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TR2/3/3A No Ignition light and no starter

Jim_Stevens

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Hi guys-
I was having problems with my modern hi-torque starter (it was only intermittently turning the engine) so I pulled it out and replaced it with the old bull-nose starter, which I recall was working when I swapped it out.

Now, the red ignition light does not come on, and the starter motor does not turn. The solenoid does click though, and other electrics seem to work.

Not too surprised at the starter, but the ignition light is throwing me a curve. Any ideas?

jim
TS 44743L “O”
 
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Jim_Stevens

Jim_Stevens

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Update 1: Ignition light was due to the wire from the alternator having been disturbed during starter changeout. Sorry for the misdirect. Working fine now

Im going to put the battery on the charger for a while and retest the starter. Jim
 
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Jim_Stevens

Jim_Stevens

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The battery it was!
I replaced it with a nice big Group 27 and voila! Thanks Steve
 
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Jim_Stevens

Jim_Stevens

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Yeah, sorry JP... starter is not reliable (unless you live on a hill?)
Same problem going on, gentlemen: replaced battery, replaced starter, grounding to the block.
The car will start just fine cold at home, but take it out for a spin and let it sit and the starter will turn (or makes a running noise) but won’t crank the engine.
It’s not a grinding noise...it’s the noise you hear from the starter prior to ignition. When I pulled the old hi-torque starter, I did note shiney wear on only the front half of the flywheel ring gear, and not broken teeth. Maybe the original bull-nose starter gets more travel from its bendix?
Any ideas? The alternator rapidly charges the battery, so it’s not that.
Best course may be to drive it over to JP anyways and let him listen!
 

DavidApp

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Don't you have one of these?
crank-long.jpg
David
 

CJD

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A few months ago I had an individual go through my parents to track me down about my TR3A. He thought it was the same car his Father had owned 30 years ago...because of the Amco grill! After all the sleuth work he put in I felt terrible letting him down, and that my car was most assuredly NOT silver from the factory like his Father's. He had never seen the Amco grill on another car and was sure it was his Father's. Anyway, I still think it looks great...much better and more efficient than the factory grill! And, Jim, no chance your car was originally silver, is there? Just thought I'd ask for the gentleman looking for his old family TR3A!?!
 
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Jim_Stevens

Jim_Stevens

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A few months ago I had an individual go through my parents to track me down about my TR3A. He thought it was the same car his Father had owned 30 years ago...because of the Amco grill! After all the sleuth work he put in I felt terrible letting him down, and that my car was most assuredly NOT silver from the factory like his Father's. He had never seen the Amco grill on another car and was sure it was his Father's. Anyway, I still think it looks great...much better and more efficient than the factory grill! And, Jim, no chance your car was originally silver, is there? Just thought I'd ask for the gentleman looking for his old family TR3A!?!

No, John, sorry. In fact, it’s an amalgamation of a couple cars.
BUT: as senior forum sidescreen expert now (RIP Randall) do you have any ideas? Im wondering if the bull nose staters have more travel.
 

CJD

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This comes up every so often...I assume the deal is that the starter whirs, but refuses to engage the flywheel?

The gear in the bullet nose is entirely inertial. So it depends on the weight of the gear, the freedom of the gear to slide along the screw shaft, and the torque of the starter to spin up fast enough to move the gear down the shaft. It's such a simple assembly that there are only a few things to go wrong. Areas to look at:

1) Is the starter getting full power from the battery. A weak battery or bad connection can slow the starter spin-up, which doesn't provide the inertia to move the gear to the flywheel. Dirty contacts in the solenoid could also cause a slow spool up, as will a partially shorted field or armateur coil in side the starter. If you hear the starter winding up to full speed within one second, then this is not your problem. If it takes 2-3 seconds to wind to full speed, then the above could be your problem.

2) Corrosion or hardened grease inside the bullet nose. If the car ever sat for a long time, the gear can get sticky on the screw shaft. It could be light corrosion, road dirt if it ran without a clutch cover, or just old hardened grease. I think the starter bendix assembly gets well lubricated from oil slinging off the flywheel from the back of the scroll seal, so as long as your TR gets run often, the bendix stays lubricated. But, grit and dirt can accumulate...light corrosion can cause binding. If the starter winds up within a second, then this is your likely cause. The solution is, of course, to pull the starter and fully clean and lightly lube the bendix assembly. Make sure there is absolutely no sticking or binding in the gear. You can try cleaning without disassembling the starter, using carb cleaner...or take the nose off to do a really good job. I'd just try it assembled first, though.

3) It is possible you have a mechanical problem in the starter. This would include a broken spring, so the gear does not return to the home position, the rubber shock drive deteriorating and sending rubber into the assembly, or a "C" clip out of position or binding. Unless it was assembled wrong, I doubt this is your issue, though. These are pretty robust starters. The rubber shock drive is the only part that wears...and if that were bad the starter would never engage. Once the rubber drive fails the gear cannot ever be driven.

4) If you hear the starter hit the flywheel and then it spins freely, there is a chance your have the wrong flywheel for the starter. If the starter used to work fine, this is a long shot.

That's all I can think of. If I were diagnosing, I would check the electrics first, followed by pulling the starter for a cleaning. 99% chance those 2 actions will get it going again.
 
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