383 won't start

68PK21 440.6bbl

Old Man with a Hat
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While that is the usual problem with the starters, and I have changed them, since he "jumped" the contacts on the starter, which engages the solenoid that drives the drive gear into the ring gear AND makes the contact that turns the starter (with the contact above), he actually proved that was OK and working properly.

If he jumped the contacts on the starter and it DIDN'T work, yep, that's probably the culprit.
Yea but he said "It starts fine several times around town." and "One time, I managed to crawl under the car and screwdriver the starter selenoid and then I turned the ignition key and the car started and continued to start for another 12 starts or so."
He also mentioned smacking the starter which is a big no no. Especially a 50 year old starter.

OEM NOS parts for the reduction motor are still available, although a bit pricey especially if they have the word 'CUDA' in the description.
If and a big IF you have/find that you have a survivor starter motor that hasn't been through a re-builder/remanufacturers grinding, undercutting of the commutator, and that is one of the biggest problems I found all across the board with remanufactured starters is the heavy hand with cutting the commutator. Chrysler has a spec you can measure and if it is too small of a diameter and the length and strength(?) electrical charges in the winding's reducing the horsepower of the starter. And I've even looked at remans that I replaced with new starters very closely at where the armature winding's are soldered to the commutator and found broken solder joints on fairy recently installed remans (kickback).

Have pride in your skill & work with a known rebuild with NOS parts, rather than getting stuck somewhere with a crap reman.
Now of course if you have a bored & stroker, lumpy lumpy cam, headers etc. maybe go with the mini starter, but I'll tell ya many many built Hemi's back in the day still used the reduction starter, It's a very good unit.

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Big_John

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Yea but he said "It starts fine several times around town." and "One time, I managed to crawl under the car and screwdriver the starter selenoid and then I turned the ignition key and the car started and continued to start for another 12 starts or so."

Good point, but it's confusing about how he's describing the symptoms and his tries. I read it as he jumped the connections on the starter and the starter worked fine.

So, if what you interpret is correct, that the starter is acting intermittently, I'm 100% in agreement. It's kind of vague what's going on though.
 

cuda hunter

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Not trying to be vague.
Car drivers around fine. Starts here and there no problems.
Then it doesn't start. Hook it to a car it starts up.
Few days later, driving it around it is starting fine and battery is not dying.
Park it in the driveway, come out in the morning, won't start. Click click click.
Battery has a full charge.
I get under the car with a jack and use a screwdriver to bump the starter. Typical, surprised the hell out of me with sparks and a turning starter.
Get back in the car at this point and turn the key to start it and it starts fine.
Drive around for a day or two. Park it in the driveway, come out two days later, click click click.
Battery is charged.
That is where it sits right now. Awaiting me to check the relay, then the nss and then the selenoid. Will check order again from previous post.
Thanks yal!


That's everything I know and I'm sticking to it.
 

Gerald Morris

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Get the FSM for your model, though the older ones might have more detail: Check this little bit from my 66 FSM:

upload_2021-6-20_12-50-41.png


The "Tech" videos can sometimes help too. OR, if you're pressed for time and other resources, there is always this option:
 

Gerald Morris

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Not trying to be vague.
Car drivers around fine. Starts here and there no problems.
Then it doesn't start. Hook it to a car it starts up.
Few days later, driving it around it is starting fine and battery is not dying.
Park it in the driveway, come out in the morning, won't start. Click click click.
Battery has a full charge.
I get under the car with a jack and use a screwdriver to bump the starter. Typical, surprised the hell out of me with sparks and a turning starter.
Get back in the car at this point and turn the key to start it and it starts fine.
Drive around for a day or two. Park it in the driveway, come out two days later, click click click.
Battery is charged.
That is where it sits right now. Awaiting me to check the relay, then the nss and then the selenoid. Will check order again from previous post.
Thanks yal!


That's everything I know and I'm sticking to it.

AH HAH!! FORGET THE RELAY!! YOU NEED A NEW SOLENOID OR BETTER YET, A NEW STARTER! I got a Tuff Stuff one a year after an Oh Really" reman crapped out on me, as expected. The Tuff Stuff starter works very well.

What tipped me off about your situation was your succinct listing of the symptoms. Be sure of it: your solenoid is dying. Those are the symptoms dying solenoids display. You may want to keep the old starter and solenoid, and possibly rebuild it at your leisure, but your best, least painful bet is to get a brand new one MADE FOR A B/RB engine by a good American company.
 

Gerald Morris

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I like the information on the tuff stuff site.
USA made. Thanks!

My PLEASURE bro! Their unit works well for my ride, so I figure you may do as well. Having recently done the "Starter Blues" gig myself, I KNOW the melody, the rhythm and lyrics well. Save your old one now, but get a NEW one and put your mind at ease.
 
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cuda hunter

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I connected the two terminals on the relay and received sparks and no crank. Just clicking.
So this would be loose wires or bad selenoid. Am I reading the past posts correctly?
 

HWYCRZR

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I connected the two terminals on the relay and received sparks and no crank. Just clicking.
So this would be loose wires or bad selenoid. Am I reading the past posts correctly?
Yes doing that powers directly to the starter. So, if your wires are good going to the starter and hooking up to the starter, then you need a starter rebuild or replacement. It could be as easy as the solenoid connections have been welded together enough times that its not passing the power through, and /or your bushings are worn enough to cause drag slowing or grounding the armature.
 

cuda hunter

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Thanks! I connected the starter terminals and get no power until I hold the key to the start position. Then jump the two terminals to get nothing but sparks.
I will replace the starter with another short term starter. Remove this one and find out if it is an original. It sure looks like it's an original.

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Gerald Morris

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I connected the two terminals on the relay and received sparks and no crank. Just clicking.
So this would be loose wires or bad selenoid. Am I reading the past posts correctly?

Very LIKELY a bad solenoid. You normally can HEAR a solenoid as it plunges the bendix gear onto the starter ring, then engages the engine. You might have a shorted starter even, though those old permanent magnet starters have to be FAR gone before they quit. BUT, if your BRUSHES are bad, then regardless of the solenoid, it WON'T WORK!

NOW, PULL THE STARTER! You've NOTHING TO LOSE! When you pull the starter, you can even test it, laying on the ground, using jumper cables. I suspect you will be replacing that soon.....

P.S., it DOES appear to be an original. Mine looked the same. If you get a cheapo reman, it likely will be shorter in length. Keep the old starter, by all means, even if you must replace it.
 

cuda hunter

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I"ll definitely keep the starter long enough to know if it's original and dated. If it's just a reman from the early 90's then gone it is. If original, I'll rebuild or have rebuilt. And back in it will go.
Thanks everyone! I'll update when I get the starters switched.
 

cuda hunter

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Ok, as per usual when I touch a car.
replaced the starter. Nope, same clicking noise. 200.00
Test starter with jumper cables, works.
Take the brown wire off the relay, no click.
ground brown spade on relay, clicking.
Touch the big stud to the little stud on the relay, sparks and clicks.
NSS appears to be attached and in good order at the transmission and at the firewall.

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cuda hunter

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I re-read from the start and missed a few items. I'll go back through it again and try again.
 

Big_John

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Now that you've proven (the hard way) it's not the starter and not the relay or NSS, it's time to look at the cable from the battery to the starter.

The fact that the starter "clicks" which I'm interpreting to mean that the solenoid is pulling the starter drive into the gear and that you've had intermittent issues, the next most likely problem is the cables. Either the negative cable to the engine, the positive cable to the starter, or the connections to the battery.

Since you got some response when you jumped the connections at the starter, I'd take a long look at the cable connection at the starter first. Of course, the cables can fail and still look OK, but usually if they look like crap, it's time to replace them anyway. I've had a few fail at the starter and the rest of the cable look great. Often one of those crappy temporary cable terminals that clamp on the cable are being used at the battery and they have a limited life.

A little bit of added resistance in the cable will drive you nuts.
 

cuda hunter

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Where can I purchase two correct length wires for the starter?
I know the negative is easy enough. Does the positive have a specific size or end? Or will a generic work?
Would prefer to have the correct wires reinstalled.
 

cuda hunter

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The starter cleaned up real nice.
There is a gasket that was jammed up and stacked on top of itself behind the big gear at the rear. Is this important enough that I should not reinstall the 3 ton starter?

If it's not that big a deal I'm going to reinstall the starter tomorrow evening, hopefully.

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Gerald Morris

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You can reinstall that starter, and it might work for awhile, but seeing it NOW, I suspect that one is a reman too. I could be wrong. IFF the new one tests the same as the old, as you report, then your battery cables DEFINITELY ARE SUSPECT!! I've made the mistake of throwing starter parts at Mathilda when a battery terminal was bad in 2018. BUT, LAST YEAR, the starter really DID go south on me.

You CAN buy some OEM, made to order replacements for the cables which cost a pretty penny, OR, you can buy some 2 gauge welding cable, some good terminals, and make battery cables from that. Don't do this unless your electrical wiring skills are in top shape! I use marine terminals on my battery, so I like to solder the ring terminals to the wires and use shrink wrap to add both electrical and mechanical strength. Your best bet is a #2 AWG for the starter cable, and either a #2 to the block for your ground, or a #4 to the block, with several 10 gauge bonding jumpers to the body. I use that approach and VERY seldom have grounding issues anywhere on Mathilda now....
 
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Big_John

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Where can I purchase two correct length wires for the starter?
I know the negative is easy enough. Does the positive have a specific size or end? Or will a generic work?
Would prefer to have the correct wires reinstalled.
A good parts store will have it. They are pretty generic. Just have to get the correct length and sometimes that's an issue.
 

Ripinator

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Where can I purchase two correct length wires for the starter?
I know the negative is easy enough. Does the positive have a specific size or end? Or will a generic work?
Would prefer to have the correct wires reinstalled.

Quirey has the correct positive battery cable for your car. . . NAPA has the battery ground cable
 
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