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03 Cruiser won't turn over

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24 Aug 2015, 04:58 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Indiana
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Default 03 Cruiser won't turn over

Good day to all. I'm having a heck of a time with this issue. Drove car to work one day. Got in after work and wouldn't turn over. Just get a click when I turn the key. Jump start didn't work. Plenty of battery power. After much deliberation I've replaced the starter (with new solenoid) and the starter relay. No good reason on the relay. Just a cheap part. Still nothing. I can hear the solenoid activating but starter doesn't spin. Both positive and negative battery cable look in good condition. 2003 Automatic with 150,000 miles. Next test will be to make sure the engine didn't somehow freeze up while I was working. Can't see how that's possible but I'm out of ideas. Please help.
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Old 24 Aug 2015, 05:54 pm
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

Maybe there's a broken ground strap or ground cable on the car. Have you looked at the cables? Corrosion under the insulation will kill them too. Or maybe there's a few teeth broken off your flywheel/ring gear where the starter bendix engages it. No teeth, no contact, no crank. Try turning the engine with the crankshaft bolt about 180 degrees and see if it'll crank then. It sure sounds more like an electrical problem to me. Is it fully engaging in park and have you tried it in neutral? Maybe even a faulty neutral switch.
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Old 24 Aug 2015, 06:51 pm
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

Someone is going to ask if you actually done a load test on the battery. ? Might as well be me! Just because you have lights doesn't mean there is enough amps to turn the starter. If there is a short in the battery, it will not turn the starter even with a jump starter. In the past, I have discovered a shorted a battery after removing the starter and finding out is was good.
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Old 24 Aug 2015, 07:28 pm
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

On the first step I would suggest that to clean both the positive and negative battery cables on both ends of each one. Make sure all battery cable ends are making good contact. Measure the battery voltage and if its lower than 12.5 volts put a battery charger on it and do a full charge.

On the second step I would check to see if there is voltage going to the solenoid. Check to see if you are getting 12 volts on the wire going to the solenoid from the ignition switch. You might need to remove the wire from the solenoid if there is a short to get an accurate measurement.

Post what you find out.
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Old 25 Aug 2015, 05:18 am
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Indiana
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

Thanks for the replies. Voltage at solenoid matches exactly what is at the battery. 12.4 volts. The solenoid does kick bendix out but no spinning attempt. So I doubt there's missing teeth but I am going to turn engine manually and see if it's frozen. I've already got about $120 into this so I may as well replace the ground cable to the battery. It just so happens that the engine ground wire is attached at the top starter mounting bolt so maybe I have corrosion under the insulation. Not sure if I can get this done today after work but will update this thread after I have results. Thanks
Oh yeah, I have already cleaned both battery posts and terminals. I will also try to get battery load tested.

Last edited by Tigger65; 25 Aug 2015 at 05:20 am.
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Old 25 Aug 2015, 06:17 am
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

Did you miss the large ground cable going to the top starter bolt that goes in from the transmission side? That cable is needed to carry the ground for the high cranking amps required for the starter armature to turn.
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Old 25 Aug 2015, 04:01 pm
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

Latest update. Battery load tested good. Putting on trickle charge until ready to re-test. Replacing negative cable. Original didn't seem bad but I've decided to take out all possibilities. So here's a question for anyone reading. If I wanted to jump the terminals on the solenoid to try to crank engine without the switch do I simply connect the two large terminals on the solenoid the way we used to do with the starter relay on old Fords?
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Old 25 Aug 2015, 08:54 pm
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

If you turn on the headlights and then try starting the engine does the headlights dim? If it does I would suggest you try manually turning the engine to see if its locked up.

You can use a 19mm socket on the balancer bolt and a 1/2" ratchet wrench or breaker bar. Be sure to turn clockwise. Also remove all spark plugs it will make it easier to rotate the engine by hand.
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Old 26 Aug 2015, 07:11 pm
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

Sorry. Had things going on tonight. Will try turning engine by hand tomorrow after work and post results. I can't believe I'm having this much trouble with what should be a simple starting problem. Thanks for all the help and please stay tuned.
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Old 30 Aug 2015, 11:29 am
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Default Re: 03 Cruiser won't turn over

OK. Here's the latest. Charged battery for 4 days. Replaced negative battery cable. Made certain engine IS NOT froze up. Removed starter (yes the new starter) and took in for testing. Works fine. Reassembled. Still no good. Giving up. Taking to the dealership.
Will try to post eventual solution. Thanks for all suggestions.
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