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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thing ran beautifully until this morning. Now I have absolutely no crank, no click, no try.


The headlights are super bright when in crank position and don't dim at all. The battery is perfect.

I never paid attention to the dash warning lights before during iginition ON or crank position, so I don't know which one's should be off or on. A suspicious exclamation point is illuminated on the cluster when in the crank position....not sure if that idiot light existed before.

Put the shifter into park and N and back and forth with no results.

It's super cold and I have mother-in-law issues. Going to tow to dealer and pay the $$ if nothing is found by Saturday.

Any common issues... ideas? thanks
 

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You are not getting any power to the starter motor. it could be simple as a bad or ill-connected relay which supplies power for the starter motor or worse, a failed starter motor itself , and some other things. try to replace the relay first and see if things improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I'm kinda thinking TRS, relay or antitheft but the weather is tough. The key switch feels the same as before and all the cluster lights seem to change crisply when going from off to on to start.

I guess it'll get towed, since this isn't a common issue. I'm not ready to start guessing or laying in the snow with a voltmeter. This is gonna be the first visit to a dealer for service over the last 15 yrs.

The forum search function kinda sux because it won't work for less than 4 characters "trs"
 

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Hey before you tow...SHOZ posted about some jumper wire that you can use to test if the starter is good. As you've said the search forum sucks though, it may be under Topic Finde.r..
 

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Cake monster
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Thing ran beautifully until this morning. Now I have absolutely no crank, no click, no try.


The headlights are super bright when in crank position and don't dim at all. The battery is perfect.

I never paid attention to the dash warning lights before during iginition ON or crank position, so I don't know which one's should be off or on. A suspicious exclamation point is illuminated on the cluster when in the crank position....not sure if that idiot light existed before.

Put the shifter into park and N and back and forth with no results.

It's super cold and I have mother-in-law issues. Going to tow to dealer and pay the $$ if nothing is found by Saturday.

Any common issues... ideas? thanks
I'm surprised that you didn't hit the starter, that's the first thing I do when my car doesn't want to turn over. Other than that, check the wiring leading from the starter. I guess it's too late now, since it's probably in the shop. The first thread I read about the trs indicated that it would start after moving the shifting leaver. In case it is your issue, here's a link to where you can search for info about it on this site.
 

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Oh and it seems that as Vulcans age...since the oil filter is right above it, during an oil change (or if there is a leak) oil drips down onto the starter...this may be the reason why some of them fail?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm surprised that you didn't hit the starter, that's the first thing I do when my car doesn't want to turn over. Other than that, check the wiring leading from the starter. I guess it's too late now, since it's probably in the shop. The first thread I read about the trs indicated that it would start after moving the shifting leaver. In case it is your issue, here's a link to where you can search for info about it on this site.
wow! thanks for sharing your trick how to search this forum with 3rd party search engine so term "trs" can be located in threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update!!

Car mysteriously healed itself and started Saturday so I drove it around. The outside temps were a little warmer. This morning (Monday) it was bone chilling cold again so the car had the no crank symptom again. Since this thing is intermittent & seemingly temperature dependent, I decided to skip the dealer visit for the time being. I can't see visiting the dealer and flushing $ chasing a problem that can't be reliably duplicated.

After confirming the no crank condition, I'm going to try ruling out the starter/relay with a few whacks with a 2x4 and maybe voltage checks, although the darn termnals appear to have some sort of plastic cover on them that will surely break off in this 20 degree cold.

any more ideas welcome.

I'm now gonna begin searching for the physaical location of the starter relay and trs so I can do voltage checks. I guess the starter relay is on the starter assembly. I sure miss the old Ford starter solenoids they used mount in a handy spot. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
another update. Layed under the car in the snow to check voltage from S terminal on the starter to + battery lead on starter. For those who don't know, the S terminal is the positive power source to activate the solenoid. This switched poweer input has the ignition switch, varios interlocks (TRS) and antitheft in series with it. Compared to battery +, it reads about 11.5 volts when the ignition is OFF or ON position, but only reads about 1 volt when the ignition key is in the crank position. This tells me the crank signal is finding it's way to the starter but the starter will simply not crank. I also noticed I could hear the starter click, but no crank.

This points to a bad starter motor with a partially working solenoid on the starter...at least it makes some clicking noise ...possibly bendix picking up lol.

Well...lifetime warranty starter is $150 locally, so I'm gonna buy one and try it. Will update upon install. Oil changes may have destroyed the starter, so I'll have to make some sort of fluid shield for next oil filter change.

thanks for advice everyone.
 

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Cake monster
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another update. Layed under the car in the snow to check voltage from S terminal on the starter to + battery lead on starter. For those who don't know, the S terminal is the positive power source to activate the solenoid. This switched poweer input has the ignition switch, varios interlocks (TRS) and antitheft in series with it. Compared to battery +, it reads about 11.5 volts when the ignition is OFF or ON position, but only reads about 1 volt when the ignition key is in the crank position. This tells me the crank signal is finding it's way to the starter but the starter will simply not crank. I also noticed I could hear the starter click, but no crank.

This points to a bad starter motor with a partially working solenoid on the starter...at least it makes some clicking noise ...possibly bendix picking up lol.

Well...lifetime warranty starter is $150 locally, so I'm gonna buy one and try it. Will update upon install. Oil changes may have destroyed the starter, so I'll have to make some sort of fluid shield for next oil filter change.

thanks for advice everyone.
I have also had good luck getting starters from wreckers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well, case closed. With my $3 Harbor Freight voltmeter I was able to confirm the crank wire to the starter was indeed behaving properly when the ignition switch is turned to crank, but the starter would not crank with 12 v applied. I could hear the starter solenoid click. Therefore all the fuses, wiring, antitheft, key switch and tranny position interlocks were functioning as intended.

Took the starter off and replaced it with 100% new chinese starter off ebay for $60 delivered with 2 yr warranty. A couple distributors seem to be selling them for around the same cost. This is the same starter you get at Auto Zone for $160. Advance sells a Remy that might be USA made, I don't know.

It fits a little loose in the machined bell housing hole (probably to avoid headaches), but bolted down fine. I can tell you hte original starter was machined for snug fit and tough to remove. The old plastic safety cap for the solenoid battery terminals didn't fit exactly right on the new starter, but it is not mandatory. It could be trimmed to fit but I didn't bother in this weather...maybe later. This cap is to prevent the oil filter from falling contacting it which could short the battery.

Car starts great & I'm glad I saved $100 on the part. Probably saved $500 over tow and dealer job.

thnx for advices & hope this helps somebody.
 
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