Intermittent starting

Batteries, Alternator, Wiring, Lighting, etc. (Please discuss ignition problems in the Engine category)
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Peter Douglas W
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Intermittent starting

#1 Post by Peter Douglas W » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:07 am

I know there have been pages of info about this subject. I have read a lot and found no answer.

Some time ago I noticed that the starter just buzzed twice (no clicking) but did not turn, then by the third try it allways started. The starting is excellent. A bump start inside of the length of a car. Other days it started as it should have done.

On Friday on the way to a meeting, the starter motor buzzed three times but did not turn, then fourth try it started OK. For the rest of the day OK. Saturday midday it buzzed again but would not start. There after nothing. No noise, headlamps went out when trying start the engine. The ampere meter did nothing. Tried rocking the car in gear did nothing. A bump start everything OK.

Suddenly on the way back to the the ampere meter start showing a charge for a short time. With higher revs the ampere meter stopped showing this charge. This happend three times going back to the hotel. Reachable earths were checked and cleaned. Battery poles were checked. Fuses checked. Batteries were swichted. My car did not respond, a bump start again. The other car started immediatly with my battery.

Now back home. I cannot get at the starter motor connections, to do a direct connection from the battery with out having a lift. Spitfire exhaust and carb heat protection sheet in the way. I don't not really want to strip the carbs and exhaust down to get at the connection. The car needs to run to get to a lift!!!! To change the starter motor I need a lift.
The car is back in the garage where do I go from here?
Peter Douglas Winn
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Alan Chatterton
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Re: Intermittent starting

#2 Post by Alan Chatterton » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:40 am

Hi Peter,

It sounds like a loose connection on the starter motor to me.

The big heavy cable goes from the battery to the starter post, and all the power take off for the car is taken from this post.

Its a nut, that might just need nipping up. Worst case, the thread on the stud might have been stripped.

You need to get to it and nip it up with a spanner. (don't forget to remove lead from the battery first 'cos if you touch something whilst you are down there it will be a big spark!)

You should be able to get to this easily from underneath if you have heat shields blocking your way in from the top. From memory I think its a 1/2" spanner.
Alan Chatterton

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Peter Douglas W
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Re: Intermittent starting

#3 Post by Peter Douglas W » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:32 am

Oh Dear thats not going to help my arthritus. You have just written what I did not want to hear. Getting under the car when it is jacked up. I do have stands but even so, when I am down there it takes a long time to get up.
Peter Douglas Winn
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Peter Douglas W
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Re: Intermittent starting

#4 Post by Peter Douglas W » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:57 am

Allen do you think a bit of Vodoo wil help. A dead chicken, a few bones etc? :D :D :D
Peter Douglas Winn
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Mike Stevens
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Re: Intermittent starting

#5 Post by Mike Stevens » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:43 pm

There would appear to be a high resistance somewhere between the battery and the starter motor, including the earth return lead. You said that the headlights went out which would also suggest the same.

Check the battery connections, both positive and negative and also the lead from the negative to the body (assuming it is a negative earth car) and the body connection itself. You also ought to try the connection to the starter as Alan has suggested but I understand that this is difficult.

When you get this buzzing, what do the indicator lights in the dash do? Do they also go out while you are trying to crank the engine, but come on again when you release the key? If so, it would also indicate a poor connection somewhere.

Do you still have the upside-down cup type battery connections, with a screw in the middle? They can sometime give a poor connection so one thing to try is very soon after trying to start the engine, have a feel of the battery cups/posts. Is one of them warm? If so, that would suggest that it has a high resistance.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
Mike.
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Peter Douglas W
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Re: Intermittent starting

#6 Post by Peter Douglas W » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:16 am

Mike
I have a feeling you might be right. I think the Alternator was not charging properly. I have tested it and the values are OK but the battery was low. I have cleaned up the battery posts and Vacelined them. They looked OK but just be on the safe side. The measured values are now somewhat better. I think the +ve post was not as clean as it should be. Result bad charging and not much energy going to the Starter. Time will tell.
Thanks a lot. Most of us know this stuff but when somebody else tells you, it gives one confidence.
Peter
Peter Douglas Winn
A happy Triumph owner.

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