the case right? I used a 6 inch section of 4awg to jumper the small remote/solenoid possitive to the main possitive cabel.

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1995 Jeep Sport Cherokee 4x4 with an Auto and 4.0L
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Daystar Control Arm Bushings, Bushwhacker Flairs, Rhino lining along bottom trim, AGR PS pump with Cooler & Filter.
Bored TB, APN Manifold, New Downpipe, Magnaflow High Flow Cat, Flowmaster Super 44.
Dual Oil Relocation Kit running two K&N301 size filters, Autometer Digital Cobalt Oil Temp and Oil Pressure Gauge.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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I have a battery charger that has a 55 amp starter option. will that be enough to do the test method above?

NAXJA Member #2619

1995 Jeep Sport Cherokee 4x4 with an Auto and 4.0L
B&M Transmission Cooler and Autometer Tranny Temp Gauge, Ruff Stuff Diff Cover on D30.
Taraflex 1.5" BB (rear shackle only), HD Quadratec leaf springs, RE 3.5" front springs, OME Long shocks, JKS Adjustable Track Bar from K.O.R.
Daystar Control Arm Bushings, Bushwhacker Flairs, Rhino lining along bottom trim, AGR PS pump with Cooler & Filter.
Bored TB, APN Manifold, New Downpipe, Magnaflow High Flow Cat, Flowmaster Super 44.
Dual Oil Relocation Kit running two K&N301 size filters, Autometer Digital Cobalt Oil Temp and Oil Pressure Gauge.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 03:42 PM
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Wait... so using this picture as an example,

You hooked the positive up to the top post and the neg (ground) up to the bottom post?


Starters in autos ground through the body of the starter. the post at the bottom (with the braided cable) is the power to the motor itself in the starter (inside the lower black casing).

If you are unsure of the starter's grounding (which really shouldn't be a problem), put a ground cable under one of the mounting bolt to the battery.


And 55amp probably won't be enough. Use a good battery and jumper cables. Pos to the top post in the pic above and the neg to the mounting flange or other part of the case of the starter, then short the S terminal (small terminal) to the Pos jumper cable.

~Chris
Quote:
And all of the diodes may have committed suicide, leaving you with a fun whirly thing under the hood that produces nothing.

Last edited by Otahyoni; 01-10-2010 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Found a better picture
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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So I only need to provide A Heavy gauge power wire to the large post with out the braid and a remote wire to the smaller post....

The factory wiring harness came with a plastic "shield" that the terminals went though and there is a black cable with a o-ring in the casing...

Well this was a event full week end..... I had Ground connected to the other side of the solenoid so i was shorting the battery out....

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1995 Jeep Sport Cherokee 4x4 with an Auto and 4.0L
B&M Transmission Cooler and Autometer Tranny Temp Gauge, Ruff Stuff Diff Cover on D30.
Taraflex 1.5" BB (rear shackle only), HD Quadratec leaf springs, RE 3.5" front springs, OME Long shocks, JKS Adjustable Track Bar from K.O.R.
Daystar Control Arm Bushings, Bushwhacker Flairs, Rhino lining along bottom trim, AGR PS pump with Cooler & Filter.
Bored TB, APN Manifold, New Downpipe, Magnaflow High Flow Cat, Flowmaster Super 44.
Dual Oil Relocation Kit running two K&N301 size filters, Autometer Digital Cobalt Oil Temp and Oil Pressure Gauge.
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magus2727 View Post
So I only need to provide A Heavy gauge power wire to the large post with out the braid and a remote wire to the smaller post....

The factory wiring harness came with a plastic "shield" that the terminals went though and there is a black cable with a o-ring in the casing...

Well this was a event full week end..... I had Ground connected to the other side of the solenoid so i was shorting the battery out....
In a word, yes.

Don't worry about shorting the battery, i've done worse...

~Chris
Quote:
And all of the diodes may have committed suicide, leaving you with a fun whirly thing under the hood that produces nothing.
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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well looks like i still have problems...

as it stands right now

Other Wires:
1 remote solenoid attached to small post connecting into ford OEM connector(found in MAFS bundle)

Positive Wires:
1/0 AWG battery to Alt
4 AWG Battery to Solenoid on Alt (side with out the braided cable)
4 AWG battery to fuse box

Negative Wires:
1/0 AWG battery to body (by washer fluid, gorund down quarter size area to bare metal)
4 AWG battery to Starter/Transmission Bolt (located on the bottom most bolt)
6 AWG battery to front of head (utilizing a threaded hole under the oil cap on Head)

I am still not getting it to start. It clicks, but does not sound like it is engaging. It has been tested by two different locations (different stores) as to be good the second time was connected to my wiring.

Only difference is that I don't have the Alt daisy chained to go Batt --> Starter -->Alt.

Thanks for all the advice Thus far!

NAXJA Member #2619

1995 Jeep Sport Cherokee 4x4 with an Auto and 4.0L
B&M Transmission Cooler and Autometer Tranny Temp Gauge, Ruff Stuff Diff Cover on D30.
Taraflex 1.5" BB (rear shackle only), HD Quadratec leaf springs, RE 3.5" front springs, OME Long shocks, JKS Adjustable Track Bar from K.O.R.
Daystar Control Arm Bushings, Bushwhacker Flairs, Rhino lining along bottom trim, AGR PS pump with Cooler & Filter.
Bored TB, APN Manifold, New Downpipe, Magnaflow High Flow Cat, Flowmaster Super 44.
Dual Oil Relocation Kit running two K&N301 size filters, Autometer Digital Cobalt Oil Temp and Oil Pressure Gauge.
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magus2727 View Post
First I would like to say sorry this is not a queston proposed to solve a problem with my Jeep but my car. I am assuming that they generaly all work the same.

I upgraded the power wire on my 2001 focus and have had to take the starter out to run it. Upon putting it back in I just get a clicking from the solenoid. I pulled the starter and "jumpered the remote to see what was going on and the ring gear actuates back and forth (a few times a second)

The ring gear is meant to spin after it actutes right?

thinking it might be the battery (it has been trying to start the car for the last few days with no recharging.

I connected the starter to the red top that I have in the jeep and the starter behavior was similar, however it did not acuate back and forth, the ring gear just stayed extended with out turning.

so the question is what might be going on? I have 4AWG wiring with soldered terminals on each end. had the started tested this morning (before "jumping") it and it tested to be good.

Is there some sort of signal that is given on the remote to start the motor to turn the ring gear?

When tested the person put the ground cable to the casing and put the clips on the posts of the solenoid, should I have it retested but have the person put the clips on the ring terminals on my wiring?

thanks for any help!
I think you are referring to the Bendix Drive Gear, the "Ring Gear" is the tooth part of the fly wheel. The Bendix Gear is supposed to kick out when power is applied to the Starter Solenoid. The solenoid is just a giant relay, one side has Battery Power 100% of the time, the other big lead has power only after the ignition (I) terminal gets power.

Now for the Testing procedure you described. In short... the "Person" tested it correctly. If the bendix kicked out hard and spun fast without drawing too may amps... it passed...

I think your problem is a bad ground, or you didn't hook the new wire up right... Is the starter getting real hot as you try and start the car?
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 07:02 PM
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ohh just noticed you posted something else... your solenoid might be toast due to hooking it up wrong... I have burnt them out b4 by making the same mistake.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-10-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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The last test was done and the guy at auto zone asked what the other wire was for... and I said ground and he said it was wired wrong. So I had him test it still with my weiring (not using the wrongly connected negative cable I had)

Yes I was referring to the Bendix... just did not know what it was called...

So the solenoid could be bad even though the test done a few hours ago said it was still good?

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1995 Jeep Sport Cherokee 4x4 with an Auto and 4.0L
B&M Transmission Cooler and Autometer Tranny Temp Gauge, Ruff Stuff Diff Cover on D30.
Taraflex 1.5" BB (rear shackle only), HD Quadratec leaf springs, RE 3.5" front springs, OME Long shocks, JKS Adjustable Track Bar from K.O.R.
Daystar Control Arm Bushings, Bushwhacker Flairs, Rhino lining along bottom trim, AGR PS pump with Cooler & Filter.
Bored TB, APN Manifold, New Downpipe, Magnaflow High Flow Cat, Flowmaster Super 44.
Dual Oil Relocation Kit running two K&N301 size filters, Autometer Digital Cobalt Oil Temp and Oil Pressure Gauge.
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