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Starter doesn't always engage

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:36 PM   #1
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Starter doesn't always engage

So the past couple of days, I will go to start my truck and I hear a whirring sound, the starter is spinning but it not engaged. I stop cranking, and try again and it always works then. It's been doing this every time, but at least it works if I try the second time. Is my solenoid going out or something on the starter that causes it to engage? Thanks for any input.
Old 01-04-2009, 09:31 PM   #2
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

no, it isn't the soleniod. the solenoid is just an on/off switch. it is the clutch mechanism in the starter itself. i feel for you- starters are stupid expensive. i think i was quoted about 160 for one of those junks at autozone.

another thought... it could also be a bad spot on your ring gear on the flexplate or flywheel, but i doubt it. this sounds more of a problem in the starter based on frequency of occurance.

Quote: Originally Posted by deathphoenix99
So the past couple of days, I will go to start my truck and I hear a whirring sound, the starter is spinning but it not engaged. I stop cranking, and try again and it always works then. It's been doing this every time, but at least it works if I try the second time. Is my solenoid going out or something on the starter that causes it to engage? Thanks for any input.
Old 01-05-2009, 12:04 AM   #3
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Alright, I will for now just monitor it and see what happens, don't want to spend money if I don't have to. Thanks for the input.
Old 01-05-2009, 04:25 PM   #4
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

i forgot- we're not talking about fords... that is how the fords work. on a gm starter like these, the solenoid could be at fault. on these the solenoid does play a function in engaging the drive gear. you might try getting a new solenoid. chances are that it will need to be gone thru. if you've got a local company that rebuilds starters and alternators, that would be the best and cheapest route.
Old 01-05-2009, 07:45 PM   #5
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

My truck would do this, you turn the key, starter would wind but nothing happens... Some times it'd start first shot, other times it be four or five times and I just left it, I didn't want to ruin the flywheel...
Old 01-05-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

maybe it's the bendix? or i think thats what it's called. correct me if i'm wrong.
Old 01-06-2009, 12:03 AM   #7
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Well, I have been playing with it, and it seems like it I turn the key on and immediatley try to crank, some of the time, it doesn't engage. But if I wait and let it sit to on for a couple seconds, it always works so far. But tonight it was working fine and engaging with no problem. I think I will just wait and see what happens with it. Also I need to look at my wiring diagram and see how the starter is wired.

What is the bendix?
Old 01-06-2009, 12:52 AM   #8
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

i could be thinkin' of sumthin' else, but i thought that the bendix was the name for the gear on the end of the starter shaft. i'm not sure if that's the right name for it or not. the teeth may be rounded off or sumthin'. me and my dad had a old 4x4 ranger once that we used to hunt in, and it would do that. turns out the starter worked itself loose. we tightend it up, and it quit. i would say it's sumthin' else in ur case tho.
Old 01-06-2009, 08:32 AM   #9
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

yes, the bendix is the technical name for the starter drive gear with the spring or actuator.
Old 01-06-2009, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by broncosbybart
yes, the bendix is the technical name for the starter drive gear with the spring or actuator.
well, i was right about the name after all. i wasn't 100% sure tho... it's been a couple years since i had to mess with the starter on anything .
Old 01-07-2009, 02:14 PM   #11
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

My '94 2.2 has been doing that since I bought it a year ago. Not every time, but about one third of the time, the first attempt to start only spins the starter. Second attempt always cranks the engine.
Old 01-07-2009, 11:55 PM   #12
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by Stache
My '94 2.2 has been doing that since I bought it a year ago. Not every time, but about one third of the time, the first attempt to start only spins the starter. Second attempt always cranks the engine.
Yea, exactly what mine does, it stopped for a couple days but did it again tonight. I need to watch it and try to figure out why it's doing that.
Old 02-21-2009, 06:57 PM   #13
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Did you figure out how to fix this? I dont know anything about starters, but mine does the same thing too. It will just keep getting worse and worse im sure. Mine takes 2,3,4 tries sometimes now.
Old 02-21-2009, 08:02 PM   #14
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

It is the starter drive mine did the same thing with my 96 this is a picture of what it looks like http://www.partsamerica.com/product_...d/sd1644-1.jpg You don't have to buy it here I am just showing you a picture of it.

Last edited by customchevys; 02-21-2009 at 08:03 PM.
Old 02-21-2009, 09:18 PM   #15
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

I have a starter for sale for a 2.2 just sold my motor. pm me if anyone needs one.
Old 02-21-2009, 10:21 PM   #16
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

my 02 had a odd problem kind of like this. It would start to work and then it sounded like it was stripping the teeth off the flywheel.
I took it off and sure enough it seemed as though it wasn't engaging the teeth on the flywheel fully. only about 1/8 of an inch. most of the teeth of the flywheel was worn off where it was barely touching.
I put grease on the shaft of the starter's gear after a few times it seems to be working properly.
I've been driving it for almost 2 years since then without it doing it again.

I think my problem was the gear wasn't coming all the way out to engage the flywheel fully.

Last edited by serpentracer; 02-21-2009 at 10:25 PM.
Old 02-21-2009, 10:32 PM   #17
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

yea its usually the spring in the drive messing with it. Was problem with mine not letting it go all the way to the flywheel teeth, and when you turn the drive by hand it would have a hesitation to turn smoothly.
Old 02-21-2009, 10:34 PM   #18
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by Xaos.
I have a starter for sale for a 2.2 just sold my motor. pm me if anyone needs one.

Might wanna put the year of it because a 98 is half size of a 96 just tryin to help you out.
Old 02-21-2009, 11:20 PM   #19
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

starting always seems to be a problem for these trucks dont know why..but ive had minef or over 6 years and she still cranks over frist time like a charm!! hope u get it figured out soon
Old 02-21-2009, 11:30 PM   #20
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Well, i'm trying to make it last for now, its original starter with 15 years on it now. I just spent a couple hundred bucks on all new brakes with rotors and drums. So for now I will see what happens, but it seems to be getting worse and sometimes will take 3-4 times before engaging. But I've noticed that if I have an accessory on, such as the blower motor, it is more likely to give me trouble. so I'm wondering if a shortage of voltage is causing it or not. The batter is over 5 years old and is getting to the age where it will have to be replaced soon. May pick up a junk yard one for 20 dollars to keep in my truck just in case. But maybe this spring, I will get a new starter, until then, I will live with the one I have.
Old 02-22-2009, 05:40 AM   #21
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

I ran mine like that for about 3 months then I got pissed when it wouldn't start until like 10th time, and finally bought the drive. Starts right up everything else on the starter looked brand new.
Old 02-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #22
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by deathphoenix99
Well, i'm trying to make it last for now, its original starter with 15 years on it now. I just spent a couple hundred bucks on all new brakes with rotors and drums. So for now I will see what happens, but it seems to be getting worse and sometimes will take 3-4 times before engaging. But I've noticed that if I have an accessory on, such as the blower motor, it is more likely to give me trouble. so I'm wondering if a shortage of voltage is causing it or not. The batter is over 5 years old and is getting to the age where it will have to be replaced soon. May pick up a junk yard one for 20 dollars to keep in my truck just in case. But maybe this spring, I will get a new starter, until then, I will live with the one I have.
too bad you don't live near me. I have a place that sells AC/Delco batteries for $70 without a core.
Old 02-22-2009, 09:04 PM   #23
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

ya its a 98 starter the truck only has 46k on it. was a trailer queen.
Old 02-22-2009, 09:30 PM   #24
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by serpentracer
too bad you don't live near me. I have a place that sells AC/Delco batteries for $70 without a core.
LOL, i'm actually not that far away right now, this is confusing, but i will try to explain it. I was born and raised in Kokomo, IN, this is still my home and I visit here occasionally. I go to college in Flint MI at Kettering University (Formerly GMI). They have a full time co-op program where every three months I switch between school and working. Right now I am in Flint, But in April, I will be back down in Houston Texas, where I work. But I had my battery tested today, it was good, just low on charge. But then the machine had died, since no one plugged it in to charge it. So I do not know how my alternator is, before it died, he said it was putting out about 130 amps while revving at 2k. It's the stock amp that came on the truck. I have watched my voltage fluctuate, and its not consistent, sometimes it's great, other times, its lower than it should be. So, I am going to keep an eye on it and try to play with it to see what is causing it.
Old 02-24-2009, 01:01 AM   #25
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

I believe its your alternator doing out, especially if you have other electicity load on. Its sign with very high and low and inconsistency

Stock alternator are rated up at 105amp

Swap out alternator to anorher local 2.2L and see if problem occur or not(same for the guy you swap with)
Old 02-24-2009, 07:13 AM   #26
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by What?
I believe its your alternator doing out, especially if you have other electicity load on. Its sign with very high and low and inconsistency

Stock alternator are rated up at 105amp

Swap out alternator to anorher local 2.2L and see if problem occur or not(same for the guy you swap with)
Alright, I will probably by a new alternator within the week, any suggestions on what type I should get? I don't have too big of a power draw, but I do have a taurus fan, and should have enough power for it. I also want it to be a little stronger than 105 amps output....around 150 should be good.
Old 02-24-2009, 11:02 AM   #27
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by deathphoenix99
Well, i'm trying to make it last for now, its original starter with 15 years on it now. I just spent a couple hundred bucks on all new brakes with rotors and drums. So for now I will see what happens, but it seems to be getting worse and sometimes will take 3-4 times before engaging. But I've noticed that if I have an accessory on, such as the blower motor, it is more likely to give me trouble. so I'm wondering if a shortage of voltage is causing it or not. The batter is over 5 years old and is getting to the age where it will have to be replaced soon. May pick up a junk yard one for 20 dollars to keep in my truck just in case. But maybe this spring, I will get a new starter, until then, I will live with the one I have.
At over 5 years old, even a high quality battery is near the end of it's useful life.

Last edited by SH-60B; 02-24-2009 at 11:03 AM.
Old 02-24-2009, 11:27 AM   #28
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Yup, best to get new alternator and battery, upgrade the battery cable

You can get 160amp alternator from DbElectrical on eBay I use em and love it, can also upgrade wiring to 2g as well. But you only have efan, 105amp will be sufficient, but new 2g cable is ideal
Old 02-24-2009, 11:03 PM   #29
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

I am going to say it isn't the alternator I had same problem which I said in couple post up, I replaced my starter drive and its been fine ever since, If it is the alternator I will be surprised, I probably wouldn't just go out and buy an alternator until you knew for sure, Like What? said I would switch it out with another one and see what happens first, and try it a couple of times.

Last edited by customchevys; 02-24-2009 at 11:13 PM.
Old 02-24-2009, 11:55 PM   #30
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by What?
I believe its your alternator doing out, especially if you have other electicity load on. Its sign with very high and low and inconsistency

Stock alternator are rated up at 105amp

Swap out alternator to anorher local 2.2L and see if problem occur or not(same for the guy you swap with)

you know what the bad part is? the alternator almost never goes bad, it's the regualtor in it that does. you can actually buy them now.
http://www.napaonline.com/masterpage...tage+Regulator


I got a rebuilt one from napa a few months ago that seems pretty good.
I won't buy this kind of stuff from autozone etc.
I've had way too many bad experiences with autozone starters, alternators, water pumps.
they seem to last about 2 years max.

Last edited by serpentracer; 02-25-2009 at 12:01 AM.
Old 02-24-2009, 11:57 PM   #31
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by serpentracer
you know what the bad part is? the alternator almost never goes bad, it's the regualtor in it that does.
and you can't buy one to put in it yourself.

I got a rebuilt one from napa a few months ago that seems pretty good.
I won't buy this kind of stuff from autozone etc.
I've had way too many bad experiences with autozone starters, alternators, water pumps.
they seem to last about 2 years max.

I am not a big fan of autozone either, especially since everything is duralast, everytime I go in there they have duralast do they ever sell other brands?
Old 02-25-2009, 12:04 AM   #32
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by customchevys
I am not a big fan of autozone either, especially since everything is duralast, everytime I go in there they have duralast do they ever sell other brands?
the electronic parts I think are all made by wells.
the stuff I bought most of it had a piece of paper with it that said wells manufacturing on it.
http://www.wellsmfgcorp.com/
Old 02-25-2009, 12:06 AM   #33
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

I have never heard of that brand, that must be it though bescause same colors.
Old 02-25-2009, 12:11 AM   #34
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by customchevys
I have never heard of that brand, that must be it though bescause same colors.
I have but I'm getting old

advance sells this brand. I also bought a sensor made by them it seems a little more "quality" made.
http://www.bwdbrand.com/web_app/Main/Page.aspx?ID=6

Last edited by serpentracer; 02-25-2009 at 12:14 AM.
Old 02-25-2009, 12:21 AM   #35
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

yea I bought a cap and rotor that was that brand from advance they are a sponsor for nascar, had nascar written on the box. I am gonna ask you on here since noone is replying to my own thread you know any other sites because autozone and advance sell 96 S10 2.2 crank? I checked napa online they didnt have a crank just bearings

Last edited by customchevys; 02-25-2009 at 12:22 AM.
Old 02-25-2009, 12:32 AM   #36
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by customchevys
yea I bought a cap and rotor that was that brand from advance they are a sponsor for nascar, had nascar written on the box. I am gonna ask you on here since noone is replying to my own thread you know any other sites because autozone and advance sell 96 S10 2.2 crank? I checked napa online they didnt have a crank just bearings
no. sure don't.
I know a lot about motorycles. I could find you a bike crank
Old 02-25-2009, 12:35 AM   #37
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

I would like to have a street bike. I won't be getting one anytime soon.
Old 02-25-2009, 07:53 AM   #38
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Be careful on the bike. They'll get you killed if the other fools on the road don't do it for you.

My starter/bendix farted out about a month ago. Sometimes I'd get in the truck and turn the key and get absolutely nothing. I did all sorts of crap to the electrical system checking grounds and all that. Kept doing it. Finally found out if i tapped on the bendix she would fire right up. After crawling under the truck and doing this in the pouring down rain I got a whole new lifetime warranty NAPA starter and bendix. Ton of $$. I couldn't get out of work so I borrowed dads truck and had it put on. Like 350 or something like that installed?? At least it starts now.

B
Old 02-25-2009, 08:11 AM   #39
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Alright...thanks for the advice guys. I'm going to probably go with just a stock alternator, I'm trying to save some money for college.
Old 02-26-2009, 09:22 PM   #40
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

S10 starters are junk.. i know several ppl who have had to get new ones.. i had to get a new one as well.. I found a place who rebuilds starters and alternators. Only cost me 50 bucks to get my starter rebuilt and now it works great
Old 02-27-2009, 10:09 AM   #41
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

I can't complain, my alt is original and is 15 years old. I think I'm going to just go to a pic a part near where i'm at and pull an alt for round 12 dollars. That way I can just play with it and see if it is bad or not and if it fixes my other problems. Then I can see what happens from there. Right now sometimes it will engage, but after cranking for half a second it will disengage and I have to turn the key again to re-engage.
Old 02-27-2009, 04:19 PM   #42
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Hopefully its not a flywheel problem
Old 02-27-2009, 07:20 PM   #43
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by Redliner
S10 starters are junk.. i know several ppl who have had to get new ones.. i had to get a new one as well.. I found a place who rebuilds starters and alternators. Only cost me 50 bucks to get my starter rebuilt and now it works great
I have a feeling this type of service is going to become more popular because of the state of the economy. "rebuilt" store stuff isn't worth what they are trying to sell it for. I mean come on, a rebuilt alt selling for $120?

lucky for me, my starter still works very well. it's the stock starter.
Old 02-27-2009, 07:24 PM   #44
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Quote: Originally Posted by deathphoenix99
I can't complain, my alt is original and is 15 years old. I think I'm going to just go to a pic a part near where i'm at and pull an alt for round 12 dollars. That way I can just play with it and see if it is bad or not and if it fixes my other problems. Then I can see what happens from there. Right now sometimes it will engage, but after cranking for half a second it will disengage and I have to turn the key again to re-engage.
if you want to know if your alt is working properly just keep an eye on the gauge.
if the needle drops below 14v when you turn on the brights with the ac on high and power accessories running, the voltage reg is probably on it's way out.
you can replace just this part now. Napa sells them.
If I knew that last summer when I bought my alt (that cost almost $120) I would have bought it instead.
because the bearings were fine in the damn thing. and it passed all the output tests. except the regulator in it went out.
and you can lube the bearings by prying the seals out with a eyeglass screwdriver. and pushing it back in.
Old 02-28-2009, 07:17 AM   #45
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

You can also start your truck check the voltage with a voltage meter if the meter reads 14 something the alternator is working, sometimes the guages in the truck are not always accurate, but I really think it the starter drive in your starter, I don't know how many times I have said this now.
Old 02-28-2009, 08:09 PM   #46
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Alright, I changed out my starter, I had my battery and alternator tested and they checked out alright. The batter had been low because Michigan weather and sitting for a couple weeks didn't help it. Also I only drive it about 1 mile when I do drive it, so it doesn't get to charge. But I drove home yesterday, 280 miles, and my battery is charged now at least. Thanks for all of the help. I know custom said it was the starter along with a few others, I just didn't want to waste any money if I didn't have to.
Old 03-09-2009, 03:20 PM   #47
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

im having issues with my starter.....i tested my old starter and it was bad..the gear wasnt coming out and starting it so i bought another one..i put it on and nothing the gear sounded like it was spinning but not engaging with the flywheel..so i took it back and bought another one..i put this one on and the same thing happened..just sounds like it was spinning and not touching anything...THEN i started reading on here and saw something about some shims..so i shimmed it same thing NOTHING...this is the wierd thing...I PUSH STARTED IT AND DROPPED THE CLUTCH AND GOT IT RUNNING..RUNS FINE!!! then i parked it and started it like 10 more times..STARTED EVERY SINGLE TIME.....Thing is when i went back out to my truck 20 mins later it didnt start again..its doing the same thing it was doing before just spinning and sounding like the gear is not touching anything...BUT THE STARTER WAS JUST WORKING????? IM LOST CAN U GUYS PLEASE HELP I WOULD APRECIATE IT>>IVE TRIED EVERYTHING
Old 03-09-2009, 03:35 PM   #48
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

BUMP! can anyone help me^^^^^^^
Old 03-09-2009, 04:34 PM   #49
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

bump!!!!
Old 03-09-2009, 05:00 PM   #50
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Re: Starter doesn't always engage

Check that both of your wires are secured and they both have power. One should be 12V constant and the other is switched with the ignition's start position.
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