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Strange...can won't start and then magically ressurects

Crowbar

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I'm curious if anyone has a diagnosis for what happened below

So I was driving with my son the other day...

As we pulled out of our neighborhood, I noticed my son didn't have eye protection (windscreen was in the "race" position).

I stopped the car to get his sunglasses out of the trunk, but I forgot that the car was in gear, I rapidly let off the clutch to get out of the car, and the car naturally stalled.

When I tried to restart the car...nothing. No fuel pump clicking, no turnover, nothing. The car is dead, and the fuel gauge isn't reading. I assumed the battery was dead (I had left the lights on a few weeks ago and I had recently charged it).

So I call my wife and try to jump start the car with my portable charger...still nothing, no turnover, no fuel pump clicking, fuel gauge still not reading .

I sit for about a 1/2 hour waiting for a flatbed, on a whim I try to start the car and she fires up not problem and I'm off.

I take the battery to have it checked, and it's reading just fine. Plenty of charge, and the car had been running perfectly since.

I'm baffled....any ideas out there?

Many thanks, as always.

GC
 

andrea

Jedi Knight
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I agree with Derek
Ground earth contact are critical on my car- just a week ago I have solved this problem with a better ground cable
control also the engine ground cable--- and bypass the battery switch if present
 

Keoke

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[h=2].can won't start and then magically ressurects ---Change CAR!-:excitement:[/h]
 

roscoe

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Consider the oft neglected battery switch in the back. Perhaps the jolt when you popped the clutch caused it to not make contact any longer. Since you had a good battery and absolutely no power anywhere and when it "fixed" itself it was completely normal, it seems like it either had to be the ground (whether it is pos or neg) from the battery or the battery switch itself. The plates in the switch get pitted with age and arcing and since it requires de-riveting to surface the contacts it usually doesn't get done. If it happens again, exercise the switch a few time and see if it works.
 

John Turney

Yoda
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It happened to me a few times until I replaced the battery cut-off switch. They can be disassembled and cleaned.
 

Keoke

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It happened to me a few times until I replaced the battery cut-off switch. They can be disassembled and cleaned.

Yeah:
Bein cheep that is what i did you just have to flip the contacts over and reassemble with small screws,then you are good to go.:cool:
 

Patrick67BJ8

Darth Vader
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It happened to me a few times until I replaced the battery cut-off switch. They can be disassembled and cleaned.
BCS has a rebuild kit for them. Mine was acting up and I just rotated the knob eteeen ON and OFF and it was fine afterwards.
 
OP
C

Crowbar

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Seems reasonable...something rattled loose with the jerk from the stall...gonna put her up on the lift and start tightening things. Many thanks. The cutoff switch is pretty new, car had a nut and bolt restoration in 2010...
 
OP
C

Crowbar

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Thanks gents - you were right...the ground cable between the cutoff switch and the frame had come loose from the spade connector, but the break was not visible due to coverage by some heat shrink and cloth cover. Installed a new "naked" braided ground cable so I can see what's going on with the cable in the future.

Thanks for the tip!
 
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Now throw away the cutoff switch and save yourself future headaches.
 

Keoke

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Now throw away the cutoff switch and save yourself future headaches.

Yeah:
Cuz he Just might not have a healey to worry about anymore.---:highly_amused:

Night All---:wink-new:
 

RAC68

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HI Crowbar,

Although the cut-off switch and its connected cables and wire can cause frustration, keep in mind that the problems it causes are out of mind because they happen so infrequently. Back in the eighties, as part of a total restoration on my Healey, I took apart the switch and cleaned and lubricated its internals with dielectric grease. Since then, and even before, the switch did not give me an ounce of trouble.

However, I did have one issue from a loosened white/black wire that grounds the coil and corrected that issue by properly preparing the end of the wire with soft solder on the end that is secured by the switch connection set screw. Since that prep, no issues and I use the switch constantly.

Yes, you can eliminate the switch but I place my car on a charge maintainer when in the garage and use the cut-off switch to isolate the battery at that time. Additionally, except the ignition key, I do switch off at shows and any time I am not with the car. Yes, it does not provide that much security but it is the only thing I have needed since the car was new and my daily driver.

Keep in mind that you are now aware of the symptoms and possibility of a bad switch or its connections so you will not be left wondering again. Eliminating every possible component that could cause an issue would leave you holding onto air.

I would keep the switch.

Ray(64BJ8P1)
 
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If one wants a shutoff switch there are better options that will fit in the same hole. Hella makes a nice one with a removable key. It does not have a second circuit to ground the coil but IMO that is an unnecessary redundancy.
 
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