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My 85 El Camino decided not to start. When I turn the key I hear a clicking noise. Just one single click which I leads me to believe the starter is working. So I decided to go replace the alternator today. Assumed (first mistake) that was the issue and I would drive it home after work. While I was at work I decided to charge my battery. It was a little low but only took about 5 minutes before I got a green light. So, new alternator attached, battery full and cables attached tightly. I climbed in the driver's seat and checked the lights just to see if all was well. The worked great. I have not radio hooked up. Turned the key and once again the click. And nothing. Turned the key with the lights on and they go dim slightly and brighten right back up. No clunking nothing. I am at a complete loss and am stuck here until I find a way to start my car or until someone I know wakes up in the morning hoping they do before my 10am shift. If not looks like I'm sleeping here. And I cant turn it on for heat. Any ideas please. Thank you
 

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There is a probably a bad connection on one of your battery cables. Most often this happens at the battery so I'd start there. Remove the cables, clean the posts and inside of the clamps and replace.
 

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Electric is like water if you cant flow enough the device will not work. The starter takes the most electric. If you have a bad connection its like somebody is kinking the hose. Sounds like corroded cables.

Try getting a pair of jumper cables and clamp one end to the battery - negative and the other end of the same cable to the engine block and try it.

If nothing, try one cable to the positive terminal and the other end to the starter lug. I would connect the starter side up first in case you bump the cable to the frame and short it out..
 

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x2 on the battery connections,
if the starter has not been acting up lately..
check the starter connection, and block ground..
.
if those are clean and tight
check the ignition to the solenoid wire,
or try a remote starter switch connected to the starter..
.
:texas:
 

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JJ is right, Check the starter switch by jumping a wire from the battery positive to the little terminal on the starter. It should spin.. You could also have bad neutral safety switch..

I made a testing wire with a 8'piece of #16 and a alligator clip on one end, the other end stripped back. I connect it to the positive battery terminal and go around touching on different terminals to check them..
 

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The click you hear doesn't necessarily mean your starter is OK. The solenoid may be stuck (or bad) and may make a single click like you're hearing. If the suggested electrical checks do not help, then if you're able, remove the flywheel cover and spin the flywheel slightly. You may need a flywheel turner for this. If the solenoid is stuck then the starter gear may fall back into place. Another way to do this is loosen the starter enough that the starter gear separates from the flywheel and falls back into place. Re-tighten the starter and try again. Worse case scenario you need a starter
 

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I once was in same spot, just a click, however help was available, in the person of a night shift mechanic at work place. Cables were clean and tight and lights indicated a charged battery.
A light to moderate tap on the starter with a piece of wood and it then cranked and started. The starter continued to start in following days but I replaced it to be safe.

AND YES, the last time I told this story some of you told me how much terrible damage this could do. I get it, don`t need to be told again. I have done this several times with various vehicles over 50+ years of cars and have yet to see internal starter damage resulting.

Also, here we are, I think, two days later and have not heard from the original poster.
Are you still in the car?
Is this maybe an old post?
JP
 

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Have hit a starter motor with a metal Hammer, a rubber mallet and any combination of things including a piece of wood wrapping it with a metal hammer. All under conditions described in this thread. I have never heard of it hurting the starter motor and it sure never hurt any of mine.
 

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not whacking on the starter started with the newer Permanent Magnet Starters
the magnets will shatter very easy-ly,, and lock up the starter..
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the old scool starters is not usually a problem,
except for breaking the cast nose if you whack it too hard...
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:texas:
 

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would like to know?

that's all fine and dandy but did he ever find the problem and if he did ,it would be nice if he let us know .:?:
 
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