<VV> Starter keeps cranking

Doug Mackintosh dougmackintosh at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 25 16:36:07 EDT 2021

Hello VV diagnosticians!

I am a little stumped with astarter problem I am experiencing on my daily driver 1964 Spyder.

The problem is that thestarter continues to crank, even after I release the ignition switch (or evenswitch it to Off/Lock), until the car starts. This began as an intermittentproblem, but now seems to happen every time I start it. As soon as the enginestarts it stops cranking.

I have a separate relaybetween the 12 GA purple wire from the ignition switch and the 12 GA purplewire going to the starter relay, to reduce wear and tear on the ignition switchcontacts.

Here is what I have done sofar:

To rule out the possibilitythat my extra relay is sticking I disconnected the battery power to that relaywhile the starter was cranking with the ignition switch released from Start. Ifmy extra relay was sticking, this should have cut any power to the 12 GA purplewire to the starter relay. Since this did not stop the cranking (I had todisconnect the battery negative terminal ground cable to stop the starter) Idecided the only possibility was the starter solenoid contacts sticking. Thistest should also have eliminated the unlikely possibility that my ignitionswitch was sticking in the Start position, then magically unstickingimmediately when the engine started (also the key freely returns to the Onposition when released).

Next I removed the starterfrom the car. I tested it by connecting the battery positive terminal to thestarter solenoid main power input terminal, the battery negative terminal toone of the starter mounting ears, and then shorted between the main powerterminal and the S terminal of the starter solenoid. The starter spun, but assoon as I removed the S terminal short it stopped. So I was not able toduplicate the "sticking" problem by this test. I attributed this tothe fact that it would not draw much current with no cranking load, so maybethere was not enough current across the solenoid contacts to temporarily"weld" them together.

I replaced the startersolenoid with a new AC-Delco solenoid then reinstalled the starter in the car.

When I tried cranking thecar, it still behaved exactly as before: even when I released the ignitionswitch from the Start position (or turned to Off/Lock) it continued crankinguntil the car started.
As a final test I took theentire extra relay wiring out of the picture by disconnecting the 12 GA purplewire coming from the ignition switch from the extra relay input and plugging itinto the connector for the 12 GA purple wire going to the starter relay,returning it to the stock factory configuration. I then grounded the coilsecondary cable to prevent the engine from starting. When I cranked the car itstill behaved exactly as before: it would crank even after releasing the key orswitching to Off/Lock; it did not stop cranking until I disconnected thebattery negative cable at the battery.
Anyone else experience thisproblem? Any ideas?

-- Doug Mackintosh Corsa member since 1996 Corsa/NC member since 1996, Virtual Vairs member Corvair owner 1969-1971 and 1996-on

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