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Turn key, dash lights, turn more...CLICK.

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by NC348, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. NC348

    NC348 Karting

    Feb 18, 2003
    154
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James I. Movich
    New battery, fully charged, fuses good, contacts seem solid, dash lights come on at first turn...... turn to start - CLICK!

    have searched the old threads, no joy.

    is it as obvious as i think (Solenoid/starter R&R), or am i missing something?
     
  2. jpl

    jpl Formula Junior

    Dec 4, 2003
    314
    Naples
    Full Name:
    JP Lavigne
    I had this happen to my 308 a few years ago. It was the fuse block, specifically the fuel pump fuse. Hot wired the fuse to get me home and ordered a new fuse block. Never happened again.
     
  3. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
    1,840
    Kingsport, TN
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    Lawrence A. Coppari
    My 328 did that one year after installing a new battery. Battery was ok. My 328 has a union on the negative side cable - male female plug in variety. The union was corroded. After cleaning it, the car starts fine. Don't know if 348 has one of these but it might be worth a look.
     
  4. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 21, 2002
    2,556
    Chicago
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    Philip
    Sounds like battery connection is OK given the lights come (but the dash takes minimal juice - how about the main beams?).

    Most common cause of symptoms you describe is lack of juice in the battery. The click suggests the solenoid is working but that it is not cranking. As I said above, I'd check the battery voltage first.

    On the 308s there is often an ignition cut switch triggered by the driver's seat. I think it was to stop the car "driving away" without a driver! Anyway, many previous owners have put a jumper in here to eliminate the "control". Check to make sure it is not dislodged.

    Do you hear the fuel pump?
     
  5. NC348

    NC348 Karting

    Feb 18, 2003
    154
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James I. Movich
    Sorry, Guys....my bad.

    i forgot to say it's a 90 348TS

    my old car was a gt4, and on that, i had the switch under the seat jumpered. i will be checking with headlights on tonight. did not think to try. the Batt is brand new (3 months) optima, i think red top. whatever. new is the point.

    thanks and sorry to forget the car info
     
  6. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
    Milton, Wash.
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    Jeff B.
    NC348: Here is what I recommend.
    1) Put the shifter in neutral. Make sure it's in neutral. Double check that it's in neutral. Triple check that it's in neutral.
    2) Find the starter. It's easy to find. Unplug the start signal wire that is plugged in at the starter. Leave the positive battery cable alone that is attached to the stud on the starter.
    3) Making sure again that the shifter is in neutral, take a screwdriver and jump between the now unplugged blade terminal (on the starter) and the positive cable (on the starter). They're right next to each other.
    4) If the engine now cranks over OK by using the screwdriver, then the problem is in the ignition/key circuit. Not enough voltage is reaching the starter to turn it over. They seem to be very particular about requiring full voltage. It's a common problem. In the old archives, there are mentions of people installing a relay in the circuit to achieve full voltage. Personally, I installed a pushbutton backup starter switch in place of the cigarette lighter. I never diagnosed where the voltage drop is occuring, but I have 50% failure to crank over using the key switch, and 100% success rate using the backup button.
     
  7. NC348

    NC348 Karting

    Feb 18, 2003
    154
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James I. Movich
    yes, i found your post about installing the push button in the cig lighter (very cool) trick. i am going to try your suggestion tonight. the only adjustment i may make to your procedure is to check for neutral at least six additional times. not that i am complusive, or anything like that, HA.

    i will look to see the connectors and let you know how that goes..... good news - all of this drama is playing out in my garage, not in a praking lot at 11:30 at night! LOL!
     
  8. ricrain

    ricrain Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    195
    Dallas Area
    Full Name:
    Ric
    Frequently, this is a problem where insufficient current is reaching the starter. A "relay mod" will fix this problem, without having to spend big bucks on a new ignition switch, etc. Basically, the relay is actuated by the ignition key, sending power to the solenoid... instead of the ignition key sending power to the solenoid.
     
  9. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
    1,840
    Kingsport, TN
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    Lawrence A. Coppari
    Lights don't have anywhere near the current draw that the starter has. Many times I have seen the lights come on, then go out when the key is turned to 'start'. I've had a bad battery connection do that on more than one vehicle.
     
  10. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    18,159
    Texas
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    Steve Magnusson
    If it's a hard "click" (i.e., the plunger in the solenoid is actually moving, but the starter motor never gets voltage applied) -- then IMO the internal switch at the back of the solenoid is bad.

    If it's a very "soft" (almost inaudible) click -- then I'd agree with the earlier posts about low-voltage on the start command line (or maybe stated differently -- a weak solenoid that is sensitive to a lower voltage on the start command line).

    So which is it -- a hard click or a soft click?
     
  11. NC348

    NC348 Karting

    Feb 18, 2003
    154
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James I. Movich
    Steve, hard.

    CLACK!

    i went home last night, pulled the airbox off, checked the shifter 14 times, took off the small wire, crossed the battery lug to it with a screwdriver.....VROOOOM. first time.

    cleaned the termminal as best i could (couild have used a six year old's hands), replaced the wire...... hit the key. started right up.

    i want everyone to know how much i appreciate all of the advice and help here. i learn something almost daily about my car from the other guys, and i almost always get a response as fast as i post a need.

    thanks, guys.
     
  12. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
    Milton, Wash.
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    Jeff B.
    The good news is that you now know that the starter and battery are OK. The bad news is that the problem isn't fixed. It will keep on failing to crank over whenever it feels like it, until you rig up a way to get 100% voltage all of the time to the starter. Did you see the thread where I posted pictures of the ignition switch? The funny thing about that was that after I went to the trouble of pulling the switch out to look at it and take pix of it (but didn't do anything that would actually fix it), the car started fine every time for about a month. I wondered if pulling apart the gang connector and plugging it back in had possibly improved the connection somewhat. Don't know. But SOMEWHERE in there, there is a voltage drop.

    Until you get it fixed, you can always start it with a screwdriver (hell of a thing to be necessary on a Ferrari!!), but don't forget to make sure it's in neutral. Did I mention that?
     
  13. NC348

    NC348 Karting

    Feb 18, 2003
    154
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James I. Movich
    Jeff,
    no i did not. i will look. yes, i fully expect her to let me down somewhere, sometime, most likely when its least convienient. i think the push button is maybe the most elegant 100% solution. do you have pics and diagrams?
     
  14. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    On a 1990 348, there is one other thing to check. There is a battery disconnect "plug" in the positive wire that runs directly to the battery. You can use this plug to disconnect the battery. Make sure to thoroughly clean the inside of this plug; if it's corroded, it kills the amps running through it.

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  15. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
    Milton, Wash.
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    Jeff B.
    It's a good point about the battery cable, but it didn't help with my problem and it isn't likely to help with yours, if the screwdriver method works. I took the original cable out of the car and replaced it with a solid cable with a very tight ground connection, and it made no difference. I replaced the starter solenoid contacts and it made no difference. There was plenty of power in the battery, and a solid connection to the starter (hence the immediate startup when you bridge the terminals). Just a weak signal through the key/start wire.
     
  16. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
    Milton, Wash.
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    Jeff B.
    Oh, and I can post pix and a diagram tonite if you wish to see what I did.
     
  17. NC348

    NC348 Karting

    Feb 18, 2003
    154
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James I. Movich
    yes, please do. i wnat to be able to know i have a fail-safe.

    the battery disconnect did not make a diff for me either. i sort of like mine. there have been times i have been willing to reinitialize the ECUs just for security issues.
     
  18. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
    Milton, Wash.
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    Jeff B.
    NC: Sorry, I had one of my migraines last night, no post, and I have to get going soon this morning (snowed last night).

    I used one of these starter buttons, because it's for heavy duty use (35 Amps), and cost only $14.50. You can get cheap ones (15 Amp) for less, but that would be silly. It fit almost exactly into the existing hole for the cigarette lighter, which I don't use anyway, and it keeps the button out of sight under the ashtray cover (see old picture).

    I ran two new 12 gauge wires to the button, hiding the wires under the carpet. One wire runs from the same postive terminal on the starter itself as the battery cable. The other is "patched" into the signal wire from the key, about a foot from the starter. Use good quality hardware and shrink wrap.

    If the starter won't engage with the key, you just turn the key to the run position, lift the ashtray lid, and hit the button - starts every time without fail.

    As an optional method, you could find a place to mount the button in the engine compartment, being careful to make everything weatherproof. Or else you could purchase one of the remote starters with a button and cables (a good one, like Snap-On) and carry it in the trunk, and hook it up to the starter every time you have a problem.

    Or you could go with the relay method, which would probably be the cleanest way to go, but maybe a little harder to do the wiring.

    Or you could get in there with a multi-meter and actually find out where the problem is, and FIX IT! I still think it's internal in the ignition switch, and I ain't paying hundreds of dollars for a new switch if I can start the car with a $14 button!

    Good luck!
     
  19. PassionIsFerrari

    PassionIsFerrari Formula 3

    Aug 15, 2004
    2,454
    Bringing back a 2 year old thread because I think this is the problem that just started a week ago with me.

    Run the car for an hour or two (yes, this 348 likes to drive) and after shut down try to start it up...No clicking, no turn over, nothing...try it 3 or 4 times and nothing....Wait 30 secs and waaalaaa...it starts right up...it scares the crap out of me because i dont want to be left stranded somewhere...

    Has anyone else had this problem or used the start button as a remedy?
     
  20. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
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    Jeff B.
    My 348 is now down to about 10% success using the key/ignition switch to start the engine. It is still 100% using the backup button.

    I don't want it to look like I am advising that everyone should install a backup button to start their cars, I'm just saying that it is one option, and it costs less than a new ignition switch. If you have a problem with the ignition switch, obviously the correct repair is to install a new ignition switch.

    If you have a problem with the battery, or the cables, or the connections, or the starter itself, then a new switch or a pushbutton won't help at all.

    The point is to keep you from getting stuck somewhere.
     
  21. PassionIsFerrari

    PassionIsFerrari Formula 3

    Aug 15, 2004
    2,454
    Yeah, its a great idea...And im thinking its got be the switch...otherwise, if was battery or connection...it would at least attempt to fire up right...or even click...not just do 'nothing'. And then 30 sec later it fires up with a ton of juice...

    My big dilemma with the button is that I use my cig lighter for cell phone...but I thinking about hard wiring my cell phone charger and just taking out one of the ashtrays, and using that space to store the plug for the charger and then mounting the button where the cig lighter is...
     
  22. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
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    Jeff B.
    The nice thing about "repairing" the system with a relay (instead of a pushbutton) is that you can put the relay in some nice out-of-the-way location, like behind the center console under the radio, and still start the engine with the key. You have several options. You just need to be willing to do a little bit of wiring. If you take the time to route the wires carefully, it's all invisible. I just used the cheapest and quickest solution.
     
  23. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    May 21, 2005
    58,554
    Vegas+Alabama
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    Mr. Sideways
    I don't remember reading about it in the workshop manual (maybe I just missed it), but you'd think that 348's would have to have a neutral safety switch in the ignition that verifies that you are either in Neutral or that you have the clutch fully depressed.

    Maybe Miltonian or ernie or dave or someone else knows.

    Anyway, if we do have a neutral safety switch, then it could easily be your problem. Have you tried starting in Neutral **and** with the clutch depressed (2 chances to get past the circuit)?

    The startup button/relay would certainly bypass that sort of neutral safety switch, too...fixing anyone who had that particular form of no-hot-start (and there would seem to be several different ones) problem.
     
  24. TomDial

    TomDial Rookie

    Aug 6, 2004
    36
    Europe
    Full Name:
    Chris
    The click was my problem too.

    I fitted a relay to the starter, it is invisible hidden under the air filter box strapped to the frame. Needless to say it has to stay away from the exhaust. To make the insurance happy, fit a fuse not more than 3” from the starters B+ terminal, if it is longer it can cause a fire.

    I did not have any more problems since that day.

    A 30Amps relay, 4 feet of wire, 6 connectors, 1 flying fuse, some heat shrink tubing make $20 hardware, 2 hours of work.
    Before the fix, even when the car started, there was a small hesitation after the click till the engine moved, now it is rotating instantly . Leaving all parts in the engine bay makes it unnecessary to run wires trough the whole car.

    Sorry to say there is now way to stay stock, as it is not the connectors, but the wire used by Ferrari, which is simply to thin. Do you want to fiddle in the cars loom?
    Better to fit the relay set, as it can be removed without a trace if it has to. But why? Even regular Ferrari work shops fit it. But only the good ones!
     
  25. gdbsti

    gdbsti Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
    283
    Nor Cal
    Full Name:
    Bruce
    If someone in the SF Bay area is having this same problem with their car I will happily show them how to diagnose the fault and repair it using a standard 12v 40A realy. Only requirement would be they take pics and we post it with a wiring diagram of the process for other f-chatters to see and do.

    Cheers!
     

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