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Old 06-28-2008, 06:36 PM   #1
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1977 28' Argosy 28
Lincoln , Nebraska
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'77 MOHO won't start

I can't figure this out and my knowledge is limited. Just recently, my '77 Argosy Moho won't start. No problems prior to this. When I turn on the switch I hear a faint clunck but the starter doesn't turn or engage. The fan, lights etc. come on. The battery has a full charge. I have replaced the ignition switch, had the starter tested and cleaned, and a new solenoid.
The fuses seem OK. The ignition relay seems OK using my ohmeter. Any other thoughts. It's probably simple but beyond me.

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Old 06-28-2008, 06:46 PM   #2
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This may sound basic, but...
Make sure the battery terminals are CLEAN. Don't trust a visual check, take them apart and clean them good. I have had several instances where this was my only problem.

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Old 06-28-2008, 06:49 PM   #3
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I had a VW years ago that had the same symptoms. The cable to the starter from the battery had corroded inside of the insulation.


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Old 06-28-2008, 07:07 PM   #4
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I have been told that weird things happen when the ground strap from the battery to the chassis isn't making good contact.

I bet Terry (overlander63) helps you get this sorted out in no time.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
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what happens to the headlights when you turn the key.
headlights go out > check the terminal connections on the battery.
heaadlights stay on > see if you have voltage on the starter relay output.

if that fails, terry will fix it over the internet ;-)
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:32 PM   #6
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1975 26' Argosy 26
Miami , Florida
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Check the alternator belt. When these things "sit up" for a while the belts in general will (even new belts) freeze in position then "loosen" up out on the road. It takes no time at all to "throw" a belt and when it happens you'll think that something is wrong with the starter. Even the best mechanics sometimes fail to check the belts (or put the wrong sized ones on one) thinking, oh well I just changed those and they can't be the problem? Wrong. Take a look. I had this same problem (you are describing how my 1976 Argosy behaved to a "T") when I picked her up amd sure enough...a "thrown" belt. (Lucky me that I discovered this "before" I replaced the starter.) Good luck, J. Lee
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:37 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I've got a few things to try.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:49 PM   #8
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Yep, I'm betting its one of your battery connections. You'll likely find at least of one of them is corroded or bad.

Good luck!

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Old 06-30-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
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Have you checked the solenoid? It's mounted directly on the starter, close to the exhaust manifold, where it gets nice and hot.
A "clunk" noise when you hit the key could very well indicate the solenoid engaging, but not transmitting power to the starter.
I'll try not to get too technical, but a GM starter solenoid works with an electromagnetic plunger that, when energized, throws the bendix (starter drive) into the ring gear of the flywheel. When it does this, the copper contact on the plunger bridges the gap between the battery lead on top and the power lead for the starter motor. If this copper contact becomes corroded or pitted, it will engage the starter drive, but the starter itself will get no voltage, and will not spin.

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