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The Prince of Darkness strikes! Dead starter

davester

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I just got back from rescuing my daughter. She got a lesson in "How to push start a car". The GT starter is dead. The solenoid makes clicky sounds but even application of a BFH did not bring the starter to life. Once I get it out where should I begin, or should I simply get it rebuilt professionally?

Oh, one more thing. There's no current draw when trying to start. All lights stay nice and bright.
 

bob67bgt

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The solenoids can be disassembled and repaired but sometimes its just easier to purchase a new (correct)solenoid and install it yourself. I think there are 2 types used on mgbs. Just because your car is a 71 your starter may be from a different year. Confirm before ordering as they do not interchange. Bob
 

JPSmit

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Before you rebuild anything make sure you are clear what the problem is. You should be able to take a jumper cable and bypass the solenoid all together - direct battery to starter, if it turns, it is the solenoid. Solenoid is an easy fix and not expensive to replace.

If the starter doesn't start, first take it off and clean the bendix at the end.

Then see what happens - you can bench test that, or, many places (In Canada partsource) will test starters for free.
 

tony barnhill

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I'm sure you have a fully charged battery?
 

bob67bgt

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Sounds like the battery is fine since he does not have a draw and his lights do not dim. And on a 71 MGB the solenoid is built into the starter and cleaning the bendix is more of a mga,pre 68 MGB or Midget fix. 68 and newer MGBs are noted for dirty and burnt contacts in the solenoid. Since it does click it is wired ok and getting trigger power. The battery hot wire goes directly to the starter on a MGB and under that terminal is where the body feed wires go. Some cars have a male terminal attached there that feeds the body.Its not likely that with all the battery power right there connected to the starter that you could have good power to the body circuits and not to the starter. My guess is still the solenoid. Normally you just get one click on a bad solenoid. If its a rapid series of clicks then i would start checking the engine ground and battery condition also but with the discription of the lights staying bright i'm still set on my diagnosis. Sorry about the long winded post! Bob
 
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davester

davester

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Long-winded is good. I'll check it out tomorrow. If it ends up being the solenoid, is there a quick fix to get the thing working while I wait for the replacement to be shipped. Why the heck aren't there any sources of MG parts in the SF Bay Area!?
 

bob67bgt

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At the moment i am playing with a 83 Datsun turbo trans(borg-warner T5) for a MGB and using the Rivergate backing plate. I was told by a knowledgable source that the MGB OR Datsun starter will work for this. IF IF IF this is correct then why would a Datsun starter not work on a normal MGB. I have a Datsun starter now and will be bolting it to a engine I have on the floor and putting power to it. This may not help you now but if this works it will be easier in the future to get a good small starter cheap. Another MG mechanic friend had a problem with a clutch type part in the MGB starter. I have not come across that kind of problem yet so I do not know the sound or symptoms. The gear reduction starters that Doc Martin sells on Ebay are looking better all the time! He gets around $169 and I would think it would fix the problem forever. They do sound a bit different but wouldn't that sound be great right about now? Good luck getting that B running again! Bob
 

MikeP

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Get the part number off the side of the starter and see if they can cross reference that as well without using make and model. Most of those sort of things were used across many different cars.
 
D

Deleted member 8987

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There is probably a reason for the interchangeability.

If I recall, Datsun made sevarl vehicles that had engines that were direct knockoffs of those in LBC's.
I recall rebuilding a.....411?.....Dat-soon once, oil pumps not available from Dat-soon, but picked one up from the BL dealer and it was a bolt-in.

Not saying all bits were (most likely, if I remember) these were metrified, kinda like the Frog version of the V8-60 that Ford sold them.

Would not surprise me at all.
The only real issues might be the bolt mounting holes may need "correction", either up or down a bit to be "tight", and possibly Bendix extension length,but, hey, that should be fixable.
 
D

Deleted member 8987

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Went and looked it up.
410.


"The J18 is an overhead valve four cylinder engine that's the last development of the J series engine. That first appeared in the Datsun 411 in 1966 in 1300cc form (J13). The J series engine is devoped from Datsun's earlier E1 engine fitted to the Datsun 312 and 410.
The E1 is basically an Austin/ Morris B series engine but Japanese built. Datsun built Austin A40 Somersets and A55 Cambridges in Japan under licence from Austin and continued to use the engine in their own cars for some time afterward as they did not posses the funds to develop their own engine.
The J series comes as a J13,J15 and J16. The J18, I believe was only used in Mexico to my knowledge although I could be wrong.

There is some parts interchangeability between the J series and the British built B series engine. The 1800 engine in an MGB would probably be fairly easy to swap in place of a J18."

https://www.automotivehelper.com/topic175291.htm
 
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davester

davester

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Darn, I was just getting ready to go out and mess with the starter/solenoid and suddenly it is raining cats, dogs and larger mammals. No diagnosis today I guess.
 

tony barnhill

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If starter is problem, local auto electrical place should be able to rebuild it.
 
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davester

davester

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OK, I yanked the offending starter. The starter spins up just fine when connecting directly to the STA terminal and the solenoid makes lovely clonking noises, but the solenoid is not doing its job in connecting the battery terminal to the STA terminal. I guess I need a new solenoid. Tony, if I order one from you how soon could I get it here in sunny (HA!) California without paying and arm and a leg in shipping?
 
D

Deleted member 8987

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Can you disassemble the solenoid?
If so, sometimes removing the contacts, rotating 180 degrees and re-installing will make them work.
 
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davester

davester

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Might be possible, but removing the screws doesn't allow the terminals to come off and my Lindsay Porter MGB book says that I have to heat up the terminal and melt the solder with a soldering iron in order to get it off. I suppose I could try that but I'm wondering whether it's worth the trouble to try to rebuild this thing.
 
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