4.2L I6 starter issue/replacement?

ScarabEpic22

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Ok everyone, so my brother is complaining that the 02 TB isnt starting when it gets to 0F or below in Bozeman, MT. Now that the TB and I am back in Seattle, naturally its my turn to take a crack at it and fix it.

Battery is a year old, bought it last December at Costco. Its at least 700cca, was the biggest one I could shove under the battery box.
Starter is original from Nov. 01 when the TB was built.
Alternator is also original.
Ignition switch is also original (amazing for a truck that just turned 10!).

Unfortunately since this only happens when its ~0F outside and Seattle's anywhere from mid 20s-45F right now, I cant have him reproduce the conditions. Im thinking either a battery with a dead cell or a bad starter. What points me to the battery is if someone jumps it, he can fire it up right away and drive away. If it was a bad starter, having another car supplying voltage and amps shouldnt make it work, but I might be wrong. Could be the ignition switch, thats cheap at $40 so I might throw a new one in and see if that fixes it.

Any ideas? Ill get a new battery from Costco on Monday when I have time, but I don't know if this is symptomatic of a bad starter or not (never had one fail on me). $185 + tax minimum is steep if it doesnt need to be replaced.
 

Regulator

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,496
It sounds like a battery to me. I would suggest you take it into Advance Auto and get it tested before you spend any money throwing parts at it.
 

jham

Member
Nov 20, 2011
1,334
Regulator said:
It sounds like a battery to me. I would suggest you take it into Advance Auto and get it tested before you spend any money throwing parts at it.

I agree sounds. More like a battery than a starter. In my experiences when a starter is gone jumping it would do a thing. Did the no start happen many times when it was 0 degrees? While at Advanced they can test the starter too just to help narrow it down
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Could also be a loose connection.

As the temp drops, metal contracts causing a bad connection.

As mentioned above, get the battery and alternator load tested. Not just a voltage check.

An intermittent open in the battery caused by the temp, is going to be tough to find.
 

djthumper

Administrator
Nov 20, 2011
14,956
North Las Vegas
If it starts right up with a jump that rules everything except for the battery. If there is a problem internally it will be very hard to track down. Replace the battery and check all of the connections to the battery and ground.
 

ScarabEpic22

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
The battery's a year old so Ill just have Costco replace it for free, wonder if it has a bad cell or something.

Yes in 0F weather he says it wont start unless he gets it jumped. My gut has been saying battery! battery! battery! but I figured Id run it by everyone on here anyway.

Ill stop by O'Reilly's on Monday as well and have them load test the alternator and starter if they can.

And check the batt<->gnd, chassis<->gnd, and alt<->batt connections and my PCM4Less Big 3 too.
 

AbsoluteZero

Member
Nov 21, 2011
211
I had to replace a Costco battery a couple months ago. Noticed the new battery only had a 30 month free replacement period. I think previously it was 36 months.
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
I had a new battery with a dead cell. Voltage was in the 12 range. So fast test number 1 is to just grab a volt meter. That bum battery never started the Envoy with the same oomph the OEM did.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
ScarabEpic22 said:
My gut has been saying battery! battery! battery!
You have an intelligent gut. :wink:
but I figured Id run it by everyone on here anyway....
Oooo. Lost three points for the noobish nervousness. :rotfl:
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
To the OP, when you say it doesn't start...does it crank slow then click, crank slow, or nothing when the key is turned?

Reason I ask is I have had starter solenoids that get frozen and the sufficient voltage from a jumper vehicle is enough to free it. Not the likely culprit but just wanted to toss that in there.
 

ScarabEpic22

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
gmcman said:
To the OP, when you say it doesn't start...does it crank slow then click, crank slow, or nothing when the key is turned?

Reason I ask is I have had starter solenoids that get frozen and the sufficient voltage from a jumper vehicle is enough to free it. Not the likely culprit but just wanted to toss that in there.

Ill ask my brother, if I was there when it happened I could probably track the issue down easier. :mad:

the roadie said:
You have an intelligent gut. :wink:Oooo. Lost three points for the noobish nervousness. :rotfl:

Haha thanks Bill, Ill pass those -3 pts onto my brother for not being able to describe the problem well enough to me! :hissyfit:
 

Menthol

Member
Dec 8, 2011
177
the roadie said:
How about describing it well enough to US?!?!?!?

Why isn't HE a member? Huh? Huh? :confused: You got him scared of me or somethin'? :tongue:

he has to tell him you're now gentler :rotfl:
 

ScarabEpic22

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
the roadie said:
How about describing it well enough to US?!?!?!?

Why isn't HE a member? Huh? Huh? :confused: You got him scared of me or somethin'? :tongue:

Because he's lazy and really just doesnt want to deal with it. He kinda considers the TB his, but he'll always drive his Jetta when he's in Seattle.

Fortunately I havent scared him away with some of your noob stories Bill, so there's still hope! :rotfl:


Ill update the thread on monday when I get a new battery and check the connections. Hopefully thats all it is. The 02s been practically bulletproof in the 10 years we've owned it, most of the stuff thats gone is either common (sbel) or wear items (tires, 2nd set of brakes, oil changes, air filters, fluids). Only replaced the power steering pump because I broke it and had the trans valve body refreshed with new parts because I botched a shift kit install.
 

ScarabEpic22

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Quick update, took the battery (1yr old, 800cca, 1000ca) to O'Reilly's and they said its at about 50% health and putting out 675cca. So I swapped it out at Costco for another one, seems to start a little faster on this new battery. Will update again to confirm this was the problem, but I imagine it was.
 

xxfile

Member
Dec 28, 2011
10
2 weeks ago I was wondering if my battery was going south as well then it quit completely...
a load test showed the battery to be ok so next tried whacking the starter as someone was turning the key to see if the starter had a hung brush or stuck solenoid.
upon doing this noticed a bunch of sparks from the solenoid pos lead that goes to the starter... it was hanging by about 3 strands of wire soo jammed it on with a Looonnnggg pair of needle nose pliers and got it started.
This wouldn't happen at home of course noooo I was 3 hours away at the inlaws and got home without shutting it off.
into the garage and the wire is well corroded due to the age but cut off 1/2 ionch or so and crammed it into a crimp on connector i managed to get from some wiring harness the managed to crawl in from the top and solder the living h#$%^ out of it and so far two weeks later its still good..
02 Envoy 4.2 4X4.

The starter seems to be pretty good on these trucks.
there was no R+R with pictures on the tvoy site so it isnt a regular failure but something worth checking
 

xxfile

Member
Dec 28, 2011
10
xxfile said:
2 weeks ago I was wondering if my battery was going south as well then it quit completely...
a load test showed the battery to be ok so next tried whacking the starter as someone was turning the key to see if the starter had a hung brush or stuck solenoid.
upon doing this noticed a bunch of sparks from the solenoid pos lead that goes to the starter... it was hanging by about 3 strands of wire soo jammed it on with a Looonnnggg pair of needle nose pliers and got it started.
This wouldn't happen at home of course noooo I was 3 hours away at the inlaws and got home without shutting it off.
into the garage and the wire is well corroded due to the age but cut off 1/2 ionch or so and crammed it into a crimp on connector i managed to get from some wiring harness the managed to crawl in from the top and solder the living h#$%^ out of it and so far two weeks later its still good..
02 Envoy 4.2 4X4.

The starter seems to be pretty good on these trucks.
there was no R+R with pictures on the tvoy site so it isnt a regular failure but something worth checking

Wellll its quit again might be down for the count.... looking for the R and R thread for the starter... I think I remember something about a crossmember....:sadcry:((
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Some members have gone thru the wheel well, some do it from the top.
There is no cross member involved.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Manual says to go through the wheel well, but as I have gravel parking I don't like jacking up the vehicle on that very much. I went from the top when I replaced mine last week.

I disconnected the brake booster hose from the manifold to get it out of the way and reached down through that opening to get to it. 8mm nut on the solenoid wire, 13mm on the battery connection, 15mm for the nut and the bolt that hold the starter in place. Lower is the bolt, upper is the nut - which is nice because when installing the new one you can hook the upper mounting ear on the stud and swing it into place quite easily. I used a standard 15mm socket for the bolt and a 3" extension on a deep 15mm socket for the nut. The extension was needed to clear the solenoid. I also used my breaker bar to reach down and give the old starter a few whacks to knock it loose.

It is a little tight and I wouldn't recommend trying from the top if you aren't reasonably tall or have thicker arms. I'm built like a stick so I can reach down there OK, but I could see how someone with a more muscular build couldn't fit their arm down there. It was tight enough for me as it was.
 

Regulator

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,496
Sparky said:
Manual says to go through the wheel well, but as I have gravel parking I don't like jacking up the vehicle on that very much. I went from the top when I replaced mine last week.

I disconnected the brake booster hose from the manifold to get it out of the way and reached down through that opening to get to it. 8mm nut on the solenoid wire, 13mm on the battery connection, 15mm for the nut and the bolt that hold the starter in place. Lower is the bolt, upper is the nut - which is nice because when installing the new one you can hook the upper mounting ear on the stud and swing it into place quite easily. I used a standard 15mm socket for the bolt and a 3" extension on a deep 15mm socket for the nut. The extension was needed to clear the solenoid. I also used my breaker bar to reach down and give the old starter a few whacks to knock it loose.

It is a little tight and I wouldn't recommend trying from the top if you aren't reasonably tall or have thicker arms. I'm built like a stick so I can reach down there OK, but I could see how someone with a more muscular build couldn't fit their arm down there. It was tight enough for me as it was.

He pretty much has it spot on. I went through the wheel well and replaced it in 45 minutes start to cleaned up. I also have a 3 inch body lift though so that may have helped me out a lot. :thumbsup:
 

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