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Discussion Starter #1
I have a problem on my 71 240z. When I turn the key, takes several time to start. Some times it takes more than 20 times to start!! Is this a common problem? Anyone had same problems before? Does that cost too much if I take it to the repair shop? or it's easy to fix? Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Taka
 

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Starter Solenoid

I strongly suspect that the contacts in the starter solenoid are corroded enough that electrical current cannot pass thru it.

Take the Starter Solenoid off the starter (it's held on by 2 screws) and file off the deposits on the metal contacts. Provided that there is no excessive wear/erosion on the contacts, you should get at least 2 more years out of the starter solenoid if this has never been done before.

Otherwise, you'll have to replace the whole starter.

> I have a problem on my 71 240z. When I turn
> the key, takes several time to start. Some
> times it takes more than 20 times to start!!
> Is this a common problem? Anyone had same
> problems before? Does that cost too much if
> I take it to the repair shop? or it's easy
> to fix? Any help is appreciated. Thanks in
> advance.

> Taka
 

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When my '77 did this I had to replace the ignition switch. It could be either the switch or the starter. You can take the starter into most auto parts stores to have it tested.
The switch is not hard to replace, but it is pricey$$$

Good luck
Patrick Robinson
 

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Discussion Starter #4
> When my '77 did this I had to replace the
> ignition switch. It could be either the
> switch or the starter. You can take the
> starter into most auto parts stores to have
> it tested.
> The switch is not hard to replace, but it is
> pricey$$$

> Good luck
> Patrick Robinson

I believe you can remove the electrical contacts in the back of the ignition switch w/o replacing the whole switch. Not so pricey that way. I got mine from the pick n' pull yard for about $10. I get really good deals from them. :) A way to check if it is the switch or not is to unplug the connector directly behind it. Connect a jumper wire from the starter wire(yellow?) and positive(white). If it works this way then it is probably the switch. If it does the same thing then it is the starter selenoid.
 

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> I have a problem on my 71 240z. When I turn
> the key, takes several time to start. Some
> times it takes more than 20 times to start!!
> Is this a common problem? Anyone had same
> problems before? Does that cost too much if
> I take it to the repair shop? or it's easy
> to fix? Any help is appreciated. Thanks in
> advance.

> Taka

I am having the same problem currently with my 74 260. I have already replaced the ignition switch which attaches to the back of the key lock mechanism ($18.00 at Discount Auto parts). That did not fix the problem. I have cleaned the contacts on the starter. That did not fix the problem. I have ordered a new starter, which is not in yet. I don't know what else to try.
 

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> I am having the same problem currently with
> my 74 260. I have already replaced the
> ignition switch which attaches to the back
> of the key lock mechanism ($18.00 at
> Discount Auto parts). That did not fix the
> problem. I have cleaned the contacts on the
> starter. That did not fix the problem. I
> have ordered a new starter, which is not in
> yet. I don't know what else to try.

I share your frustration! My 260Z has the same problem of intermittent starter engagement. I have replaced the electrical portion of the ignition switch ($35 at the dealer) and have tried several different starters, however the problem still exists. All cable connections have also been cleaned and inspected and the battery has a full charge. I did the following troubleshooting to isolate the solenoid from the circuit. First I disconnected the battery negative terminal. Next I removed the electrical connector plug from the back of the ignition switch and installed a jumper wire across the start terminals. Next I disconnected the wires from the starter and reconnected ONLY the battey positive cable to the other post on the solenoid, that is the one which sends current to the motor. (What I have done here is to take the solenoid OUT of the circuit.) Finally, by touching the removed negative battery cable to the negative terminal on the battery the starter motor would work EVERY TIME! BAD solenoid? Sure seems that way but this is with a good quality NEW starter. I haven't given up yet. Always open to suggestions.
 

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> I share your frustration! My 260Z has the
> same problem of intermittent starter
> engagement. I have replaced the electrical
> portion of the ignition switch ($35 at the
> dealer) and have tried several different
> starters, however the problem still exists.
> All cable connections have also been cleaned
> and inspected and the battery has a full
> charge. I did the following troubleshooting
> to isolate the solenoid from the circuit.
> First I disconnected the battery negative
> terminal. Next I removed the electrical
> connector plug from the back of the ignition
> switch and installed a jumper wire across
> the start terminals. Next I disconnected the
> wires from the starter and reconnected ONLY
> the battey positive cable to the other post
> on the solenoid, that is the one which sends
> current to the motor. (What I have done here
> is to take the solenoid OUT of the circuit.)
> Finally, by touching the removed negative
> battery cable to the negative terminal on
> the battery the starter motor would work
> EVERY TIME! BAD solenoid? Sure seems that
> way but this is with a good quality NEW
> starter. I haven't given up yet. Always open
> to suggestions.

It sounds like you have the exact problem I have. I posted a message about a week ago which I calledClick, Click No Start I got a number of responses. Several tried the things you an I have already tried, and those things solved the problem. However, some people said they had to keep swapping starters until they finally found one that worked. That seems strange, because you would think that all z starters should be interchangeable and would work, especially new or remanufactured ones, however apparantly they do not all work. What I have done is order a remanufactured orginal type starter through the mail. It has not yet arrived. I also bought two used starters from the U Pull It junk yard for $10 apiece. As soon as my wife leaves me alone for long enough, I plan to have a litttle starter exchange party and will try all three additional starters until I find one that works. If that still does not work, I really don't know what else to do.

P.S. -- I hot wired my starter by connecting the position battery terminal to the connector on the solenoid to which the spade-shaped female plug attaches. The starter turned freely everytime I touched the jumper cable to the battery. No clicking. This would seem to suggest a problem in the wiring between the igntion switch and the solenoid, BUT WHERE???? I don't know what can be done other than replacing the entire harness, which I refuse to do (because I don't think I am competent enough). Hopefully, I will fiind a starter that works and that will fix the problem.

Please let me know how you make out.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
> It sounds like you have the exact problem I
> have. I posted a message about a week ago
> which I calledClick, Click No
> Start I got a number of responses.
> Several tried the things you an I have
> already tried, and those things solved the
> problem. However, some people said they had
> to keep swapping starters until they finally
> found one that worked. That seems strange,
> because you would think that all z starters
> should be interchangeable and would work,
> especially new or remanufactured ones,
> however apparantly they do not all work.
> What I have done is order a remanufactured
> orginal type starter through the mail. It
> has not yet arrived. I also bought two used
> starters from the U Pull It junk yard for
> $10 apiece. As soon as my wife leaves me
> alone for long enough, I plan to have a
> litttle starter exchange party and will try
> all three additional starters until I find
> one that works. If that still does not work,
> I really don't know what else to do.

> P.S. -- I hot wired my starter
> by connecting the position battery terminal
> to the connector on the solenoid to which
> the spade-shaped female plug attaches. The
> starter turned freely everytime I touched
> the jumper cable to the battery. No
> clicking. This would seem to suggest a
> problem in the wiring between the igntion
> switch and the solenoid, BUT WHERE???? I
> don't know what can be done other than
> replacing the entire harness, which I refuse
> to do (because I don't think I am competent
> enough). Hopefully, I will fiind a starter
> that works and that will fix the problem.

> Please let me know how you make out.

> Alan

I had the same problem with my 260. i went to parts america and bought a new starter and it stopped the clicking for 3 days. then it started clicking again. I tested the volts going to the starter from the back of ignition and it only gave 6 volts. So i hooked up a jumper wire from the starter to a button under my column then to a live wire producing 12 volts. So when ever it clicks I just leave the key on and hit the button. It starts immediately.
matt
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Key starts erraticaly -> I have an idea!

> I had the same problem with my 260. i went
> to parts america and bought a new starter
> and it stopped the clicking for 3 days. then
> it started clicking again. I tested the
> volts going to the starter from the back of
> ignition and it only gave 6 volts. So i
> hooked up a jumper wire from the starter to
> a button under my column then to a live wire
> producing 12 volts. So when ever it clicks I
> just leave the key on and hit the button. It
> starts immediately.
> matt

I did the same thing for a Datsun 210 I owned, and just left it that way. Worked great. The ignition switches on them are the same. I believe they are interchangable.

You gave me an idea. It is just an idea though. Tell me what you think...

Cut the wire for the starter about 3 inches or so from the connector(the one that plugs into the ignition switch). Splice your jumper wire that goes to the starter into the wire from the connector. Now when you start it, current goes through the switch and to the jumper wire. One concern would be that the switch isn't able to handle the current needed for the starter selenoid, and would shorten the life of the switch.
 

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> It sounds like you have the exact problem I
> have. I posted a message about a week ago
> which I calledClick, Click No
> Start I got a number of responses.
> Several tried the things you an I have
> already tried, and those things solved the
> problem. However, some people said they had
> to keep swapping starters until they finally
> found one that worked. That seems strange,
> because you would think that all z starters
> should be interchangeable and would work,
> especially new or remanufactured ones,
> however apparantly they do not all work.
> What I have done is order a remanufactured
> orginal type starter through the mail. It
> has not yet arrived. I also bought two used
> starters from the U Pull It junk yard for
> $10 apiece. As soon as my wife leaves me
> alone for long enough, I plan to have a
> litttle starter exchange party and will try
> all three additional starters until I find
> one that works. If that still does not work,
> I really don't know what else to do.

> P.S. -- I hot wired my starter
> by connecting the position battery terminal
> to the connector on the solenoid to which
> the spade-shaped female plug attaches. The
> starter turned freely everytime I touched
> the jumper cable to the battery. No
> clicking. This would seem to suggest a
> problem in the wiring between the igntion
> switch and the solenoid, BUT WHERE???? I
> don't know what can be done other than
> replacing the entire harness, which I refuse
> to do (because I don't think I am competent
> enough). Hopefully, I will fiind a starter
> that works and that will fix the problem.

> Please let me know how you make out.

> Alan

I did some more troubleshooting last night on my 260Z clicking starter problem. I called the manufacturer of the new starter I have and explained my situation. I was informed the voltage needed for proper solenoid operation was 10.5 to 11.0 volts. This voltage should be present at the female spade connector going to the solenoid when the ignition switch is placed in the 'start' position. I put my voltmeter to work and sure enough...only 5.5 volts! This is enough to make it click as we all know, but not enough to bring the contacts together for motor operation.

So why don't I have the correct voltage? After some time with my wiring diagrams I found the voltage from the start switch runs through a couple of relays. One of which is the 'safety interlock relay'( very suspect). Now it's just a matter of isolating these suspect components to find out which one is the culprit!

I'll be sure and post my findings for all to share.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Sounds like you found the prob.

> I did some more troubleshooting last night
> on my 260Z clicking starter problem. I
> called the manufacturer of the new starter I
> have and explained my situation. I was
> informed the voltage needed for proper
> solenoid operation was 10.5 to 11.0 volts.
> This voltage should be present at the female
> spade connector going to the solenoid when
> the ignition switch is placed in the 'start'
> position. I put my voltmeter to work and
> sure enough...only 5.5 volts! This is enough
> to make it click as we all know, but not
> enough to bring the contacts together for
> motor operation.

> So why don't I have the correct voltage?
> After some time with my wiring diagrams I
> found the voltage from the start switch runs
> through a couple of relays. One of which is
> the 'safety interlock relay'( very suspect).
> Now it's just a matter of isolating these
> suspect components to find out which one is
> the culprit!

> I'll be sure and post my findings for all to
> share.

Thats gotta be the problem, from the symptoms every one describes. I didn't know there were relays before the selenoid. Great information for search archieve. Anxious to found out what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have the same problem...

I kept having this clicking problem too. The sound comes from under the passenger side kick panel. It's definitely a solenoid, but which one?!
Another thing I found is that when my battery is FULLY charged from a charger, the car starts without the click. But a day later I get the clicks. This symptom points directly to a solenoid problem. As you know a solenoid is a low amperage electromechanical actuator that pulls another switch for high amps. The more voltage given to the actuator side the harder it will pull the switch together. less voltage will make a weaker pull. The contacts on the high amp side must be corroded, carbonized or pitted and marginally passing voltage. Probably getting hot too.
Now I just have to find the bad solenoid.
 

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> I did some more troubleshooting last night
> on my 260Z clicking starter problem. I
> called the manufacturer of the new starter I
> have and explained my situation. I was
> informed the voltage needed for proper
> solenoid operation was 10.5 to 11.0 volts.
> This voltage should be present at the female
> spade connector going to the solenoid when
> the ignition switch is placed in the 'start'
> position. I put my voltmeter to work and
> sure enough...only 5.5 volts! This is enough
> to make it click as we all know, but not
> enough to bring the contacts together for
> motor operation.

> So why don't I have the correct voltage?
> After some time with my wiring diagrams I
> found the voltage from the start switch runs
> through a couple of relays. One of which is
> the 'safety interlock relay'( very suspect).
> Now it's just a matter of isolating these
> suspect components to find out which one is
> the culprit!

> I'll be sure and post my findings for all to
> share.

Richard, it sounds like you are on the right track. I will check my 74 260Z Factory Shop Manual to try to find the relays. Please let me know if you find which relay or relay(s) may be causing the problem, and also WHERE the particular relay is located (i.e., passenger kick panel, or under dash, or in the engine compartment).
 

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> Richard, it sounds like you are on the right
> track. I will check my 74 260Z Factory Shop
> Manual to try to find the relays. Please let
> me know if you find which relay or relay(s)
> may be causing the problem, and also WHERE
> the particular relay is located (i.e.,
> passenger kick panel, or under dash, or in
> the engine compartment).

Alan, the suspect interlock relay is located up under the dash at the rt. kick panel area, it actually has interlock relay printed on it (a bitch to get at). There is a junction block located in this area which has 8 connectors, these can easily be disconnected to help gain better access to the interlock relay.

I haven't had a chance to get into it yet, but voltage to the relay runs through connector C4 at the junction block. C4 is one of the bottom connectors so I plan on doing a voltage check at this point and proceeding from there.

I'll keep you informed!!

Richard
 
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