Battery cable and starter replacement

Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby oldtymehockey [OP] » January 25th 2011, 9:19pm

I have been searching the site since about 10 am Central time and have now decided to post.

I have replaced my starter once. I seem to be having starter trouble again. The engine turns over sometimes. Sometimes it clicks. Sometimes nothing. Sometimes my doors lock themselves. I hooked up to a charger with a start boost and the same behavior ensued.

I looked at the starter. It appears the smaller single cable held on with the 8mm nut is tweaked and probably is not getting a good enough connection. I had snow packed in there earlier this winter.

I am looking for instruction, pics, and/or advice on the following:

1. Getting to those nuts on the starter to remove those wires. Thereby making the starter easier to remove.
2. Routing and replacing the positive battery cable to the starter.
3. Checking/verifying other cables and grounds.

I want to make sure I cover all the bases on getting my starter connected correctly from what it looks like now.

Thanks.
1998 Astro AWD close to 300k
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Re: Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » January 25th 2011, 9:45pm

sounds like a frame to body ground going bad to me. Assuming the battery good.when they do that the ground tries to return through the wiring harness and they do screwy stuff.
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Re: Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby fast68 » January 26th 2011, 2:05am

the small purple wire is solenoid wire from ign switch, this wire sends power to the solenoid in order to activate it and to crank the starter motor and engine

it needs to have clean dry tight connection, as do the cables and all other wire connections also.
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Re: Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby oldtymehockey [OP] » January 26th 2011, 4:00pm

Thanks guys. I do believe I created some issues this winter by driving through some snow that was pretty deep.

I understand the battery cable is the smaller one. The nut on the post is an 8mm. I would be left to deduce the other post is negative. The battery cable connection is tweaked where the wire attaches to the ring connector. I am pretty sure the wire is damaged and needs to be replaced.

The first thing I would like to specifically ask is for a tip or trick to getting in there and removing the nuts on the posts for the wires so I can remove them and get a better look.
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Re: Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby icebrrg3rd » January 26th 2011, 4:35pm

First, make sure that the battery is disconnected. You can unbolt the starter, and flip it upside down and re-install it with one bolt (just thread it in a few turns, not all the way, just to support the weight of the starter and free up both hands) to get at the connections to remove the wires. The nose of the starter will not go into the hole where it engages the flywheel, so it is skewed off from the motor. Pay attention to how the wires are attached, as you'll have to install them that way so when you flip it right-side-up the wires won't contact anything hot or short out againt anything.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby Phantom » January 26th 2011, 4:48pm

Try using 1/4 in drive socket , swivel and extension to get into tight spaces for the small nuts on solenoid , and 3/8 in drive for the positive battery cable(Red) ,Go slowly when removing the starter mounting bolts to prevent damage to the mounting holes , and be prepared for it to drop as the starter weighs about 15 lbs and can be sudden , you may take something like a milk crate or small stool and place it under the starter and remove the starter and let it rest on the stool as you remove the small wires , if you don't put some support under the starter it can damage the wires by the weight of the starter hanging down pulling on them .If you don't have a lift to get the van high in the air routing a new cable on these is awkward , not much room to work and can be time consuming as it is routed from the battery down along the frame , very long make sure you allow plenty of time to do it right the first time , here is a diagram to get a reference point of how it is wired , the file that is listed as 2001 is common among the Gen 2 vans , 96 and 97 are mostly the same , I would get you the one for 97 but don't have time right now , but these will give you what you need
Attachments
Starting System 2001 Astro & Safari.pdf
(220.34 KiB) Downloaded 656 times
96 Power Distribution 1 of 3.pdf
(217.59 KiB) Downloaded 257 times
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Re: Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby oldtymehockey [OP] » January 26th 2011, 9:06pm

Thanks all. I will be looking further into this later today. It appears a new AC Delco positive cable is close to $80. If needed, is this a part I can go with a different mfg to save some dough? I actually think both cables are a little worn and corroded.
1998 Astro AWD close to 300k
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Re: Battery cable and starter replacement

Postby Phantom » January 26th 2011, 9:21pm

Yes there are aftermarket versions available , but do a comparison as some are not really as beefy as the original cables so you will need to check them out , I was going to buy new myself at one time but while getting items at a salvage yard i found a van with factory GM cables in Great condition and I got both the Positive and Ground cables with the protective sheath for $10 , that is the way to go , just take some time and look around for a GEN 2 van with good cables and then remove them and you will gain experience as well, as to what is involved in replacing them as both positive and ground run down the frame in the sheath .
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