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420A Starter, Relay, Alternator, other electrical problems?

Posted by nothingfiction, Apr 20, 2015

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  1. nothingfiction

    nothingfiction Proven Member

    404
    1
    Joined Nov 9, 2005
    YamaBischi, AB, Canada
    Long time I've been away. Way too long.

    Il get right into it...
    This last winter was really hard on my poor car. Had several times she just didn't want to start. Had to put her on the battery charger almost every they night so I could go to work in the morning. Thought it was just the cold (-40 degrees) and not having a garage to protect her in and all that. Well the weather is starting to get better but still barely have time or much less the energy to do anything after I get off work. But as I was saying... Weather has gotten better from that cold winter and she started right up. Without having to be on the charger at all. So figured had to be the weather right?

    Now... About a week ago I get a no start again. Good thing I invested in a battery jumper thingy. But now my car will not start unless I jump it. Had the battery tested, it failed hardcore. Got that replaced since it was still under warranty. First battery they gave me was sh**, but the second one I had them test before I put it in, then again after installing it. Tested great, but still wouldn't start without being jumped. So thought maybe it was the starter or maybe the alternator. Got a brand new starter since mine looked shot. I mean damn, it looked like the paint boiled right off and had seen better years like 30 years ago.

    Just got around to putting the brand new starter in today... Still won't start without being jumped. Which leaves me with either the alternator, a starter relay (not even sure where that's located, I've read there's a relay in one of the two black square boxes on the firewall next to the break fluid and windshield washer fluid. I've found this part. But also heard the relay is connected under the ignition key switch. Haven't dug that far yet. Could just be a bad ground somewhere... All of these "could be's" are making me pull my hair out.

    When I say she won't start what I mean is...

    Without the battery jumper, all the lights and electronics come on, nice and bright too. They do not "dim" as I keep reading about. As soon as I turn to crank it over... Everything dies as if I hit a kill switch. No turn over, no crank, no clicking of the starter or anything at all. Just dead. Can't even roll the window up.

    With the battery jumper on, depending how full of a charge the jumper has... On full charge she starts right up and stays running until I turn the car off. Turn the car off, even for a minute, have to jump it again. Try to start it without the jumper, the led on the alarm system lights up, but it doesn't lock the doors. Strange. Almost as if it disengaged the starter... No, as if it disengaged all power to the car except for the alarm.
    If the battery jumper's battery is low, I still get all lights and ect and it will start... But it's slow. If the jumper's battery is too low you can literally see the cam gears teeth spin individually like in extreme slow motion.

    And now since I put the new battery in, my battery light comes on. Let me rephrase that. At idle or sitting in neutral it stays off. Once in gear or even reverse, the battery light comes on.

    Had the alternator tested (yes, under load) and it tested "ok" but low voltage.

    So I know I am having some kind of problem with the charging system. However all the "tell-tale" signs of a bad alternator I've read keep repeating the brake light comes on as well. My break light does not come on. It does not even come on when I put the e-brake on now (since the battery light came on, I no longer have a brake light on my dash). Figured that was a diferent problem (maybe my e-brake brake pads are worn down and low. Read that somewhere so figured it was unrelated, but now I'm double guessing everything.

    Battery brand spanking new (tested "ok" 3 times). Starter brand spanking new (tested once before installed)
    Spark plugs and spark plug wires about 9 months old.
    No new mods to my car.
    About 2 years ago when I was in New York I replaced my under drive pulley back to a brand new oem one (belt too).

    Sorry for the long post/rant. Just wanted to give as much detail to MY problem as I could, to possibly accurately diagnose what is going on.

    Want to take her into a shop to get looked at but that costs money and that costs time that I cannot afford. If I knew what the problem was I could at least feel better knowing where to start, or where to have a shop even start instead of tossing money out the window for their diagnostics and time and excuses of could be this so we tested that. I've played that game once before.

    Please help a girl out. I'm getting real sick of this :(
     

    458  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    15.500 @ 73.000 · 2G DSM
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  2. 911gdsmboostin

    911gdsmboostin Proven Member

    306
    22
    Joined Sep 5, 2014
    Irwin, Pennsylvania
    2 major thing needed checked forst... the alt. Fuse it was what was wrong with my car when I bought it same symptoms would only start and run while being jumped it's in the black box next to battery it will be offset of the rest and to take it out u have to remove 2 bolts holding it in that wires go to it as well cost 3.50 and is clear on top so u can see if it's broke another big cause of your symtoms is a bad ground or no ground.. I've experienced with multiple vehicles even if the ground wire is connected and tight if theirs paint corrosion rust or loose wire on the connection it will cause issues mainly ckeck fuses the alt sounds to be the problem and is known to go also could be the alt relay and a broken wire on the alt check them all over well and I'm sure you will find somthing amiss
     

    Drag Race Build 713  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    12.493 @ 117.5 · 1G DSM
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  3. nothingfiction

    nothingfiction Proven Member

    404
    1
    Joined Nov 9, 2005
    YamaBischi, AB, Canada
    You mention checking the alternator fuse, is that the "Alternator Choke" fuse? The "choke" part gets me, almost like a lawnmower LOL. Is that the alternator, or is that some slave cylinder for a master cylinder for the alternator?

    I know the slave/master thing is generally referring to the transmission. But not sure how all that works when it comes to relays and fuses and solenoids and all of that.

    Read a trick involving disconnecting the negative battery cable while it's running to know if it's the alternator. Haven't done that yet as its raining and water + electric = not a good day. As for getting under the car to visually inspect the alternator... That's very difficult for me to do where I'm at so I will need to bring that into a shop and have them check it sadly.

    But back to that fuse...
    All fuses look good, none are blown. Haven't checked the inside fuses yet tho, but under the hood they are "intact". Not necessarily saying they are still good, but they aren't "blown" either.

    Any other thoughts?
    Could it still be a starter problem somehow? Maybe I put it on wrong and the teeth aren't lined up correctly? Not sure. New to this, so I'm asking.
     

    458  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    15.500 @ 73.000 · 2G DSM
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  4. 911gdsmboostin

    911gdsmboostin Proven Member

    306
    22
    Joined Sep 5, 2014
    Irwin, Pennsylvania
    Not sure I understand the choke part it's just a fuse like the rest but it has legs that bolt to contact points under the box.. keep in mind u have a 420a I have a 4g63 and the starter wouldn't kill all the power to the consol when you hit the key although if the starter plate inst installed it may be offset a bit but the idea of teeth not lining up is illrelavent because it spins and would catch like it always does I would think you have a loose connection for power to starter or a bad ground I'd start tugging on wires and checking grounds make sure the terminals have good contact and the wires arnt shorting against anything make sure the wires arnt bare anywhere and I mean use your hand visual doesn't always catch it fallow the wire from start to finish make sure grounds are clean and tight take some pics maybe might help out
     

    Drag Race Build 713  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    12.493 @ 117.5 · 1G DSM
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  5. Teezy

    Teezy Proven Member

    116
    20
    Joined Nov 23, 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Have you replaced the ignition switch? Usually around 30 bucks and isn't too hard to replace.
     
  6. nothingfiction

    nothingfiction Proven Member

    404
    1
    Joined Nov 9, 2005
    YamaBischi, AB, Canada
    The part about the choke was on the 420 fuse box it's says alternator choke, not just alternator, and there is no starter fuse either. Maybe just that solinoid thing on the firewall?

    fuse_box_cover.jpg

    insidefusecover1.jpg

    ...my bad. I guess that's the fuel pump and mfi relay I was thinking about.

    db7e0e0.jpg

    I actually needed to find this tho...
    2010-09-11_231553_relay-jpg.243001.jpg
    Looking at the door lock and starter relay locations wondering if that could be my problem... Haven't dug that deep yet, just pondering out loud right now
     

    458  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    15.500 @ 73.000 · 2G DSM
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  7. 911gdsmboostin

    911gdsmboostin Proven Member

    306
    22
    Joined Sep 5, 2014
    Irwin, Pennsylvania
    I dono man you workin with a compleatly differant setup then most of us are useto so alot will be differant but I still stand on somthing electrical shorting out I have ran into numerous cars that cut power when hitting starter differant makes models and one thing in common was a bad connection at batteries bad wire or bad ground so that's what I would start with plus it's free to check if you do it your self plus some parts may act weird with out proper connection so you may end up replacing alot of sensors and relays you don't need to because a bad short will cause issues with everything they are very sensitive to the power and connections
     

    Drag Race Build 713  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    12.493 @ 117.5 · 1G DSM
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  8. 911gdsmboostin

    911gdsmboostin Proven Member

    306
    22
    Joined Sep 5, 2014
    Irwin, Pennsylvania
    I dono man you workin with a compleatly differant setup then most of us are useto so alot will be differant but I still stand on somthing electrical shorting out I have ran into numerous cars that cut power when hitting starter differant makes models and one thing in common was a bad connection at batteries bad wire or bad ground so that's what I would start with plus it's free to check if you do it your self plus some parts may act weird with out proper connection so you may end up replacing alot of sensors and relays you don't need to
     

    Drag Race Build 713  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    12.493 @ 117.5 · 1G DSM
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  9. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

    7,491
    527
    Joined Jun 7, 2003
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Since your starter engages fine with jumping the battery, your starter is installed correctly and working fine.

    The 120A alternator choke fuse is just the alternator (alt) fuse. "Choke" is just an old electrical term used because the alt has coils which can "choke" changes in current flow - but it's an old term no one uses anymore - so ignore it. The alt fuse must be good however or the alt, even if good, will not charge the battery.

    There is no Starter fuse. Fuses cannot be just checked visually since a hairline crack may be there out of sight (if visually you can see it's element is broken, then yes, it's blown). If not visually blown, test across each fuse with a multimeter set to resistance. If you don't read 0 ohms the fuse is blown.

    BTW on our cars in the U.S., Mitsubishi's picture of the starter relay and door lock power relay 1 in their own manual, has them reversed. And on the 420A the relays by the brake fluid reservoir are the fuel pump and ASD although Canadian may be different?

    HOWEVER - Your symptoms of:
    "Without the battery jumper, all the lights and electronics come on, nice and bright too. They do not "dim" as I keep reading about. As soon as I turn to crank it over... Everything dies as if I hit a kill switch. No turn over, no crank, no clicking of the starter or anything at all. Just dead."
    ARE the CLASSIC symptoms of either (1) weak battery, OR (2) poor connections of the battery cables. Since you've replaced the battery, the battery cable connections (or cable themselves) are suspect. {Your battery jumping connects to the outside of the cable terminal so it works - the poor connection is between the cable terminal and the battery post (or sometimes what the other end of the cable connects to)}. Any large battery cable (+ or -) connection point that has even 0.05 ohm resistance will prevent starter from operating properly. The huge current (50-100A) that flows to starter will drop too much voltage across the poor connection leaving not enough for the starter (voltage drop = current x resistance). Smaller currents like those for dash lights, etc, won't drop too much voltage so they work. So I suggest first removing both large battery cables from the battery, cleaning with sandpaper both the battery posts and the terminal insides that make contact with the battery posts of both cables, re-installing them tight and trying it (contact surfaces must be shinny). If that doesn't work, clean the other end of both cables and what they attach to and then re-attach tight. Start with the negative which SHOULD attach to a starter mounting bolt and try it. Then the positive cable that goes to the starter (disconnect battery positive first). If all that doesn't work you may need new battery cables. If you wish you can measure ACROSS any connection [eg. battery post itself (literally) to cable terminal] WHILE CRANKING to see if you have a voltage drop there. You can also do this across the length of a battery cable. Measuring voltage drops while cranking is a MUCH better test than measuring resistance itself.
     

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
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  10. nothingfiction

    nothingfiction Proven Member

    404
    1
    Joined Nov 9, 2005
    YamaBischi, AB, Canada
    Got a new ignition switch with the money I got back from the old starter core. If weather permits, I plan to double and triple check the battery terminals and clean those off if not replace them as well. Talking about replacing wire sounds daunting to me tho. Having to replace even a single wire and tracking its entire path and all of that is not something I have time to do myself, without it becoming at least a couple of weeks or longer type project.

    So battery connections, and starter connections are something I can do. Let's just say it is a faulty ground wire, how far does that wire really go? I've seen wire harnesses taken out of cars before but I really have no time to do all of that work. Wish I did, seeing all these wire tucks and eliminations makes me wish I could do that.

    Also, back to the ignition switch...
    I would assume it is connected to the ignition lock cylinder. I have been trying to read and find more about this, but not finding much other than people breaking off keys in the ignition or people drilling the ignition lock out, ect. How hard is it to replace in our car? I've replaced the turn signal assembly part long long ago, and that was easy. But the ignition lock... That's a different story. Just trying to find out what I'm really getting myself into now before I take everything apart.

    Also... Will be triple checking all fuses tomorrow as well if weather permits.

    Now... A retarded question...
    On the 2gnt is there only the two fuse boxes? Or is there a third somewhere I have yet to find, or somehow have forgot about?
     

    458  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    15.500 @ 73.000 · 2G DSM
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  11. 911gdsmboostin

    911gdsmboostin Proven Member

    306
    22
    Joined Sep 5, 2014
    Irwin, Pennsylvania
    Dude don't be scared your not replacing every wore in the harness actually the wires that have been talked about are mostly battery wires which are rather big and short they don't go to the harness this isn't chasing down a broken ground off the ecu or anything like that just making sure of the basic connections are as they should be.. also I have hardly ever herd of a ignition switch going bad but to find it behind the key u need to take off the plastics put it in accessory theirs a pin hole u need to find somthing small to poke it with and the lock will come right out then their should be 3 bolts behind on the back side or maybe 1 I forget then it unplugs. And that's about it but that I believe is wired into the harness so your about to do what your afraid to... don't quote me on it it's been awhile sence i was replacing my ignition lock but I know it's easy to get out.. I'd be more focused on the power wire and ground I been a mechanic for a long time ad have see that probly alot and gut tells me it's a loose connection somewhere start with extra power and shuts off everything when hit key classic sign of bad connection do like the wisemen said and go over it all you'll be suprise to find it because you didn't think it was bad been over this plenty of times saying it's not that and turns out it was ... but good luck with what ever you decide on
     

    Drag Race Build 713  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    12.493 @ 117.5 · 1G DSM
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  12. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

    7,491
    527
    Joined Jun 7, 2003
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    The only wires I'm talking about are the 2 very large cables connected to the battery terminals. They do not go into the harness. The large positive one goes to the starter positive post (the other smaller positive wires go to the fusebox - leave those alone). The large negative one goes to the body and then to the starter mounting bolt.
    It's unlikely it's the ignition switch or the starter relay since you said it always cranks when you jump the battery (and those items have to be working for it to crank). At least clean the ends of those cables where they make contact - it's very simple to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
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