Hard start cold, any thoughts?

Hi people,
1995 1500 auto 2WD 5.9
This has recently been difficult to start when cold but then starts fine when the engine is warmed up. When cold, it just clicks a few
times and sometimes it doesn't even click. After a few tries it has so far started but I want to fix it before it one day decides not to start at all.
I have had the battery checked and it rated at 883 CCA which is in excess of the rated 875.
I have installed new terminals on the battery leads after cleaning all wires etc. I have checked the grounding connections and every thing is squeaky clean and tight.
I am leaning towards the starter solenoid as the starter cranks over fine once it hooks up.
Anyone have any helpful thoughts on the problem??
Thanks in advance.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You will need someone to help you perform these tests. First put a volt meter across the batteries terminals (directly on the battery, not the clamps) on the battery and have someone turn the key to start. If the battery voltage drops significantly (like under 8 volts) you either have a bad battery or a short in the starter. If you claim of having the battery checked means you had it load tested with the result being 883 CCA, then I would replace the starter. If the battery voltage holds, leave the one lead on the battery positive and move the ground lead of the meter to the alternator case, make sure you have a good connection (showing battery voltage) and have someone turn the key again. If the meter now falls to near zero, you have a bad ground, possibly where it connects to the engine (lug near the alternator) or a bad wire itself. If the voltage still holds, it is time to get under the truck. As you probably know, the starter has two wires going to it, The smaller one powers the solenoid and the larger one powers the starter. Put your meters positive lead on the smaller wire and the ground to the starter or some other piece of clean metal and have someone turn the key. You should get close to battery voltage here when the key is moved to start and if not you have a problem on the low current side. If you get battery voltage here, move the positive lead to the large connection and hit the key again. Battery voltage should always be here and if it significantly drops when the key is turned, it indicates either a bad connection or corroded wire from the battery to this connection. If the voltage does not change when the key is turned, this indicates a problem with the starter. On the bottom of the starter there is a connection from the solenoid to the starter windings and it has a rubber cover over it. Connect your meter to this lead (under the cover) and have someone turn the key again. If no voltage or a very low voltage appears, this indicates a bad solenoid and if full battery voltage appears, you have a bad starter. All of these tests assume that the starter is not turning during the tests. If the starter starts working, these tests will be meaningless and you will need to wait until it stops working again to continue where you left off. Good luck on your project.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving
"Dave, I can't do that" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi TBone,
Thanks for the detailed description. I am a little ahead on part of it as this morning I did a load test on the battery with the positive and negative on the battery, then with the negative on the end of the negative cable near the alternator and finally with the negative on a bolt on the air conditioner compressor. All three times it showed good under test load.
I have parked the truck on the concrete apron this evening so will see what's what in the morning. As you point out it is a bummer to test as it usually starts after about the third try. Since it has so far, always started OK when hot I am not too worried.
I checked the local Dodge stealer this morning and they quoted $85 for one hour and $345 for the starter. Not going to happen here. <grin>
It's weird that it only does it cold though. I have zero problem with it other than first time in the morning. Even after it has been sitting for 3 or 4 hours during the day, it still starts fine.
This may just be coincidental, but this morning when I got to the third try, I turned the key to on, but did not go straight to start. I waited about 10 seconds to see if the Check Engine light went out and when it did, I turned the key to start and it fired up.
Not sure if that means anything or not.
We shall see what tomorrow brings.
Thanks again for the help, very much appreciated.
Dave TBone wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, with the big 8 cylinders, it's a bit of a job to change the starter. But, you're running out of choices.
Starters are case grounded. So, the surface between the starter and the block needs to be clean.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can't shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Changed one on a '98 1500 one time in a parking lot, with nothing but a cheap socket set. I think it took 10 minutes.
Really, it's a pretty simple job.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I loved the slant six with the starter on top. That was neat. But, sounds like you've got some good skill.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can't shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Tom,

Hafta agree Tom, not a big job but it has been averted. Turned out to be the battery. I had a spare battery and stuffed it in for a few days. No starting problems. Got a pro-rated replacement for around 20-bucks and it is again singing like a bird.
Thanks to all who helped with suggestions.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.