Car won't even turn over

I have a 90 dodge dakota, 6 cylinder, 3.9L. One day it just stopped starting. the starter just clicks when I turn the key.

I tested the battery; good battery(just low from draining it trying to start my truck so much).

So I charged it and took the starter out; perfect starter perfect solenoid. So I put it back in and hooked everything back up. I tried starting it and nothing but the click.

Out of frustration I stomped on the gas and turned the key, it started sputtering. Turned it again and it started! I let it run for a while, turned it off and tried to start it again via the same method, and… “click… click…”

GAHH. It won’t even try to turn over, which makes me think electrical. But it seems like a fuel pump problem now.

Would it not even try to turn over if it was a fuel pump/injector problem?

It seems as though every posters’s eyes go into “glazed mode” whenever they are advised to, at least, use a volt meter. Further glazing occurs when they are instructed to disconnect the small wires from the starter, have Curley hold the ignition switch to START, while Moe takes a voltage reading on the wire which comes from the ignition switch, goes through the neutral safety switch, (and, maybe another switch), and comes to energize the starter solenoid…IF, the voltage didn’t get too tired (and fall under 10 volts) on its journey.
If the voltage falls too low (under 10 volts, about), in the intervening switches (including the ignition switch), and electrical connectors, the starter solenoid won’t do its thang. Check the circuit, with Mr. Ohm Meter, or Mr. Volt Meter, back through the circuit.
Didn’t I tell you your eyes would glaze? (Oh! Where’s Larry? He’s sitting on the beer keg having a Nehi Orange Soda).

Ooh! Ooh! Forgot. You need to see if the engine is locked up. Put a wrench on a large nut, and try to rotate the engine. If it rotate, return to start.

The starter motor relay is included in the start circuit (More glazing. Do you want coffee to go with that?). Here is the wiring diagram which shows the voltage’s journey:
You’ll want to enlarge the image by, on you pc keyboard, pressing ctrl++ six to eight times.

Ok great, I’ll get started on that. But do you know why it would fire up with the gas floored?

You said it ran once for “a while”, once. You didn’t say, til now, that you could, consistently, start it by holding the gas pedal to the floor while cranking. It’s a little hard to hit a moving target. This changes a lot of things.

Okay, so I deduced that there is full voltage going straight to the starter. I had my buddy help me out and he noticed that if you try to start it really quickly a few times in a row, it catches, and it would start up consistently. Now i don’t think it’s electrical or the ignition because the full power is always getting to the starter, and it’s trying to start, so I am now thinking that it’s getting bind up with the fly wheel. Does this make sense? And how much effort should I put into it if I’m just trying to sell it?

I think everyone missed the boat on this one. Clean the cable connections on the battery, if that does not work clean the battery to ground connection, if that does not work clean both solenoid connections if not incorporated into the starter motor, then clean the connection at the starter motor, if none of that works look at the pos and neg cables. If you are in doubt you can use the positive jumper cable to the pos post on the starter motor and see if it cranks, it is dangerous and stupid so only try it if you sign a waiver and email it to us first, with a will inscribed on the transaxle of a 54 ford. If all that fails it is time for a new starter motor.

Can you clarify? Are you saying that the engine cranks at a better speed if the gas pedal is floored. At this point your goal should be to make it clear to us if this is a engine cranking speed problem or a Motor Turns Over but Will Not Fire problem.

Yeah, i tested the voltage and it was full voltage, and then I just did the half turned key and then turned it all the way and it worked, and it’s been starting up perfect every time I turn the key now. I’m baffled. but I’m just gonna go with it and sell it as is, because I need to pay rent. Anyone want a 90 dodge dakota?