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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a problem with my engine not starting that only occurs about 25% of the time. I can hear the solenoid on the starter clicking, but it does not fire up. I have swapped out the starter, battery, battery cables, ignition switch and so far no luck. It is freaking frustrating in that it doesn't always happen. Sometimes, when it's not starting, I keep turning the switch on and off and it will eventually turn. Other times, I just let it sit for a bit and it fires right up.

Here's my setup:
-4BTA (CPL 858)
-Dual Walmart Yellow Max batteries (I know, but they have gotten good reviews)
-12voltguy.com dual battery setup
-rebuilt starter (I also have a new one)
-new ignition switch

I have gotten the batteries tested and they are fine. What else should I look for? Could it be a bad alternator not charging the batteries deep enough?
Should I go up to a Oddyssey battery with tons of CCA? Any help is much appreciated.

-DG
 

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dirty or worn solenoid contacts ? loose connection somewhere maybe ? bad earth ? so the solenoid clunks like it is working, but doesn't turn the motor over, or does it make a series of rapid fire clicks ? does it only happen when hot, or cold ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The sound is a loud click coming from the starter.
Happens at all temperatures, but just not all of the time. It's a pain in the ass.

Yes the batts are wired in parallel.

I was just thinking that the Everstart Max batteries might be too small...What's a amp rating should I be using for a 4BT?
 

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If it is one single loud click coming from the starter, remove the starter and clean the mating surfaces as it is not getting a good ground to the block. Or, you can run a ground cable from the frame or one of the batteries to one of the starter bolts to give it a direct ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll give that a try. I know that the starter has an aluminum spacer that mounts in between the starter and the housing, so it might not be getting a nice direct grounding path.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep...good ole Johnson Controls.
 

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I would try shorting across the solenoid contacts to close the circuit and see if it cranks. If it craniks then the problem is before the solenoid, either ignition switch, wires or connections. If it still doesn't crank over by shorting out solenoid then it's the solenoid or starter itself. Some GM starters had poor quality bearing in drive end of starter and it caused the same symptoms.
 

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The proper method for the (earth) negative lead is from each of the 12 volt batteries negative lead directly to the engine block. One of these two leads should then connect directly from the engine attachment point directly to the frame using another same size conductor with two "eye" terminals. This is usually done using the lead from the battery located closest to the starter. All connections to the block and frame should have either internal tooth or external tooth locking washers at the attaching points and should always have a thin layer of electrical contact grease applied (or at least a dab of wheel bearing grease if you are cheap like me).

ON EDIT: I went to the website 12voltguy.com and looked at your setup which is basically a modified RV charging setup and not a true dual battery starting system unless you parallel the two batteries through the "emergency" setting which trips a relay. Your problem is probably within that system. Check that systems grounding connections back to the "controlling" battery. I believe those relays used are also available through www.partsamerica.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it looks like JimmieD got it right. After cleaning the engine ground location and installing a dedicated starter ground, I still had the same no start problem. So I grabbed a battery cable I had laying around and jumpered the solenoid and starter positive. The engine roared to life instantly. I tried it several times and it works all of the time. Now I need to trace back the solenoid wire to see where there is a break. If I can't find it, I guess I'll wired some sort of relay setup. Thanks for all of the help guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Going to run a relay

Well, now that I know that there is a break/frayed wire/insufficiently sized wire in the ignition circuit, I am going to run a relay to power the starter solenoid straight from the battery. The relay will be actuated via the ignition switch (known good). I was thinking of putting in a cool looking start button like on the newer cars, but decided to keep it simple. My question is, what size relay (amp wise) should I buy? Would a 20 amp relay be sufficient?
 

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Well, now that I know that there is a break/frayed wire/insufficiently sized wire in the ignition circuit, I am going to run a relay to power the starter solenoid straight from the battery. The relay will be actuated via the ignition switch (known good). I was thinking of putting in a cool looking start button like on the newer cars, but decided to keep it simple. My question is, what size relay (amp wise) should I buy? Would a 20 amp relay be sufficient?
for just the starte solenoid? Yes i would think that would be more than sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks! I just need to remember to put in a fuse at the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Fixed

My relay idea works like a champ. She fires up easily and can be repeated over and over. Thanks again!
 

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Ha ha, great, and they lived happily ever after... :)
 
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