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Intermitent start and no turn signals when it does not.


240z70

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Background:  1970z-L28F54 engine- Starter sometimes would not crank, other times it would, so i figured that the starter was bad.  Since its probably over 20+ years old minimum, I figured the Z could use a new starter, so I bought a new High Torque starter and installed.  Then tested it.

It did the same thing, (so I probably wasted the money, but at least I know that component is new) and THEN I NOTICED that whenever it would not start, the turn signals would not make any sound (flasher sounds) and the signals would not work.

The funny (not really funny) thing is that IF i test it and crank it every 5 minutes for a half hour, some of the times it will crank, then it wont, then it will.  When it does not crank, there is no noise from the solenoid.  If I test the turn signals there is also no noise from the solenoid when this happens.

I tried to jump start it and every time it did not crank, i would jump it and it would start immediately.  This has me puzzled as to where to  start. 

-The fuses all seem good.

-Cant be the fusible link because 2 or 3 times out of 5 it will start just fine.

-Not sure why the turn signals don't work when it does not crank.

-Even tried to cheat and check the turn signals to see if they worked:  If they did, the car would crank, if they did not, the car would not.

Anyway any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated, since i am tired of jump starting it (have not had time to start to trace all the wires for bad connections yet).

Suggestions?  Case studies from someone who had this happen to them?

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3 minutes ago, 240z70 said:

I tried to jump start it and every time it did not crank, i would jump it and it would start immediately

When you jump it you're putting outside power directly to the cable ends.  Kind of sounds like dirty cable end to battery post connections.  When the current from the starter motor (lots of amps) hits them the corrosion heats up and expansion opens the connection.  Then it cools down and closes and will pass enough current to run lights and things.  Very common, many starters have been replaced because of it.

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It may be a combination of things. Along with what @Zed Headsuggested, it may also have something to do with the switch on the back of the ignition switch. Also, how good of a charge do you have on your battery? A suspect/weak battery will cause funny things to happen.

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10 hours ago, Zed Head said:

Kind of sounds like dirty cable end to battery post connections.

I had this.. i measured 12 v on the poles but 0 volt on the connectors, there was nothing of dirt to see in the pole connectors but one was faulty!  Clean them (special tool or wirebrush) and your good to go. If not.. then use a multimeter and test on your fuses when the car is not starting and flashers do not work.. 

oh and put some vaseline on your batterypoles and connectors..

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Scenarios:

Dirty battery connections/ Old Battery:  Dont think that is the problem.  Battery is new, and all the connections were cleaned and "vaselined".

Bad connector connection:   Could be. Will check those with meter.

Loose wire somewhere???:  Maybe, will check since it seems that the starter does not get the ignition signal to start, BUT why would it affect the turn signals...?  When i put a small lead from POS on the battery and touch the Ignition signal post on the solenoid it starts without a problem. That seems to indicate the problem is upwind to the ignition, not downwind to the battery.

Back of ignition switch issue?  Perhaps and will check, however that would not have anything to do with the turn signals that I can think of.  Different under column area.

Turn signal and Flasher not working when it wont start:  Weird, EVERYTHING ELSE WORKS, (all lights), brake lights, headlights etc.

As soon as I have time, i will check:

1-Loose wires under column.

2-Voltage/Current on the ignition signal wire to the starter when key turned to crank, if it does crank.

3-Will recheck all fuses, but this does not make sense, since it does start at times and I have already checked them all.

4-Bad fuselink:  Cant be this since it does start half the times, but I will check with a meter.

    ---Is there a good place that anyone knows of that sells reputable 240z fuselinks?  I should probably buy a couple to have on hand.

    ---I think there were 3 fuselinks on the early Z, but not sure.  1-Starter, 1-Alternator, not sure where the other was.

    ---Also, have not found the correct Factory Service Manual for this early type Z (prod: 11/69). Xenon posting says "Looking for Manual".

==Thoughts:  Is the ignition signal wire in anyway sharing a factory relay with the turn signals for dash power?

If I cant find the issue, i will have to install a temporary supplemental Push On/NOff switch connected to a fuse and a power relay in order to be able to hot wire it remotely from the drivers seat if the key wont crank.  Dont want to have to open the hood everytime it doesnt crank..LOL.

Anything else that you guys recommend or that I forgot to consider or mention?🙊

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55 minutes ago, 240z70 said:

Weird, EVERYTHING ELSE WORKS, (all lights), brake lights, headlights etc.

Should have put this in your first post.

You did the classic "selective information disclosure" in your first post and sent everyone off on a path they would not have followed if they had known.  

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1 hour ago, Zed Head said:

Should have put this in your first post.

You did the classic "selective information disclosure" in your first post and sent everyone off on a path they would not have followed if they had known.  

I took the hint from the turn signals not working. There are only a couple of common points between the start circuit and turn signals that would display intermittent failure. These common points are the battery terminals, the ignition switch, the ammeter, and the fusible link. The last two are not as likely to have intermittent failures. It's probably the switch on the back of the ignition switch.

By the way @240z70, the turn signals not working could easily be the ignition switch. I do not make random suggestions often, especially about the s30 electrical system. Try operating the turn signals with the ignition off. If your car is wired as stock, they won't work. https://fiddlingwithzcars.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/hazard-switch-brake-light-turn-signal-circuit-analysis/

Now, here is how you can test what I said. When you have a hard time starting the car, leave the key in the ON position. Try turning on the fan. Likely it will not run. Also, the wipers probably won't work. The turn signals, fan, and wipers all get their power through the ignition switch.

 

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18 hours ago, 240z70 said:

i would jump it and it would start immediately. 

  I thought he meant jump at the battery.  It's sounding like he meant he jumped the solenoid, bypassing the ignition switch.  More words would have helped.

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23 hours ago, Zed Head said:

Should have put this in your first post.

You did the classic "selective information disclosure" in your first post and sent everyone off on a path they would not have followed if they had known.  

 

21 hours ago, Zed Head said:

  I thought he meant jump at the battery.  It's sounding like he meant he jumped the solenoid, bypassing the ignition switch.  More words would have helped.

 

Yes I should have provided the most information I had available, and be clearer in my post.  My apologies to all for my inadequate post. 

Additional info:

Yes all lights work other than the signals, and I don't have a heater, so I can't check it thru there.  When I said jump, I actually meant providing a direct signal from the battery to the solenoid ignition signal post, not putting cables from another battery to my battery.

Both switches (turn and lights - left/right) were torn apart and rebuilt by Dave Irwin, so I feel very comfortable about their internal condition.  The wiring underneath the dash going to them is a whole different thing, so I have to check that.

Sometimes when we are trying to describe a situation, we tend to focus on some of the items and forget that other people can't actually see the whole situation and therefore are left looking for a needle in a haystack, without really knowing how big the stack is or how small the needle in question could be.  A more descriptive explanation on my part should have been forthcoming in order to provide you with as much information as I actually was aware about the situation.

I will check the other ideas you guys had and hopefully I can find the cause and eliminate this issue.  Thank you all for your assistance, support and quick responses.

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I had a switch from a parts car that had a problem and I was able to fix it by restaking the pins on the back.  I tested it with a meter, after I had already taken the car apart, then started wiggling the pins and found that one was physically loose.  In the parts car, which I had running for a while, the starter would catch then let loose as I tried to start the engine.  Very annoying.  I thought it was the starter but it seemed to actually be the switch.

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