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1st Gen Dakota '96 & Older Dakota's

starter relay?

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2006, 01:15 AM
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Default starter relay?

ok, my 88 dakota will not start. when I turn the key all I hear is a clicking sound. I think it's the starter relay but I'm not sure. it will only click once. and the battery is good.

I can hear a ticking noise comming from the drivers side fender area. which I think is where the relay is.

also, if I take a test light to it and see if there is power goin to it. will that work? I'm gonna clean all the connections tomorrow and see if that helps. but what else would make it make a clicking noise?

plus it's -15 out now and we have like 3-4 feet of snow[:@] figures my luck thats when the stupid thing brakes down.[:@]
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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:10 AM..
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:16 AM
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Default RE: starter relay?

It could be.
The starter relay is located exactly where you think it is. There should be about 2, 3 or 4 relays in a row (depending on engine/options). The starter relay should be the one closest to the firewall.
If you remove the relay, there should be numbers (30, 85, 86, 87, 87a) on the bottom of the relay near each blade. If you connect a jumper from terminal 30 to terminal 87, the starter should engage (only jump for a short time, just long enough to ensure starter will turn over or not)
If starter fully engages, either the relay is bad, or there is a fault in the wiring somewhere. If you have a multimeter and another body, this will be simple. With the ignition in the START position, test for voltage across terminals 30 and 86 (PCM provides a ground via terminal 30, and the ignition switch provides positive via terminal 86).
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:34 AM
gb6491 gb6491 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

You might also have a bad plunger in your starter. There is quite a bit of info on the problem here: http://www.nasyard.com/infoA.html
He also has the tear down procedure here: http://www.nasyard.com/click/Main_Li...ml?refid=store and a test procedure: http://nasyard.com/click/A_Direct_Al...Test_OSGR.html
It's possible to clean the contacts and plunger with sand paper and have everything work for quite awhile.

Checking the connections is a good idea.
-15 is pretty cold, the whole shebang might have become sluggish enough that the solenoid just doesn't have the strength to overcome it and pull the plunger all the way into contact position.
Regards,
Greg

Attached images are from the 1989 service manual.

[IMG]local://upfiles/27279/F953F65998044263BBCDEE80C01E74D5.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]local://upfiles/27279/CBCA9951D8844FBD8769A758179399E3.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:50 PM
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Default RE: starter relay?

I'm gonna try and jump the starter and see if that works plus check all my connections. and it's like -5 right now so atleast its abit warmer to work on it. and I'll take a volt meter to the relay too.

thanks for the information
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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:11 AM..
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:34 PM
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Default RE: starter relay?

well.... I checked all the wires and I replaced the positive terminal and then I tried to jump the start relay. I took a wire and put it in 30 then put it in 87 and it sparked and it make a weird noise and then it wouldnt do anything[:@]

so I took the starter off and tried using jumper cables on it and at first it kept on clicking and then after about 10 times it finally started turning. so then I did acouple more times and it would turn and then it started clicking again. so now maybe it's the solenoid.

but when I jumped the relay, do you think that it should have sparked like that. what I did was un hook the relay, put the key on "on" position then put the wire on 30 and 87. is that how you do it.


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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:12 AM..
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:52 PM
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Default RE: starter relay?

Quote:
but when I jumped the relay, do you think that it should have sparked like that. what I did was un hook the relay, put the key on "on" position then put the wire on 30 and 87. is that how you do it.
Putting the key to the "on" position to just test it is not needed because your bypassing the PCM and ignition. The spark should only worry you if it was big.

It does sound like the solenoid. I know for mine, they didn't sell the solenoid seperatly. And I would recommend replacing the whole starter anyways, you don't wanna get stuck some place, I almost let my starter go for too long.
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Old 12-09-2006, 06:29 PM
BOOMER_87 BOOMER_87 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

since I've had this problem it is most likely your relay you can either replace it or just wire in a button to bypass it it's a simple procedure just put a wire from the battery to the small wire on the starter with the button in the line.voila you now have a sterter button.if you want to be sure a button is necessary just jump the posts on the starter it should turn immediately and as normal,you wont need the key on to do this and your proof will be difinative. I know thia because I had to bypass mine and it works fine.
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: starter relay?

the spark wasnt a big one but after I did that I tried plugging it back in and then I turned the key and it didnt even click anymore. so I dont know if i shorted somethin out or not.

a new starter is $160 and a used one at a junk yard is $30 so I have to wait till monday for a junkyard to open.

I think its the starter now, but I hope I didnt short anything else out in the proccess.

and now I know to make sure the key is OFF before you try and remove the starter. I got one hell of a jolt.

once I get the starter I will know if the relay is good or not. I will probl just put a switch to it like boomer said.
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:53 PM
BOOMER_87 BOOMER_87 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

remember this if you're going to remove the starter disconnect your battery or you'll get the same kind of sparking, don't leave the system live it could cause a myriad of problems.
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:02 PM
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Default RE: starter relay?

ya, I left the batter connected while I was taking the starter off. lol I have a bad memory some times and I forget to do stuff.

Im gonna price out a rebuild kit monday and see if its cheaper. and I'll rebuild it myself. (I hope I dont screw that up either) I just hate electrical stuff[:@]


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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:16 AM..
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:02 PM
 
 
 
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