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Thread: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?

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    Default starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    my starter started acting up two days ago. it would stall or not want to do anything when I turned the key. I could try it a few times and it would eventually start. then yesterday, nothing at all. no amount of jiggling or banging the starter would make it work. no clicks, no whirring, no nothing when the key is turned. all lights and dials and normal stuff comes on, just no response from the starter.

    so I read this post about starters: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/st...g-read-853439/

    got out my meter and started testing, following the instructions from the post above. battery is an older Red Top, but has always been strong, pulled the winch, cranks every time, etc. tested the voltage both static and with the key turn and it seems good.

    tested the power to the starter...same thing, seems to have the same voltage as the battery.

    tested the ignition wire on the starter and here's where my first question is...when the key is off, I get no volts, which is what it should be. but when I go to start, the volts only come to around 11.3-11.5 or so. not the full 12.5 that I got from the battery testing.

    the post above says that if the ignition gives no volts or "low voltage" when the key is turned, then it's a bad ignition wire. so my question is, how low is "low voltage" for the ignition? is in the 11s too low? if so, how do I figure out where the wire is having issues? it seems like the wire goes into a big fat wire loom and is lost forever, haha. is there something I can test at the key end of things?

    side note: I had a broken key cylinder two years ago that I had to replace. not sure if that has anything to do with what's going on now.

    2nd question: Neutral Safety Switch...I have a 98 Sahara, but the PO installed a NV3550 when he did the motor swap. where do I find the NSS and how do I test that? he had the shop that did the swap do the NSS bypass so the Jeep starts w/out having to push the clutch in. maybe that has something to do with this issue?

    TL;DR: 98 Sahara w/NV3550, starter not clicking or anything, battery & starter seem good, possible ignition wire low voltage.

    I can roll the Jeep & pop the clutch to get her going, so it's not the worst situation to be in, but I don't want to go replacing the starter if it's something else.

    J.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    I don't know much about Jeeps having only owned one 2000 wrangler sport for about a year, never having to work on it, and unfortunately, never getting it off the pavement, so I can't speak much on the first question at all. I would think that even 11.5ish volts should be enough to do SOMETHING when you turn the key. The NSS is normally on the clutch pedal inside the cab above the foot pad somewhere. The NSS is basically no more than an on/off switch to tell the computer that the clutch pedal is depressed. If was bypassed however, than it should'nt have anything to do with it. There should be a starter relay somewhere you can test, as well as the starter solenoid. I'm not sure if Jeep has that solenoid mounted external from the starter or not, but that can be "bypassed" to see if that's the issue as well.

    I know there is far more knowledgeable Jeep people and mechanics on here, but there's something to mull over at least until they pop in.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    There is a fuse you can remove to bypass the NSS, they might have done that. Sounds like a dead solenoid to me. I bought the starter for my Jeep and my DD at Autozone for the lifetime warranty and disinterested staff that don't ask questions. Most parts I go to NAPA for, but my DD starts and stops 20-40 times a day, I replace the starter just about every year for free.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    i'd check the switched wire on the starter solenoid. it should be hot when the key is in the start position. if you have 12ish volts there then its time for a new starter.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?




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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    jayson44 previously posted:
    "tested the power to the starter...same thing, seems to have the same voltage as the battery.

    tested the ignition wire on the starter and here's where my first question is...when the key is off, I get no volts, which is what it should be. but when I go to start, the volts only come to around 11.3-11.5 or so. not the full 12.5 that I got from the battery testing."

    Take a jumper wire from the battery terminal on the starter and touch it to the ignition terminal on the starter. If the solonoid pulls in, the 11.5 volts is not enough to pull the solonoid. I am betting nothing happens when you jump the two terminals, which means time for a starter.

    EDIT: Chock the wheels, set the parking brake, make sure the transmission is in park or neutral. This test by-passes all safety devices engineered into modern automobiles. If you cause bodily injury or property damage, it is your own damn fault!

    Nothing personal against you Jason. Just a CYA for people who are still developing an understanding of automotive systems.
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    The Lost Boys motto: We don't know where we're going, but we'll be there for awhile. :)

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    I agree with the jump it test. This will show you a good path to go down.
    If the start runs when jumped then you have low voltage issues.
    After that you,will want to check the relay. It could be calling and be the root cause of your problems.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    I had the same problem with my red TJ and it was the battery didn't have a Good charge to run anything The charge said it was good on mine you need to try a load test showed the battery was bad I thought mine was going to be the alternator so I brought it to somebody and had it tested and it turned out to be the battery

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    Paul previously posted:
    "Sounds like a dead solenoid to me."

    I would agree. That is what it sounds like. Some testing will narrow it down including testing the battery, testing the power at the solenoid, etc. If you have to remove the starter, some additional testing and/or visual inspection can narrow it down. A replacement or rebuild may be in order.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    Hypoid previously posted:
    "Take a jumper wire from the battery terminal on the starter and touch it to the ignition terminal on the starter. If the solonoid pulls in, the 11.5 volts is not enough to pull the solonoid. I am betting nothing happens when you jump the two terminals, which means time for a starter."

    ok, so basically just run a small wire from the big bolt on the starter to the small one, correct? how big of a jumper wire do I need? if I don't have any wire laying around, can I use a piece of metal? if it works, the Jeep should start, correct? and if it does nothing, that means I need a new starter?

    when you say "If the solonoid pulls in, the 11.5 volts is not enough to pull the solonoid." are you saying that there is an issue with the ignition wire and not the starter?

    J.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    also, thanks for the CYA. well aware of those things but it's good for others to see.

    the Jeep is a manual, and since the PO did the clutch bypass, I can start it w/out the clutch. so I've had it chalked & in neutral during all of my testing so far. will continue to do so.

    J.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    dieseldoc previously posted:
    "After that you,will want to check the relay. It could be calling and be the root cause of your problems."

    which relay?

    J.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    Normally to bypass the neutral safety switch all you do put a fuse in spot #20.

    I would have the battery load tested first before trying anything else.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    If you don't have a wire you could use a wrench to span the gap.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    yeah, I'll take the battery to get it tested today. seems like it could be causing problems even if my test doesn't show it.

    J.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    jayson44 previously posted:
    "the Jeep is a manual, and since the PO did the clutch bypass, I can start it w/out the clutch. so I've had it chalked & in neutral during all of my testing so far. will continue to do so."

    I think this eliminates your NSS as a possible suspect.

    Do you have an alarm or security system that might disable the ignition?

    If all the other electrical systems seem to be working okay (are your headlights nice and bright?), I would suspect the solenoid or a bad connection.
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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    got the battery tested and they said it's good. they have starters in stock, so tomorrow (if I have time) I'll pull my starter and grab a new one. tonight I pulled the starter and cleaned the contacts and reinstalled. no change.

    all other electrical is great. no alarm.

    J.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    jayson44 previously posted:
    "tonight I pulled the starter and cleaned the contacts and reinstalled. no change."

    Kudos for the attitude and effort!!!

    For anyone else following this thread: You can do a function test on the work bench, or take it to the auto parts for pretty much the same test.
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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    brought my tools with me this morning and installed a new starter in the Oreilly's parking lot...works like a charm. got the one with the lifetime warranty, so now I don't have to buy another one.

    thanks for the help and the suggestions on the testing, guys!

    J.

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    Default Re: starter no clicky, NSS or ignition?



    Glad it was that simple. It is always the last place you look, right?!

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