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1985 300D Turbo Diesel
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to double check before ripping out the starter....

So if the neutral safety switch is stuck, the starter should still turn and start the car if I use the contacts by the battery, right?

So, when I jump the contacts by the battery, I hear a click coming from the drivers side of the engine bay but that's it. The starter doesn't turn.

This is a bad starter?

What does tapping on the starter do?
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
Yes, jumping at the box there bypasses the NSS.
The problem may be a bad starter or maybe a weak battery.
Tapping on the starter helps in the electrical connection inside, (I think) sometimes it works.
 

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'77 6.9, 74 240D, 96 Ram 5.9L Cummins
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2,654 Posts
If you have verified that the battery is charged then you need a new starter.

The tapping sometimes helps a stuck solenoid but in the cases I have dealt with starters I simply ended up with a dead starter with tool marks.
 

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1985 300D Turbo Diesel
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Okay....so....The car is parked on a hill on the street and I needed to move it to the driveway.

I tried banging on the starter. Not much access....more like tapping. It didn't work.

So I tried jumping the contacts under the hood one more time. I did it in rapid succession and it worked. So I move the car to the driveway.

I started it 2 more times with the key and it was fine. Then the third, it didn't work again.

I hear several things clicking when I jump the contacts under the hood. Is there some relay between the contact and the starter that might be bad?
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
I hear several things clicking when I jump the contacts under the hood. Is there some relay between the contact and the starter that might be bad?
Not sure, you a classic failing starter symptom.
If you can get it to an advanceAutoZoo, they'll check your system for free.
 

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1985 300D Turbo Diesel
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Finally got around to replacing it...what a bear. So I reassembled everything. When I reconnected the battery there is no power at all (like the battery is not even in the car). Nada.

I checked the battery with a multi-meter and I get 12 volts. Also tried connecting to jumpstart battery. Everything is dead.

Is there any chance I got the wires to the solinoid switched by accident? Would that cause something like this?
 

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'81 240d
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229 Posts
I'm sorry I didn't see this until after you replaced the starter, but for the public record:

My car had the same symptoms as yours last fall, it clicked when the key turned but nothing more. I removed the air filter housing (a 2 minute job) to get better access to the starter,
then I had a buddy give it a good whacking with a hammer while I tried to crank the engine. Took a few tries, but it grumbled to life and not one problem since!

You definitely don't want to be shy about hitting it. I don't mean swing like you're trying to hit a home run, but my understanding is that some pin in the solenoid gets jammed up, causing the problem, and you need to make sure to shake it loose. The alternative would be replacing the whole unit anyways, right? At least you can vent some frustration.
 
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