Starting Problem (and hello!)

Discuss Electrical problems here.
samlig
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Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby samlig » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:14 am

Hi all,

Just to say I've owned a Morris Minor for less than 48 hours and you all have proven to be a really valuable resource already so wanted to say a massive thanks to the whole club!

I grew up being driven around in my Parents green 1970 2 door saloon in the late 80's early 90's (which unfortunately was stolen and never recovered). Since then I have always wanted to own one myself and this Sunday I took a huge impulse and became the high bidder on a local car which needed (a lot) of TLC. I surprisingly/accidentally won the auction so have jumped straight into the deep end of Morris Minor ownership! This is really a project for the summer (and beyond hopefully) I have use of another car so I can afford to iron out some niggles and quirks whilst reminiscing on my youth.

So to my question and I apologise if this has been answered before somewhere (I'm just getting used to the forums) there are a few topics which appear to be closely related to my issue but not exactly (as far as I can see). When I picked up the car I knew it had been standing for a long time and the battery was dead, the owner had it running for me on arrival (after jump starting it) and I drove it home around 12 miles across London crossing my fingers that it wouldn't cut out and then be stranded. I managed to get it home switched it off and sure enough it wouldn't turn on again. The lights in the binnacle all illuminated and all electrics worked but wouldn't turnover at all. I presumed it was the battery or alternator so today have replaced it with the Halfords 038 one. However I still have the same problem! Your forums introduced me to the solenoid button under the bonnet and with the key turned on I pushed the button and it started straight away (this slightly annoyingly also worked with the old battery).

Clearly having to lift the bonnet to start the car isn't overly practical (also odd question but would that class as an MOT failure?)
I'm not quite sure what to do to start fixing this, I don't want to start pulling wires out of places I shouldn't or buying parts unnecessarily! Is this a common problem and is there an obvious fix? After reading some of the forums I thought it may have had a pull start retrofitted from an earlier model, but alas no. Just as background its a '69 1098cc 2 door Saloon 116k (and doubt it makes much difference) it has had an alternator fitted.

This is one of many jobs that are needed the list is becoming longer as I investigate; body work needs a lot of TLC, interior needs tidying, gearbox is "interesting", brakes are weak, haven't managed to open the boot yet as the handle fell off and the square bar is trapped inside (any ideas there?!). The MOT expires at the end of August but I plan to get it tested this weekend to see what is lurking I expect the brakes will fail either way but best to know if there is anything else more serious/out of my very novice expertise level before I get too carried away!

Thanks in advance for any advice and apologies for the essay!!

Sam

amgrave
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby amgrave » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:02 am

Hi Sam
Welcome to minor ownership and the forum. It sounds to me like the problem is the starter solenoid or the wiring to it. To check if it's the solenoid run a piece of wire from the battery + to one of the small push on terminals on the solenoid and see if the starter operates, if it does it's the wiring feeding the power to it. If it does not turn the starter a new solenoid is required. It might be handy to pick up a cheap multimeter for trouble shooting the electrics. It will tell you which wire is the earth on the solenoid, the one you don't want to put the test wire on.
Hope this helps, good luck.


tysonn
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby tysonn » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:47 am

If you post your location there may be someone nearby who will offer assistance.
Mick

samlig
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby samlig » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:03 pm

Thanks for the quick replies guys, I'm in Clapham (south West London) but wouldn't want anyone to be put out! I ordered a multi meter just before writing that post as thought it would be useful to have so I'll have a play as soon as it arrives!

Just to check amgrave, the push button on the solenoid working doesn't necessarily mean the solenoid is 100% functional then and could still point to me needing a new one? They look to be around £17 is that about right? Either way I'll do the + test to check before ordering!

Thanks again I'll update when I know more!

bmcecosse
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby bmcecosse » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:48 pm

Yes - if it doesn't work with the jump lead suggested above - then it could be bad earthing - the solenoid body needs to be firmly attached to clean body part to make the earth connection. If it still doesn't work, then another solenoid - but avoid the 'square' ones !
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amgrave
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby amgrave » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:52 pm

The solenoid works by using a small electrical current to energise an electro magnet, that pulls the contacts for the starter current together. By pressing the button you are achieving the same thing but manually. If the magnet coil has failed the solenoid would still work but only manually. I think you can pick them up from fleece bay for around £8 with free p&p. It might not be the electro magnetic coil though, it could be a break in the wiring feeding it hence the need for a multi meter.


bmcecosse
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby bmcecosse » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:09 pm

Or bad earthing... the old round solenoids are incredibly reliable...
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samlig
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby samlig » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:13 pm

Thanks Everyone, I'm yet to receive the multi meter but have ordered a new (round) solenoid anyway for less than a tenner including P&P on the premise that it would be worth having a new one anyway for that price, due to arrive tomorrow so hopefully I'll be back to turn key starting rather than lifting the bonnet!

Also managed to finally get into the boot tonight by taking one of the handles off my hallway door as I guessed the spindle that had fallen inside on mine was the same size (it was). Nice to find a brand new tyre on the spare wheel and another new tyre in there along with the starting handle and warning triangle all left by the previous owner! The wife is less happy as we are now missing the hallway door handle but hey ho!

Thanks again,

Sam

ianmack
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby ianmack » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:20 pm

I'm interested in your comment about the brakes. Have you driven any other Minors to compare? If you've only driven modern cars you might find this is something you need to get used to .

moggalot
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby moggalot » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:34 pm

The words 'standing for a long time' says to me that the brakes will need serious attention - so don't get your hopes up.


bmcecosse
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby bmcecosse » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:51 pm

Indeed the brakes will need a complete overhaul - hopefully the master cylinder will be ok - but do at least flush all the old fluid out.
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samlig
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby samlig » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:29 pm

Hi all currently sat outside the house giving the new solenoid a go...same problem! I did the + test on both (after fitting the new one annoyingly) and it worked which means its wiring I presume? I Wire brushed the slightly oxidised mounting and the bulk head a little but no dice.

So just to confirm it has to be the two small wires that are at fault and I presume they run back to the ignition barrel which could also be a culprit? Just want to check before I attempt attacking the dash!

Also when the engine is running and sat inside I'm getting an oily click noise coming from the dash area every 5 seconds or so . When the engine is off but the ignition is on (so lights are illuminated) the click is much louder/more noticeable (possibly as the engine noise isn't there) but more spaced out say every 18 seconds or so (not happening at all when ignition is off)...I'm convinced its related but not sure why?!

Brakes wise I've got used to them now (my other car is a new fiesta so at first were markedly different no surprise there really!) but I'm not going to drive far before the MOT test this weekend so I can get a second opinion just to be safe. Pass or fail a brake service is next on the list just for good measure (unless it really really fails!)

Thanks again everyone!

panky
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby panky » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:54 pm

The clicking sounds like the fuel pump :)
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amgrave
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby amgrave » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:27 pm

The clicking is probably the voltage stabiliser behind the speedo, it would be normal for it to click less often when engine stopped and faster when it's running. Identify which small connection is the live one on the solenoid and attach a wire to it and with the whole thing in your hand hold the metal body on the negative terminal of the battery then touch the attached wire to the positive and see if it clicks. That would prove if the old one is working and if it is refit it and put the other in the boot as a spare. When you bolt it back on the bulk head slip a round terminal under the head of the bolt or screw with a wire attached to it and take it to a known good earth point.


samlig
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Re: Starting Problem (and hello!)

Postby samlig » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:07 pm

Thanks Amgrave I'm going to give that a go in that case next week.

Just as an update took the car in for an MOT this morning failed on welding which I guessed it would but they are only quoting around £300 which seems fair. Everything else bar a steering gaiter split is fine which is good news.

I'll update on the starter problem when I get her back next week.

I've been meaning to mention she has a very old MMOC sticker in the window wondering if anyone on here knows much about her history (bit of a long shot I know!) I have history dating from the sale by Charles Ware in Feb 2004 but not much prior to then (looks like it took part in the London to Brighton that year too as there is a sticker in the window). Reg is UBB 816G the previous owner mentioned it was a driving instructors car at some stage but I haven't got anything to back that up!

Cheers,

Sam


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