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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Qc
Hey guys, so I have a big problem -- my '99 Firefly isn't starting. I have a anti-starter on the car (I think it's called like this in english...) It's basically a system that won't let you start the car if you don't press the right button.

Anyway, so I tried starting the car tonight and it didn't. I press the button but then nothing... so I'm not sure if it's the anti-starter (switch to press) that is stuck or if my starter gave up. How can I check this? Pretty sure it's an after market anti-starter and I never installed those or know how this one was installed... any way to check if it's the starter?

Sometimes it seems like it clicks once but nothing more. The car is my DD and I need it asap..

What's the normal price for a starter on those cars? It's the G10, 1L 3 cyl. I looked it up online and it says 180$ + core deposit. That's ridiculous!


Last edited by Dark Blitz on Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:31 pm 
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You can check the voltage between the starter post (post on the starter that the big power wire goes to) and ground, or negative terminal. If, when you turn the key and try to start it, that doesn't show voltage, then it's probably not your starter, but more likely the wiring in that switch. If it does show voltage, and it doesn't go, then it's likely your starter. Also, check voltage on your battery. Also, i believe there may be a fuseable link in the stock starter wiring aswell, it may have melted down on you.

Also, you say it clicks sometimes, that's the starter solenoid trying to engage the teeth on the starter wheel to the teeth on the flywheel. If it clicks reliably, you're likely experiencing a starter issue. If it's sporadically clicking, and sometimes doing nothing, i would suspect a wiring/electrical issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Will try tomorrow morning!
Do you have any pictures for it? or a diagram so I'm sure of what I'm doing?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:03 pm 
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So... I don't think I'm very lucky this week. My multimeter decide it'll quit on me today. My jack is still out of order for a while too. However, I did try to start it today and it seems like the starter or something tried... it was just doing krr krr krr (for lack of better words) and nothing. Then I tried again and kaput, nothing. Sounds like the starter to me, no?
Can I swap a starter from a different car in or is there a place I can get these starters for less than 180$? Any years Swift, Firefly and Metros fit so long as they had the G10, right? Do G13 have the same starter too?

Now (and bear with me, I am no mechanic) the starter is located under the air filter/throttle body and near the point where the transmission connects with the engine, right? I spotted it there, unless I'm wrong. Doesn't look too easy to access. Any tips? I found some diagrams for the stater but no DIY on here nor geometro


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:47 pm 
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Might be starter, battery, or the wires in between. Manual and Automatic get different starters, not sure about engine size. It's a pain to reach, but can mostly be done from the top, only two bolts hold it on. You have to get under the car to take the big battery cable off the starter though.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:13 pm 
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If it's trying like that and not starting, check your battery FIRST. Check voltage across the poles, should read 12v obviously. Like woodie said, it could be the wires in between - preventing you from transmitting the power.

And yes, starter on the back side of the block.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:06 am 
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If it clicks every time you turn on ignition but won't start, I'd say that the brushes are worn...

I had the same problem (clicks but won't start) and eventually it started (one from 20 times)...
Then I replaced it with another, rebuild starter and now it starts with no problems...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:54 pm 
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you can get replacement brushes for $5 each and rebuild it yourself if that's the problem

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:27 pm 
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Will it start if you jump the battery from another battery with jumper cables?

Sometimes the extra juice is what is needed.

if it does start this way then have your battery checked for power on load.

and first rule of diagnosing a start problem is clean your battery terminals and retighten them.

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"I also love the 7500 rpm scream of a DOHC" :razz: 2X 1989 Swift GTi's a 92 and Jr's new 93 GT

Keep your eye on the boost guage!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:54 am 
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Location: Montreal, Qc
Thanks, I'll clean the ends and check the battery. However, all the lights in the car are still working flawlessly but I'll try boosting to see a difference... My stupid multimeter quit working completely right now so I can't even check the voltage anywhere.

I tried starting it yet again today and the anti-starter really doesn't seem to be the problem -- it goes after that and the car tries to crank but all I get is a krrrrr krrrr krrrr noise... it's not even ticking. Would this be the solenoid or the entire starter I need to swap?

Mcmancuso wrote:
you can get replacement brushes for $5 each and rebuild it yourself if that's the problem

Where can I find those? Or is there a way a could rebuild the entire starter myself? (what's needed?)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:09 am 
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As a simple test, start by jumpering the start terminal on the starter (smallest of two wires) to 12 volt battery positive, in NEUTRAL (manual, with hand brake set) or PARK (automatic) and work towards the ignition switch, jumpering each switch/function, following the wiring diagram, assuming you have 12 volts at the battery to begin with.

As a complex test, start at the ignition switch (with the small wire unplugged from the starter, because again, it's safest to check voltage at a wire, disconneceted from the starter, than it is to leave it connected with the risk of geting flattened, essentially leading to death ((legal disclaimer)) ), and at that disconnected wire's terminal, you hook your positive meter lead, key in start position, and look for 12 volts, plus or minus 1 volt. Again, following a wiring diagram like pipes and water. Check for valves that are shut. Either you have power, or you don't.

If you have +- 12 volts at the start terminal (again, smallest of two wires) when in the start postition of the key , the problem lies within your starter. If that's the case, your brushes aren't touching the commutator (open circuit, in electrical terms) or the relay/solenoid is an open circuit. If this is the conclusion after following my diagram and a wiring diagram thouroughly, it's a bad/rebuildable starter..

If you find something that has alot of voltage difference (around -2.5 volts and above difference), you found your problem. Voltage is electrical pressure.

Just remember, it's just plumbing, and valves....

Any less than 10 volts at your battery, not doing anything, engine off key off, your battery is dead, and needs to be charged or replaced, before you can continue diagnosis.

(this tutorial created by IceHouse brand beer.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:59 pm 
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So... I tried boosting the car and no difference whatsoever with the starter. Still the same krr krr noise (which I'll note is far from any clicking noise. More like a last breath of nothing). Since I don't have a multimeter still, I'm just gonna go for a starter swap/rebuild (if I can do it myself for cheap). Otherwise I found a remanufactured one for about 90$ with a one year warranty, need to get the core out though.

Now, how to I take the starter out? I do see the positive cable of the battery going to the starter, it's bolted on the smaller of two cylinders on the starter with two bolts. Looks like 10-13mm or something. I tried looking at it and there's not much corrosion there, if any. I guess I take off the bolts of for that wire. Now, what about what holds the starter in place? Woodie mentioned two bolts but my visibility sucks here... I think I spotted on that bolts the starter on the transmission? Is that possible? Doesn't seem like a bolt though, more like an hexagon key you'd insert in there...
Anyone have a picture of how I can do it otherwise? would be easier... I'll attempt it from the top unless I get a jack somewhere.

Thanks for all the help!


UPDATE: After looking some more old threads around, I found this: http://geometroforum.com/topic/3347410/1/
Basically, undo the two bolts holding the wires on the starter and then the two screws (the things I thought I spotted on the tranny). Anyone know what tool/size to use? Didn't find that bit..Especially the ones bolting on the starter. Looks like long shims with an hexagon style hole.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:34 pm 
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The 2 starter bolts are 12mm I believe, there's a possibility they're 14mm, the electrical connection is either 10mm or 12mm. almost every bolt on these cars is 8,10,12,14, or 17mm you don't need a lot of tools to work on it at all :) The sound you're describing is the same as mine when it had a bad starter. I had an extra so I just switched it out, but if money is tight, buy new brushes and replace them, they're every cheap compared to buying a new starter. Here are some instructions on how to change them out: http://geometroforum.com/topic/1220778/1/

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:42 am 
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Here's a couple pics of the starter and the 2 bolts that hold it onto the bellhousing, they're 12mm(pretty sure here)
Bolt on the right side there
Image

Bolt on the left in this pic, its hard to see in the car because its mostly under that black metal coolant pipe, use a ratchet with an extension to get under it.
Image

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:25 pm 
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Woo, out the car in 15 min!! =)

Those pics are exactly what I needed! Thanks A LOT!

I'm gonna take a crack at opening it tonight when I'm done with my homework! Hopefully it's just the brushes but I doubt it...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Hey guys... I thought I could rebuild the starter but this is what I found when I opened it:
Image
Image
Image

Something doesn't seem right.. can I replace the core part? It looks burnt. Unless that thing is the brushes... :huh:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:20 pm 
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That looks totally rebuildable
the copper can be polished with fine emery cloth and new brushes installed.
however the solonoid may need replacment, it may be the cause of your problem.
looking at the picture it looks like the brushes still have some meat left on them.

_________________
"I love the whine of a turbo in the mornin" 1991 Sprint Turbo
"I also love the 7500 rpm scream of a DOHC" :razz: 2X 1989 Swift GTi's a 92 and Jr's new 93 GT

Keep your eye on the boost guage!
And I love this one!
"Dale Jarrett's crew chief" "Drive it like ya STOLE IT!"
Image


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:53 pm 
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So.. due to the unavailability of parts here and the fact a solenoid is around 60$ or non existent, I decided to go with a rebuilt one for 90$. Swapped it out with the rebuilt one (it's a slightly thinner one, Denso is the brand I think) and put back everything in the same order I took it out, all connection with very minimal to no corrosion at all and... it doesn't start. Does exactly like the other one. Like it's trying to kick in but can't...

Needless to say I'm pretty pissed right now cause I spent 90$ I could have saved since the starter didn't seem like the trouble. Unless I did something wrong... any ideas guys? It's been nearly a week it stopped running and I need a damn car...!

Any help is appreciated. What could I have done wrong or what is the problem?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Well, it was worth a try :( I'd return the other starter if I could since that doesn't seem to be the problem. I'd clean up the old starter, like said above clean off the copper parts and put it back together. Have you checked the cable between the starter and battery. I replaced mine when I changed out the starter. A new battery terminal with a heavy gauge starter cable is ~$10 here from any auto parts place. You may have a bad wire? Have yo tried directly shorting the starter wire from the ignition. The small wire going to the starter, if you run a wire straight from there to the battery the starter should engage. If it starts correctly when you do this, the problem is in the ignition system. If you do this and it has the same symptom I'd say the problem is in the starter wire and battery connection. The starter system is pretty simple, if the starter is OK(which it is) all that's left is the ignition and electrical. Otherwise its a problem somewhere else, and has noting to do with the starter. Confirm the proper working of the starter system, eliminate that and maybe go on from there. These cars are pretty simple and the systems are easy to fix once you find the problem. For more help (and maybe better help than me lol) post a question here: http://geometroforum.com/forum/420197/ there are a lot more people who work on these cars here and they are happy to help. Good luck!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Mcmancuso wrote:
Well, it was worth a try :( I'd return the other starter if I could since that doesn't seem to be the problem. I'd clean up the old starter, like said above clean off the copper parts and put it back together. Have you checked the cable between the starter and battery. I replaced mine when I changed out the starter. A new battery terminal with a heavy gauge starter cable is ~$10 here from any auto parts place. You may have a bad wire? Have yo tried directly shorting the starter wire from the ignition. The small wire going to the starter, if you run a wire straight from there to the battery the starter should engage. If it starts correctly when you do this, the problem is in the ignition system. If you do this and it has the same symptom I'd say the problem is in the starter wire and battery connection. The starter system is pretty simple, if the starter is OK(which it is) all that's left is the ignition and electrical. Otherwise its a problem somewhere else, and has noting to do with the starter. Confirm the proper working of the starter system, eliminate that and maybe go on from there. These cars are pretty simple and the systems are easy to fix once you find the problem. For more help (and maybe better help than me lol) post a question here: http://geometroforum.com/forum/420197/ there are a lot more people who work on these cars here and they are happy to help. Good luck!


No go for the money, I doubt they'd take it back since it's already on the car....
You mean plugging a + and - cable on the starter? By little wire, you mean that black one that clips on the metal pin? or something else?

My friend suggested taking the starter out directly and plugging a batter on the + and - poles although that sounds dangerous to me. Like it'd fry something. He also suggested the fuses but I don't know which ones they are (doesn't seem written on the box).

Also, is it possible it's because my car had the mitsubishi starter and I replaced it by this rebuilt denso one? It's thinner than the older [mitsubishi] starter that used to be there

Thanks alot!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:13 pm 
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The starter should be grounded through the engine so all you gotta do is run a wire to the hot on the battery. There should be 2 wires going into the starter, the big one going directly to the positive on the battery and a smaller one that goes to the ignition system. Since it sounds like the starter is not the problem, I'd check these 2 wires. I just replaced the heavy one going to the battery on mine, it was cheap. you can run a wire directly from the positive battery terminal directly to where the smaller wire connects, this should cause the starter to run. If doing this starts the car correctly the problem is in your ignition.
You can test the starter by directly wiring it to the battery, it's not particularly dangerous, when you connect the wires, the starter should turn. It has a lot of torque so be careful or it'll jump out of your hand. This shouldn't be necessary since both the new and old starter have the same symptom, I'd say they are both good. Also, most chain store auto places will test a starter for free, so you ought to be able to bring it in and have it checked.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:47 am 
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Mcmancuso wrote:
The starter should be grounded through the engine so all you gotta do is run a wire to the hot on the battery. There should be 2 wires going into the starter, the big one going directly to the positive on the battery and a smaller one that goes to the ignition system. Since it sounds like the starter is not the problem, I'd check these 2 wires. I just replaced the heavy one going to the battery on mine, it was cheap. you can run a wire directly from the positive battery terminal directly to where the smaller wire connects, this should cause the starter to run. If doing this starts the car correctly the problem is in your ignition.
You can test the starter by directly wiring it to the battery, it's not particularly dangerous, when you connect the wires, the starter should turn. It has a lot of torque so be careful or it'll jump out of your hand. This shouldn't be necessary since both the new and old starter have the same symptom, I'd say they are both good. Also, most chain store auto places will test a starter for free, so you ought to be able to bring it in and have it checked.

Ok, so the starter.. it works but not long. It cranked twice and started the car then all I'm left with when I try to start it again is a "tack" when I turn the key. Should I rule out that kill switch?

I'm thinking it's the wires. Called around and they're about 20 bucks something for one here. Figured I'd still check it though before replacing it. So you're saying if I take a wire and run it form the + of the battery to where the + end of the starter is, it might work? What kind of wire do I need? All I have is thin wire for soldering... think it'd be way too small for the starter, no?

I feel like this is hopeless. Couldn't find an eff multimeter here for less than 50$ either so ehhh... Montreal bites! I need to go to the states and stock up on tools lol. Unless I can use a multimeter without the 12v battery setting? Ah, I feel like this is hopeless...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:29 pm 
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Oooookay... so.. I swapped out the battery with another one I had lying around. Slightly more power than the 550ca I have, it was around 850ca.. Now, I got a stronger "tack, tack" when I tried starting the car. This kinda makes me believe the pos wire is good, correct?

Second, I undid the two wires on the starter again. Figured I messed something up... well, pos wire still looks spanking clean with no cut. HOWEVER, the ground?/ignition wire (little black and red) is wrapped with something thick and white before going in the black plastic boot and then what seems like the engine block (can't see squat). I looked around and in between that white thing and the black plastic boot/housing/thing, the wire is naked and just out there. Not sure if it was cut or not (again, hard to see).

So now... what the flops am I supposed to do? Replace that small wire? How? I don't even know/see where it's in on the other side.
Otherwise, does this mean it's not an ignition problem and it's just the pos+ cable that's done?



UPDATE: I fiddled around with the ignition wire that's plugged in the starter and the car WORKS! It's ALIVE!! Aliiiveee!!! mwuahaha... okay, I'm good now. =)

Now, I guess I'm gonna have to replace that wire? or can I just tape it? It's hard to reach and again, have no idea how to fix it...

One little thing to add, when I start the car now, it takes a bit longer to crank than the old starter. Normal or... ?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:46 pm 
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THe small wire should go to the ignition(key) and in yours I guess it goes to a cutoff switch first. If you run power from the battery right to where this goes into the starter (with the key in the 'on' position) the car should start if the problem is somewhere in that line.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:48 pm 
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Any way you could post a video of trying to start it, that would probably be a big help in diagnosing the problem?

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