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Author Topic: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)  (Read 5399 times)

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Offline LaGuardia

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Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« on: January 14, 2014, 10:09:56 AM »
HELLO EVERYBODY !! (sorry for the caps, it's just happiness for writing again here)

Long time no see, but I'm still here, and my Eagle is with me !
Two things happened today, apparently at the same time, and I figured out it was time to come back to the Nest (er... Uhm... the Den, I mean).
First thing, I received a greetings mail from Don (TenEagle) and I was delighted. It was such an unexpected surprise !
Second thing (and this is why I'm asking - again - for yor help), when I arrived at work from home and turned the key to shut off the engine, it simply went on running. All the electrical stuff (radio, gauges, lights) correctly went off, but the engine continued to run happily, smooth as silk.

It took me a few seconds to realize it was still on, I was going to lock the door and leave the car as usual because my mind just refused to think that an engine could go on running after switching the whole thing off.

Then I sat there, puzzled, wondering how to solve the issue (I just couldn't leave it on and though I have lots of ideas on how to start an engine without the key, I know nothing about killing it if the key doesn't do the job).

I operated the key a couple of times from end to end but nothing happened: everything worked fine, radio and gauges went on and off, but the engine simply stayed on.

Then, winning my fear of breaking something in the starter department, I gave the key a little push on the "START" side, the starter cranked for a second (with the engine on it makes a horrible noise, you know) and at last, when I turned back the key to "OFF" it eventually did what it was supposed to do.

I tried starting and shutting off a couple of times, and everything works OK, now.

So the issue is solved. For now. But what could have caused it ? What if it happens again ?

Hint: I recently swapped the starter solenoid (which was shot beyond repair) with a brand new one, identical to the original one. But I just swapped it, I disconnected the cables, put the new one in place, cleaned the contacts, reconnected. A 10 minutes job, nothing that I can logically connect with   the "zombie engine" issue.

Any clues ?
"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
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Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 10:16:50 AM »
Usually that happens with a bad starter relay (solenoid).  AND, welcome back!  Make sure to add your info to the SOAR database as we need more European members located.
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Not a Jeep.  Not a Car.  Its an AMC Eagle!

1982 Eagle SX/4 Sport;
1980 Concord DL;
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Offline LaGuardia

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 10:22:50 AM »
Solenoid ?
The thing I just replaced ?
It makes sense... but It's brand new ! I'm definitely out of luck, then.
It took 10 days to arrive here from RockAuto's, and it costed more in shipping than the part itself.
Awww...

I'm going to look for the database...
"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
1985 Moto Guzzi California II 1.000 (New Entry)

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 10:36:02 AM »
Are there any Jeep or Ford parts available in your part of Italy.  Ford used similar if not the same solenoid; and of course AMC jeeps did too.
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Not a Jeep.  Not a Car.  Its an AMC Eagle!

1982 Eagle SX/4 Sport;
1980 Concord DL;
1970 Ambassador 2 Dr HT, SST
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 11:02:07 AM »
It is usually caused by the alternator feeding back power to the coil. It might be a defective solenoid or it might be a one time fluke. If it does it again, pop the hood and try tapping on the solenoid. It that doesn't work, disconnect the wire from the solenoid post "I" that goes to the coil. It provides 12v+ to the coil while your cranking the starter. If it turns the car off it is most likely a defective solenoid. I would suggest not turning the starter on while the engine is running. You could do some serious damage to the starter and ring gear.
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Offline LaGuardia

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 11:12:25 AM »
I did a quick search before ordering online, but even though few shops said they had them in stock, they asked more than the RockAuto price plus the shipping. So I figured out they were going to buy them overseas, too.
Keep in mind that on this side of the puddle, Eagles, old Jeeps and american cars in general are considered "Exotic" stuff, and dealers have the bad habit to raise the prices at their will.
I'll keep on searching...

eaglefreek: thank you very much for the hint, I hope it's a one time thing, but if it happens again, I'll try as you suggested, thanks a lot again !
"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
1985 Moto Guzzi California II 1.000 (New Entry)

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 11:16:31 AM »
We have the same issues here with some of the imports, but not as bad as it used to be.
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Not a Jeep.  Not a Car.  Its an AMC Eagle!

1982 Eagle SX/4 Sport;
1980 Concord DL;
1970 Ambassador 2 Dr HT, SST
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline carnuck

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 02:19:16 PM »
If the nose bushing of the starter is badly worn, it can sometimes get in a position where it sticks the contacts of the solenoid. That is because it is dragging more than normal amps. Aside from that, the ignition switch itself could be broken inside. Fortunately it's a common GM part. Tilt vs non-tilt is the only differences that year.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline uglywilly

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 12:57:13 PM »
On a side note: you are lucky, mine won't start at all
, :banghead:

Offline carnuck

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2014, 03:47:04 PM »
If I were closer, troubleshooting would be far easier. I put a 4.0L in my '84 J10 and I have an HEI dist to go in with LPG for fuel (no fuel pump needed) so it will be just a couple wires to run.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline doneagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2014, 05:08:27 PM »

     HI    I don't know how I missed this the first  time around ......don



                                                                                                        :eaglebig:
HI.....A BAD DAY WITH YOUR EAGLE IS BETTER THAN A GOOD DAY AT WORK ...A GOOD DAY WITH YOUR EAGLE IS PRICELESS

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with them is try to EDUCATED them on the virtues of the BEUTEFULL cars that we drive   ...................don

Offline doneagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 07:53:14 AM »

           HI    I talked to LaGuardia and he said it was the solenoid and is fine now ...HE and the Car are working ....not much time for any thing else ...........don
HI.....A BAD DAY WITH YOUR EAGLE IS BETTER THAN A GOOD DAY AT WORK ...A GOOD DAY WITH YOUR EAGLE IS PRICELESS

There are Eagles lovers and there are the uneducated and the best we can do
with them is try to EDUCATED them on the virtues of the BEUTEFULL cars that we drive   ...................don

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2014, 12:15:32 PM »
Good to hear.
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Not a Jeep.  Not a Car.  Its an AMC Eagle!

1982 Eagle SX/4 Sport;
1980 Concord DL;
1970 Ambassador 2 Dr HT, SST
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline LaGuardia

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2014, 05:43:21 AM »
Hello again !
I' m here with an update... hope someone can help with this:

Yesterday the Eagle did not start (again). When I turned the key to "start" everything went off and the starter didn't even engage.
I thought: "that solenoid, AGAIN", and tried the usual troubleshooting:

Feeding +12 to the solenoid's "S" terminal did not crank the engine, so I thought the starter motor was shot this time, but then I tried grounding directly the solenoid ground post and the starter came back to life. So I guess I have a faulty neutral switch, not providing ground to the solenoid. Ok, I can live with it, even if it's not good practice, I can bypass it by keeping the solenoid grounded in alternative ways...

BUT...

With all the cables reconnected, and the solenoid permanently grounded by the means of a wire directly connected between its ground terminal and the batterys negative post, the engine starts and dies immediately, as soon as I release the ignition key. No way. The engine runs only as long as the key is in "start" position.

Going further in the TSM reading, I tried disconnecting the cables from solenoid's "I" terminal, and - presto! - everything worked fine: the engine starts correctly, and it stays on regularly until I kill it by turning the key to "OFF".

Now, my question to the experienced People is: probably I'll have to swap the solenoid again, but while I wait for the spare part, can I use the car in the following condition:

1) The solenoid is permanently grounded, bypassing the neutral switch (probably faulty). This is not really an issue, as I'm the only driver of my Eagle, and I know what I'm doing ;)

2) The resistance cable attached to the "I" terminal of the solenoid is disconnected. I tried touching it, and it feels quite hot. Can this lead to dangerous situations ? As far as you know, of course ?

Apart from the two mentioned anomalies, everything seem to work fine. How long would you drive your Eagle in such conditions ?

Thank Y'all in advance... any comments will be really appreciated !
"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
1985 Moto Guzzi California II 1.000 (New Entry)

Offline Mernsy

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 08:01:13 AM »
I wonder if you're getting some sort of feedback from the ignition switch located on the steering column.  You could try adjusting it.
The resistor wire shouldn't be hot if it's disconnected.


Offline LaGuardia

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2014, 11:17:18 AM »
Maybe...
I think it's worth one look, thank you, I completely forgot about the ignition switch... I focused on what is under the hood ;)

Anyways, the new solenoid has arrived (I love Rockauto, they shipped from Indiana on july 21 and it arrived here - Rome, Italy! this evening).

I'll replace the old one, and do the whole check. I'll keep you updated, thank you again !
"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
1985 Moto Guzzi California II 1.000 (New Entry)

Offline carnuck

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2014, 03:15:10 PM »
It sounds like the I and S terminals are swapped. Not enough power in the resistor wire to keep the solenoid engaged.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline LaGuardia

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2014, 05:15:02 AM »
Ok, solved !
Thank you all for your suggestions, it was easier than I thought. The "new" solenoid was just shot (again)...
AND, the neutral switch is gone, too... the two things happened at the same time, causing much more trouble than they were supposed to, if taken separately...

Anyways, new solenoid (this time made in USA - the last one was from China), additional direct ground wire, and everthing is fine again !

Completely OT pic below, but hey, that's me and my Eagle ! ;)

"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
1985 Moto Guzzi California II 1.000 (New Entry)

Offline LeesSummitEagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2015, 08:47:25 PM »
I have also had the exact same problem with the key off not killing the engine. I also did the same thing and by accident hit the start with engine running. You are right, it does make a horable noise. It has happened to me several times and very intermittent. I got the engine stopped by opening the hood and slaming it closed. The engine stopped. If it happens again, i will ckeck the starter sol.

Offline 88formula

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2015, 01:24:27 PM »
This doesn't add up.....

The nuteral switch and the starter solenoid are part of the starting circuit. There shouldn't be any reason that ether one would keep the engine running.... if it's a manual transmission, the solonoid is grounded to the body. If it's auto it comes in to the nuteral switch and grounds through that. Power is supplied to the s terminal from the ignition switch. Next circuit is the coil power. It comes from the ignition power in the run position only. And is a resistor wire to the starter relay, then to the coil. The starter relay SHOULD HAVE NO effect on the power to the coil in the run position. Start the car and unplug it. No difference.  Then when you turn the key to the start otion, no per goes through the resistor wire from the switch,  it gets full battery voltage from the solonoid I Terminal to the coil.
The last circuit is the easy one.  When the key is in start position and the solonoid winding is energized, Power goes from the battery, through the solonoid and to the starter motor.

It's a long shot, but the only way I could see the solonoid causing the continued to run issue is if the plunger inside was Jammed part way, ONLY supplying power to the I terminal. But the only time I've seen a solonoid jam, the starter was running until you disconnected the battery.
Ps. The starter engaging while the engine is running is a terrible sound, BUT NOTHING MAKES YOU PANIC LIKE A STARTER THAT DOESN'T STOP STARTING WHEN YOU LET GO OF THE KEY!!! :o

Offline Sandeagle

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2015, 05:09:51 PM »
I get some weirdness in starting and shutdown when I wiggle the key in the ignition and ignition in the column. All kinds of strange stuff happens!! Radio stayed on headlights stayed on and the buzzer didn't come on.

Offline carnuck

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2015, 02:34:19 AM »
Starter nose bushing that is worn out or low battery can cause the solenoid contacts to weld themselves and keep cranking.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline LaGuardia

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2016, 11:54:55 AM »
OH, NO, Not Again ! ;)

Hi everybody, long time no see, happy to find you all again here !

Facing an "old-new" issue with my starting system, I'm afraid this time I know the answer but I'm writing about it just in case somebody pops up with a miracle solution...

To make a long story short, turning the ignition key results sometimes in actually starting the engine (starter running great and fast as it should, engine firing up perfectly), sometimes in a strange buzzing sound from the solenoid and nothing else, sometimes in a single loud "click" from the starter motor and... well... nothing else.

This has been going on for a couple of months, at first the success percentage was quite high, I didn't bother messing up with wires, but now the engine starts one time out of 20-30 tries. And that's no good. Today I had to leave the car at work and walk home...

It's the "loud click and nothing else" case. The battery is brand new (the old one was shot anyway, I bought a new one hoping it was its fault) and fully charged, but when I turn the key I just get the click (which is more like a CLUNK!) and if I try again, the wire going from the solenoid to the starter gets really hot (the plastic seems to be melting) and it actually smokes. I tried jumping the solenoid with the same result. The voltmeter drops to zero, all lights go off, nothing, zero.

Shot starter ? I'm really afraid of it: it's not a really expensive thing, I know, but I have the same old problem... here in Italy, parts are not easy to find...

Any suggestions, or any idea before I log in to RockAuto and put a starter in my cart ? ;)

THank you all in advance !

"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
1985 Moto Guzzi California II 1.000 (New Entry)

Offline carnuck

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2016, 11:08:40 PM »
Sounds like you may have a loose battery connection or cable.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline mo.eagles

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2016, 06:06:53 PM »
Sounds like starter to me .
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Offline Eagleearl

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2016, 10:09:50 AM »
I would vote for starter rebuild or replace too.

Offline 85AmCfreak

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2016, 06:06:01 AM »
I agree with Carnuck....... Sounds like a loose connection. That's where I would start, check all connections off the battery to the solenoid then check the connection from the solenoid to the starter. Don't order a starter until your absolutely sure these connections are tight and making good contact. Dielectric grease doesn't hurt. Good luck
I Don't know why. But everybody's always talking about their STI or That guys EVO, I think I'll stick with my old, but reliable AmC. Did I ever tell you I was Full blooded Eagle?

Offline LaGuardia

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Re: Can't kill my engine (even if I really want to) ;)
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2016, 12:25:43 PM »
Hi and thank you all,
I followed the suggestions and checked/replaced all cables and connections. It seemed to work at first, they were to be replaced indeed, but alas it was not enough. A closer look to the starter motor and I found out ot was really shot: almost melted inside, it was giving all it could, poor little thing...
I found a remanufacured one at RockAuto, at a reasonable price, I'm expecting it to be delivered next monday, I'll do the swap and let you know. The worst part of it is that the Eagle is sitting outside my office and not at home, where she would be safer... I'll cross my fingers and hope nobody tries to mess with her while she's there...

----------------------------------- EDIT --------------------------------------------------

OK, everything's fine !
Ordered the reman starter on Friday, FedEx at my door on Tuesday (I love FedEx, they really deliver!), replaced the starter and... on the road again ! The engine started at first try. Tonight the Eagle's gonna sleep safe at Home ! Thank you again for your ideas, you all were right ;)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 10:22:31 AM by LaGuardia »
"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Oh, really ? I guess that's why I need BOTH rear bumper corner caps now. Doh !

1981 4.2 Eagle Wagon LTD (Daily Driver)
2003 Toyota RAV4 (Wife's Car)
1985 Plymouth Gran Fury (Endless Project Car)
1997 Alfa Romeo GTV V6 TB (Not Running Now)
1994 Honda Helix CN250 (My Beloved Scooter)
1975 Honda 500 FourK (Can't Remember Where I Left It)
1985 Moto Guzzi California II 1.000 (New Entry)

 

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