...and when the smoke leaks out that's how you know you have electrical problems, right?
Got a new ignition switch from RockAuto for super cheap thinking that could be the source from my voltage drop. The part I got in won't fit. Close, but no.
Top is stock, bottom is the Airtex part from Rock Auto. the mounting tab is in the wrong place and it won't mount up. I have messaged RockAuto to make an exchange.
I have been going through the car while it's been down to try and figure
out my starting problem and I think I've figured it out. Keep in mind
electrical systems are super hard for me to wrap my brain around, so
don't hate on my slowness. I aced everything in physics until the
chapter on electricity which I failed. Just saying.
OK so here's how I see it. The relay that the PO bypassed is in fact the starter relay. It has four wires:
white- steady voltage from the battery when the key is in ACC
black- goes to the starter
black/orange - power from the ignition switch (only actually sees like 11.5volts for some reason)
red - grounds through the alarm system
1. the alarm system on this car is really messed up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it goes off for NO reason.
2. the black/orange wire only sees 11.5 volts. This is even with a brand new ignition switch so I am going to presume this is normal and is usually enough for the relay to click
I think the reason the PO bypassed the relay and jumped the black/orange wire straight to the black wire was because the alarm was dying. Every now and then the starter would kick from the 11.5 volts, but not reliably. I think the reason the relays I've tried to put in haven't worked was because of the wonky alarm acting up. I jumped the black and white wires to each other, turned the key to ACC, and the starter would spin if I hit the clutch pedal so I think my logic works.
Right now what I am thinking I'm going to do is unplug the alarm computer box (lots of people ditch it anyway). I'll take the red wire that grounds the starter relay, and ground it, bypassing the immobilizer. Then I should be able to have a functioning relay, allowing for the proper function of the starting system. Here's the wiring diagram in case you were curious
Also just to make it even more confusing, the pinout on the actual relay in the fuse box is not in the same orientation as what it looks like in this diagram.
The fix worked and the car starts up perfectly every time using the relay as intended.
I also got billed for the springs so I'm guessing the end is near and I hope can expect them in the next week or so.