Starter motor up the Swannee

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,170
3,937
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Well viewers, there's nothing quite like living with an old car is there?

I replaced the internals in the starter solenoid the other week. All going fine til the other day when it started to make a sort of rattle just as it fired up. Did it this morning as I was going out. Thought to myself, when I get back from Halfrauds, I'll whip that off and have a look.

Well before anyone asks, no I did not take a picture of it on the back of the recovery truck. Came out of the shop and whirr, click, rattle, tick tick tick. Dead as a Norwegian Blue.

Dropped it on the drive (Flux Rescue worked very well) and took the starter off. All of the copper bits that I replaced looked fine, so I took the motor apart. Lots of crap in there. Two of the four brushes looked fine, but two looked very pitted and dull. I cleaned them all up, cleaned the rotor etc. I stuck 12v across it and it spun like a good un. Put it all back on and - dead again. Click clunk, gasp. Took it to bits again, checked it all through, spun it up etc and everything looked really good. Remounted it and had same problem. Tried knocking it with a hammer and it sort of tries then gets hot and sparky.

Anyone got any clues on this one? Is it worth trying new brushes? 3 tonnes of Auto that won't start is never a good thing. Especially if it stops somewhere really inconvenient. It's definitely not an original unit that's for sure. I could really really do without having to shove my hand in the wallet again this month. It's going to be like a new one by the time I have done. However, I'm still probably one of the lucky ones who bought a good one!!!


Chris
 

Ecky Thump

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
1,422
3
36
Reigate, Surrey
Garage
Chris

If the starter looks sort of okay after the clean up, try a jump lead from the battery -ve to the starter body. This will check to see if it is an earth issue.

If it starts with a jump lead attached look at the earth strap/straps from chassis to engine.
If it still doesn't start then it is either batteries or brushes.

Good luck dude
 
Don't like the adverts? Remove them by becoming a supporting member.   Click here

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,170
3,937
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Hi Jon, not sure I understood all of that, but this has been a clearly progressive deterioration over the the last week. Now, I have yet to check earths etc but I will do tomorrow. Can't help feeling that it's stuffed though, but don't quite know why. It works off 12v on the bench but not 24v when reinstalled. It is odd isn't it. I haven't tried any measurements at all. Truth is that I am not an auto electrician and volts x amps = confusion in my book. I really need an idiot's guide when it comes to taking readings Jon. Now if I could just zap it with a welder, I'd be fine. Still feel that this might be a brushes issue. I tried 12v on the whole assembled motor and it turned a quarter and sort of jammed - electrically. There are 4 brushes and this would make sense in terms of that. If you follow. Quite how changing all the contacts in the solenoid would have brought this on I don't know, but maybe having better flow across the main terminals has accelerated a pre existing problem.

Les, sorry but that is how I have been testing it already. Plus, I have dismantled it and just put leads across the motor.

Chris
 

Jon Wildsmith

Super Moderator
Supporter
Guru
I am in england
Feb 24, 2010
6,727
148
63
Stourbridge, West Midlands, England
Garage
Chris said:
It works off 12v on the bench but not 24v when reinstalled. It is odd isn't it.
I think you know the starter is 24v, and there's a changeover solenoid that switches power to the starter with the batteries in series instead of parallel to make 24v, and that solenoid can go bad. This is not the solenoid you changed the contacts on, this is another solenoid. If there's not enough power to the motor it doesn't throw the gear out far enough and makes some funny groaning / whiring noises. I'm not sure if that's the kind of noise you're describing? Also, did you notice that Les talked about using a jump lead to supply negative not for the positive (sorry, got to check :) ) it matters which battery you connect to for that because one of them will be at 0v and the other at 12v when the change over solenoid does its thing making sparks :!:
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,170
3,937
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Ahh hah, now then that's interesting stuff. Of course, I know the 12v / 24v thingy, but didn't know that they can go west. Ok, that is cementing in my brain. So it may not be the starter at all. OK it might be, but there are other tests to be done first. Don't want to buy a new starter to have the same thing.

Sorry to be such a dullard, but can you (both) give me a painting by numbers procedure to test this out please? I am still new to 80's and not quite sure where all these cables go.

Chris
 

Ecky Thump

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
1,422
3
36
Reigate, Surrey
Garage
Bit of confusion there Chris me thinks.

I know where Jon is coming from with the 24v solenoid but my check is more basic than that.
With the starter in place on the engine and all wired up as should be it is not starting.
So with starter still in this position, attach a jump lead from the port battery -ve terminal to the starter motor shell. Now try a start!!

If the car now starts this would show that the engine earth is poorly. There is one or more braided cables running from the body to the engine (don't know about the 80 because I haven't had cause to look). This is the most basic check you can do and often a cause of problem starting apart from a duff starter motor.

If this isn't the fault, then we go elsewhere like the 24v solenoid.

Rule of thumb is, start basic and work up to the more complex.
 

Jon Wildsmith

Super Moderator
Supporter
Guru
I am in england
Feb 24, 2010
6,727
148
63
Stourbridge, West Midlands, England
Garage
Actually Locrep makes a good point, even though the batteries are brand new you should test their voltage when disconnected because one of them being duff has quite a big effect and even new ones can go faulty, might as well check the most basic basics first :)

EDIT: Um, just in case I wasn't clear :shock: the funny noises I mentioned would be from the starter, not the 24v change over solenoid which just goes click :mrgreen:
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,170
3,937
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Batteries are fine Jon. Done that check right at the start. As I said, this has been a rapidly deteriorating problem over the last week. The starter began with this clattering noise which got worse until it just packed up. There was never any sign of that slow starter noise that we all dread. The bendix drive is firing the cog into the starter ring on the flywheel and then it's just not got enough whizz to turn it.

Les, I'm completely with you now - sorry yes, wasn't quite with you there. I will go thorough all of that this morning, but my money is on the changeover switch at the moment. I don't know where the engine earth straps are either.

Chris
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,170
3,937
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Well I think that curtain has probably fallen on this one. Just tried a meter across the main incoming terminal whilst the Missus turned the key. A standing 13v rose immediately to 24v on turn of the key.

I will have to take it off anyway to replace it, but I shall have one last look inside. Maybe there IS a problem with the solenoid and somehow it's not contacting both poles of the starter. If I can get to it, I shall try the same test across the motor side of the starter to see if 24v is being transferred across the plates if that makes sense. I have to try everything really as £200 for a new starter wasn't on the books.

Chris
 

Ecky Thump

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
1,422
3
36
Reigate, Surrey
Garage
Many moons ago there used to be a place off Derby Road that rewound starters and alternators etc.
May be worth a look to see if they are still around as they never had problems sourcing bits and gear used to come back as new at a fraction of the cost with new brushes etc.

It is probably about 15 years since I last used them but you never know :pray:
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,170
3,937
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Do you mean Elecwind out towards Clay Cross?

I guess you can all these sorts of things recond if you look around. Still got that rad to do. Will probably go with new and look to see if I can get the old one done up then I can either sell it or keep as a spare for the next time!! Going to get tight in that garage.

Still, one more go at it before I give up.

Chris
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I am in england
Mar 1, 2010
2,465
42
48
Southampton
Garage
Has anyone ever explored converting to a 12v starter so you can ditch the extra solenoid and use the second battery for split charge instead?
 

Rob

Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
3,019
16
38
Bristol
Garage
I seem to remember a lengthy thread about this back on the old site, or was it ELCO list. I think the consensus was that it was far too much work for what it is worth.
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,170
3,937
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Definitely screwed. I took it apart completely at the weekend and there were broken wires in the solenoid. It appears that the noise that I though was the solenoid firing wasn't. It was actually the 12/24v changeover solenoid. It more than merely clicks, it's pretty loud and if I am honest, very easy to mistake for the starter. So the motor may well be just fine, after all. Anyway, Karl is looking out a spare for me from his stock. I could buy one from Milners, but to be honest after the customer service I have just received over the radiator that didn't fit - by a mile, I have told them that I won't be sourcing one from them. Or possibly much else either. I am cross. A radiator that doesn't fit and there response was 'We gave you £10 discount when you bought it. IT DIDN'T FIT AND WAS £200!

I will see what their response it to my latest mail, at which point I shall post something on 'parts suppliers' be it good news or bad. I have pointed out that there are several cruiser forums and people already list the good and bad products that they supply. Maybe they don't know this?

Chris
 
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks