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  1. #1
    New Member Nightmare's Avatar
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    Default 1989 won't start after running for a while

    I have a problem with my '89. If I run the car for a good half an hour and then I stop and turn off the ignition, and then try to start the car again, the starter does not engage. It almost seems like a fuel cut off is engaged. If I let the car sit for sometimes anywhere from a half an hour or sometimes more, then the car starts again. All the lights on the dash appear normal, the battery is new, and I have the VATS bypass installed. I had this in to Chevy and they could not find anything wrong. Of course when I brought it in to them it did not happen. Any thoughts on this?

    Sorry, I just realized I put this into the C5 forum instead of the C4 forum

  2. #2
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Hi, Nightmare, and welcome to the

    Since this is involving a question on your '89, I'm going to move this thread to the C4 Technical and Performance forum. Hang on, this won't take a moment!


    -Patrick

  3. #3
    Member Fullback32's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem. Started fine when cold. As the engine got to running temp, I got rough idling and seemed to be missing while running. Eventually I had the same symptons you did. Wouldn't start again until it cooled down. In my case, I had a bunch of bad injectors. Once those were replaced, my '89 starts and runs like a champ.

  4. #4
    New Member Nightmare's Avatar
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    I had all the injectors replaced about two years ago and the car idles just fine. I don't know if somehow the fuel pump possibly gets too warm and it thermally shuts down if that is a possiblity.

  5. #5
    MBDiagMan
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    You need to catch it when it is hot and exhibiting this problem and do a voltage drop test on the starter circuit. This will show you where the open circuit is located. The high voltage drop indicates an open or super high resistance.

  6. #6
    New Member Nightmare's Avatar
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    Ok, how would I go about doing the voltage drop test on the starter circuit. Can you walk me thru it a bit?

  7. #7
    MBDiagMan
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    This is standard stuff found in most any auto repair manual, but here's the thumbnail sketch.

    Using a DC voltmeter, the easiest would be a DC Voltmeter on the smallest scale above about 13 volts, start with one lead on the battery positive post and the other lead at the next point in the circuit, basically the other end of that cable. With someone turning the key to the start position, you should read no more than about a volt. If the voltage across that circuit portion you know there is no voltage drop so you put one lead on the end of that cable and the other across the solenoid or wherever the next point in the circuit is, which will probably be the heavy post on the starter. AGAIN, you want to see low voltage. Whenever you see HIGH voltage then that means there is high resistance across that link in the circuit. High resistance means low or no current flow and that is your break in the circuit.

    The only place where you SHOULD see a high voltage drop is across the starter itself, but it should drop some when the starter is kicking in and turning.

    A circuit is just that, a loop of electricity. If you have a circuit, or connections you will have current flow from the battery through the cable to the solenoid, the other side of the solenoid, through the starter and then to ground. That's the circuit.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    New Member Nightmare's Avatar
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    1989 White Coupe

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    Now here is the strange part with this or just a coincidence. Earlier today I had between 1/4 and 1/2 tank of gas and drove about 30 miles on the highway... I stopped for gas and didn't shut the car off so that I would not get stuck at the gas station just in case the car would not start. I filled it up and then drove a couple of more miles to work. When I got to work, I shut the car off, and the car did the same thing. I came out at 5 oclock and the car started fine.. I drove about another 30 miles back home, got in the drive, shut the car off, and it started without a problem.

    Not sure if that is just a coincidence about the level of fuel in the tank or not..

  9. #9
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    I agree with the cabling check but you may be having the common SBC starter heat sink problem where a hot starter, especially a worn one will not crank .
    Any noise at all , no clicking of the solenoid?

  10. #10
    MBDiagMan
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    Oz is right. This IS the classic GM hot/no start problem, but before changing it you SHOULD do a voltage drop test to make SURE that it is the problem. The WORST thing to do when troubleshooting is to assume that a particular part is the problem and replace that part without diagnosis.

    I just want to confirm though, you ARE saying that this no start problem IS that the starter will not crank the engine? The reason I ask is because of a few other posts and the fact that you are suspecting gas tank level having an effect.

    When this problem occurs, you turn the key and the starter does NOT turn the engine, correct?

  11. #11
    New Member Nightmare's Avatar
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    Correct.. When I turn the ignition to start, all the lights on the dash light up, but there is no crank what so ever... It is like an alarm with a starter cut off... It looks like it will start, but nothing happens...

  12. #12
    Member Baldie88's Avatar
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    I had the exact problem with my 88. Did all the checks as described by others and after finally replacing the starter I've had no problems the past 2 years.

    You may notice I had my car on the Indy track for opening day a couple years ago. Got it on the track and the darn thing wouldn't start. Talk about being P.O.'d ! Luckily it finally started but after that it was either fix it or sell it because I didn't want to be embarrassed again.

    Good luck!

    Ron
    "Baldie88"

    Born on date May 31, 1988. This car did one lap of Indy in May 2006 for opening day ceremonies. Member St. Louis Corvette Club. NCM Member Number 518453.

  13. #13
    New Member Nightmare's Avatar
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    I know what you mean about being embarrassed.. Nothing like going to a gas station and then pushing your corvette out of the way so other people can get gas....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    . It is like an alarm with a starter cut off... It looks like it will start, but nothing happens...
    Not directly heat related but you have a starter enable relay and either a clutch switch (man) or inhibitor switch (auto ) in the starting circuit as well.

    What I would do is run a wire from the starter solenoid up to near the battery.Drive until no start condition happens and then touch wire on batt+ ; key off , out of gear and see if engine cranks.This would confirm if the starter itself is a fault.
    (Check temp wiring cold first just to make sure you have connection right)

  15. #15
    Moderator vetteboy86's Avatar
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    My bet is the starter. It is easy to verify though. If the procedure is to difficult to follow try jumping the starter solenoid. If the starter engages, then the starter is good. If it does not engage then it most likely is bad. Also, it would be simple to connect a cheap volt meter to the starter solenoid and check for battery voltage when the ignition switch is turned. This might be difficult though since everything is warmed up a bit.

    Look at the starter and see if it looks original, or very old. May be a good idea to replace it anyways. Replace it with one that has a lifetime warranty so when heat takes it's toll again, you get a new one for free.

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