[V8] V8 Digest, Vol 39, Issue 5

Stafford, Kenneth A. stafford at WPI.EDU
Wed Jan 3 17:29:18 EST 2007

> Started to act up over the weekend.
> Was intermittent, now terminal.
> Turn key, all the usual lights and clicking occur.
> Turn key to engage starter, and a click is heard in the 
> engine compartment but the starter does not turn.
> The dash lights do dim slightly.
> I pulled it up the street last night with my Avant to coast 
> down and into the driveway.  Then I pushed it into the garage.
> I'm going to pull the starter tonight and take if in for a rebuild.
> Any other suggestions?
> Thanks,
> Ed


Sounds just like mine.  I bought a rebuilt starter from 1800VWPARTS,
unfortunately, I over-tightened the wire terminals and cracked the solenoid
phenolic cap!  Crap, so went to my FLAPS and found a new solenoid ($60).  Put
it together and it worked well for about 6 months--then the problems as you
describe.  Motor would turn over fine when shorted directly to 12V. The
solenoid sounded like it was ok and definitely shifted the pinion.  On the
bench, the symptoms were that the motor would actually turn over very slowly.
There is a low impedance circuit from one of the solenoid coils directly to
the motor input--this is why your lights dim without the motor cranking.
Bottomline, the internal contacts were toast (found that out by carefully
un-crimping the solenoid can, un-soldering the coils and taking it apart.)
The reason they burnt out turned out to be a mechanical problem in the
rebuilt motor--your similar problem could just be age-wear.  

I was able to take the good parts from my 2 solenoids and make one good one.
I think you just need a new solenoid--got mine from Autozone.  Btw, I'd be
willing to bet that if you take apart your starter motor, you'll find that
both the plastic ring gear on the planetary and the plastic fulcrum pivot
point for the solenoid lever are cracked--both of my cars' were--doesn't seem
to affect the function.


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