Poor starting

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Scottishmoggy
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Poor starting

Postby Scottishmoggy » Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:45 pm

Hi,
Duncan, my 1952 Series MM is usually very good at starting IF he has been driven at least once a week...BUT...on the odd occassion when I am not able to take him out for a drive...he then refuses to start!
Over the past little while he's had a new battery, new fuel pump, new fuel pipe, new points...
The only way I've found is if a friend attaches the tow rope and starts him that way...
Can anyone offer any advice...

cheers,
Chris (and Duncan in the garage refusing to start :oops: )

bmcecosse
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Postby bmcecosse » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:20 pm

Well - does it turn over ok, or is it not starting because it's turning over very slowly ? If so - check the battery connections - and the earth straps. Also check - is there anything draining the battery when it's standing - alarm or wireless maybe. It's a bit unlikely for a car of that age - but has it been fitted with an alternator ?
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Scottishmoggy
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Postby Scottishmoggy » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:40 pm

Hi, Yes it turns over ok...
No alarm, no wireless...but it does have a little box under the bonnet with red and green LED lights...I think it's an electronic ignition box...but I'm not 100% sure????

Kevin
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Postby Kevin » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:50 pm

I think it's an electronic ignition box...
Has it got a name written on it.
When it doesnt start have you checked to see if you have sparks at the plugs at least they will point to either ignition of fuel depending on the results.
Cheers

Kevin
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bmcecosse
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Postby bmcecosse » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:54 pm

So - it turns over nice and fast - yes ? But just doesn't start ? You don't mention alternator - does it have dynamo of alternator ? Does the fuel pump click away nicely when you first switch on the ignition ? I assume the LEDs are not on all the time - only when the ignition is switched on - can you check to make sure ? And - when was the car last serviced and the plugs changed ?
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Scottishmoggy
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Postby Scottishmoggy » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:03 pm

Now...you guys are getting a tad too technical for me...I'm pretty certain it has a dynamo....yes the fuel pump clicks...I think the LED lights come on at different times...but like kevin's request to check if I have sparks at the plugs...it's a bit tricky to check when I'm in the drivers seat...
Car last serviced last year...

Willie
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non start

Postby Willie » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:45 pm

The fact that it is only if the car is left innactive for some time that it will
not start suggests that the battery is not holding its charge as it should do.
The fact that it starts OK if it is towed also suggests battery. A better test would be to use the starting handle instead of a tow, or use jump leads from another car. If the car then starts easily then it is definitely
an electrical problem. Perhaps you could charge the battery and then see if the problem disappears because it is not unknown for a 'new'
battery to be faulty.
Willie
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Kevin
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Postby Kevin » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:54 pm

it's a bit tricky to check when I'm in the drivers seat...
You can always use your friend or a mirror, one other thing is the thingy with the light on it pointing to Willies suggestion and its causing the battery to drain.
Cheers

Kevin
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bmcecosse
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Postby bmcecosse » Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:02 pm

If it has an alternator fitted - these can fail in a way that causes a drain of current when the engine is not running - but a dynamo can't do this - UNLESS the regulator box sticks 'IN' - but that gives a heavy discharge and would flatten the battery in an hour. If indeed it's churning over nice and fast and just not 'firing up' - first check is the choke mechanism - is it working and connected ok ? Then I suggest a good session with the ignition system renewing the points/condenser/rotor arm/spark plugs - and maybe also the distributor cap unless it is already 'new'. HT leads may be worth looking at too - if really old and knackered then a new set may do the trick!
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Scottishmoggy
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Postby Scottishmoggy » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:19 am

Thank you...I reckon a session with the inigition system is what's needed...so I'll let you know what happens...The MMOC guide to poor starting on the website mentions the condenser...so we'll see.
cheers :)

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not starting

Postby Willie » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:19 pm

It is perfectly possible to have the starter turning over quickly but no engine start up due to the fact that the drain of the starter on a poor
battery reduces the voltage available to the ignition circuit to too low a
figure to provide a decent spark at the plugs. The clue to this sort of fault is that the engine always starts up at the instant that you release the
starter switch.
Willie
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bmcecosse
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Postby bmcecosse » Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:23 pm

Indeed that is a useful pointer - but then it's not usually turning over very 'fast' !!
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Chris Morley
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Postby Chris Morley » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:06 am

Can anyone offer any advice...
Above all, invest in a starting handle. Using one is a lot less hassle than attaching a tow rope and it will usually work (unless the battery is completely flat).

I agree that the LED device may be making the difference - a slow discharge over many days. There's loads of possible reasons for poor starting, many already mentioned. Is it more of a problem when there's damp weather?
Chris
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1969 2-Door daily driver

bmcecosse
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Postby bmcecosse » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:16 am

One check is - when you park the car up - remove the battery earth lead. Leave it for a few days - then put the lead back on - does it start ok now ?
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Scottishmoggy
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Postby Scottishmoggy » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:13 pm

Thanks guys...the good news is Duncan strated yesterday after being towed for approx 3 metres! I will invest in a starting handle, the one that came with the car doesn't fit. I will keep him running and then do the checks on the ignition system and let you know how it goes...
My guess is Duncan sulks when not being taken out :roll:

Scottishmoggy
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Postby Scottishmoggy » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:55 pm

Sorry to say that Duncan has failed to start again... The plugs are fine and there is a good spark...the battery is OK and fuel is getting through. I had planned to fit a new condenser and points...but the points are fine and when looking at the condenser...it's not connected...! is that usual with an electronic ignition? Incidentally on the LED box the green light comes on when the key is turned and the red one when the starter pulled...
Duncan is booked in for his MOT and service on Friday...so it looks as if I'll have to tow start him again...as I've not been able to find a starter handle suitable for a series MM...Any further thoughts...

Willie
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non starter

Postby Willie » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:29 am

You say that the engine starts instantly if it is towed(you really must obtain a starting handle), which, I assume is when it is cold? From then on when the engine is at normal temperature does the engine start on the button? If so it confirms that the extra load when starting a cold engine is reducing the available voltage at the plugs so that they will not fire, in my opinion. Since you have electronic ignition it complicates matters. I would suggest fitting the standard points and condensor if they are available?
Willie
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Rob_Jennings
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Postby Rob_Jennings » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:11 am

no condenser with electronic ignition is normal,

I guess if the box has two leds, then it may be that green indicates power.... and red indicates low voltage? so as some have suggested it may be that the voltage drop when cranking is removing the spark. A tidy of connections, and a check of the coil may help. If the coil has been replaced and you have electronic ignition you should not use the standard coil that may be where you problem is, a standard coil will 'just work' but probably not when cranking the engine.
Rob
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Scottishmoggy
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Postby Scottishmoggy » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:52 am

Thanks...how would I know what type of coil...you say it shouldn't be a standard coil...what should it be then?
many thanks,
Chris (and Duncan in the garage)

alex_holden
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Postby alex_holden » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:13 am

If it is an electronic ignition unit and not an immobiliser, then it should say in the instruction manual what type of coil it requires and what the LEDs mean. Does the box not have anything written on it? What wires are connected to it?
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