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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, first post, Im in need of assistance BAD!
I have a 1978 Cadillac Hearse, based on a deville, Im at my wits end with it,
what started out as a every now and again problem is turning into a all the time occurence.
it will have full power to everything with no juice to the starter at all, used to only happen after it was Hot, but now happens whenever.
I have taken it to the shop for testing they say nothings wrong. LOL
when it happens I put it on a jump box and she fires up, I have replaced the Starter, the Ignition switch, all wiring is tight at all points...HELP!!! This cars to dang beautiful to send to the scrap yard due to pissing me off and leaving me stranded !!!

 

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99 STS
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700 Posts
:welcome:
Hello,
It seems to me like you have diagnosed the problem already. You put a jump box on the battery and it fires up. it's one of two things battery connections or a weak battery. A battery with a dead cell will power up all your lights, but, will not have enough amps to crank the starter. Battery connections that are corroded between the terminal end and batt post will add too much resistance and cause the same problem. :)
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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4,764 Posts
Once you are assured you do not have a weak cell in battery, do this:

It is likely a bad ground. Change out battery cables--corroded under rubber covering. Common problem with cars in 60s and 70s.

Run an extra ground wire from engine to frame.
 

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Cadillac
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Discussion Starter #5
First off thanx for the responses,
New Battery, was the first to be replaced. Cables are all like new, will definitely try adding a second ground cable, New Starter comes with new solenoid. Thanx for the welcome!!!!
 

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99 STS
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This is long shot, but, I have seen it happen, a defective new battery, the symptoms are exaclty what you decribed. Think about it, if adding a jump box, ( just another battery) makes it start, there's not much left. I have to come to the concluson that the starter needs extra current to crank the engine over or the battery does not have enough cranking amps to crank the engine. Have the new battery load tested.
Good luck, you'll figure it out soon! :bouncy:
Frank
 

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2015 Mazda3 S GT Hatchback 2013 Kia Optima SXL
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Man this brings me back 20 years. I had a '74 Chevelle with the same problem. I changed alot of parts including starter three times. On the third starter change, I didn't disconnect the battery because I was too damn lazy. It ended up being a major blessing. While disconnecting the ingnition wires, I saw a major arc. The ignition wire to the solenoid runs very close to the exhaust manifold. It frayed the wire causing it to seperate when hot. I spliced in a short piece of wire, and never had the problem again. Worth a look.

Don
 

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1985 Fleetwood S&S Funeral Coack
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49 Posts
Very nice car! I have an '85 hearse with similar starter issues since I replaced the HT4100 that came in it with a rebuilt 4.5 liter mill. Engine runs great for about 750 miles so far and is nearly broken in, but it ate my old used starter and is about to eat another. They don't seem to have any torque at all when hot, so restarts are trouble. I nearly got stranded at the gas station today - leaving it running is NOT an option there! Anybody have a tip on a heavy duty starter?
 

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1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Collins Le Classic Hearse
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4 Posts
Another issue that I found on my 85 Caddy Hearse was a loose wire at the temp sensor on the intake manifold. Everything else worked fine but would not allow the car to turn over. This was happening intermittently, but I lucked out and found it while poking around under the hood. Haven't had a problem since!

PS. Nice hearse! Are you a hearseclub.com member?:lildevil:
 

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85 Eldo Biarritz
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808 Posts
Do you have any alarm systems or starter kill switches installed? Those could be causing the problem. Starter circuit is fairly simple, if you had a wiring diagram and a multimeter you could try to really trace and diagnose the problem.

You say "no juice to the starter". Did you acutally get under the car and measure if there was 12 Volts on the main terminal of the solenoid?
When the problem shows up and you turn the ignition switch to "start" can you hear a click?
If you were to turn your headlights on before starting and then try to start the car, do the headlights dim?

Peteski
 

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I'm having some strange starter probs myself. I just picked up a 94 Deville and its starts fine in the morning, but after driving it awhile and stopping for gas, it wont start up again. It acts like the batt is almost shot, but its a new batt. If you let the car sit for 20 or so minutes it will start up fine?
 

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Have the battery load-tested. Especially if it's a Delco. I've seen quite a few "brand new" Delco batteries which proved defective. A load-test, with a carbon pile load tester, is the best way. A Midtronics or similar can also be used; most parts stores have loaners, and shops often have one or the other. Don't use a "toaster"; they may be cheap, but there's a reason for that. A resistive load cannot provide many needed details about the battery's condition. You might luck out, though...sometimes it's only loose battery terminals.
 
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