starter motor questions

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sprie

Active Member
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171
I am inching towards having a go at starting the engine, but not there yet.

The engine has been re-bored, honed, new bearings, seals, rebuilt head etc. I have installed it on the chassis, but i have not installed the gearbox yet.

I connected up the starter motor, ignition switch, battery and solenoid today.

1) Earth

Initially, i could not get any sign of life out of the starter motor. I connected up a set of jump leads to go direct from battery to starter motor, and worked out that the initial issue was lack of earth.

Without the gearbox etc, the engine is sitting on 2 rubber engine mounts and a bit of wood under the sump, so it appears to be completely isolated from the chassis.

I assume that once the gearbox is in place and other components, there is a good earth.

Question: In the short term, yes, i can use a jump lead, but i wondered it would be a good idea to install a permanent earth lead, like i have seen on other vehicles, direct from the engine to the chassis. I haven't seen anything on the Series III parts list, so i presume this is not standard, but i wondered if others do install one (and if so, where is a best placed/attached).


2) Starter Motor

Having sorted out the earth, I tried to get the starter motor to turn the engine. At this point, i don't have any fuel on board: I just want to get the engine turning and maybe pumping some oil around.

What I found was:

1) with the spark plugs out, it would turn slow-to-medium speed: it definitely lacked enthusiasm

2) with the spark plugs in, it would not turn.

I have had a quick look inside the starter motor – I had to use Impact Screwdriver to get the 2 long screws to turn, so no one has been in the starter motor for a while. It did look dry and rusty, but the brushes looked ok, the springs ok. I didn’t open up the rest of the starter motor. So, after a quick clean, I put it all back.

The battery I have was fully charged, but it is a few years old.

Question(s):
  • is this normally behaviour?
  • Is this likely an issue with the battery?
  • Do I need to buy a replacement starter motor?
 
Earth lead from engine to chassis no problem, where ever is easiest not a bad idea, as you say there is probably an earth lead from gearbox to chassis normally.

Battery charged, but is it good? If your jump pack turned it over then would suspect battery or connections battery to starter.

J
 
Can't go wrong with a couple of earth straps between the engine block and the chassis. It's a common problem that the lead fails.
 
If you are using original battery cables that can be a reason for the slow turning. I replaced the positive cable on my 2a, the first 6 inches from the batt terminal had corroded to blackness.
 
I’m sure mine has two earth leads from the battery. One to chassis and one to block. I think the one to the block goes under a timing cover bolt. 🤔
 
I think as standard they had earth lead from battery to chassis, then another from chassis to engine, a practise that they continued with right up until the 300tdi.
Two leads are the way to go, battery earth to chassis and battery earth to engine.
 
If @sprie is asking if a freshly rebuilt engine is harder to turn over - no, any increased compression and not-yet-run-in bits would be compensated by all the oil you hopefully squirted everywhere!
 
From experience I’d say your going to need much 12v. By the time everything has been fiddled and faffed with, a single battery with a charge between tinkers is going to become very tiresome. Doable but deffo mental breakdown territory.
And this is only the start 😳 Just wait for fine timing. 😮
 
If @sprie is asking if a freshly rebuilt engine is harder to turn over - no, any increased compression and not-yet-run-in bits would be compensated by all the oil you hopefully squirted everywhere!
thanks for feedback - i did put oil on everything as i put it all back, including some assembly oil in the depths.
I took a fat battery off a tractor i have, fully charged, and tried that with jump leads. It was slightly better, did manage to turn the fly wheel probably 1/8 turn (i.e. to the next compression stroke) but that was it.
I can't break into my existing starter motor via the side cover, so i think i am going to resort to buying a new starter motor, as i am thinking that is the mostly likely reason for my issue. Worst-comes-to-worst, at least i know i have a decent starter motor for the next few years.
 
If you are using original battery cables that can be a reason for the slow turning. I replaced the positive cable on my 2a, the first 6 inches from the batt terminal had corroded to blackness.
I have new cables (1) earth from battery to chassis 2) from battery to solenoid 3) from solenoid to starter. Old solenoid though, but given my test with tractor battery bypassed all this (as i used jump leads direct), i am thinking the starter motor is too tired for the job.
 
I use Mid Ulster rotating electrics [ other depots around UK] They repair starters ect for classic vehicles and supply parts for those who fix themselves.
 
I can turn the engine with the starting handle. If I take the plugs out, the starter can turn , but not once I put the plugs back in. I have now ordered a new starter motor. I will report back once I have installed it.
 
I can turn the engine with the starting handle. If I take the plugs out, the starter can turn , but not once I put the plugs back in. I have now ordered a new starter motor. I will report back once I have installed it.
I would suggest that you keep your current starter motor and look to have it reconditioned as I had starter motor issues and 2 new starter motors failed in short order, apparently this is a well known problem. I still had my old starter (original from 1980) found someone who specialised in landy electrics and reconditioning and got my original starter sorted, refitted it and it's still going strong
 
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