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Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start 

 

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 Post subject: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:02 pm 
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1994 ED falcon.
I replaced my battery as the starter motor was being sluggish to crank over and the battery was 10 years old. I reattached the positive leads carefully putting the four leads with fuseable links on the positive, but I left off one of the leads to the negative terminal. The one with the two nuts on the right in the picture here
download/file.php?id=29519&mode=view
(This is not my car, but an ED same as mine). The car started and ran, but ran erratically, and the temperature gauge and speedo occasionally would bounce around, particularly when electrical load such as lights or indicators were turned on. I stopped the car, and checked the battery with the mutimeter. 13.5 volts under load, and 12.5 volts with no load. I figured it was the ECU, and followed instructions to reset it. I did not see the unattached lead from the negative terminal until the next day when it started to crank over slowly again, and then just would not crank. The battery was fully charged, but with the lights on, turning the key made no dimming of lights, and no cranking (though all ingition lights that are supposed to be on are on, and when ignition is turned off the smart lock flashes as it is supposed to.

I took the terminals off, and checked each of the 4(?) fusible links by checking the resistance between each link in turn and the negative lead, and there is connectivity between each of them. I took out the relay for the engine and cleaned with WD40, and did the same with the ECU. Reconnected the battery, but still no cranking. I checked all the fuses under the steering wheel, but all seem to be fine.

Could someone indicate if I am testing the fusible links properly or where I should start looking. How for instance could I check the ECU?
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:30 am 
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Sounds like by turning it over and running it with a ground missing you have shorted something out.
Current will go anyway it can to find its way back to the battery. Through ECU cases etc.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:22 am 
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The ECU looks like it is insulated, but connectivity to the starter has broken somewhere. I figure I will have to check each fuse with the multimeter, and check the fusible links again.

The fusible links are just plugs and sockets though. I don't see how these things can be "Fuses" or what to replace if one has burned out. None of the wires have melted, there was never any sound of sparking or shorting, even when I had the hood up and the temperature gauge was jumping wildly with the indicator flashing.

If I had systematic instructions to testing connectivity I would know where to start. The smart lock light flashes when ignition is off, then goes out when ignition is on as you would expect, so I don't think the smart lock has activated.
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:39 am 
Getting Side Ways
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The ECU is not insulated.
While you are cranking it over it is trying to find a return path for a couple of hundred amps. That would be the earths for injectors , sensors etc.
A couple of hundred amps through electronic circuits and .5mm cable.
Won't end well.
For the temp guage to be bouncing around with the indicator it's an earth issue.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:23 am 
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So where should I start? The relay for the starter is clicking when I turn the ignition. The fuel pump is priming. The smart lock indicator is doing what it has always done. When I turn the ignition to start, I hear the relay click, but nothing else happens. If the head lights are on, they do not dim.

I guess it is a fusible link, but I don't know how to check them. Do I connect the +ve lead multimeter to each link while disconnected from the battery and negative to the chassis and measure the resistance? What should the resistance be?

Thanks in advance. I would take it to an auto electrician, but I would have to get a tow if it wont start, so may as well try a few things.
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:25 am 
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This is the lead (the one in my hand) I left off the battery,
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124456353 ... 051189121/
and it would have been shorting to earth, but as it is attached to the negative terminal anyway, I would be surprised if it shorted sensitive equipment. Obviously though it or something else was causing the temp gauge to jump. This is a video of what happens now when I try to start the car
http://youtu.be/BQIdpwqyrhQ

I checked the fusilble links with the multimeter to the plug (about 10cm length of wire). All had zero resistance. one link on the positive terminal did not have a plug (white wire with black line), so I put the multimeter on a more sensitive setting, and found consistent resistance between it and the negative terminal wire (disconnected from the battery).
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:14 pm 
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It is the starter motor. All the other stuff was a red herring. I connected terminals 30 and 87 on the starter relay according to the Gregory's Manual and nothing. I found the starter motor under the inlet manifold, and managed to get a short bar to tap it a couple of times. Cranked the engine, and got a weak crank out of it. Now I need to find out how much a replacement starter is.
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:44 pm 
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I found a new bosh starter motor on line for $150, and my mechanic will swap it for $100. Oh well, not too expensive. I wonder how serviceable the starter motor is though.... Wether it is worth taking it out first, and seeing if I can fix it....
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Get a starter motor off a BA/BF as they are a bit smaller and more powerful.

Swap the starter motor out yourself.

$100 to swap out a starter motor, F... Me, I'm in the wrong bussiness.
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Thanks. Yes it is pretty easy to get at. I just jacked the car up and hit the starter with a hammer. It works now, and turns over every time. I reckon I will sit it out a while. It will need replacing no doubt, but at the moment, it is working well.
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:27 pm 
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Replace it sooner than later as it will stuff up on you at the worst moment. Solenoid is on the way out. I have 2 E series starter motors here going cheap ($20 each) if you are interested, located at Campbelltown. PM if you are interested.
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:44 pm 
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SWC wrote:
Replace it sooner than later as it will stuff up on you at the worst moment. Solenoid is on the way out. I have 2 E series starter motors here going cheap ($20 each) if you are interested, located at Campbelltown. PM if you are interested.




as ol grumpy said


replace it BEFORE it catches you with ya pants down :shock: [think of the worst time ta breakdown......] :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:04 am 
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Thanks for the advice. I will work on it after Christmas
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:54 am 
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Yep. Starter motor died. Luckily my car is in the garage, but thinking of some of the places I parked, I could have been up s**t creek. Once was on a short shared drive way about the length of the car with at least a 30 degree incline into an overstuffed garage..... But the car is save and sound in the garage.

I will PM SWC about the smaller starter motor, as I read somewhere that they can be a little difficult to swap because of the confined space. I can see it well from underneath, and the retaining bolts I am pretty sure, but there is not much space.

I found these instructions on line:
The first thing you need to do is buy a 13mm ratchet spanner, available at any good auto parts store.

Once you have the ratchet spanner get under the car and place a jack under the transmission to take it's weight. Then using a 13mm socket remove the two bolts holding the trans mount to the body then lower the the jack allowing the the trans to drop, it will only drop until the engine touches the firewall but this will give you more room to reach the top bolt.

Even after doing that it's still a matter of touch rather than seeing. Hold the spanner it your left hand and poke it up past the heater and fuel lines. The open end of the spanner must be upper most as you guide it up. Your right hand goes up over the starter motor hump in the trans to guide the spanner onto the bolt head. Use your finger tips to feel the bolt head and guide the ratchet end over the bolt.

You will only get a short stroke on the spanner so it will take a while to get the bolt out.

I curse these starters every time I have to do one.
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 Post subject: Re: Left second lead off negative terminal, now car wont start
Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:55 am 
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Don't drop the gearbox. Use an extension and a ratchet.
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