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Discussion Starter #1
My ignition switch starts smoking/glowing orange when I turn my key and have the clutch in. When the car starts and I let the clutch out the switch stops smoking/glowing. Also when my clutch is pressed in there is a grinding noise.

Picture shows one of the solder contacts freshly melted. The contact is labeled "ST" I can only guess that means starter. Was wondering if this meant that there is a bad ground in my starter circuit or if my ignition switch was just arcing internally from it being old.

 

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When my switch was finally kicking the bucket for good, I could hear it crackle (arcing), but it never get hot enough to do any melting or glowing. It could be something else, but much like you I'm inclined to think that there's an unintended ground-short somewhere on the starter circuit which is causing a LOT of current to be drawn through the switch.

As for the grinding noise, does it happen any time the clutch is in or just when starting the car? If it's any time the clutch is pushed in, then that's a classic symptom of a bad throw-out bearing. Time to replace the bearing (and probably the clutch).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the clutch issue it does it about 75% of the time the clutch is pressed whether its starting or changing gears. I've had to replace a throwout bearing before when I swapped clutches, it was more of a knocking noise than a grinding. Clutch is ACT 6 puck I put in over a year ago.
 

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Hmm, in that case I'm not sure. That sounds like it's probably a separate issue from the ignition switch though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Every time the grinding noise happens when the clutch is pressed in the ignition switch glows hot. I ordered a new ignition switch, will see if the problem persists after the new one goes in.
 

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Maybe the switch is shorting and trying to engage the starter even when the key is not in start position? Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm gonna pull the starter today. I've been having starting issues ever since I put my clutch in and replaced the starter. Click click click start. Is what I have to do everytime to start my car.

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Is this a common problem with Miatas? My car came with a janky push-button ignition switch (cranks the car whnever you press it, but the car will only start with the keys in the ignition and in the on position) and maybe this is why.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Put my new ignition switch in and drove to work. No problems on the way here. Hopefully it was just grounding internally and there is no other problems

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Discussion Starter #10
My starter problem still persists, which is what caused my ignition switch to go bad I think. All the extra abuse from having to click the ignition over 5-10 times to start it every time.
 

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Are you getting a "CLICK--no start" or not even getting a CLICK? If either of those, the next most likely culprits tend to be the clutch interlock switch or the starter itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Always clicks and it will always start with some effort. Rocking the car back and forth or letting it roll down hill while in gear and it fires right up. Starter was replaced last year trying to solve the problem but it didn't do anything.
 

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Push starting doesn't really indicate much effectiveness on the starter, as it simply replaces the need for it. Sometimes the solenoid sticks and so the starter doesn't engage. Despite that, it really sounds more like a low-voltage issue somewhere in the circuit and not a problem with the starter itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yea it does that slow ruh, ruh, ruh before starting. So I was thinking the same thing, don't know where to start looking.
 

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I had the smoke coming out of my Ignition swith as well, changed out the switch and it was good however now I also have the same issue. Doesn't start right away consistently and I have to give it a few tries. My starter was just replaced a month ago with an AC Delco Reman. I heard from my mechanic that they were no good and get it changed out to another brand but I have been working on other things because i don't drive the Miata often. Anyway please keep us posted on your findings
 

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My starter problem still persists, which is what caused my ignition switch to go bad I think. All the extra abuse from having to click the ignition over 5-10 times to start it every time.
i have this same problem and have had it for over a year. i swapped my motor into a different chassis (for other reasons) and the problem persisted. i dont know if its a ground or what... so i wired up a 60amp PTS button directly to the started. turn the key to on, and press the button. hasnt given me any problems for a long time now.

Is this a common problem with Miatas? My car came with a janky push-button ignition switch (cranks the car whnever you press it, but the car will only start with the keys in the ignition and in the on position) and maybe this is why.
u need to have the key in, kinda like an s2k PTS button...
 

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Yeah, it functions like the s2k button, only the button itself is this ugly black nipple looking thing, and I don't think the s2k button cranks the motor if keys aren't in the ignition first.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Anyone know what ground locations could affect the ignition?

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