2 glaring clues on a my 93 gt starter issues

dbix11

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Aug 17, 2021
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Ive searched the forums and have seen the checklist on how to approach a non start and one where it cranks but wont turn over. Before anyone scoffs and throws the list at me, i think the 2 symptoms will point to something obvious to everyone else but me and will allow me to fix the issue much quicker.

1st Symptom cold temperature - has a healthy crank but wont turn over. Early on i would prime it by turning the ignition and getting the fuel to prime and it worked a handful of times, now it does not seem to any longer. BUT will start instantly when its warmer out once early afternoon hits.

2nd Symptom turn the key and nothing happens - It just started this a few days ago. It gets ACC power and i can hear the fuel go but the starter does not engage. HOWEVER if i sit a few minutes and turn the key, it will fire up like there's no issue whatsoever. Temperature does not seem to cause this issue.

The battery is new. I purchased a new starter thats currently sitting in a box and im about to order a new cap and rotor, but i figured id check in here first before doing anything.
 
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96pushrod

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I’d start by seeing if the starter solenoid attached to the starter is getting voltage, and work backwards from there. If it’s getting 12v when the key is in the crank position then the starter or solenoid needs replaced.

Is the car a manual or automatic? I’ve seen clutch safety switches in some cars act up in certain situations. My Toyota actually does this sometimes if it’s cold.
 

dbix11

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Aug 17, 2021
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Western Mass
Thanks for the reply. It is a standard, and i have played around with the clutch while turning the key and i get cues of it cutting in and out so it seems that is OK in terms of the signal being clutch pressed vs not.
 

Mustang5L5

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On the top of the starter relay is a small post with a single wire. Red with blue strip. This is the signal post to activate the relay.

The next time you can’t start with the key, apply 12v here and see if it cranks. This will bypass the ignition and clutch safety, so make sure the car is in nuetral. If it does crank, then that points to the issue being ignition switch related or bad wiring from the ignition to the starter relay to close the relay.

As for not starting when cold, try to depress the gas pedal to the floor and see if that makes a differrnce.

Have you dumped codes? Not starting when cold could be sensor related and pulling codes may help troubleshoot that
 

dbix11

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Aug 17, 2021
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Western Mass
On the top of the starter relay is a small post with a single wire. Red with blue strip. This is the signal post to activate the relay.

The next time you can’t start with the key, apply 12v here and see if it cranks. This will bypass the ignition and clutch safety, so make sure the car is in nuetral. If it does crank, then that points to the issue being ignition switch related or bad wiring from the ignition to the starter relay to close the relay.

As for not starting when cold, try to depress the gas pedal to the floor and see if that makes a differrnce.

Have you dumped codes? Not starting when cold could be sensor related and pulling codes may help troubleshoot that
Ill have to wait until either thing happens again, but i did start it jumping it from the battery to the post which is good to know. For :poo:s and giggles i did it with the key not turned and it sounded just like it did on cold starts- so next time ill try putting the pedal to the floor as you suggested as it may be a fuel issue. I dont have much of a background mechanically but i do troubleshoot quite a bit in my line of work
 

dbix11

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Aug 17, 2021
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Western Mass
On the top of the starter relay is a small post with a single wire. Red with blue strip. This is the signal post to activate the relay.

The next time you can’t start with the key, apply 12v here and see if it cranks. This will bypass the ignition and clutch safety, so make sure the car is in nuetral. If it does crank, then that points to the issue being ignition switch related or bad wiring from the ignition to the starter relay to close the relay.

As for not starting when cold, try to depress the gas pedal to the floor and see if that makes a differrnce.

Have you dumped codes? Not starting when cold could be sensor related and pulling codes may help troubleshoot that

Alright, this morning it was ~35-40F and I proceeded to turn the ignition 10 times to get everything primed and heard it. I then attempted to start it with the pedal depressed 2 times and nothing. I then pumped the gas while it was cranking and still nothing. I drove it all day yesterday with zero issues and it fired right up every time, it was around 70, and haven't had the no-crank issue since playing around with that post and cleaning it.
 

TOOLOW91

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So did you check the post with voltage or a multimeter as stated ? All you need to do is see if you have 12v going to the small stud when you try to crank and then if you do to the stud that has the small exciter wire to the start sol on the 93 mini starter . These things will tell you where the issue lies
 

AeroCoupe

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Just to clarifiy something, when you say "cranks but will not turn over" do you mean that the starter is turning the motor over i.e. cranking but the engine will not start? Saying it cranks but will not turn over makes zero sense in that cranking to the vast majority of car folks means the motor is turning over. If it is cranking and not starting that means the clutch pedal switch is good and starter solenoid is good. Without any other information I would lean towards the ignition switch.

If you have not read it at least go read it (it is a list) and you may be surprised that its not that hard to do and will get you zeroed in on the issue.

 
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dbix11

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Just to clarifiy something, when you say "cranks but will not turn over" do you mean that the starter is turning the motor over i.e. cranking but the engine will not start? Saying it cranks but will not turn over makes zero sense in that cranking to the vast majority of car folks means the motor is turning over. If it is cranking and not starting that means the clutch pedal switch is good and starter solenoid is good. Without any other information I would lean towards the ignition switch.

If you have not read it at least go read it (it is a list) and you may be surprised that its not that hard to do and will get you zeroed in on the issue.

Sorry about my misuse of terminology. It is cranking and not starting. The next time there is a cold morning and i have time i plan on taking the distributor cap off and seeing if there is moisture/frost in there. The only time it has this issue is when it's near freezing.

Just now its around 40 degrees (i know its not freezing) and i walked outside and it fired right up, makes me think its the PIP as dew or frost is the only difference between right now and early morning
 
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dbix11

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Aug 17, 2021
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Western Mass
This morning its about the same temp as it was last night when it fired right up but of course it just cranks. I did put my DMM on the post when i used a cable from the battery to the post to trigger the starter. It was getting 10v.

So now im wondering if the voltage its pulling is lower in the cold/Dewy mornings
Or if the engine is that much easier to start under ideal starting temps
 

Mustang5L5

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If the starter is turning the engine over, then there is nothing wrong with the starter solenoid. It's working as intended.

What you have here is "crank, no start". That's when the engine actually spins due to the starter but the engine itself doesn't fire. The other scenario where the starter does not engage is typically called "no crank, no start".

Since it sounds like you have a "crank, no start" situation, the checklist in post #8 comes into play. I would suspect ignition here. Coil, TFI or PIP inside the distributor.

Do you have a spare spark plug, or a spark tester? If so, when it turns over and over try disconnecting one of the spark plug wires and connect it to the spare plug and lay it on something metal. Put car in nuetral (if a stick) and touch the smaller starter post trigger wire to 12V to turn the engine over. See if you notice spark at the plug? I'm guessing you do not have it.
with the key on of course.
 
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dbix11

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Ended up being the ignition coil which I didn't think it would be since it was a relatively new aftermarket MSD. Also replaced the starter and distributor and she fires right up even with it being 5f degrees outside.

Mission Accomplished
 

rednotch

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Oh China msd strikes again.... Reason I bought a bunch of blue streak coils to have on hand. Pretty much the rest of them are low quality China junk now. Blue streaks where still made in poland and half the price but not all of em are blue resin now...
 
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Mustang5L5

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My accel coil gave me headaches for a year or so trying to troubleshoot a high rpm stumble. Tosses it out and actually have a good, low-mileage used coil on there that runs well
 
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