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So is it a grounding issue or... What do you think?

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Old 06-23-07, 02:59 PM   #16
Carib
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Default Negative battery cable or the starter.

I used to have the same problem...

My SC400 would have a hard time starting... the clock would reset and I found the battery wasn't holding the charge.

I had two problems, though...

First, the starter on my car was drawing too much current upon starting. I would sometimes find the engine turning over slowly upon starting and this was when the clock would rest. I would sometimes just hear a ''click' when I tried to start the car as well when the battery was low. I took the car to a shop where they rebuild motors and they did a test where they could check how much amps the starter was drawing when the car was being started. That's how I found out the starter was one issue... After replacing the starter (rebuilt it, fyi)... the battery was holding the charge.

However, I was still experiencing some other electrical issues... dimming lights when the brakes were pressed, radio/CD player cuts in/out when the volume is cranked, etc...this was caused by a bad ground cable.

I replaced the negative ground cable and the car works great now.
(I used one from GS400 or 300...sorry it was years ago and I can't remember. There are several thread on this subject, though)

Now, the car starts everytime, the clock no longer resets, the battery does not get charged better, the car shifts smoother, the CD player/radio does not cut in and out when the volume is cranked up, and the lights on the dash do not blink any more...

Hope this helps and provides some more insight with your problem.
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Old 06-23-07, 11:59 PM   #17
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Obviously - I'm trying all other solutions before diving into the $1000+ Starter replacement (280 something for the new OEM starter plus 800 something for the labor to replace the "nightmare" location starter).

Although, on the other hand I've done just about everything you can do to a motor on one V-6, one Straight-6 and 2 4-banger engines all the way down to the top of the block's themselves with my own hands and my own fairly competent array of slowly collected mechanics tools from the past 15 years I've been driving. I've completely rebuilt the MX-6 LS cooling return system which was buried in the valley of that motor so I'm probably able to at least get to my starter in the 1uz-fe with little incident... but it's the process of removing and replacing that starter which truly scares me. Especially doing it alone (which I always have to do because no one I know wants anything to do with fixing their own cars :/ )

I just don't know if I'm willing to take on this project myself yet - I've considered it many MANY times (every time someone suggests the starter again.. which someone always does)- and that's why it would be 1000+ if I don't do it myself.

But obviously the chance that the starter is part of the cause is never far from my mind. I only just hope that sorting the grounding issue alone (if indeed this what it is) will be enough to completely fix it without having to even "go there" in terms of that damn 1uz-fe starter......
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Old 06-24-07, 12:29 AM   #18
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why not get the starter tested?

all you need is an amp probe... starter draw should be somewhere around 100 amps, give or take 20...

at our shop, we charge a whopping $20 to check battery, alternator output amperage, and starter current draw...

might be worth it...
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Old 06-24-07, 12:33 AM   #19
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and starter labor is 5 hours... what kind of hourly rate do they charge there?

my shop rate is $79 / hour, so labor would cost about $400 here assuming you just drove in off the street... if I knew you were with CL, it would be less...
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Old 06-24-07, 11:45 AM   #20
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It's important to note, that I'm still not at ALL convinced this anything to do with the starter it's self (keep hope alive right!)... but before I began down the path of grounding being the most likely candidate (as is the twitch answer on these boards) I was told to look directly at the starter.... So at the start I did:

I got quoted 110 an hour @ 7 to 8 hours from a local shop here in Tampa Florida (I forget the name but it's on the northern corner of Armenia and Columbus, always has a ton of cars in it's lot like a used car dealer or something). At that point I was turned off from the idea of having a shop do it for me and I started to search around for the info on how to do it myself... And the info I did find! Very well documented I might add, with a good number and pictures, lists of tools needed and even a fair sized handful of individuals personal experiences on the job (including the difficulties that simply will be encountered during the process due to the main bolts locations in the rear of the engine under that return line). I considered asking Toyota and/or Lexus for a quote on the labor as well, but reconsidered assuming that they would HAVE to be more an hour than a private shop.

I guess the worst part of the high price I was given is that I was referred to this shop by (granted by a person I don't know) the night manager who works @ the Autozone on East Hillsborough Ave in Tampa. He said he had a friend who ran a shop locally who had conveniently only 1 month prior done a starter replacement on an SC400 so it would be fresh in his mind how to do it right... I'd have to guess what was fresh in the guys mind was how much of PITA it was for him 1 month before and he probably quoted me that insane price to make to me leave....... and it worked.

At least from the price and hours you were given that's what it looks like now to me.

All the same, I'll have a load test done on the starter - it's only smart to do. And since I haven't done that yet I'd be negligent to ignore the possibility :/
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Old 06-25-07, 10:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLRH2O View Post
Click the image to open in full size.
looks good to me... woulda been an easy one... hmm... well.. grounding straps then?

ya know, another weird one - you might have a short in the ignition switch... just had a craparo in the shop the other day with a similar issue and it was actually the wiring harness behind the ignition switch had rubbed together so much that it shorted it out, but only sometimes...

just trying to think outside the box, cause on weird issues like this, it's probably not something normal...

edit: I actually have put off changing the starter in my car (one out of ten times it grinds, then starts) because it's a pain in the ***, but if a customer came in and needed / wanted a starter put in their SC - no problem, drop it off, pick it up at the end of the day - 5.1 hours labor cost and whatever the starter costs... you just found a shop that only wants to do the easy stuff...
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Old 07-08-07, 06:34 PM   #22
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Is there anyone we know here on CL that could point me to a Tampa Florida located shop that can do a starter replacement job the right way and for the right price? Last thing I'd want to do is decide to not do the work myself, but still want a good price, and have someone totally **** up my ride because they forgot to hook the vacuum lines back together the right way at the end, or break the return line in front of the one starter bolt during the removal and just not mention it afterward.... Anything can happen these days (partly why I choose to do so much of the mechanical work myself when at all possible) so I'd just prefer to go somewhere recommended. As anyone would I'd guess

I'm in need - can anyone help with info on a good shop here that knows SC 400's and is fair?
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Old 07-08-07, 06:42 PM   #23
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Oh, and BTW - the negative battery cable line seems to run down to just under the A/C compressor...... But so does the Positive.. What happening down there that I can see from above? Are they just running a weird path to the starter? or is there a grounding point down there too (for the neg line of course).

And another bit of info. I mentioned this to a mate of mine and he asked about the negative terminal heating up so badly. His question was, "do the cable and negative terminal still get red hot even if you only hold the key in the start position for an extended period of time when the car doesn't start.... or only when you repeatedly turn it to start, get the "click", release it. turn it to start and get the "Click".. and do that over and over again?". In answer to his question, I said it doesn't matter which one of the two. Either way makes the cable and terminal so hot that if I don't watch it, they start to melt the plastic on that line (the shield on the cable it's self, or the plastic around the negative terminal on the battery cap)

(I've only done that once, it's how I know it can happen.... trust that I don't want my battery to explode so it's not something I do everyday when the car leaves me stranded daily like it does now.)


Is that at all useful information?
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Old 07-08-07, 06:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supra Dr View Post
You dealer is incorrect, try a different dealer or one of our vendors here.
Replace the battery ground cable. Clean the bolt hole on the frame & the
engine block w/ a wire brush or a thread tap. Also clean the bolt threads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLRH2O View Post
Oh, and BTW - the negative battery cable line seems to run down to just under the A/C compressor...... But so does the Positive.. What happening down there that I can see from above? Are they just running a weird path to the starter? or is there a grounding point down there too (for the neg line of course).

And another bit of info. I mentioned this to a mate of mine and he asked about the negative terminal heating up so badly. His question was, "do the cable and negative terminal still get red hot even if you only hold the key in the start position for an extended period of time when the car doesn't start.... or only when you repeatedly turn it to start, get the "click", release it. turn it to start and get the "Click".. and do that over and over again?". In answer to his question, I said it doesn't matter which one of the two. Either way makes the cable and terminal so hot that if I don't watch it, they start to melt the plastic on that line (the shield on the cable it's self, or the plastic around the negative terminal on the battery cap)

(I've only done that once, it's how I know it can happen.... trust that I don't want my battery to explode so it's not something I do everyday when the car leaves me stranded daily like it does now.)


Is that at all useful information?
^^^^^^ The ground connections on the frame & or the engine block
are dirty or bad. As stated above, replace the complete ground cable
before you replace the starter.
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Because you only posted in the classifieds section for the last 2 years. Posts in the classifieds do not count. This is a car forum
where its intent is to share information. You obviously have some knowledge, how about helping someone else out.
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Old 07-08-07, 11:25 PM   #25
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I'll get this (ground connections and/or cable or cables) done over the next two days hopefully work and family permitting. I'll let you (and everyone) know then what the diagnosis is
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Old 07-09-07, 08:34 PM   #26
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Sorry, reread what I wrote & is a LiL vague. The battery ground cable
goes from the battery, has a tab that bolts to the body. Then continues
to the engine block. When you replace the cable clean all the bolts &
the holes the bolts thread into. Your starter may already be toasted from
the high resistance in the ground cable. But if you replace the starter
w/o the cable you will fry that one too. So fix the cause first & you may
get away w/o replacing the starter.
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Because you only posted in the classifieds section for the last 2 years. Posts in the classifieds do not count. This is a car forum
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Old 07-09-07, 09:22 PM   #27
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I used to have the same problem. I did the ground wires etc. but I ended up replacing my starter. When you crank it do you get fast clicks when it doesnt start?How does the starter sound if it starts is it sluggish? If you want to save money, you can do the started fix yourself its not that hard really.
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Old 07-10-07, 08:12 AM   #28
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I don't get fast clicks. When it starts it's often sluggish, but sometimes hyper actively FAAAAAAST. Like 1000 RPM fast turning over and vroooom!

It's possessed.

When it doesn't start, it's always a really sluggish attempt at starting and it fails. Then every attempt after that is a single "Click"..... and nothing else. If I hold the key in the start position after the click it's just dimmed lights and use of battery power for nothing (other than heating up the battery cable of course as explained before).

I wish I had the shop manuals for the 1933 SC400! At least with those I would have a diagram of where the cables actually run in advance so I could save time from having to trace the cables into the unknown - and know at which points I'll need to be under the car, and at which to be over the engine bay in order to clean all the grounding points. But I'll sort it out all the same.
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Old 07-10-07, 05:32 PM   #29
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Mine did that too... sluggish and hyperactive starting. Now its always hyperactive because of my new starter. The contacts on the starter solenoids were worn out. I bet its your starter... but there's no harm in doing ground wires. You dont need a shop manual for ground wires just open your hood and its obvious where the wires are bolted either to the body or to the engine.
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Old 06-06-14, 05:05 PM   #30
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Since this is the Mega-FAQ thread referenced for Grounding issues, I'll give 'er a bump...

There are three main engine grounds, correct? 1) Just behind and below the battery, 2) on the firewall behind the engine, 3) and on the transmission/bellhousing?

#1 was easy to find and clean, although if you didn't know to look for the bolt tucked under the cable, you could easily mistake it for one of the plastic clips securing it to the fender wall.

#2 I believe is directly in front of the passenger wiper arm's mounting point? That's the only thing I found that looked like a ground wire. That one was pretty gunked up on mine, so cleaning it was definitely worthwhile whatever it is. If that's not the correct one, then pointers where to look would be appreciated. I haven't gotten under the car yet to look for #3.
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