1997 Civic Won't Crank

I have a slightly puzzling problem. My 1997 Civic won't crank. I turn the key, hear the click from under the hood and I get NOTHING.
At first, I thought the starter was going bad, because I could get it to
crank after several tries, then it stopped. Well, I changed the starter today, and NOTHING. When I turn the key I hear the click from under the hood, the fuel pump whirring, but I don't even get a crank out of the engine.
It shouldn't be the battery, because it reads at 12.6 volts AND was purchased in September 2008. Also, I don't get the classic lights go out issue when I turn the key. It doesn't appear to be the clutch safety switch because I get a different behavior when the clutch is pressed in versus the clutch being all the way out. All connections at the battery are solid, and the battery to chassis and engine to chassis have nice clean connections.
I am worried it may be ECU related which will suck :(
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ChrisB wrote:

Well after consulting the service manual, looks like I have some more research to do just to make sure it isn't the clutch safety, starter cut relay, or the replacement starter itself :(
I do have one question though. Why does the service manual suggest removing Fuse No. 44, the 15 amp fuse in the under the hood fuse box as the first step in the starter testing?
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ChrisB wrote:

There are two simple possibilities: a bad connection/corroded battery cable that lets some but not enough amperage through, and a very weak battery. I think 12.6 volts is actually kind of low, although maybe not if you've been draining it with the accessories while trying to start it.
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On 3/31/09 10:04 PM, in article kP-dnd_sHYYmRE_UnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@giganews.com, "ChrisB"

What happens if you try to jump it from another car? That'll tell you right off if the battery is the problem.
Is this a parts store starter or OEM? If not OEM, the odds are high that at least part of your problem is the new starter.
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E. Meyer wrote:

Well, I'll be. I must have run the battery down too low while trying to juice the bad starter, that when I installed the replacement starter, the battery was already too low to turn it. A couple of hours on the charger now has my battery resting at 12.95 volts with the car off, and I am getting 14.4 to 14.5 volts with the car running.
Now I just hope I didn't make a big mistake by going with a Duralast starter over a Honda OEM...
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ChrisB wrote:

Duralast IIRC is a product of AutoZone which makes it a crap shoot.
Better to get the old one rebuilt be a local reliable rebuilder.
JT
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ChrisB wrote:

You're welcome. ;-)

Having it work when first installed is a good "start." Listen to it carefully over the next few months.
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I wouldn't worry about it. My 86 Civic's OEM starter lasted 5 winters here in Alaska. I replaced it with a NAPA starter in 1993 (bought the Honda used) and that starter is still cranking along fine. Contrary to what others in this group will tell you, not every bit and piece on a Honda should be replaced with OEM parts. Some yes definitely but I have had very satisfactory replacements from NAPA and even some from Car Quest. Good luck to you....
DaveD
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On 4/2/09 1:38 AM, in article 49d45d84$ snipped-for-privacy@news.acsalaska.net, "Dave D"

NAPA is usually a step up from the junk that some of the lesser places sell. My experience has been about 30% of the cheap parts store starters I've tried worked correctly. Either DOA (easy to diagnose) or they draw excessive current (harder to diagnose, symptoms are slow cranking and rapidly dead batteries).
If the OP got a good one, I agree there is nothing to worry about. They seem to be pretty pretty much a go/no go proposition.
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