View Full Version : New High Torque Starter Issues

04-19-2012, 11:18 PM
Just installed a new HT starter. Thing wont turn over the motor. Just clicks and clicks. attached movie. Need help to know where to look.

58' TR3 pos ground

I was having an issue with my old starter spinning but not throwing the bendix out to start. With an excuse finally, I bought a HT geared starter for replacement without troubleshooting the circuit. It now appears the starter was not the issue.

May have a battery issue or could be a grounding issue. I had recently replaced the selinoid when on a drive ehen I first had the starter fail. Currently using the external selinoid.

In the morning I'll check and clean the grounds. Battery already shows 12.4 volts but will load test it also.

Where to from there? already bypassed the xelinoid with the same results, just clicks. The ground ohms out on the starter.
Frustraiting electrics on this thing.

04-20-2012, 01:24 AM
First thing I would do is re-wire it so the old solenoid doesn't have to carry the full starter current. Connect the big wire from the starter to the battery post of the old solenoid, then run a new wire from the starter post of the old solenoid to the solenoid terminal on the new starter. That way you can still use the button on the solenoid, but the solenoid doesn't carry the full current.

An ohmmeter is pretty much useless for checking starter circuits. Most meters won't even read less than 0.1 ohm (and aren't really accurate below about 1 ohm); but even .01 ohm will keep the starter from working properly (due to the high currents involved).

I would start by doing a visual inspection of the ground path. Undo the ground cable from the firewall and check for corrosion or paint in the joint. You need a solid metal-to-metal contact, paint does not conduct well. Also check the ground strap at the LH motor mount.

Could definitely be a bad battery. Many auto parts stores will check it for free, if you carry the battery to them. (O'Reillys will, not sure about Autozone.)

If that doesn't turn up anything helpful, try checking the voltage right at the starter, while trying to crank the engine. I'm guessing you will find that it drops to nearly nothing. If so, recheck at the battery. If the results are different by more than a volt or two (while cranking), check along the cables & ground path for where the voltage drop is happening.

Or, another test is to just hold the button for a few seconds, then immediately feel along all the cables & connections to the starter. If there is any current flowing at all (causing the clicks), the bad joint will get warm/hot.

04-20-2012, 08:31 PM
Thanks Randall,

Turned out to be a bad battery. Load test was showing 31 amps on a 790 CCA battery.

Problem solved. car runs great.

Thanks again,

04-20-2012, 10:37 PM
You are not alone. Fussed with the HT starter on the J-H for a few days, suspecting every thing but the culprit battery. New battery fixed it immediatly.

Don Elliott
04-21-2012, 01:12 PM
On my 1958 TR3A I have the long bomb shell shaped starter and it works fine,

But last summer, I was driving a TR2 in England for 23 days (2088 miles) which had been rerofitted with a hi-torque starter. It would start in a half-second every time until one day it would only "WWHHHIIIZZZZ" when I pushed the starter button. We took out the starter and the pinion had fallen off the end of the armature shaft. It is only held on by a tiny tiny pin clip. We replaced the whole starter for another one.

04-21-2012, 02:52 PM
On my 1958 TR3A I have the long bomb shell shaped starter and it works fine,

You've been lucky then. Practically everyone I know has had the bonded rubber drive fail at least once. I even had one of the high tech "fail safe" drives fail!

Then there was the later style starter I had on a previous TR3A (circa 1975), where the tiny cotter pin in the end broke or fell out. The starter drive mechanism came apart while I was on the road 500 miles from home; and eventually exited through the bellhousing. Which started a crack that ruined my OD gearbox by the time I got home.