Another No Start '94 Astro

Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby Bob_E [OP] » October 1st 2010, 7:54pm

Hey, and thanks for the opportunity of this forum. I remember the day when you could call a dealership and the service dept. would be more than helpful. No more, from my experience. So thanks again. Anyway, got a '94 Astro with 90k miles and I've been real happy with since buying three years ago. Haven't used it much recently but I have been starting it regularly. Noticed a few months back that when I started it it would initially turn a little slow, then kinda catch, and start right up. Well tried it the other day and nothing (not even a click) when I turned the key. Thought it was the battery but that has checked out. Thinking it now might be the starter because of the earlier symptoms?? Took a peek at it (buried way in there, passenger side, by the manifold) and it looks original.

So the ???'s Do you think it's the starter? And do you suggest at 'tap it' test? How do you get it out (through the doghouse?) because it's on top that solenoid (I think that's a solenoid?) buried way up there!! Should I replace that original looking solenoid also? And is there anyway, with the space constraints, to test the starter bypassing the solenoid?

Once again great forum and I certainly appreciate any feedback I can get.

Cheers.
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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby astroturf » October 2nd 2010, 6:20am

Bob_E wrote:Hey, and thanks for the opportunity of this forum. I remember the day when you could call a dealership and the service dept. would be more than helpful. No more, from my experience. So thanks again. Anyway, got a '94 Astro with 90k miles and I've been real happy with since buying three years ago. Haven't used it much recently but I have been starting it regularly. Noticed a few months back that when I started it it would initially turn a little slow, then kinda catch, and start right up. Well tried it the other day and nothing (not even a click) when I turned the key. Thought it was the battery but that has checked out. Thinking it now might be the starter because of the earlier symptoms?? Took a peek at it (buried way in there, passenger side, by the manifold) and it looks original.

So the ???'s Do you think it's the starter? And do you suggest at 'tap it' test? How do you get it out (through the doghouse?) because it's on top that solenoid (I think that's a solenoid?) buried way up there!! Should I replace that original looking solenoid also? And is there anyway, with the space constraints, to test the starter bypassing the solenoid?

Once again great forum and I certainly appreciate any feedback I can get.

Cheers.


I am not to well versed in this area Bob...

But this will get you to the top.

Good Luck, Jim
My Cup is neither half empty nor half full... But has a hole in it. Holy Cup Holders Batman. LOLz, Jim
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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby grandamle91 » October 2nd 2010, 2:16pm

With my experience with starters its cheaper to just replace the whole thing, I just bought a 94' starter to put on my 97' and it ran $79 @ advance auto, you could also take yours off and take to a autoparts store and have tested


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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby LEVE » October 2nd 2010, 2:45pm

Yep, take the starter off and at least have it tested.

As you were thinking, the problem could simply be the starter solenoid on the starter. Hitting it with a hammer can recover it for a blow, or two, then it just gets worse and worse. If so, it can be rebuilt easily at a lower cost than a rebuild starter.

Also makes sure you check the quality of the cables. They're getting a little long in the tooth. Check them for corrosion.

But, what ever you do... you're going to have to get under the van and start cranking wrenches. The room under there is a PITA, but then, do it more often (and you will) and you'll get used to it. You might as well start now.
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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby RECox286 » October 2nd 2010, 3:13pm

x2. Whack the starter to see if the contacts can be vibrated to life. If so, forget further testing. Bite the bullet and get either a new, or quality (well known brand) rebuilt unit. If you can get a Hi-Torque starter, if it will fit, so much the better.

Good time to eyeball all the cables and connections. Sometimes all it takes is to just loosen, then retighten the cable fasteners, unless they are really cruddy. You might want to do a stress test on the battery. How old is it? Voltage is not the question, but amperage is. If you need a battery, look for at least 100 CCA (cold cranking amps) per cylinder. I don't settle for anything less than that, and 5 yr (60 month) rating. When it comes to batteries, and starters, the bigger the better.

Bob
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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby Phantom » October 2nd 2010, 3:32pm

I have replaced quite a few starters over the years ,the brushes wear out and require a whole lot more current (amps) to spin , . Brushes are cheap and easy to replace , but the armature commutator often gets worn out too , the cost of replacing it is about the price of a new starter,a new starter comes with a new solenoid , and is the easier route to go . removing the stater from underneath the van is easier than trying to pull it through the dog house . I had repalced the starter on my LeSabre with a remanufactured unit for $54 it is a AC Delco brand unit and came with a lifetime warranty
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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby Bob_E [OP] » October 2nd 2010, 7:37pm

Hey, Thanks to all who replied. Much appreciated!

Did pull the starter out which wasn't too bad once I figured out that the solenoid and starter were only coming out as one unit. Even though they looked like they could be separated (ha! Stupid me). Did do a 'cross the post test' to see if I could spin the starter. No luck. Even though I made sure I had spark. So I'm a little concerned about that before I go invest the 80 bucks in a re-fab. The one thing I had a question for at this point is that it looks like there's a second red wire that is mounted with the main positive wire from the battery at the starter. Any idea what that wire is for or were it goes? Like i said, a little concerned that I will put a new starter in and still have a problem (i.e. something in the ignition column that could be causing this? only reason I say this is because when I turned the key, before removing the starter, the only noise I got was a 'click' noise in the column. But maybe that was just the mechanical mechanism when I turned the key, not sure but a little concerned...)

Anyways, thanks again to everyone for all your help and I will keep you posted.

Cheers.
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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby Phantom » October 2nd 2010, 8:06pm

Yes , the solenoid can be separated from the starter , replaced independently in need be, the click you heard was likely the solenoid , unless a relay in the dash , but when this problem happens , if the solenoid is good and starter is bad you will get a click sound , just like when a battery is drained , can you take it to advance auto or autozone to be tested ? usually is a second wire as you see , I can post a diagram of the wiring if needed
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Re: Another No Start '94 Astro

Postby Phantom » October 2nd 2010, 9:34pm

Wires on the solenoid:
Purple wire from solenoid goes to ignition switch

Black wire ---> ground

From the solenoid-Red wire ----> Fusible Link wire(12 gauge rust) ------> Battery terminal on the alternator
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