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1972 Club Wagon Starter

08-20-2008, 02:47 PM
When I picked up this Club Wagon a few months back, it started just fine. Two pumps and turn the key. Done. I left for Europe for two months, got back, thing wouldn't turn over. I wouldn't even get the struggling sound I would expect from a lack of fuel getting through. I turn it and get one click. Sounds like it's coming from the starter. Battery's working just fine, tried a friend's battery as well, just in case. So, what does this single click indicate? Fuses look fine. Solenoid perhaps?

08-20-2008, 08:59 PM
Go to the solenoid and pull the small feed wire. When you try to start this wire has to get power to work the solenoid. Use a DVOM and check voltage it could be a solenoid or the ignition switch.

08-21-2008, 09:11 AM
After two months without use, your vehicle's battery would be badly discharged, to the extent that you were lucky to even get a click out of it. It might power the lights and the horn, but be unable to supply the massive current which is required briefly when cranking the engine. I'm wondering about your friend's battery too - if it was a spare one, laying unused in a garage then it might have been in a poor state of charge as well.

You'll have a big engine in that vehicle so it will need a healthy, fully-charged battery to crank it, and I don't think you can draw too many conclusions until you've hooked your battery up to a bench charger and brought it back up to full charge.

If it still fails to crank then follow Rhandwor's advice and check out the feed wire to the solenoid coil. The wiring diagram I looked at is showing that as being red with a blue stripe, and it should receive 12V when the ignition switch is at the 'Start' position.

08-22-2008, 08:57 PM
Well, I hooked my battery up to my friend's charger, and it said it was about 75% charged. Though, when we left it for awhile and came back, the needle was bouncing from end to end and there was a hissing coming from it. I've never seen that happen before, so I didn't really know what to do other than unhook the charger. No explosion, so I figure that's a good sign...

Also, my buddy's van runs off two batteries, which are constantly in use, so he pulled out one and that's what we used. So, I'm almost positive it isn't the battery, although maybe I'll go get a brand-new one, just to completely make sure.

I don't have anything to measure the voltage, but I'm pretty sure the solenoid is getting power, because when I turn the ignition and touch the solenoid, I can feel it move. Though I'm referring to the solenoid that's closest to the battery, not the one attached to my starter.

08-26-2008, 10:21 AM
Looking at the wiring diagram, that will be a four-terminal solenoid - two large terminals and two small. Ensure that you're in Park or Neutral with the parking brake applied, switch the ignition on and use a heavy cable to bridge the two large terminals - the engine should crank and run. If it does, then you probably just need a new solenoid. The cable which you use to bridge the solenoid should be of similar diameter to the two heavy cables which attach to those large terminals - if you have a set of jump leads then one of those would do the job.

If it still doesn't crank then the problem would likely be with the connections to the starter-mounted solenoid, or the starter/solenoid assembly itself. You can remove and clean the connectors, and then after that you'd need to have the starter assembly tested if it still failed to crank.

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