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  1. #1
    Senior Member 2billydavies's Avatar
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    Question help! again! please! starter motor

    Hi everyone... me again.
    Completely hooked everything up.... ready to start. but, slight problem: starter motor won't engage.
    I don't think it's the actual motor... it worked perfectly before the engine rebuild. It would be a pretty big coincidence that it happened to break while out of the car.

    Couple things I've noticed: I hear a loud clicking noise coming from the "thing" that the starter motor is plugged into. It's the thing just below the voltage regulator... sorry, no clue what its called.
    All wires are tight... battery is good, plus I have a battery jumper as well. no worries there.

    I have the ground cable connected at the right motor mount and then bolted to the back of the timing chain cover. Is this correct? I think it is... this is where it was before i took the engine out and apart for the rebuild.

    I also noticed that the coil is getting red hot... and I mean, i can't keep my hand on it. I don't ever remember this happening before. Which brings me to another question: I have a small wire, bolted onto the "plus" + outlet on top of the coil that goes to the top of the distributor. I also have a wire that bolts onto the minus - spot on top of the coil that appears to go into the wiring harness (no clue where). Is this correct? I think it is.... i just want to make sure.

    So.... anyone have any guesses as to why this won't kick the starter motor over? i'm up for anything. after 4 hours of checking all over the place... i'm lost.

    thanks everyone! i'm almost there.... it wouldn't have been complete without an electrical issue.

  2. #2
    Yoda Marvin Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: help! again! please! starter motor

    Lets try this and rule out the soleniod first. Does your soleniod have the rubber cap on the opposite side of the cable connections. If so, with car out of gear, push in on the rubber cap. Hopefully the starter will engage. If so then the electrical coil inside the soleniod is bad. If it doesn't do anything, still with car out of gear. Take a flat blade screwdriver and put it between both connection points of the soleniod where the cables connect.. You will have some sparks but if the starter doesn't engage then, the soleniod is bad.
    marv

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    Yoda Geo Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: help! again! please! starter motor

    Quote Originally Posted by 2billydavies View Post
    ...slight problem: starter motor won't engage...
    Are you saying it spins but does not engage? Or do you just get a click from the solenoid and nothing from the starter itself?

    If your car is still positive ground then what you describe at the coil sounds right -- distributor (contact breaker or CB) lead from the positive post to the distributor (would have originally been white/black) and harness lead (would have originally been white) to the negative (switch or SW) post on the coil.

    But... the coil should not get 'red hot' if all you are doing is trying to crank the engine so something sounds amiss. I would disconnect one of the wires on the coil for now while you work through the tests that Marv has described. The coil issue is something separate so work one thing at a time.

  4. #4
    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: help! again! please! starter motor

    What coil do you have? Most cars (that take that style of coil) require a 1.5 ohm coil; but the TR3 requires a 3.0 ohm coil. If you accidentally got a 1.5 ohm, it will be dissipating about 4 times as much power as designed, which will indeed get it very hot.

    Your coil wiring sounds OK, but there is really no way to get it so wrong that the coil will overheat like that. The wire from the '+' terminal should go through an insulator on the side of the distributor, where it eventually gets connected to ground by the points. The wire from the '-' terminal runs through the wiring harness to the top of the fuse block, then to the ignition switch on the dash.

    Oh, in case it's not clear, that thing below the voltage regulator, with thick cables going to the starter and to the battery, is called a "solenoid". Essentially just another word for "relay", what it does is allow a relatively small current through the starter pushbutton (about 1 amp) to control the much larger current that the starter motor requires (as much as 700 amps depending on conditions).

    The solenoid should give one loud click per button press (although the noise is usually covered up by the noise from the starter). If it chatters (clicks rapidly), that is a fairly sure sign that either the battery is weak, or there is a bad connection somewhere. The starter draws a LOT of current, so all the connections must be perfect. Frequently (in my experience), jumper cables will not carry enough current to run a TR3 starter, so the battery has to be good. (Although you can certainly charge the battery with a jump.)

    I think Marv mis-typed. If jumpering across the solenoid terminals doesn't engage the starter, then most likely the solenoid is not the problem. However, I have to add that I don't recommend this particular test for a neophyte. If you don't get the motion of the screwdriver just right, it can arc or weld to the solenoid studs, causing damage to both. The studs are copper and kind of fragile; and we're talking more current here than most arc welders use. A better, if somewhat harder, test is to connect an unpowered 12v test lamp, or DC voltmeter across the solenoid studs; then either push the rubber button on the solenoid, or have someone push the dash button for you. If the light doesn't go out, or the voltmeter go to zero, then the solenoid isn't working.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Senior Member 2billydavies's Avatar
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    Re: help! again! please! starter motor

    you guys are awesome! so I did what you said Marvin. Turned the key on, put it out of gear, and pushed that rubber button in. Nothing happened. Then I did it while pushing the starter button... and I don't know what happened, but it kicked the starter on and it engaged. So I stopped what I was doing... then just tried to start it as normal and it fired right up. Maybe it was just giving me some attitude for not running it in 6 months. lol... I don't know... but it works perfectly now.

    I cannot believe it fired up as quickly as it did. Under 4 seconds from pushing the start button. I was expecting, after installing pistons/sleeves, etc for it to give me some attitude but she fired right up and sounds awesome.

    thanks guys!

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