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Discussion Starter #1
Occasionally my truck will not start when I turn the key. Dead. No power to dash or accessories. No amount of messing with the shift lever or key turn pressure etc helps. Just dead. Then, after sitting for some time it will start normally. This elapsed time has varied from just a minute or so up to an hour. This behavior does not seem to be dependent on whether the truck is warmed up or not. I suspect ignition switch. Does this sound reasonable.
 

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Could be the ignition switch, could be something with battery cables.

Here is what I would try.
When you turn the key and if you stopped at the "key on" position before going to "crank", will "key on" things work?
I suspect from your description the answer is no.
So, when in the "key on" with nothing "key on" working, try something that should work with "key off" , something like headlights.
If the headlights come on, suspect ignition switch.
If headlights don't come on, look at battery and connections.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK, thanks, Ill try that the next time. This is not an every day thing. Maybe once or twice a month. When it is dead everything is dead no matter the key position
 

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since this is old truck check the fuse fingers. many have had the fuses cause these intermittent issues..
pull fuses out clean with a green scratch pad if discolored.. so some had fuse sockets damaged fuse comes out easy.. other is wire brush the battery connections clean it up.. then also check for GM ground straps, turns to copper dust , sometimes they vanish..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. Today for the first time in two weeks the truck would not start. After maybe 5-10 minutes of trying various things like the column tilt position and cycling through the gear positions I tried turning the key while I held the shift lever pulled toward me from Park. Bingo, instantly took right off. Not saying this is related to the cause. maybe just random event. After arriving at destination, I turned it off and it restarted normally. It did the same when I returned home.

When this problem cropped up I suspected the battery and cables, noted the battery was almost 9 years old and decided to replace it. I cleaned the terminals when I put it in. In the recent days I also pulled all the related fuses and cleaned the blades (IGN A, IGN B, IGN E, TBC IGN, CRANK) etc.

This is starting to drive me nuts. I guess it is just trial and guess since I cant trouble shoot it when it is starting OK.
 

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At this point I would replace the ignition switch.
It's $25 dollars and you'll spend a lot more doing additional testing
 

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so your problem is no crank ? if this is NO crank sure can be many issues .check starter motor, battery I have had failed internally intermittent open.. had two die hard batteries did this.the other item being old replace the starter relay.
 

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Thanks everyone. Today for the first time in two weeks the truck would not start. After maybe 5-10 minutes of trying various things like the column tilt position and cycling through the gear positions I tried turning the key while I held the shift lever pulled toward me from Park. Bingo, instantly took right off. Not saying this is related to the cause. maybe just random event. After arriving at destination, I turned it off and it restarted normally. It did the same when I returned home.

When this problem cropped up I suspected the battery and cables, noted the battery was almost 9 years old and decided to replace it. I cleaned the terminals when I put it in. In the recent days I also pulled all the related fuses and cleaned the blades (IGN A, IGN B, IGN E, TBC IGN, CRANK) etc.

This is starting to drive me nuts. I guess it is just trial and guess since I cant trouble shoot it when it is starting OK.
Tilt steering will cut into the wiring eventually-inside the column. My 81 Grand Prix had that problem. Replaced and hot burger! It worked! I had a .060 over 283-350 turbo in that car. 600 vacuum secondary Holly. God, that car seemed like it would go 100 in 1st gear
 

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If that ignition switch is only $25 I would change it. I troubleshot an intermittent failed ignition switch in my burb for over a year, it was intermittent until it was permanent. I had trouble with my tranny though instead of your no start situation. these are (or at least mine) simple rocker contact switches inside and they build up burnt plasma oxidation on the contacts inside and then they loose connection. The ignition switch for my truck was a couple hundred bucks at best and much more for a delco so i choose the you pick scrap yard and picked up 2 for a few bucks, an hour later my problem was solved. It is hard to test intermittent problems. So it could be your starter as well, when it won't start go under and feel it, if it's hot you probably need a new starter, if it's cold giver a wrap with a hammer, this is more easily done with a helper turning the ignition at the same time. It could also just be the wiring to the starter or any ground straps.

Good luck


Al
 

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OK, thanks, Ill try that the next time. This is not an every day thing. Maybe once or twice a month. When it is dead everything is dead no matter the key position
RayVoy has a lot more experience than I, I have to get hands on...get a bigger hammer!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Latest update; 10 days ago the no crank problem occurred again and I was in a store parking lot with no tools. After fiddling for an hour and wasting a couple more hours I finally gave up and had it towed to my mechanics shop. The next morning it started normally. Since then It has been started and shut off three or four times a day trying to make it fail long enough the trouble shoot. In 10 days it has failed to start twice. once it started on second attempt. The other time only one man was there and couldn't work the meter and the key at the same time. Grounds, Starter, Relays, fuses have all been proven good. No answer yet.
 

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a family member had this problem .. had this 12 yrs ago on a 2003 2500 chevy truck ..

he called me up and I came down where his was stuck ... I had him turn the key held on start .. then I went in the pass side wheel well and touched the wires on the starter motor.. when I moved the small wire lug on the solenoid it cranked up .. then we did this again and I moved it back were it was before I moved it and it did not crank .. moved it back then it continued to start...did not have to replace it..
I would remove the starter motor and install a new one.. not expensive 100 bucks ...
 
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