GM Storm/Spectrum 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Starter

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DIAGNOSIS & TESTING



See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

Before testing the starting system perform a preliminary visual check. Inspect the wiring and connections for the battery cable and the starter solenoid, then check the ignition switch for proper operation. When the switch is turned ON the instrument cluster lights should illuminate and accessories such as the radio may be operated. If the accessories do not operate, check the fuse box for a blown ignition fuse.

All vehicles are equipped with a safety switch to prevent the vehicle from being started in gear. This prevents the possibility of sudden and unexpected motion of the vehicle when the ignition switch is turned to START . On vehicles equipped with automatic transaxles, the switch prevents the starter from operating unless the transaxle is in N or P . For vehicles with manual transaxles, a clutch safety switch prevents the starter from operating unless the clutch pedal is depressed.

If a quick visual inspection does not reveal the problem, make sure the safety switch is operating properly and not in need of adjustment. Refer to Drive Train of this repair guide for more information on these switches.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Cranking circuit - Spectrum vehicles equipped with manual transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 2: Ignition circuit - Spectrum



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Fig. Fig. 3: Ignition circuit - Storm



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Fig. Fig. 4: Cranking circuit - Storm

Starting System Diagnostic Charts

The following diagnostic charts may be used to trouble-shoot the Spectrum and Storm engine starting systems. When using the charts for a Storm cranking system, note that terminal C (Spectrum) has been changed to terminal 50 on the Storm circuit diagrams.

See Figures 5 through 11



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Fig. Fig. 5: Starting system diagnosis



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Fig. Fig. 6: Starting system diagnosis



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Fig. Fig. 7: Starting system diagnosis



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Fig. Fig. 8: Starting system diagnosis



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Fig. Fig. 9: Starting system diagnosis



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Fig. Fig. 10: Starting system diagnosis



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Fig. Fig. 11: Starting system diagnosis - Storm

If the diagnostic procedures suggest the problem is in the starter, remove the starter from the vehicle for testing; refer to the procedure found later in this section. The following tests may be performed to determine if the starter is indeed the problem and is in need of repairs or replacement.


WARNING
In order to protect the starter solenoid coil from damage, limit each of the following tests to 5 seconds or less. Any of the tests may be repeated, as necessary, but leave a few seconds between tests in order to cool the energized coil before applying current again.

PULL-IN TEST

See Figure 12

  1. For the Storm, disconnect the field coil lead wire from the starter solenoid.
  2.  
  3. Connect the test leads from the battery as shown in the figure. For the Spectrum, connections should be made at point A.
  4.  
  5. The pinion should extend both quickly and fully. If not, replace the starter solenoid.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: Starter pull-in test - Storm

HOLD-IN TEST

See Figure 13

  1. With the wiring connected as needed for the pull-in test, remove the negative lead from the field coil lead wire terminal.
  2.  
  3. When the negative lead is removed, the pinion should remain in the energized position. A pinion that retracts when the proper negative test lead is removed indicates a faulty solenoid.
  4.  
  5. If the pinion remained energized, proceed with the Pinion Return Test.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 13: Starter hold-in test - Storm

PINION RETURN TEST

See Figure 14

  1. Perform the starter hold-in test. Disconnect the negative battery lead from the starter body as shown.
  2.  
  3. The pinion should return quickly and fully to the de-energized position. If the pinion does not perform properly, the cause is likely the starter solenoid return spring. Replace the solenoid and re-test.
  4.  
  5. If the pinion does not perform properly using a new solenoid, the starter must be overhauled or replaced.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: Starter pinion return test - Storm

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Spectrum
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the ignition switch lead wire and the positive battery cable from the starter motor terminal. Note the position of the wires for installation purposes.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 2 mounting bolts from the starter and carefully remove the starter from the vehicle. Starters tend to be heavy, if working under the vehicle, DO NOT drop it on your head.
  6.  
  7. To install, reverse the removal procedures.
  8.  

Storm

See Figure 15

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable, then raise and support the vehicle safely.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the positive battery cable and the ignition switch lead from the solenoid terminals. Before removal, note the wire locations for installation purposes.
  4.  
  5. For 1993 vehicles, remove the bolt, nut and frame support bracket from the underbody.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 2 starter-to-engine bolts (1990-1992 vehicles) or the retaining bolt and nut (1993 vehicles), then remove the starter from the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. To install, reverse the removal procedures. Torque the starter retainers to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). For 1993 vehicles, tighten the frame support retainers to 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm).
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 15: The starter solenoid wiring is usually protected from moisture and dirt by a rubber boot

STARTER SOLENOID REPLACEMENT



Except 1.6L Engine With Automatic Transaxle and 1.8L Engine
  1. Remove the starter from the vehicle, refer to the procedure earlier in this Section.
  2.  
  3. For the Storm, remove the nut and disconnect the field coil lead wire from the solenoid.
  4.  
  5. Remove the solenoid retaining nuts.
  6.  
  7. Carefully separate the solenoid from the pinion drive lever and the drive housing.
  8.  
  9. To install, reverse the removal procedure. Tighten the solenoid retaining nuts to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm). For the Storm, tighten the field coil lead wire nut to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  10.  

1.6L Engine With Automatic Transaxle and 1.8L Engine
  1. Remove the starter from the vehicle, refer to the appropriate procedure earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nut and disconnect the field coil lead wire from the solenoid.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 2 through bolts and the starter mounting bracket, separating the starter motor frame with armature from the solenoid.
  6.  
  7. Remove the starter pinion ball and spring from the solenoid, then remove the driveshaft retainer and pinion clutch gear from the solenoid.
  8.  
  9. To install, reverse the removal procedure. Tighten the through bolts to 80 inch lbs. (9 Nm) and the field coil lead wire nut to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  10.  

 
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