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AGAIN the Dreaded starter click

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    AGAIN the Dreaded starter click

    Today I had to hit the solenoid while I had someone hold the ignition key in the start position to get the Stag running. I have changed the solenoid, installed a relay, changed brushes in the starter and cleaned up the contacts in the power cable. But still this!

    I am thinking about installing a modern starter, even though I prefer the sound of the original.

    I have tried to search but even though there were many threads to read I still have questions:

    Are there one or more available designs for modern starters? If so, are one superior? Besides being able to start the car every time I would really like a design that is easier to fit.
    Kirsti & Ian in Norway
    1973 Stag Mk2 (ex-USA), Mallard Blue, TV8 engine, Manual O/D

    #2
    Tried changing the ignition switch itself?

    Header tanks - you can't beat a bit of bling.

    Comment


      #3
      Had issues for decades.
      Tried everything.
      Reconditioned, bypass relays, extra earth straps, new battery.
      Never solved, until however, I fitted a Wosp Hi Torque starter.
      Yes it doesn't sound quite right, but, I just don't care, it ALWAYS engages and starts first time, everytime.
      QED.
      Mike.
      74 Stag (Best Modified 2007), 02 Maserati 4200, 17 BMW M140i, 00 Mitsubishi Pinin

      Comment


        #4
        starting a car in gear with a high torque started can be scary.

        Comment


          #5
          I had a regular recurring issue with the solenoid clicking on but no starter action. The problem was always blackened copper contacts in the solenoid switch. The cure was to clean the contacts back to bright copper and re-assemble. This is a PITA as you have to unsolder the solenoid wires to get the thing apart.

          The last time i did this (several years ago now) I tinned the contacts with plenty of lead free (modern ROHS compliant) solder to make a slightly domed shape. The great thing about lead-free solder is that it stays bright and seems to make a good contact material that does not oxidize like raw copper. And so so far so good.with no missed starts as yet. May be a cure for you.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MikeParker View Post
            I had a regular recurring issue with the solenoid clicking on but no starter action. The problem was always blackened copper contacts in the solenoid switch. The cure was to clean the contacts back to bright copper and re-assemble. This is a PITA as you have to unsolder the solenoid wires to get the thing apart.

            The last time i did this (several years ago now) I tinned the contacts with plenty of lead free (modern ROHS compliant) solder to make a slightly domed shape. The great thing about lead-free solder is that it stays bright and seems to make a good contact material that does not oxidize like raw copper. And so so far so good.with no missed starts as yet. May be a cure for you.
            Is that the same fix as the one in the Technical Section?
            The answer isn't 42, it's 1/137

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mjheathcote View Post
              Had issues for decades.
              Tried everything.
              Reconditioned, bypass relays, extra earth straps, new battery.
              Never solved, until however, I fitted a Wosp Hi Torque starter.
              Yes it doesn't sound quite right, but, I just don't care, it ALWAYS engages and starts first time, everytime.
              QED.
              This is what I am talking about. I want the car to start! I am not after more torque, as said I like the sound of the original starter and it is more than capable to start the engine. But I would like to be able to trust my Stag to start. From what I have read the modern starters are more tolerant to low voltage etc. I guess this is because of a different design of the solenoid.

              I have looked around and it seems there are two different designs, WOSP and Powerlite. Although they look pretty similar I will try the WOSP.

              Any pointers for installment? I was hoping it would be easier than the original item, but maybe not. I do have the original exhaust manifolds fitted.
              Kirsti & Ian in Norway
              1973 Stag Mk2 (ex-USA), Mallard Blue, TV8 engine, Manual O/D

              Comment


                #8
                One thing I suspect often over looked is the adjustment of the pinion. Not sure how much effect it has on the solenoid contacts but if there is no clearance on the pinion when the solenoid is fully pulled in, in theory it can put extra tension (compression) on the plunger spring and maybe reduce the force on the contacts, leading to a higher resistance and more arcing/sparking and eventually more pitting and blackening. - which eventually leads to the "click nothing".

                When I had my solenoid apart to cure the problem I refaced the copper contacts but I also carefully re-adjusted the pinion after reassembly of the solenoid onto the starter - it was a long way out. Not had any bother since and I did the job a few years back.

                Adjustment procedure below.

                Roger
                You do not have permission to view this gallery.
                This gallery has 1 photos.
                Last edited by marshman; 8 June 2021, 14:56.
                White TV8 BW35 no mods and now a Dolly Sprint to keep it company
                So many cars, so little time!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Unlikely to be Ian’s problem but for those that have manual gearboxes, the first thing I would do is bypass the pointless loop that is in the gearbox connector. When I had my loom out I completely removed it and ran the wire directly to the starter but you could just cut the wires before the plug and solder them together. It would at least eliminate a common source of problems.

                  So far mine is absolutely fine but I think if I ever needed to spring for a starter I would go the reduction gear route as well.
                  Last edited by trunt; 8 June 2021, 17:40.
                  Terry Hunt, Wilmington Delaware

                  www.terryhunt.co.uk

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ian928 View Post

                    This is what I am talking about. I want the car to start! I am not after more torque, as said I like the sound of the original starter and it is more than capable to start the engine. But I would like to be able to trust my Stag to start. From what I have read the modern starters are more tolerant to low voltage etc. I guess this is because of a different design of the solenoid.

                    I have looked around and it seems there are two different designs, WOSP and Powerlite. Although they look pretty similar I will try the WOSP.

                    Any pointers for installment? I was hoping it would be easier than the original item, but maybe not. I do have the original exhaust manifolds fitted.
                    The Wosp was easy enough to fit, smaller and lighter.
                    Just one bolt is tricky, whatever starter motor you fit including the original.
                    Please note the starter does not come as standard with the 12V to feed the ignition coil when cranking.
                    Some say this isn't necessary, however you can buy the add-on little wiring loom complete with diode to retain this functionality. I did.
                    Mike.
                    74 Stag (Best Modified 2007), 02 Maserati 4200, 17 BMW M140i, 00 Mitsubishi Pinin

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by marshman View Post
                      One thing I suspect often over looked is the adjustment of the pinion. Not sure how much effect it has on the solenoid contacts but if there is no clearance on the pinion when the solenoid is fully pulled in, in theory it can put extra tension (compression) on the plunger spring and maybe reduce the force on the contacts, leading to a higher resistance and more arcing/sparking and eventually more pitting and blackening. - which eventually leads to the "click nothing".

                      When I had my solenoid apart to cure the problem I refaced the copper contacts but I also carefully re-adjusted the pinion after reassembly of the solenoid onto the starter - it was a long way out. Not had any bother since and I did the job a few years back.

                      Adjustment procedure below.

                      Roger
                      This is very interesting! I can not remember doing any adjustments after assembly. Is this adjuster possible to reach with the starter in the car? I understand that you can not measure the gap without removing the starter, but I would like to try to adjust it.

                      Could this be the answer to why so many experience the Stag click, even with relays?
                      Kirsti & Ian in Norway
                      1973 Stag Mk2 (ex-USA), Mallard Blue, TV8 engine, Manual O/D

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by dasadrew View Post

                        Is that the same fix as the one in the Technical Section?
                        Drew,

                        Yes it is the same main starter contacts that I am talking about . The problem with just cleaning them up is they will inevitably re-oxidise. I had cleaned mine several times over the last 40 odd years but it was only after tinning them with lead-free solder that the problem has not recurred at all. That must be almost 10 years ago now, I got the idea after noticing that my new ROHS compliant PCB assembles did not seem to dull over time as the old leaded solder boards did. Also tin (the major component of lead-free solder) is used to plate copper electrical contacts quite widely.

                        Mike

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Then it would be good to add this to the existing technical tip - do you by any chance have a photo of the tinned "domes"? Is it only the two flat copper contacts which you tinned?
                          The answer isn't 42, it's 1/137

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Drew,

                            I don't have any pictures unfortunately. It was a bit of a punt at the time and I couldn't be sure that it would help. I still can't be sure it is completely cured as time alone will tell. It is around 10 years now and perhaps more. I leave the car over-winter pretty much unused and that was always the worst time - the first start after a long period of inactivity.

                            The key thing is to clean all four contacts properly first. The whole contact area on all four contacts is coated with solder (i.e. the four contacting surfaces of the high current switch). You will need at least a 50W iron or a small blowtorch. The solder naturally forms a slightly domed surface and should be around 0.5mm thick in the middle of the dome. So that is thick by plating standards, but given the arcing that it will be subject to, I think it is probably important to get a reasonable thickness of solder. From memory I did use a file to flatten the profile slightly, after soldering, in the centre of the contact.

                            I don't know if any of that finessing is important. My guess is that simply applying lead-free solder will provide a considerably longer life than the standard raw-copper.

                            Also avoid a very low-melting point solder (140 C melting point) . You don't want the contacts soldering themselves together! Normal plumbing lead-free solder melts at around 220 deg C. and that is what I used. There are high melting point solders which could be also be a possibility.

                            I will make sure I take photos and take notes in future!

                            Mike
                            Last edited by MikeParker; 9 June 2021, 10:06.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MikeParker View Post
                              Drew,

                              I don't have any pictures unfortunately. It was a bit of a punt at the time and I couldn't be sure that it would help. I still can't be sure it is completely cured as time alone will tell. It is around 10 years now and perhaps more. I leave the car over-winter pretty much unused and that was always the worst time - the first start after a long period of inactivity.

                              The key thing is to clean all four contacts properly first. The whole contact area on all four contacts is coated with solder (i.e. the four contacting surfaces of the high current switch). You will need at least a 50W iron or a small blowtorch. The solder naturally forms a slightly domed surface and should be around 0.5mm thick in the middle of the dome. So that is thick by plating standards, but given the arcing that it will be subject to, I think it is probably important to get a reasonable thickness of solder. From memory I did use a file to flatten the profile slightly, after soldering, in the centre of the contact.

                              I don't know if any of that finessing is important. My guess is that simply applying lead-free solder will provide a considerably longer life than the standard raw-copper.

                              Also avoid a very low-melting point solder (140 C melting point) . You don't want the contacts soldering themselves together! Normal plumbing lead-free solder melts at around 220 deg C. and that is what I used. There are high melting point solders which could be also be a possibility.

                              I will make sure I take photos and take notes in future!

                              Mike
                              Probably best to use new contacts.
                              silver solder would be a nice choice to build up burnt ones if no new ones were available.
                              seem to recall turning the contacts around also worked.
                              As well as the ign. Switch contacts being a source of a click - nothing, the inhibitor switch on an auto can also be a cause. Can be replaced or adjusted.
                              often worth trying to start in neutral on a auto too.
                              with the foot brake applied, of course!
                              Last edited by jbuckl; 11 June 2021, 00:13.
                              There are 2 secrets to staying on top :- 1. Don't give everything away.
                              2.

                              Comment

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