underhood start switch


Old 08-25-03, 01:35 AM
Antony W. Serio
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Question underhood start switch

I am trying to toubleshoot a starting problem on my 1988 Chevy S-10 with a 263 V6. I went out and purchased an underhood start switch so I can observe the engine while cranking (to check for spart/fuel/etc). The only problem is that the switch did not come with good instalation instructions. What the directions told me to do was connect the switch inline between the solenoid and the wire that energises the solenoid. That makes no sense. There were alternate instructions for plugging the starter directly into the ECM, but it involved purchasing extra leads that none of the parts stores in my area cary. I would try a different underhood starter (and consider this one to be a $15.00 lesson in how not to do something), except that this one is the only model that I am able to find in my area.

I think it should go from the possitive terminal of the battery to the solenoid, except there is only six inches between the two clips on the device. I could jerry rig a setup with jumper cables, but I don't want to fry myself, my cat, or my truck any further than it already is.
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Old 08-25-03, 03:27 AM
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The key works fine for me

Electrical Fuel: Purchase a noid light and plug it into the wiring harness. Crank the truck over and look between the hood & cowl. If the light is pulsing, the injector is getting power.

Spark: I usually am able to crank it and peer into the engine compartment to hear/see the spark.

Fuel: Tape a fuel pressure gauge to the windshield/clip it onto the antenna to observe.
Old 08-25-03, 04:12 AM
Antony W. Serio
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No matter how many Yoga classes I take, I still have to be in the cab to turn the key. I could probably see the noid light from the cab and read a pressure gauge the way you mentioned. However, the spark plugs are burried deep down in the engine compartment (inside the exhaust manifold), so I can't tell if they work unless I am looking directly at them.
Old 08-25-03, 04:14 AM
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I have a little spark plug tester for GM HEI I bought. Clips onto a ground and looks like spark plug. Works like a champ and puts the plug where you need it .
Old 08-25-03, 04:35 AM
Antony W. Serio
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Can I get one of these spark plug testers anywhere, or are they a GM specific part that I have to get through a dealer?
Old 08-25-03, 08:34 PM
mike from nj
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hook it between the big and little terminals directly on the starter (less than an inch apart) note: if the truck starts, you're going to have to run inside it to shut it off, you are also bypassing all safety items, meaning it has to be in park(neutral for stick shift) e-brake on and hopefully the wheels chocked, doing this will start it in any gear!

i only use my remote starter switch when doing compression tests---no spark and no fuel because the key is off, plus i can watch the guage in my hand.

a spark tester is a spark tester, mine is from briggs and stratten(lawnmowers) it is adjustable and is shielded, meaning it won't ignite any gas fumes.

you can make one if you're crafty, solder an alligator clip onto an old spark plug or just use a hose clamp, or just use an old spark plug and lay it on anything metal---they will all work the same.

be careful with the 'remote starter' you have
Old 08-26-03, 09:04 AM
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AC Delco and many others offer them in their product lines.

Most of the automotive ones are gapped for GM HEI, they sell small engine ones like Mike has too.

It's a handy little item .
Old 08-26-03, 07:03 PM
billys68ss's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 1,459
I bought my spark plug tester from SnapOn. it looks like an old style interior bulb inside a clear plastic housing with 2 different types of spark plug boots, one on each side so you can use on different types of plug locations (one is straight and the other is angled) It lights up when there is fire.

Go to Toolsource.com. The spark tester in the picture is $11.95 there. Search for part # 91749. The only downside to ToolSource is that there is a $25 minimum order amount.
Hope this helps ya,
Old 08-26-03, 07:13 PM
msargent's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 469
Yup... Neat little tool.. I also keep some extra plug wires handy.. It's easier to slap a "new" plug wire and spark tester onto the distributor cap or coil pack, than undo a wire enough to get it into view..Of course this doesn't prove spark is actually getting TO the spark plug..Only if it's coming out of the coil or distributor...

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