Ignition issues - DodgeForum.com

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Ignition issues

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Old 10-08-2018, 01:08 PM
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Default Ignition issues

Hey guys, I've used this forum several times through Google search functions to find issues but now I've run across something where I actually need to post a thread and ask y'all if anybody here has ever run into this particular issue.

First things first, I'm working with a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 2wd with a 360 and the 46RE.

About a month ago I started having a starting issue that whenever I would turn the key to start the truck, there were just be a loud single clunk but the motor wouldn't turn over and the dash lights would just dim. It almost seemed like the Bendix was engaging, even start to crank the motor giving a rotation or two, then just stop and the dash lights would dim. After I would cycle the key 3 or 4 time with the same result, it would eventually crank the motor over and start the truck.

So I replaced starter and it fired right back up and everything was fine for about 3 weeks. Then all of a sudden it started doing it again. At that point I started looking at the battery connections and noticed that they weren't in the best shape so I replaced the terminals, and all wiring coming off of the battery to the grounds, starter, fuse box and alternator. I have since checked them numerous times and know that they are plenty tight and getting an good connection.

The problem has persisted to the point where the Bendix was just grinding on the flywheel. So I took the new starter I had just put on to AutoZone and had it tested and found out the Bendix was not coming out as well as we should have been. So, they did a warranty replacement for the starter, I installed the second new starter and the original issue still persisted.

so at this point, I'm wondering if it's the ignition switch, possibly the relay or something else that I'm not thinking of.

so my question is, does anyone have any ideas or has anyone ever run into this before and know what it is?

Thanks y'all!
 
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:08 PM
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If you only put on ends, and didn't replace the cables - replace the cables. They can be bad inside and the casing look fine. Usually I grab them and see if they move easily w/o crunching. But they are old enough, I'd replace them.
 
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:11 PM
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When you turn the key to start, all you are actually doing is triggering a relay, that actually supplies power to the starter. I think first, I would swap the starter relay, and the horn relay, and see if anything changes. If not, check and see what voltage you are getting down at the starter motor from the trigger wire, when the key is turned to start. (needs to be at least 9 volts for the solenoid to trip properly.) If all that checks out, Pull the starter, and clean the surfaces where it mounts, it grounds thru that connection. Also check ground from engine block, to battery connections. (though I suspect you already have....)

What battery terminals did you use? Sometimes, the repair terminals aren't all they are cracked up to be.

Welcome to DF!
 
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:32 PM
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies!

Fj, I replaced all the wiring at the same time I replaced the terminals. When I did that I used 4 gauge ofc power cable leaving from the alternator to the fuse box, fuse box to the battery and from the battery to the starter with all new o-ring terminals.
I also use the same 4 gauge ofc cable for the ground running From the Block, Frame and Body to the battery again using all new o-ring connectors.
I also used 8 gauge ofc cable for the grounds going from the firewall to the top of the block.

HeyYou, the terminals that I used are Scosche X2 terminals.
​​​
In my misguided youth I went and was Mecp certified and spent several years installing Automotive stereo systems, entertainment systems, Etc. That's why I chose to go with the wiring and the terminals that I did because I know it's a good stuff and it specifically engineered for the higher demands of a large stereo system along with the demands of the vehicle's original electrical system.

I have already replaced the starter and while I was in there I made sure that the mounting surface for the starter was cleaned knowing that that's how the starter grounded.

To be completely honest I'm starting to lean towards the relay being the issue just because the only two things left that it could be is either the relay or the ignition switch and if it was the ignition switch to starter wouldn't do anything at all but if a relay is starting to fail but has not fail completely it could send an intermittent signal and cause the vehicle to act like this.

Anyone else agree?
 

Last edited by MadScientist; 10-08-2018 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Information addition
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:50 PM
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Relay swap is a a two-minute test. Certainly worth trying.
 
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:02 PM
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As soon as I get home, I'm going to pull one out of the dually and see what happens.

Ill be sure to keep y'all updated!

Thanks!
 

Last edited by MadScientist; 10-08-2018 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:20 PM
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Once you get the cables and grounds repaired/replaced, try a Remy Gold starter if your still having problems.https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...095746&jsn=404

I've bought a few, they work great.
 
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:32 PM
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Well, apparently, one of my replies have disappeared, so I'll repost so that that information is also here.

I I've already replaced the battery terminals with Scosche X2 Terminals and ofc ground and power cables along with new O-rings.
​​​​When I replaced the cables, I used 4 gauge power cable going from the alternator to the fuse box, fuse box to the battery and from the battery to the starter. With the ground cables, I ran 4 gauge from the battery to the block, Frame and Body. I also brand new ground straps from the firewall to the top of the block on both passenger and driver side.

 
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:54 AM
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Sounds like you addressed the wiring quite thoroughly. I had a problem like this on a 2000 Grand Cherokee that turned out to be a defective battery. It had adequate voltage normally but during crank, it just didn't. Battery testing a number of places is free.
 
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:43 PM
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When the issues first showed up, I took it and had the battery and alternator tested a couple of times and both times it came back saying the battery was at 100% and was good and that the alternator was charging properly.

As for a quick update, I got home last night and swapped a relay out of my dually into my 1500 and when I tested it, it fired right up.

I tried it a few more times last night and it fired up fine every time, but I haven't got to try it yet today.
(my job is at the mercy of the weather and it's been raining since about 4pm yesterday) I've been in the house being lazy, lol.
Hopefully, the relay fixed it.
​​​​
 
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