Starter Saga

BX Tech talk
User avatar
Oscar
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1091
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Driving a ZX

Starter Saga

Post by Oscar » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:28 am

I've already posted on BX chat about the starter motor failing at a critical moment.

I took the old starter off, and tried to take it apart to check the state of the bushes. My wife's hair has more torque strength than the through-bolts on a Valeo starter (I notice Haynes uses a Mitsubishi starter for their strip-down photoshoot. This is probably because it would look silly to say in the first paragraph "First, snap your through-bolts"). Anyway, that's what I did - snap the through bolts. Not immediately, oh no, only after applying gentle pressure, WD40, heat, tapping, more gentle pressure, etc.etc.

Anyway, bushes on original starter seem fine, but bolts now n/s.

Down to scappy, pick up two starters and pay him for one, with promise to return second.

Fit new starter and connect up the battery. Turn the key - glowlights come on. Glowlight off, turn again, nothing. Nada. Not even the vague clunk I got on Sunday at 6am. Starter shagged.

Battery also running down, thanks to heating up the glowplugs persistently without running the engine.

Down to Halfrauds, buy a charger (ulp), put battery on charge, go to bed.

Battery charged and two scrappy starters bench-tested this morning. Both are working fine.

This includes the one that didn't work in the car yesterday.

The problem is obviously in the car, not the starter motor.

The feed from the battery is hot - no fuses or switches, so there can't be a problem there.

The starter earths through its case to the engine, so no problem there.

That leaves the trigger switch from the ignition. Somewhere between the ignition barrel and the starter motor there must be a break.

I shall: go to Maplins, buy some sundries, make up a continuity tester, and test the trigger switch. I hope to goodness I find the problem easily, as I don't want to be ferreting around behind the dash looking for a break in January, one week before the MoT runs out and two weeks before the tax runs out.

Does anyone else have any good ideas?
(Red BX 1.7TZD ("Well, it is a style icon" - Tom Sheppard)) "Was", Tom, "was"

jeremy
Over 2k
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Hampshire UK

Post by jeremy » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:45 am

Got a similar problem on the ZX which I must do something about - starter switch is probably at fault - sometimes it won't start.

I tested it with a meter and everything else (starter & glowplugs but not relay) and it was perfect - and perfect for a week after as I must have inadvertently cleaned the contacts.

Now it will stop the engine on a rapid stop - temporarily cured by removing the keyring and just using the key alone. The influence of keyrings and heavy keys isn't quite as stupid as it seems - my last employer had forklifts which suffered from the same problem. I duly reported the first one in detail - and was amused to see the engineer duly analysing the thing with his laptop and taking it to bits - so I left him for a couple of hours and then went and said I was surprised it took all that kit to find a faulty switch. 'What do you mean? - well it stops when you go over a bump - key only it went for a few days longer. . . '

Became a common problem after that with the other 5 identical ones. - So much for Porsche design - if the'd mounted the thing on a flat surface rather tha a vertical one it would never have happened!

User avatar
DavidRutherford
BX Digit man!
Posts: 2704
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Placing comments on YouTube.

Post by DavidRutherford » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:47 am

Common problem on many PSA cars.

First check: Fit the starter to the car but don't connect the starter feed cable. Instead, connect a length of cable to the starter motor and touch this to the battery positive terminal. Does the engine now crank? If so;

Have an assistant hold the key in the "start" position. Using a multimeter, or a lamp, check if the feed to the starter is live. If "no", then the ignition barrel switch is knackered. If "Yes", then the problem is that the feed from the ignition switch to the starter isn't man enough, So, the easy fix is a relay.

Use the feed from the ignition switch to energise the relay, and take another (fused ideally) feed to the relay, using the switched side to drive the starter motor. 205 owners often have this problem, and I've had to do it on a couple of vehicles before.

I would upload a wiring diagram for this, but I'm at work, and draconian IT means I can't. I'm sure there will be a diagram for it somewhere on the web, or I can try to email you one if you need it.

My money's on the ignition switch though.
this might be a signature

jeremy
Over 2k
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Hampshire UK

Post by jeremy » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:53 am

The other possibility is the large multi-plug under the battery in the main power lead. Corrodes with age - and may just need a good clean. You may be able to eliminate it with jump leads - ie jump to the starter main cable and then jump a solenoid supply. Care must be taken as its difficult to get jump leads on the smallish starter terminals and you may cause shorts.

Incidentally for this purpose you can make a continuity tester from a bulb with a couple of wires soldered on it. De-luxe versions are even wrapped with insulating tape.

User avatar
DavidRutherford
BX Digit man!
Posts: 2704
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Placing comments on YouTube.

Post by DavidRutherford » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:56 am

jeremy wrote:De-luxe versions are even wrapped with insulating tape.
Easy there tiger! you'll be putting crocodile clips on them soon with that sorta thinking.
this might be a signature

jeremy
Over 2k
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Hampshire UK

Post by jeremy » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:40 pm

Crocodile clips come on the Executive model - which of course is never used.

User avatar
docchevron
The Immoderate half of the admin team
Posts: 7529
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:03 pm
Location: A Bucket of Fish
x 7

Post by docchevron » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:52 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

For what it's worth, I think it's the ignition barrell too. All of my cars have had this very issue at some point over the years, seems to afflict Diesels more than petrols though.....

Cheers
Chris G
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

Stewart (oily!)
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1604
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 6:23 pm
Location: North Wales

Post by Stewart (oily!) » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:31 pm

Ignition switch is likeley, check voltage on small starter wire, bet its not twelve :wink: consider fitting a relay to this circuit.
Stewart
TZD 19 TD one of the few
Xantia Td estate, going soft

tom
Citroen Sorceror
Posts: 1239
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: straddling the channel

Post by tom » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:41 pm

Ok Oscar. I reckon that with a couple of bits of wire, one to the solenoid terminal and one to the battery+ you can get the car to start on a temporary basis. Then you'll need the switch in my shed which you can have when the rear struts are changed which should get you those new boots you were after.
Vive les UX.

AlanS
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:53 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Post by AlanS » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:50 pm

I must have posted 1000 times on this so I won't bother getting into too much fine detail again as I'm sure someone must have one of the many copies, but if you seperate the wire to the solenoid at the bullet connector which is usually close enough to the battery for the male part to reach the + terminal on the battery, you'll find it will go if the starter's OK.
It's then a case of running new wire as you'll find the original is now a nice dull black if you strip the insulation off instead of bright copper colour.
You then need to instal a relay in that line and as a preference, a starter button so that the ignition switch then becomes just basically a "make and break" and has no direct connection to the starter solenoid (and hence the associated load) and it will spin so fast you'll think the engine is going to fly out of the car.
It's simple, cheap and works 100% every time.


Alan S
By the time you're old enough to know it all, you can't remember why you were learning.

User avatar
Oscar
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1091
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Driving a ZX

Post by Oscar » Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:59 pm

Hi Guys

Well, a charged battery and a good scrub up of all the terminals seems to have done the trick. Didn't even bother testing voltages and circuits - just fitted the newly refurbished battery cables, newly-charged battery, scrappy starter for the second time and thought "I'll give it a go before I start testing things".

I think the original starter’s brushes were sticking and probably just needed a good tap. The subsequent attempts to start drained the battery so that it wouldn’t turn the scrap starter over.

End result: Down £60 on petrol for neighbour’s Mundano, £20 for scrap starter, £30 for assorted new terminals, clips, cable etc. £40 for a charger.

Up: know a lot more about the motor, and confident that I can think my way through problems, even if I start from slightly the wrong place. Nice new bits of kit – soldering irons etc. Ready to start doing some more electrical detective work. Found a battery in the cellar which has charged up so I now have a spare.

Conclusion: could have done without spending the money, but it would have cost me the same for the garage to sort and I’ve learnt a bit more, so I reckon I’m ahead.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions guys. I like Alan’s idea of fitting a separate “Start” button, but mainly because I just fancy having a big red button on the dashboard, preferably with a toggle-switch and a warning light : )
(Red BX 1.7TZD ("Well, it is a style icon" - Tom Sheppard)) "Was", Tom, "was"