Head scratching NO START OR CRANK Help plz

Head scratching NO START OR CRANK Help plz

Postby smalls5 [OP] » May 6th 2011, 9:28pm

Hello all,
1989 Gmc Safari v6 4.3 l cargo van 190,000 miles. 8th digit of vin Z. No fact ac. It has aftermarket (kinda rigged up)
Ive had this van for about 4 months and has run strong no starting problems or cranking problems.
I went to start it the other day and nothing, it won't even try to crank or turn over. The only sound it makes is a click after I turn the key to the off after attempting to start it.
The battery is good and has a strong charge and I tried jumping no dice. Alternator and Starter are good. Batt cables good, getting juice to starter. I tapped starter solenoid no help.
I started to check electrical and the only relay on the relay panel (pass side firewall) was gunked up on the bottom from the electrical tape so I swapped it out but to no avail. Any suggestions on where to go from here. I don't want to just start parts changing and I need to get this thing back on the road asap. Thank you for the time all.
Original Poster [OP]
smalls5
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Re: Head scratching NO START OR CRANK Help plz

Postby tellison699 » May 30th 2011, 8:03pm

you said it makes a click when you turn off the ignition? Does dash lights come on when you turn on the ignition? If no dash lights and no noise I would say Ignition switch. If that's not the issue, what is turning on when you turn ur key? More info and we can get it figured out.
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Re: Head scratching NO START OR CRANK Help plz

Postby Ta2ed Texan » September 29th 2011, 2:58am

Try taking off the serpentine belt and tryin to start it.. .If something is wrong with yer ac compressor it can keep the motor from spinning. I almost sold a silverado once because I thought the motor had locked up... Then right as the guy was going to pay me and pick up the truck I took off the belt and it fired right up... I forget why we took off the belt but I almost sold a good truck for like 300 bucks...and all that it was was the compressor was locked up and it acted like the motor was siezed... Its worth a shot. Mine clicked like the starter was engaging but all you heard was the click. I knew the starter was good cause it was only a few weeks old, a dealer part and new... so I just figured the motor locked up..

Other than that check your grounds, and even try moving the flywheel with a screw driver or something or better yet get a 1/2 inch drive and a socket on the damper nut on the front of the crankshaft and see if ya can turn the motor. By doing this you might get your starter in a more happy position for cranking or free what ever was causing it to give ya problems.

If not the starter is cheap and a really easy job..

Ta2man :2:
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Re: Head scratching NO START OR CRANK Help plz

Postby mattharmless » October 1st 2011, 2:10pm

I am having a similar situation. (Turn the key, hear a click, but engine won't turn over.)

My battery is good. Battery cables are good. Assumed it was the starter, took the starter off and had them check it down at autozone... but it came back good. Getting ready to go to the junk yard and get a replacement starter, but if the one I had was good, will that even help?
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Re: Head scratching NO START OR CRANK Help plz

Postby Phantom » October 1st 2011, 11:47pm

I have had that problem ,, first verify that you have power at all the wires going to starter , you may have a fusible link that has blown, try jumping the solenoid under the van when it is mounted and wired up, Usually the clicking is the solenoid working , if you are under the van using a jumper you will hear it loud and can even feel it when the solenoid works ,, if you have all wires getting full power , try slightly loosening the bolts that mount the starter just enough that you can move it a little ,maybe more to make sure the drive gear is no stuck engaged in the flywheel . sometimes starters need shims to be aligned correctly and that can caused damage to the starter it it needs a shim but does not have one .. I had this problem on a car a few years ago , bench test starter and it worked fine, or so it seemed ,
I disassembled the starter and upon a close inspection I found that the armature of the starter had become slightly bent and and when it turned in the case it would jam up ,, the bent armature was the result of the starter not being properly aligned when mounted , it needed a shim and did not have one , when the starter would be turned on when starting car the slamming of the drive gear over time it caused the armature to get a slight bow in it and it just stopped working when mounted in car although it worked on the bench , I was able to shim it up to make it spin when mounted but it was shimmed to far from the flywheel to engage it ,, I replaced the starter with a new one and all was fine after that
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Re: Head scratching NO START OR CRANK Help plz

Postby TaxiVan » October 2nd 2011, 11:24am

Ta2ed Texan wrote:Try taking off the serpentine belt and tryin to start it.. .If something is wrong with yer ac compressor it can keep the motor from spinning. I almost sold a silverado once because I thought the motor had locked up... Then right as the guy was going to pay me and pick up the truck I took off the belt and it fired right up... I forget why we took off the belt but I almost sold a good truck for like 300 bucks...and all that it was was the compressor was locked up and it acted like the motor was siezed... Its worth a shot. Mine clicked like the starter was engaging but all you heard was the click. I knew the starter was good cause it was only a few weeks old, a dealer part and new... so I just figured the motor locked up..

Other than that check your grounds, and even try moving the flywheel with a screw driver or something or better yet get a 1/2 inch drive and a socket on the damper nut on the front of the crankshaft and see if ya can turn the motor. By doing this you might get your starter in a more happy position for cranking or free what ever was causing it to give ya problems.

If not the starter is cheap and a really easy job..

Ta2man :2:


:goodpost: I had this same problem before with a Lumina I once owned. If the A/C compressor is locked up, a shorter belt may well fix the problem, though bypass idler pulleys are available for proper belt routing if it can't be bypassed. In my case, I simply used a shorter belt, since my particular 3.1L doesn't require a bypass pulley, though they do sell them. IF this does turn out to be the case, don't buy one if you don't have to. I seem to remember the 4.3 belt routing can bypass the A/C compressor if necessary, non-A/C vehicles didn't seem to have any special hardware. Note: Generally I've found that when this is necessary, 11-13 inches less length will do the trick. If you have to use a shorter belt, something important to remember:

Serpentine belts are numbered (length in inches) K (number of grooves), so a 121K6 would be 10 inches shorter than a 131K6. If your belt ends in a 5, do NOT use one ending in 6, it will throw the belt. If you can't read the number on your belt, just have the parts store look up the correct belt, and go from there.

Otherwise, I am with phantom, sounds like an ignition switch to me, or possibly the linkage rod in the column that works it. This rod got weak in my '94 Blazer and bent, so it would do everything but engage the solenoid. Thought I had a bad starter or switch until I jumped it out to test. Straightened it three times and it kept bending back like it was, so I just installed a push-button and kept on truckin'. If that becomes necessary, I've found that the standard pushbutton switch sold in most auto parts stores mounts nicely in the factory GM holes for the cigarette lighter socket. Almost looks factory, and I don't smoke, so it's a win-win for me :)
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