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starting problems

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    starting problems

    Good Morning All,
    over the last few days i have been trying to help a mate with his stag has he's had a few issues with it, here goes:

    over the last 4 years he has had a temperamental problem where ocassionally he would turn the key and it would click and not start, however after a couple of times it would start and drive for miles, he took it out the other day and left the stag parked while he went shopping and when he came back it wouldnt start and there was a clicking sound, anyway after a few attempts she kicked into life and got him home where it hasnt started since, he bought an exchange starter motor and solenoid from robsport however after he fitted it correctly, she still wouldnt start and there was a faint click still present when he turned the key but after a few attempt she started however only for about a second and thats it, i have been trying to help him with it as i know a bit about mechanics etc, the first thing i checked was the battery which only had 11 volts in it however i have replaced that for him to a newer battery with 12.8 volts which is good, however still no joy,the next thing i checked was the fuel pump which is only a few months old and working fine, it has a lumenition ignition which was fitted around 10 years ago and seems to work fine, i noticed smoke coming from the coil which isnt good so i have replaced that, also the distributor cap and rotor arm were in bad condition so i have replaced them, it has reconditioned carbs on it fr om rimmers which were absolutely disgusting considering they are only 18 months old, i noticed petrol leaking out of them and all the carb bolts and screws were loose, however i took them off and gave them a good seeing to, so they are now sorted. my mate reckons he took it down to faversham classics about 18 months ago to have some work done including a tune up and new plugs etc. however i took out one ofthe plugs to check it and they appear to be very old bosch plug which havent been changed in years, which were all gunked up with carbon and corrosion, i have told him to get a new set of ngk bp5e s today which i will fit this evening, however im convinced she still wont fire up, i have tried easy start etc direct in the carbs, howver after ive done the plugs theres not alot else i can try, also to note that after 2 attempts of starting where it sounds like it it wants to go there is a wirring motor noise coming from the starter solenoid when i turn the key and nothing happens, i have to leave it for 5 mins and then it will let me attempt to start it and this is what keeps happening,
    any advice would be appreciated as to what could be wrong.

    Your mention of clicks suggest to me that you are having trouble getting the starter motor to turn over. Check the supply at the solenoid.

    A while back I installed a relay there, so that, while the voltage from the key might be weak, the relay would ensure there was enough to operate the solenoid, which of course connects the starter to the main cable. I see that ready made kits are now available for this.

    That should at least allow you to turn over the start to your heart's content.
    1976 Carmine red stag &1961 Austin Healey 3000 MkII


      I had exactly the same problem a few years back. It turned out to be a bad electrical connection. I know finding faulty/dirty connections on the wiring system is the most boring of jobs, but you litterally have to check every connection from the starter and solenoid all the way back to the battery. Once these are checkeed and cleaned you should have your problem resolved. Good luck!
      It was James Bond's colour... Saffron Yellow is so cool :-)


        Stag has, or should originally have, a 6v ignition coil. When the starter motor solenoid engages it switches the battery directly to the starter motor and feeds 12v to the ignition coil. The coil therefore gets double its normal voltage and generates a larger spark for starting the cold, semi-vapour of petrol.
        If you have had smoke from the coil then I would suspect that you had either a permanent 12v to a 6v coil or kept the ignition turned to the cranking position for some time and fried the coil. I think a little checking of the ignition circuit wiring etc is called for. Perhaps disconnecting the coil until you get the engine to crank over repeatedly without problems.

        Yes new plugs always a good idea with running / starting issues but leave all the plugs out until you are happy that the engine cranks over properly every time, spark plugs only add load to the engine and heat to the starter motor.

        If the starter whirs then does not engage than that is usually a sign of dirt on the starter pinion so that it cannot move easily and engage with the flywheel. Oiling the pinion shaft seems to work well but then more dirt sticks to the oil and it gets worse. Thoroughly cleaning is the only way to go.
        Really black 'orrible spark plugs indicate rich running together with your remark about petrol leaking from the carbs sounds as if you need to plan on some carb maintenance before all other work paying particular attention to the float valves.

        If you have had fuel leaking then I would also not do any more without getting a fire extinguisher to hand just in case.

        Without wishing to overcomplicate things you mentioned engine starting only for a second, this can happen as the coil fires on the 12v from the starter motor but if the 6 volt supply wire is broken then the engine dies a second later just as the key is released from cranking. Turn the ignition on and check that there is 6 to 9v'ish on the coil in the normal engine running position. The 6v is produced by a length of resistance wire that is known to snap in its old age.

        To be honest none of the issues sound too bad and just need half a day of relaxed fault finding.



          questions not awnsers
          is the new coil a blast resist coil?
          has the replacement starter got the extra terminal for the ignition feed?
          has the system been converted to 12v when the lamination was fitted?
          if the starter is making a noise and spinning then the motor is spinning without the solenoid engaging and pulling the pinion into the ring gear
          try a jump wire straight to the starter from the battery to power it to engage.
          you could also put a jump lead direct to the battery/starter to prove the main heavy supply, try the neg lead as an earth from the block to battery as it could be a poor earth problem as well


            It looks like you have multiple issues. And you may want to separate them.

            When you get the clicking sound, does the starter turn over the engine? That clicking sound is usually the solenoid in the starter motor. Even with new reconditioned starters, we assume it is good.However,I bought a recondition one from Rimmer's years back. It was bad. Adding a relay and opening the solenoid on my original starter, I was able to bring it back to life. No click problems in the last 18 or so years.

            For Stag no. 2 I have gone for a high torque starter.


              Cheers all for your sending some guidance which was helpful however now sorted, despite having a recon starter it was faulty so therefore that was the problem, now changed all sorted.