Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado
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The Classic Cadillac Forum Discussion, Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I having having trouble solving a starting issue on my 72 Eldorado. I have replaced the battery, starter, alternator and ...
  1. #1
    Kevin Combs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    I having having trouble solving a starting issue on my 72 Eldorado. I have replaced the battery, starter, alternator and battery cables already. The car will start when jumped, however the battery tests OK (12.4 on the multimeter), and when running the alterator is shows it is charging around 14 on the multimeter. I can drive the car 10 miles and park and it will no longer start (most of the time). Sometimes the car will mysteriously start. One time I pushed the car to get to where I could jump the car and the door ajar buzzer sounded and it started again no problem. Any ideas on what to check next?

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    70eldo's Avatar
    70eldo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Maybe some lose cable(s)?

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    FoxRodder's Avatar
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    When you say it doesn't start, what exactly do you mean? Do you mean that there is no electrical power in the car, Does the starter not spin the engine, does the engine spin over but not fire up?

  5. #4
    Kevin Combs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Fox Rodder, After driving the car when I go to restart I have no power period. The door ajar does not buzz, I get nothing when I turn the ignition. However headlights work. Test the battery and it shows 12.4. Hook up jumper cables and I get the buzzer and then the car starts without issue. no idea why the extra power helps when battery seems to be charged and alternator is charging battery too. Sometimes after opening the hood, etc the car will mysteriously start without hooking up jumper cables too.

  6. #5
    70eldo's Avatar
    70eldo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Check the cables to your starter. And the starter solenoid

  7. #6
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Loose connection at one end or the other. Cables at battery or wires, cable at starter solenoid. Also is there a ground strap from the engine to the frame or body? how clean, tight, is the ground cable from the battery to the car?

  8. #7
    FoxRodder's Avatar
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Yea dirty/loose cables cause goofy intermittent problems. I've had dirty cables strike me many times on several cars. I've had power and door buzzer and when I turn ignition key I lost all power. Anytime you lose all power go right to the battery terminals and clean them. Some cars are more prone to these problems depending on the cables used. I had a guy one time that could not start his car, I hooked up my jumper cables to my car at the time that probably had an 800 cranking amp battery and his engine still would not fire up. I nearly gave him up for a tow truck but my last resort was a swiss army knife to clean the inside of his battery cables and bam it fired up.

  9. #8
    Kevin Combs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    I have changed both positive and negative battery cables so they are all clean and should be tight. Battery is new too so connection is good. Starter is new too so I guess I have to climb back under and check all the the wires to the solenoid and starter next to make sure I didn't miss something when I changed the starter. Thanks for the ideas guys. I'll be back once I check all the wires/connections again.

  10. #9
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    If this a side post battery, I've seen the red plastic on a new positive cable prevent good contact at the battery even though it was tight. It was necc. to trim away the red rubber under the cable. Do you have a ground strap from engine to the frame? Where does the battery ground cable attach under hood?

  11. #10
    Kevin Combs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Carnut,

    It is a side post battery, but had same symptoms with old and new cable. Still worth checking though as I was concerned about the cables and thus replaced them.
    I have not looked for a ground strap from engine to frame. Will do that tomorrow night.
    The negative cable attaches to the frame just under the battery tray.

  12. #11
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Most GM cars run a cable from a starter bolt to the frame. with the ground cable going to the frame from the battery there could be an issue with the starter circuit having a poor ground. Engines are mounted in rubber thru the mounts so a ground cable is important to ground the engine to the chassis.

  13. #12
    Kevin Combs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    OK, ran through the wiring and everything seems to be in order. Battery is still charged at 12.45. Starter checks in at 12.28 or so. The Negative cable is firmly attached to the frame. There is a ground from one of the bolts holding the starter assembly to the frame. A flat woven wire that is about 1" wide that appears to be in good order. All wires are firmly attached to the starter solenoid.

    I have no power for lights, ignition, etc.

    Jump the car and I get enough power for lights, etc and can start the car without problem.

    Am I likely getting resistance between the starter solenoid and the ignition? Any ideas where to go next? Ways to troubleshoot my problem?

    Or should I go with a new wiring harness?

  14. #13
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Jump starting only provides another battery so hi resistance would not be cured by jump starting. You are positive the side post cables are making a clean metal to metal contact at the battery? Jump starting simply by passes the battery in the car.

  15. #14
    Kevin Combs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    I have good voltage to the starter solenoid so I believe the connections are all good. I checked them all this morning again for good measure.

  16. #15
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Intermittent starting problem on 72 Eldorado

    Have someone hold the key in the start position while you bang the starter with a hammer. If it starts, I would suspect an open connection in the solenoid or starter windings. I would also remove the ground strap at the starter and shine up the cable end as well as shine up the frame where it attaches.

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