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70 Charger having trouble starting in park when cold

matchek

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Hi, I have been having trouble starting the 70 Charger when cold when transmission is in park. As some of you may remember, I posted awhile ago that I had this problem and I eventually replaced the neutral safety switch because I just assumed that it was because when it turn crank it cranked well. Probably had it replaced 3 times because knock offs leaked, but eventually bought a NOS switch a few months ago and it did not leak. The starting problem doesn't seem to be a prevelant when the car does not need a lot of cranking to start. Initially I just assumed the neutral safety switch was bad, and since a knock off was so cheap, I just had it changed out, but the problem did not go away.

After not starting it for several weeks with the carb dry, it takes several engine cranks to get gas in the engine. With the car in park I can crank the engine maybe 3 times but then the car won't turn over at all with no sound. In fact, I sense that when the car is initially turning over, the engine stops turning after 2 seconds sometimes even though I still have the ignition key is still turned - this is a new problem that did not notice before. [Note: After around the 3 crank, the engine will not turnover, but If continue to try to start the car, I notice the electric voltmeter on the dash go from around 12 o'clock to 11 o'clock so I know something is drawing electricity.]

When i jiggle the shifter in neutral, I can crank the engine no matter how long and many times I want. In NEUTRAL, when cold the car starts fine and runs great after a few more good, extended cranks. When I shut the car off (and the car is warm and/or has fuel in carb) and go to start the car in park, the car starts right up in park with no effort.

Does this sound like the starter or some relay is going bad? I am a little baffled. I did have some mechanic issues with the transmission adjustment as I posted earlier, so I wanted to jump on the linkage adjustment is still not right. I am concerned that that ignition switch is a little loosey goosey.

But the car starts in Park when the engine is warm and/or has been started recently where is does not need a lot of cranking to get fuel into the carbs. If it was the adjustment I would think that the warmth or recent turnover of the car would have nothing to do with it and it would not start in Park no matter what if the adjustment was off. I am also thinking is has something to do with the starter because the starting when cold or carbs dry performance has worsened even though the despite the replacement of several neutral safety switches.

I have no idea how old the starter is. My prior experience with starters on other cars is the problem with the starter is when it is hot, not cold, and shifting to neutral does not affect it. I am baffled. Any thought or help please?
 
My satellite had a similar problem. If I didn’t start it for a few days it was really hard to start. I set the timing and now it starts fine every single time.

Have you considered timing?
 
My satellite had a similar problem. If I didn’t start it for a few days it was really hard to start. I set the timing and now it starts fine every single time.

Have you considered timing?
Thanks, don't think it is a timing problem. If it was just the timing the car would crank but would not run or run poorly - that isn't this case here. I think it is some type of electrical problem where the engine is not cranking at all under certain conditions mostly in Park after not started for several days when the engine needs to be cranked several times.. Car runs smooth after starting. I had the timing adjusted too.

Or perhaps it is a starter or relay problem. I doubt it is the neutral safety switch or adjustment based on what is happening. I am all ears though. Baffled.
 
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If the time is off, it could be hard to get the car started. My car was doing that.

As soon as I set the timing, it starts perfect everytime. It would crank like the battery was dead, or like the starter was giving out because I had too much advance.

It was just a thought
 
This could be anything in the starter cct. Old car, I would inspect the brushes in the starter & the commutator for wear.
 
Just a hunch.....
Have you had the steering column out or adjusted the shifter linkage?
The reason that I ask is that the steering column has the linkage on it that connects to the transmission shift linkage. If the linkage is not set just right, it won't allow the starter to spin because it "thinks" the car is in gear.
I have a '68 Plymouth out back that I just swapped in a new Borgeson steering box. Since having the column out and back in, the thing sometimes won't turn over unless I wiggle the shifter. I'm going to have to adjust the column where It bolts to the firewall or the linkage where it connects to the transmission.
 
If the time is off, it could be hard to get the car started. My car was doing that.

As soon as I set the timing, it starts perfect everytime. It would crank like the battery was dead, or like the starter was giving out because I had too much advance.

It was just a thoug

If the time is off, it could be hard to get the car started. My car was doing that.

As soon as I set the timing, it starts perfect everytime. It would crank like the battery was dead, or like the starter was giving out because I had too much advance.

It was just a thought
Purepony, just out of curoisity for understanding of the problem that you had, your car ran great otherwise after starting, but did not crank at all when cold or for awhile and adjusting your timing fixed that? I take it adjusted your timing did not negatively impact it after it did start?

To clarify as it can be unclear, my issue is the car will not not turn over at all (meaning when one turns the key, nothing happens other than the voltage on the dash moves after it does crank for two or three times for a short while then will not do so after around the 4th try ). I don't mean that when I turn the key, the engine spins, but it will not start or run well. When the engine spins after a good while and fuel gets in the carbs , it runs well . Just wanted to be clear because my English could have have construed that the engine is turning over not just started / running.
 
This could be anything in the starter cct. Old car, I would inspect the brushes in the starter & the commutator for wear.
I was thinking the starter or startey relay and I eventually may just change it as not expensive. What boggles my mind is that when I switch the car into neutral the car will turn over as many times that I want - if it was the starter, it would have the same symptom regardless of the gear. But it could be just a coincidence as it is not like I did this test a 100 times.
 
If I follow your description, sounds like heat expansion could have a role in this. As posted, check your shift linkage, w/o moving the shift out of park position, see if you can apply pressure up and down on the shifter and try to start it..
 
Just a hunch.....
Have you had the steering column out or adjusted the shifter linkage?
The reason that I ask is that the steering column has the linkage on it that connects to the transmission shift linkage. If the linkage is not set just right, it won't allow the starter to spin because it "thinks" the car is in gear.
I have a '68 Plymouth out back that I just swapped in a new Borgeson steering box. Since having the column out and back in, the thing sometimes won't turn over unless I wiggle the shifter. I'm going to have to adjust the column where It bolts to the firewall or the linkage where it connects to the transmission.
Hey Kern, I would not rule out. It could be the shifter linkage adjustment This symptom did it before the new NSS and it does it after the new NSS and the previous mechanic did adjust the shifter leakage and he also replace the leaking seal. I know the mechanic had some issues with this so it could be this. The problem has slowly worsened since I got the car 2 years ago.

But common sense tells me if it was the shifter linkage, I would have a consistent starting problem in Park regardless of the when the car was last started. When I just go up to the car and turn the key, I will get around 3 good engine cranks in Park, if the car does not start and run after the 3 times (this happens if the car sat for over a week and there is no fuel in the carb), the engine will not turn over on the 4th try. And lately, if I switch to neutral it the engine will crank a 4th or 5th time and then the car starts and then the car starts in Park fine until I let it sit for over a week.

If the car was last started within a week, the car will typically crank and run on 3 tries or less so I would normally not see a problem if I start it often. This is one reason why I am skeptical of the shifter linkage adjustment (although I am not ruling it out due to the last mechanic difficulities).

It seems like if I try to start it too many times in Park, the starter wants to die and then I get nothing, but it appears it somewhat revives itself in nuetral.

I took the NSS terminal off the starter relay and put a test light on it and it is now showing that it is grounded. I need to do this when it is not cranking.
 
My satellite had a similar problem. If I didn’t start it for a few days it was really hard to start. I set the timing and now it starts fine every single time.

Have you considered timing?
Timing would have nothing to do with the starter stopping after 3 revolutions but it spins forever in neutral.
 
I was thinking the starter or startey relay and I eventually may just change it as not expensive. What boggles my mind is that when I switch the car into neutral the car will turn over as many times that I want - if it was the starter, it would have the same symptom regardless of the gear. But it could be just a coincidence as it is not like I did this test a 100 times.
You just answered your question . Think about what you just said. It quits cranking in park but it will crank all day in Neutral. It needs shift linkage adjustment. I don't think there is any adjustment inside the transmission. I would have to look.
 
You just answered your question . Think about what you just said. It quits cranking in park but it will crank all day in Neutral. It needs shift linkage adjustment. I don't think there is any adjustment inside the transmission. I would have to look.
It doesn't look like any adjustment to the switch or the "switch operating lever fingers" inside the transmission. It says, remove the switch, collect the fluid that drains out and "inspect to see that the switch operating lever fingers are centered in switch opening in the case." It does say more than once to "Check gearshift linkage adjustment before replacing a switch that checks bad".
 
That is why I made the suggestion above. Small vibrations while cranking may move things just enough to disrupt the safety switch signal if the linkage is at the edge of proper adjustment.
The Plymouth here will sometimes start easily, other times the shifter has to be wiggled slightly. I do intend to adjust it soon.
 
That is why I made the suggestion above. Small vibrations while cranking may move things just enough to disrupt the safety switch signal if the linkage is at the edge of proper adjustment.
The Plymouth here will sometimes start easily, other times the shifter has to be wiggled slightly. I do intend to adjust it soon.
Exactly. You can mess up the adjustment and not realise it. How many times have we had a hard time getting it out of park because the front wheels are against a curb stop or the car is setting on a hill. :BangHead:
 
You just answered your question . Think about what you just said. It quits cranking in park but it will crank all day in Neutral. It needs shift linkage adjustment. I don't think there is any adjustment inside the transmission. I would have to look.
I hear yah Mike. Thanks. But I just went to the car in Park cold just now (I started it and ran it yesterday), pulled the NSS connection to the starter relay, put a test light and it is grounded. Just now, I went to start the car cold and in Park and when I went to crank it, it cranked the first crank. The car cranked and started quickly on the second crank. (Note: there is fuel in the carb so the engine does not need to turn over much to start). When I have the issue mostly, is when the car sits for over a week and the carbs are dry and I usually have to crank it 4 or 5 times (in longer durations) to get it running. Once I have to crank it over 3 long times, when I go to crank the engine, I get nothing, no sound, no nothing other than the voltmeter on the dash going from 12 oclock position to the 11 oclock position showing something is drawings electricity. My common sense tells me if it was a shifter adjustment, the car would consistently not start in Park no matter what - typically. And nothing would be drawing electricity.

I agree about my befuddlement about the shifting to neutral and it starting great after I am getting nothing - that would mean the adjustment. But it could have been a coincidence. What the car does not like is when I have to crank the engine for an extending duration to get a dry carb full of gas more than 3 times.

When I initially checked the connection of the NSS connection to the starter relay, it did appear loose, but not entirely sure - I could be imagining it because I am hypersensitive. I secured it firmly now so will see if it repeats.

It could still be the adjustment, or a replacement of the starter/starter relay.
 
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If a car is sitting for an extended time, it can take longer to crank over, 4 or 5 times isn’t unusual. Longer and it could be a cold-choke adjustment. When you just turn the key w/o starting, it will draw current. Could be something is shorting out or loose connections at the starter or the relay. Can look at those and see if any evidence of overheating/arcing. Some connections can get corroded, including battery cable connections, ground, etc. Have had occasion where all it was - was a bad or loose battery connection.
 
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