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69 gmc start issue

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Oregonhunter5, May 16, 2014.

  1. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Question. My 69 gmc pickup, when I turned the key last night, nothing. Has a new battery. I waited 10 seconds, and it fired up. Did it twice. I think the heat outside was part of the issue. Is this a ignition issue?
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Check all your cable connections including the big ground strap between the engine block and the frame. Sounds more like a corrosion thing.
     
  3. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Bad battery cable or starter.
     
  4. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Ok. I'd it's not a cable, I was thinking ignition? No?
     
  5. STUKA

    STUKA Close to Milwaukie Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    if you had recently ran the engine,I'm 100% that it is the starter solenoid located on top of the starter,right next to the exhaust manifold.
    Not sure the ambient temperature would cause it.It COULD just be going out though.
    It's a Chevy after all........
     
  6. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When you say "did not start" do you mean did not turn over, or did not fire up?
     
  7. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    I turned the key and it was blank. No click, no trying, just quiet.
     
  8. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    I had a truck do this and after checking all the cables and replacing a few of them, then adding an engine to frame ground strap I found out the ignition switch was bad. Is this an in dash switch? What happens if you hot wire it?
     
    MTpockets likes this.
  9. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    In dash? The key goes in the dash yes. I'm unfortunately not knowledgable about hot wiring?
     
  10. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Turn on your headlights, and then try to start the truck.
    If the headlights dim, then it's your battery and/or the battery connections.
    If they stay bright, and nothing happens, it's your starter switch.
    If you hear a click, then more then likely it's the starter solenoid.
    One way to check if it's the key switch, is to put the truck in neutral (manual gearbox) or park if it's an automatic tranny, set the parking brake, then turn the key to the on (running) position and take a screwdriver and touch the main red battery cable on the starter solenoid (it's on top of the starter) while bridging over to the smaller wire that energizes the solenoid.
    There is a second smaller wire located on the solenoid, and it provides the 12 volts to the coil while the starter is turning, so the spark plugs have power while the key is in the start position.
    If the solenoid clanks and the starter doesn't turn over, you have a bad starter motor and not a bad switch.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
    parallax likes this.
  11. Rocky C

    Rocky C Portland Metro Active Member

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    I had the key switch go bad once. Replacement was under $20 at NAPA and super easy.
     
  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I highly doubt you have an ignition switch problem. "no click"? I'd start with making sure all of the battery cable connections are clean and tight, including the small wire on the solenoid that is on the block side (inside if you will) of the solenoid (usually a purple wire). (the outer one is the starter bypass that sends juice to the ignition coil when the engine is cranking over) If everything's else is cool, then I'd look at replacing the solenoid itself. If you have a test light, you could hook it to ground and then probe the solenoid trigger wire while someone else turns the key. If it lights when the key is turned to start, but nothing happens, it's most likely a solenoid issue.
    Heat isn't likely to cause a problem like this. But a neutral safety switch could. If you turn the key to start and nothing happens, hold the key in the start position and move the shifter from park down to the neutral position and slightly past. If at some place in the shifter travel the engine starts to crank, hold the shifter there and start the truck.
     
  13. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Oh boy lots of info. This might be a dumb question, but if I've rebuilt a motorcycle engine, is this starter stuff easier? I'm no master mech, but I'm handy with fixing stuff.
     
  14. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Piece of cake.
     
  15. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The worst thing about electrical stuff is, you can't see the current like you can see a broken part. A test light, even a cheap one, is a valuable tool. That way you will know where the current is going, and not going.
     
  16. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You Tube has a lot of video's explaining every aspect of your GMC starter issues.
    From diagnostics to repair/replacement.
     
  17. powermad

    powermad Portland Active Member

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    You have to work your way from the beginning of the circuit to the end of it to identify what is wrong.
    You can guess and speculate all day long about it if don't start with the basics.

    Knowing what you have also helps.
    Is it all stock? Still have a coil and points or has it been converted to HEI?
    Automatic or column shift manual?

    Power and ground connections clean and tight is the first step in all electrical problems.
    Fusible links intact and no missing or broken ground straps.

    Backprobe the purple wire coming from the bulkhead connector under the hood and see if it lights up a test light in the start position. If not then it's either the neutral switch if it's column shifted or the ignition switch.
    Unscrew the bezel and the ign switch drops right out. Big red wire is Batt +, purple one is start.

    If you rap on the solenoid with a hammer and it starts, then the solenoid is sticking.

    On all Chevy rigs I have had the first thing I did was wire in a remote starter solenoid.
    Easy to do and eliminates a lot of starting problems.
     
  18. 223to45

    223to45 Whatcom Active Member

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    You want to bet.

    Test light doesn't tell you anything about current.
     
  19. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    no neutral switch on a 69 chev with a manual trans, only a switch for the backup lights
     
  20. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Yup.