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Starter diagnostic.

678 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  no2498
Very newb question but just want to make sure im not overlooking anything before i dig into it more. My 317 wont start, i hear a click at the solenoid, have 12 volts at the starter with the turn of the key but its not engaging. Bad starter right?
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Not necessarily. First thing I would do is use a small jumper wire to jump from the battery cable terminal on the starter solenoid to the small activating terminal of the starter solenoid. IF there are two small terminals on the solenoid, one will be a ground, do not jump to that. IF the starter runs now you know battery, cables and solenoid are good and problem is likely in the safety wiring circuit. IF it doesn't, try below.

Use a good set of jumper cables to jump directly from the battery to the starter terminal using only one side of the cables. IF starter runs, you know the problem is in the wiring, probably safety wiring circuit but could be cable, cable connection, switch, solenoid. Starter doesn't run, connect the other side of jumper set from battery to engine block. IF starter runs now, you have a bad ground connection, cable.

You are sure your battery is good?

Note: 12 volts at solenoid does not mean you have enough amperage.

Walt Conner
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Thanks Walt. I tried a small wire to the terminal and it still didnt work. I should note this is a cheap chinese starter i got for $15. Ohhhh how i regret that purchase.
One other possibility is a bad or missing ground between the engine block and the battery, since the engine itself has rubber mounts.
My jumper cable test would turn this up IF used.

Walt Conner
If you have the 4 wire solenoid....don't assume the small ground term is definitely grounded to chassis and bat negative, especially if you cannot see such wire.....It may be looped thru the safety switches...You can temporarly jumper the term to ground and see if it will now allow eng to crank...beware you are thus defeating the safety at that time...and only for this test..
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use both cables to the starter ground to a clean spot on the starter. hot to the post
if it works. you start looking back at every thing in the line

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