Click no start

Rusty Shackleford

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Posts
11
Reaction score
3
Location
Vancouver, BC
First Name
Tony
Truck Year
1988
Truck Model
R20
Engine Size
5.7 L
I have a 1988 R20 3/4 ton crew cab pick up. Used it for a few small trips a couple of weeks ago. After trying to start after the third stop it wouldn't start - just a repeated clicking noise from the starter. After a friend tapped the starter, it started. Got it parked, tried to start it. Started 4 times. Fifth start try, back to the clicks. The battery is 9 months old and had it checked. Result: good. Took the starter out (starter is 2 years+ old) had it checked. Result: good. Checked the positive battery cable. Result: good. Negative cable replaced 6 months ago. Bench tested the starter with a battery. Result: did everything it was supposed to. Bench tested with the connections from the truck. Result: did everything it was supposed to. Motor spun, tested the solenoid - moved in and out like it should. Tried a connection form the ignition switch wire to the starter (with the starter out of the truck) Did what it was supposed to. I'm thinking that perhaps the ground from the motor to the chassis is not making a good connection. When I tested it with the truck battery, I used jumper cables and ground right to the starter. I lost daylight so the next check will be to check the truck ground and to use a cable to ground the starter (while installed) to see if I can get more than clicks. Are there any other things I could try? Any information greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

PrairieDrifter

Full Access Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Posts
2,166
Reaction score
1,447
Location
North Dakota
First Name
Mason
Truck Year
84,79,77,70,48
Truck Model
Suburban k10, bonanza k10, c30 C&C, c10, gmc 1/2ton
Engine Size
350, 350, 350, 350, 350
I can almost guarantee it will be a connection issue. Clean up the battery cable ends, and other grounds, like the ground from the firewall to the back of the passenger side head.
 

Scott91370

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Posts
553
Reaction score
378
Location
Burleson, Tx
First Name
Scott
Truck Year
1982
Truck Model
Sierra1500
Engine Size
350
Could be a loose wire or if tapping the starter worked it could be time for a new one. Mine would only click (solenoid engaging) and I had to swap it.
 

SirRobyn0

Full Access Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Posts
1,634
Reaction score
1,686
Location
In the woods in Western Washington
First Name
Rob
Truck Year
1984
Truck Model
C20
Engine Size
350
I'm in the starter camp. Yes, these trucks are known for connection issues, but the fact that hitting the starter got it to start. You gotta keep in mind if the starter is being tested on the bench it's a no load test, a fail means it's bad but just because it'll free spin doesn't mean it'll crank the engine. Also even if tested in the truck, if it's got a bad spot in the windings and doesn't stop at that point you might get repeated passing tests even though there is a problem. I'd put a starter in it.
 
Last edited:

AyWoSch Motors

The Parts Guy
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Posts
934
Reaction score
1,851
Location
New Mexico
First Name
Ayden
Truck Year
1986
Truck Model
K1500 Sierra Classic
Engine Size
305ci V8
I'm in the starter camp. Yes, these trucks are known for connection issues, but the fact that hitting the starter got it to start. You gotta keep in mind if the starter is being tested on the bench it's a no load test, a fail means it's bad but just because it'll free spin doesn't mean it'll crank the engine. Also even if tested in the truck, if it's got a bad spot in the windings and doesn't stop at that point you might get repeated passing tests even though there is a problem. I'd put a starter in it.
Totally agree with SirRobyn0.
Definitely sounds like the starter is on it's way out.
Start with checking your ground wires and cables, because that's a cheap easy fix, but that's probably not it.
Mine just started doing that recently on my blazer. If you keep hitting the key, keep bumping it, sometimes itll go. It hits a bad spot now and then.
 

Raider L

Full Access Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Posts
1,574
Reaction score
717
Location
Shreveport, LA
First Name
William
Truck Year
1974
Truck Model
C10
Engine Size
355
Boy, doesn't this sound familiar??!! Didn't we just spend a week talking about the same thing??!!

Yeah, I'm just picking on ya'll. I agree with @SirRobyn0, and @AyWoSch Motors....starter! Because I've had it happen to me. As long as it didn't land on that bad spot it started like new. But then the next time I got in the truck...click! It mostly happend with stock starters. Once I got my mini starter all that stuff stopped.
 

Raider L

Full Access Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Posts
1,574
Reaction score
717
Location
Shreveport, LA
First Name
William
Truck Year
1974
Truck Model
C10
Engine Size
355
I'll tell you something else that causes it to and that's a bad place on the starter shaft bearing gets a flat spot on it. When that happens it causes the shaft to shift and binds the solenoid.
 

Rusty Shackleford

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Posts
11
Reaction score
3
Location
Vancouver, BC
First Name
Tony
Truck Year
1988
Truck Model
R20
Engine Size
5.7 L
Once the rains stopped, I was able to install the starter. Checked and cleaned the grounds and the mounting surface on the block. I put a jumper from the battery right to the starter housing. No more click - engine spun and started. Repeated without the jumper and success. Thanks for your input.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
34,189
Posts
712,224
Members
22,340
Latest member
heavychevy87
Top