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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been a while since I posted on this site, but have always had good advice when I do. A couple of years ago I wired up a separate toggle switch to the starter, turn the key to ON and flipped the toggle to start. Worked great until a week ago. I had run my DieHard down to dead when I left the lights on overnight. Got a charge, it started up and car ran fine for over 6 months. Recently the battery started to fail, I had to jump start it, and drove 80 miles home without a problem. I checked voltage the next day and it was under 12V so I bought a new DieHard and flipped the toggle switch - blown fuse wired to the toggle switch. In trying to troubleshoot, I bypassed the neutral safety switch, replaced the inline circuit breaker, looked to grounding of all wires, replace starter, checked grounds, etc. In the process I blew and replaced about 10 fuses and blew every one. Any ideas on where to look now??
 

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Start at the fuse or at the other end of the wire at the starter and work the other way along the circuit.

What you might think of doing is if the toggle switch only goes to the starter solenoid to get it to crank over, disconnect that wire at the solenoid and insulate or tape off the end so it touches nothing. Now try a new fuse and flip the switch. If the fuse blows then this tells me you have a short to ground past the switch but before where it ended at the starter solenoid.

To keep from blowing more fuses and spending money on them, take the fuse out and the fuse holder should have two connection points in it. Take a spare 12V light socket and bulb and place the light between these two spots on the fuse holder. Now try flipping the switch and if there is still a short to ground, the light will light up but not blow. Now start tracing things down, checking now and then that the light comes on with the switch. Eventually once you find the short and correct it,the light will no longer come on with flipping the switch. Once this happens, take the light out of the fuse holder, put in the proper sized fuse, reconnect the wire at the starter and all should be well again.

Who knows, you may have a wire pinched behind the motor.

A wire might be melted against an exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe,

You may have a bad toggle switch.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update to my original post. Bottom line is that after the battery went dead, it worked OK for a few months but but would not fully charge. With voltage down slightly form optimum, more amps were required by the starter and it eventually failed. My neutral starter switch also failed at some point and had to test everything in the starter circuit. Unrelated to that the alternator failed and/or voltage regulator failed. I have replaced all above components and am monitoring battery voltage on a regular basis, but there is much more to the story. I will save that for another post when I hope to provide for info to help prevent similar issues for others.
 

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Update to my original post. Bottom line is that after the battery went dead, it worked OK for a few months but but would not fully charge. With voltage down slightly form optimum, more amps were required by the starter and it eventually failed. My neutral starter switch also failed at some point and had to test everything in the starter circuit. Unrelated to that the alternator failed and/or voltage regulator failed. I have replaced all above components and am monitoring battery voltage on a regular basis, but there is much more to the story. I will save that for another post when I hope to provide for info to help prevent similar issues for others.
C'mon, ya gotta share your info :)

My opinion is electrical on the older cars is not that bad and if there are issues it's normally something that can be easily fixed with minimal costs unlike a newer vehicle with more complex systems and then add in more limited help with resolving those issue(s) and one can feel like throwng in the towel.

While some issues might seem like they appear out of the blue like a failing starter, a battery, an alternator, or a wiring issue, sometimes it's the little hints that something is going on like a slightly dimmer than normal headlights, a starter that now and then does not engage, or one that seem to drag a little bit compared to the last time it was driven and a host of other subtle hints to where if you pick up on them and take actions, you might be better of in the long run.

You also have to weigh in the quality of things today. I can tell you stories of buying let's say a switch that was rated at 15A and having it fail and then replacing it with the same thing and both had a 5A fuse before them that NEVER failed.

Post what you can with your issues and what you did to correct things as we can all learn from this kind of thing.

Pictures can also help too if they are of a good enough quality and of a higher resolution .

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
C'mon, ya gotta share your info :)

My opinion is electrical on the older cars is not that bad and if there are issues it's normally something that can be easily fixed with minimal costs unlike a newer vehicle with more complex systems and then add in more limited help with resolving those issue(s) and one can feel like throwng in the towel.

While some issues might seem like they appear out of the blue like a failing starter, a battery, an alternator, or a wiring issue, sometimes it's the little hints that something is going on like a slightly dimmer than normal headlights, a starter that now and then does not engage, or one that seem to drag a little bit compared to the last time it was driven and a host of other subtle hints to where if you pick up on them and take actions, you might be better of in the long run.

You also have to weigh in the quality of things today. I can tell you stories of buying let's say a switch that was rated at 15A and having it fail and then replacing it with the same thing and both had a 5A fuse before them that NEVER failed.

Post what you can with your issues and what you did to correct things as we can all learn from this kind of thing.

Pictures can also help too if they are of a good enough quality and of a higher resolution .

Jim
Jim,
I agree with all of your comments.(y) Especially the one about paying attention to the little hints. With a desire to help other avoid cruel and unusual punishment (due to not paying attention), here is a brief recap of my issues and recommendations. Please keep in mind that the following recap is from memory, and subject to error. :oops: In order of occurance:
  1. Left lights on overnight, October 2019
  2. Got a charge with jumper cable on race day, drove to a race and drove home135 miles without any problem
  3. Powermaster mini starter failed, April or May 2020
  4. Bought new Powermaster starter and it worked as expected
  5. Did several races after May 2020, drove to track and home with intermittent starting issues
  6. First race of March 2021, drove 135 miles to track and had odd problems with lights and starting
  7. On day 2 of March race, had intermittent starting problems
  8. After race drove part way home, gassed up and car would not start, got jumper and drove remaining 100 miles without issues
  9. A few days later, tried to start it and nothing
  10. Replaced battery with new Diehard
  11. Drove 85 miles to a race in April 2021, made one run and saw the GEN light came on.
  12. Back the pits, found the alternator had completely split in 2, he 4 screws holding it were completely gone!
  13. Replaced the the alternator with a rebuilt one (original 3 wire) and charged battery. Would not start.
  14. Replaced the voltage regulator. Would not start.
  15. Tried to start. blew a fuse. Retried several times with new fuse, same result.
  16. Started trouble shooting. No clear indication of the the cause, made the original post of this thread
  17. Tested neutral safety switch (NSS) and found it was shorted (fused)
  18. Checked voltage at rebuilt alternator, was 11.5V. Returned for replacement.
  19. Bypassed NNS, still would not start
  20. Sent both Powermaster starters to local shop for repair. Both had fused contacts from excessive amps
  21. Installed rebuilt starter late April 2021 and it has started every time since.
I learned several lessons from this whole experience, and will follow up ASAP. In the meantime, I look forward to any comments you may have.
 
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