Intermittent No Crank

Hey, so I have this civic...

Bought it off a guy who swapped the engine with a b18b sporting a ys1. It was also converted from auto to manual...

A lot of wires going nowhere and most just electical taped. No reverse lights, engine fan is always on, clutch saftey switch wired to always be engaged, water leaking inside cabin floor when it rains, transmission is on its way out, 0% rear brakes left = no parking brake, and so on.

I have done a lot to this car so far to keep it on the road, it's been a project and a half.

Don't get me wrong, I love the car and have learn't so much from it. But now i'm having this issue, no crank, sometimes... only when i need it of course.

The battery is about one year old, was run dry from leaving headlights on for 8 hours but has since been fully charged, and checked for voltage.

I have replaced (with an old set) and cleaned the ignition tumbler and ignition switch. Took apart and cleaned starter, looked alright. Getting power to starter and grounds are good. Tested voltage to starter switch while starting the car and got nothing.

This was all last night, no start in the morning (parked in a garage), started up fine when i got home...

Any ideas? Bad wiring? Bad starter? Bad battery? Contemplating just parting it out, I need a reliable car for work.



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Hey, so I have this civic...
What Civic do you have?

Getting power to starter and grounds are good.
Did you mean to write: "Getting power to starter motor and grounds are good."

Tested voltage to starter switch while starting the car and got nothing.
Did you mean to write: "Tested voltage to starter solenoid while starting the car and got nothing."

Did the starter crank during the test? Which specific wire did you test for voltage?
1991 Honda Civic Si

The starter motor is grounded and is getting over 12v from the battery.

It only cranks when it starts, it's occasionally not sending power to the starter (headlights don't dim when key is turned, everything else turns off). The single black/white wire that is connected to the starter solenoid, which is what I believe switches it on.

Confirm with test light or meter that the starter signal wire is getting power when the key is turned. If it is poss bad starter or ground issue from body to motor/trans. Ground on these cars goes from batt to body, body to motor/trans, if any of the 4 connection points is bad its all down hill from there.. first cheap reliable upgrade i do on all my vehicles is add grounds at multiple locations and positive where available.

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I've sanded and cleaned all of the engine grounds, and upgraded from the stock power and ground battery cables to 4awg.

The engine starts up everytime right now, i'll try again when it doesn't.

Thanks for the help, i'll post back tomorrow with results.


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Just tried to start it after work and got nothing as i thought it would... tried again and held it and it started after 5 seconds.

Really makes me think it's the ignition switch even though I have tried two and cleaned them both inside and out.

I also have the ignition tumbler off right now so Im just turning the switch with a screwdriver...

In the picture, is that the clip that should be hooked up to the clutch safety switch? It's directly under the dash and feeds into the main wire loom, can't tell where it goes from there, maybe up behind the cluster. 15204668399841114219875.jpg


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So you think the ignition switch is bad despite replacing it twice? Can’t understand the logic.

Focus on the wire splices between the removed auto shifter and starter solenoid.
Replaced once.

It's just strange that it would start after holding it for 5 seconds. I can't fully rule it out because the one i replaced it with was from my donor car, not new.

Aside from the Clucth safety switch I don't know which wires would be involved with the auto to manual swap, if I did I would've fixed the reverse lights by now. All I know is that there are three clips going nowhere and one wired into itself.

...Well, after inspecting that one clip that is wired into itself (which was covered in electrical tape) I noticed it was loose, I also noticed that the wires are black and white (same colour that goes to the starter solenoid). After taking one side of the wire out, no start, putting it back in, starts...

Quite the shafty wiring job I must say, but I probably should have checked there first. I've never swapped and engine or converted from auto so I didn't really know what to look for.

Hopefully that is all that it was...
If so thanks for the help, if not, i'm sure you'll hear from me soon.

P.S, should I be concerned about the wires that go nowhere? Or does that just come with the conversion?



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If you believe the ignition switch is bad, then test it. If the swapped switch was known good, focus elsewhere (the modified auto-manual starter solenoid wires).

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