problems starting

Discuss mechanical problems here.
NorthWalesMorris
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:52 pm
MMOC Member: No

problems starting

Postby NorthWalesMorris » Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:09 pm

Sorry if this is a simple issue, but I'm a novice :)
I have a 1955 Morris Minor and am having problems starting it. It was amazing for over a year, started every time. Now, it will start, I go to work, try to come home and it won't start. It makes the clicking noise, presumably the starter motor, when it starts, and at other times, makes no noise. I've flattened the battery several times, then charged it, and it does the same thing. Is it the starter motor do you think, or something else? Any advice, apart from 'read a manual' :)

mogbob
Minor Legend
Posts: 1192
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:43 pm
MMOC Member: No

Re: problems starting

Postby mogbob » Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:41 pm

Hi NorthWalesMorris ,
Welcome to the Forum. First things first … everybody starts as a novice....knowledge comes from learning , advice and experience.
Certain assumptions are made and quite often on the forum we will try giving a full checklist for problem solving
so that people can pick up hints / tips along the way. Some of us omit a stage or stages ( deliberately , of course , to see if the experts are paying attention ! ) by pure mistake or oversight. ha ha
Basically from your description of the symptoms , I think it is likely to be the starter motor as you have suggested.
For the record , the main battery / starting system cables are thick for a reason , especially the HT leads.
Remove the cables from the battery having first any rings / jewellery from your own person. If you accidently "catch " positive cable / metal contact to negative cable / metal there will be a big surge of electricity flowing.
If this is done with a spanner , wedding ring , necklace that you are holding/ wearing , you will suffer severe burns , it might start a fire or even cause the battery to explode and shower you with acid ( for free ) as well.
So not recommended , unless you like living dangerously !

You need to check that the connections are scrupulously clean and tight , making a good electrical connection.
Check the path... battery to solenoid , solenoid to starter motor. The two fixing bolts , starter motor to engine
need to be clean and tight as well. Double check that the engine to body earth strap a) is still there in situ and
b) in good condition and clean.
Your car was positively earthed when it left the factory but may have been converted to negative earth at a later date , by a previous owner but basically you are checking all the connections in a completed electrical circuit.
If this all seems good we get to the "clicking ". When you switch on the ignition you should hear a single
" click " when the solenoid is operated , sending power to the starter motor. As the Bendix moves forward to
engage the pinion with the flywheel there is further " clicking " ( although most people would describe this as
a whirring sound ).In the normal course of events this spins the flywheel around , the engine fires up and the Bendix disengages.
What I think is happening is that with age the Bendix , shaft and return spring have got clogged up with dirt grime and general muck. You need to disconnect the battery , release the starter motor from the engine , supply 12v wire first , the lower bolt and finally top bolt. The starter motor is heavy, be prepared to catch the weight of it. Once removed check condition and clean the moving bits with degreasant , petrol , or meths , pointing that end downwards so the liquid does not soak into the electrical motor end. A mucky job , gloves , plenty of newspaper laid down you get the picture.
DO NOT grease the shaft , it will simply attract dirt again and you will be back to square one again. The Bendix should spin up and down again , with a flick of your fingers.
Additionally check the condition of the carbon brushes which you can see with out dismantling the whole thing.
The Manual will give you a figure of how much length of carbon brush should be left before replacement is needed. Come back to us for further details are required. Cleaning the commutator surface , whilst replacing brushes is recommended.
Bob
P.S The Battery may be on it's last legs. This is another possibility i.e not holding it's charge / producing enough
oomph to spin the starter over.It can be tested by a garage , do you know how old it is from available paperwork ? It may a combination of all these things so eliminate what you can before spending money on a new starter motor or battery. Happy to talk through your options with you.

simmitc
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3757
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:43 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby simmitc » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:44 pm

If it's a 1955 car then it probably won't have a solenoid. Could you confirm how you start the car: Pull a knob on the dashboard, press a switch on the floor, or turn the key one click for the ignition to come on and then further to make the starter motor work and then the key springs back to the simple "on" position.

The reason for asking is that the cars get modified over the years, and there's no telling what might have been done before you got it. The fault finding advice will depend on the starter setup. More questions: do you have a starting handle? Do you have a multimeter or battery tester?

I don't see your problem as being particularly difficult to solve, so we should have it sorted fairly quickly.

kennatt
Minor Legend
Posts: 2460
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:11 pm
MMOC Member: No

Re: problems starting

Postby kennatt » Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:49 am

before you do anything else,take the battery terminals off,clean up the posts with a bit of sand paper,if there is a lot of green residue on the posts or cable ends pour hot water over them to clean off.then smear Vaseline on posts make sure the connections are back on fully and tight,try again and report back

simmitc
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3757
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:43 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby simmitc » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:28 am

Vaseline is an insulator. Clean the posts and inside the clamps, re-attach the clamps, and then smear whole assembly with vaseline to protect against future corrosion - you need good metal to metal contact between the clamps and the posts; but as per my previous post,please advise on your starting arrangements so that we can offer considered advice.

john newton
Minor Friendly
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:05 pm
MMOC Member: No

Re: problems starting

Postby john newton » Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:12 pm

clean battery terminals easy,,,use flash squirty variety they come up like brand new. re. john

mogbob
Minor Legend
Posts: 1192
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:43 pm
MMOC Member: No

Re: problems starting

Postby mogbob » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:38 pm

Writing for the record , ALL Morris Minors have solenoids , it's only the method by which they are activated that differs
1948 to 1964 cars were made with "pull type " ESM part number SWH106
1964 to 1971 cars were made with "key starter " type ESM part number SWH108
In this scenario , the activation method is not as important as the condition of the electrical connections joining the battery to the starter motor.
Bob

philthehill
Minor Maniac
Posts: 7726
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:05 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby philthehill » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:39 pm

Mogbob

Sorry to have to correct you

A solenoid is a cylindrical coil of wire which when an electrical current is past through it behaves as a bar magnet...…..The Concise Oxford Dictionary.

In plain speak - The electrical current through the cylindrical coil makes the coil act as a bar magnet and moves the centre plunger towards the contacts which then makes the electrical circuit so allowing current to pass to the starter motor.

The pull starter switch is just that - a switch or circuit maker.


simmitc
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3757
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:43 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby simmitc » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:42 pm

I don't want this to develop into an argument about terminology when what we want to do is to assist the OP, but a definition of a solenoid is "A solenoid is a type of electromagnet, the purpose of which is to generate a controlled magnetic field through a coil wound into a tightly packed helix. The coil can be arranged to produce a uniform magnetic field in a volume of space when an electric current is passed through it" (Wkipedia, but it's as good a description as any). Cambridge English Dictionary says "a device, consisting of a wire wrapped in the shape of a cylinder, that acts like a magnet when electricity goes through it".

A solenoid can be used for various purposes such as opening or closing a valve, or, as on car starters, using a low current circuit to remotely operate a switch for a high current circuit. The early cable pull switches are manually operated, they do not contain electromagnets. They are heavy duty or high current switches, but they are not solenoids.

My original questions still await an answer so that we can assist further.

myoldjalopy
Minor Legend
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:32 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby myoldjalopy » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:05 pm

Whilst we wait for the OP to come back (if he does), I have a question - would the mechanism which operates the trafficators be described as a solenoid?

Edward1949
Minor Friendly
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:21 pm
MMOC Member: No

Re: problems starting

Postby Edward1949 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:24 pm

myoldjalopy wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:05 pm
Whilst we wait for the OP to come back (if he does), I have a question - would the mechanism which operates the trafficators be described as a solenoid?
Yes And if the semaphore was operated by a mechanical cable, "no". Same difference as early v late starter switch method.

myoldjalopy
Minor Legend
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:32 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby myoldjalopy » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:06 pm

Were there ever any cars with a cable operated trafficator? That sounds even more eccentric than the trafficators we know and love on the earlier Minors!

Edward1949
Minor Friendly
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:21 pm
MMOC Member: No

Re: problems starting

Postby Edward1949 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:27 pm

myoldjalopy wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:06 pm
Were there ever any cars with a cable operated trafficator? That sounds even more eccentric than the trafficators we know and love on the earlier Minors!
Don't know. But some prewar cars had single filament headlamps dipped by being tilted mechanically by levers or cables.

oliver90owner
Minor Addict
Posts: 930
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 6:33 am
MMOC Member: No

Re: problems starting

Postby oliver90owner » Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:52 am

It would e good if we knew whether the OP has a decent multimeter and knows how to use it. Voltage drops when current is drawn (particularly high currents) can indicate where he problem lies, if it is a voltage drop problem, or other electrical issue.

alawrence10360
Minor Fan
Posts: 406
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:54 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby alawrence10360 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:09 am

simmitc wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:42 pm
I don't want this to develop into an argument about terminology when what we want to do is to assist the OP, but a definition of a solenoid is "A solenoid is a type of electromagnet, the purpose of which is to generate a controlled magnetic field through a coil wound into a tightly packed helix. The coil can be arranged to produce a uniform magnetic field in a volume of space when an electric current is passed through it" (Wkipedia, but it's as good a description as any). Cambridge English Dictionary says "a device, consisting of a wire wrapped in the shape of a cylinder, that acts like a magnet when electricity goes through it".

A solenoid can be used for various purposes such as opening or closing a valve, or, as on car starters, using a low current circuit to remotely operate a switch for a high current circuit. The early cable pull switches are manually operated, they do not contain electromagnets. They are heavy duty or high current switches, but they are not solenoids.

My original questions still await an answer so that we can assist further.
Mogbob, philthehill simmitc
You all seem to be saying the same thing...
Am I missing something ?

philthehill
Minor Maniac
Posts: 7726
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:05 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby philthehill » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:55 am

Two things

The old Scammel Constructors that I used to repair had a large white painted hand with a pointy finger on the N/S of the cab - when you wanted to indicate that you were about to turn left you pulled a cable and the hand rose up and pointed left. :D

As regards using a multimeter etc - the OP states he is a novice so I doubt he has a multimeter and knows how to use it.

Phil


simmitc
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3757
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:43 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby simmitc » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:46 am

alawrence10360, mogbob stated that ALL Minors had solenoids. Phil and I are saying that they did not, the early cars had cable operated switches that were not solenoids. Hope that clarifies things. There's quite a bit of thread drift here, but it is interesting.

geoberni
Minor Legend
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:19 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby geoberni » Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:07 pm

simmitc wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:46 am
alawrence10360, mogbob stated that ALL Minors had solenoids. Phil and I are saying that they did not, the early cars had cable operated switches that were not solenoids. Hope that clarifies things. There's quite a bit of thread drift here, but it is interesting.
Exactly.
There is no way on earth that an early Pull Start is correctly describable as a Solenoid!

The MM/SII has a simple switch where the pull of the cable (or press of the under bonnet button) closed the substantial size contacts of the start switch. It hasn't got a coil to operate it!
On a key start car, operation of the key switch puts power to a solenoid coil which then pulls in the afore mentioned "substantial size contacts of the start switch."

Just because both ESM & Charles Ware call it a 'Pull Start Solenoid' doesn't make it true. It's an oxymoron.
https://www.morrisminor.org.uk/parts/59 ... t-solenoid
https://www.morrisminorspares.com/elect ... 64-p829723

It is simply a Pull Start Switch and is correctly described as such on many other classic car sites. It's Lucas ST19-2.


But back to NorthWalesMorris' problem, on the assumption that the car is still fitted with a pull start, that will make the matter a little easier.
A basic knowledge of electrics and use of a multimeter would make it even easier, ....... but essentially it's not that big a circuit..
Either a poor connection, a duff contact in the pull switch, a duff battery, or a sticky starter. Not necessarily in that order of preference.
Basil the 1955 series II

Image

myoldjalopy
Minor Legend
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:32 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: problems starting

Postby myoldjalopy » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:36 pm

philthehill wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:55 am
The old Scammel Constructors that I used to repair had a large white painted hand with a pointy finger on the N/S of the cab - when you wanted to indicate that you were about to turn left you pulled a cable and the hand rose up and pointed left. :D
Phil

Funtastic! Like living in cartoonland! :D


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests