Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1990 -> Repairs & Maintenance -> Voltage Starved Starter
A common problem with early 3.3/3.8 models is with the starter. The problem will be that the car will not start, however a very loud clicking noise can be heard when trying to get the engine to turn over.
This problem is with the starter, which was not designed well. In fact, the only cure for this problem (besides using a non-Mopar starter) is to use a battery with a higher voltage level. A battery with less then 10.5 volts will not be able to start these cars.
What can be done? Well, it may be a good idea to keep jumper cables in the car, and maybe one of those emergency start devices that they sell for starting cars without jumpers. An other battery could be kept in the car as a backup perhaps.
When jumping this car, the car may (most commonly will) stall out after it turns over. The solution is to go to near WOT as soon as the car can start, and then leave the gas pedal almost at WOT for a while, until the alternator picks up. Once that happens, the car won't stall.
A long term solution (besides getting a new starter) can be replacing the battery and alternator with ones which put out much higher amps. Racing alternators and batteries would work quite well, and by giving around 1,000 cold-amps (depending on the two parts) they would definitely keep the starter problem from showing up. The drawback to that though is the price (figure $130-200 for the battery, $100 for the alternator).
This page was last updated on October 2, 2003. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club.