Starter motor woes

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Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 16 Apr 2018, 18:45

Hi all,

Got myself an early Jan 1981 T25 - 2.0 Aircooled. Had some issues starting her recently (been off the road for 9 years!) but has a fully rebuilt engine. Figured it was a battery issue as changing that sorted it, but fairly sure with a resounding ‘clunk’ from the starter even with a booster attached that the starters shagged. Not exactly a difficult job, picked one up from GSF, looked almost the same but the mounting points were slightly more clockwise than the originals, fouling the gearbox. Rookie mistake I thought, assuming it would be that easy!!

Got the part number off the old unit (0 001 211 221) brought it in and they swapped it for the supposedly correct part (GSF 901VG0101). However whilst this is now at the right angle, the top bolt (one with the odd shaped head) doesn’t reach through the engine bay side as it’s not quite slotting in at the top, as though it’s a few mm too big, leaving a gap of a similar amount at the top.

Anyone have any suggestions here? Feel like I’m going to try every starter under the sun at this rate :rollin
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby sarran1955 » 16 Apr 2018, 18:59

Hello,

Welcome to the Forum..... :)

There are several lengths of 'D' bolt, as starter motor casings changed over the years.

Flat side to the starter body..

There is the 'oilite' bearing..that receives the nose of the starter motor in the bellhousing to change if needed.

Hope this helps....

Aircooled Bliss..... 8)

Cordialement,

:ok
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 16 Apr 2018, 20:01

Thanks for the quick reply.

The issue isn’t so much about the bolt, but that the starter doesn’t quite line up with the bell housing. The original one fit flush all round before inserting the D bolt. The new one doesn’t want to quite slot in at the top, leaving a small gap between the starter and the housing and thus preventing the bolt from reaching. I was just wondering if anyone had such issues with fitment on these engines with new ‘pattern’ starters?
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby maxstu » 16 Apr 2018, 22:15

Is the old starter OEM? Then rebuilding it will eliminate such problems. Not too difficult to do providing refurb kit is available. Otherwise send to a rebuild company such as www.bexleystarters.co.uk.
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 17 Apr 2018, 14:55

Yeah old one was original - however one of the brackets was broken off, meaning it could only be bolted in one side. Would need a pretty significant weld to get it usable! Think I’ll just try the ‘universal adjuster’ on it later on to get it to fit :lol:
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby 937carrera » 17 Apr 2018, 15:54

If the old starter is electrically fine then if you can't weld it, you might want to consider using chemical metal to repair the broken flange.

Some people will say it's a bodge, on the other hand I have repaired a number of things including the cylinder head on a compressor with it. Still working 2 years on :)

A starter shouldn't need much more than a firm wiggle to fit. Use of universal adjuster / Manchester screwdriver can affect the permanent magnets inside.

Good luck.
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 18 Apr 2018, 19:15

Had another look today, reckon it does fit as the flange is slightly different at the top but reckon its still sitting fine with a larger bolt. Next problem.. new starter still makes a 'clunk' :x 12.8v at the battery and same at the starter. clunk is definitely coming from the starter. Same noise with the old one and the new one. Bump starts just fine so should crank ok. Thoughts? :|
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby 937carrera » 18 Apr 2018, 19:31

Was the bush / bearing at the end of the shaft in good condition ?

From the symptoms you would say it was the solenoid pulling in but failing to connect the 12v feed to the motor. You could be in the situation where the cabling can carry 12v, but cannot carry the current to drive the motor.

I would be tempted to whip the plugs out to reduce the work the starter has to do and see if that makes a difference. Alternatively do an in-situ bench test I suggested in the Hot Start thread this morning, (without the need to warm the van up in your case).

Use a direct connection to the starter to eliminate all the other wiring. To do this get the van raised up so that you have access to the starter and make the battery easily removable. Warm the van up so that it would then have the problem starting. Remove the battery and make direct connections using jump leads to the starter +ve and earth onto the starter /engine. You might need to make a fly lead onto the +ve if you cannot get the +ve crocodile clip on securely. You'll also need a jumpwire to the solenoid from +ve to turn the van over. If the starter turns over at the same speed as when cold then there's a wiring issue. If it still turns over slowly then you have a starter or battery problem. The van will not start, but be careful, the jump leads are unfused, you don't want an accidental short of the +ve to earth.
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 18 Apr 2018, 22:21

The new starter came with a nose bearing, I haven’t changed the bush as it looks like a total pain to change, had a feel seems alright, suppose my next step will be to change this regardless.

I’ll check all the electrical steps you suggested after that. Never bloody easy is it :lol: cheers for the advice though fella, I’ll keep you posted when I get a chance on the weekend!
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 22 Apr 2018, 19:50

So had another play around this evening - as van is on a slope I can't try the direct jump as suggested, too close for comfort when its not jacked up. Battery is going down from 12.6 to 12.2 when attempting to start so assume its at least attempting to get power. Did also try removing the plugs with the same result. I'm just trying to check connections at the moment so I can understand how it all goes together - the small spade connector is the trigger - this must be fine due to the responsive 'clunk' and draw in power.

There's a single connection from the solenoid to the motor. On the bolt thats on the motor, there are two connections - one goes through into the engine bay and connects directly to the alternator - and another which runs along the underside of the van, assumingly to the postive on the battery? Should this not be grounded elsewhere? Just checking for any loose connections etc, as the engine was rebuilt before I had it and I have found that not everything has been connected particularly well, such as discovering today that the lead for the oil pressure sensor is too short to actually reach properly and keeps coming off :shock:
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby 937carrera » 22 Apr 2018, 23:12

Paulevenett wrote: On the bolt thats on the motor, there are two connections - one goes through into the engine bay and connects directly to the alternator - and another which runs along the underside of the van, assumingly to the postive on the battery?


Correct

Paulevenett wrote:Should this not be grounded elsewhere?


Certainly not, unless you like sparks and an uncontrolled welder :shock:

The earth is provided through the chassis of the starter motor to the engine and then to the body.

I expected the engine to spin up with the plugs removed. It's beginning to sound as if either there is a physical problem with the starter when in position or the engine is very tight. Have you tried turning the engine over by hand on the fan. You'll need to remove the plastic cover to get access.

Which starter did you try with - the original one or the new one ?
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 23 Apr 2018, 10:46

Ok thanks, I did read about people putting an extra ground strap from bottom starter bolt to engine bay so was just wondering if grounding issues were common.

I’ve not tried manually cranking - can give that a go tomorrow. The original starter was starting fine, then taking several tries (clunk, clunk, clunk, start) then eventually not at all. I was able to bump the van after this. The new starter is the same, just clunks. Old one went back to GSF which was probably a bad idea!

Couldn’t be ignition switch could it? As this just sends a signal to the solenoid the ‘clunk’ suggests this is doing its job?
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby sarran1955 » 23 Apr 2018, 18:08

Hello,

Yes to earth strap between gearbox and chassis... :)

All connections must be shiny........... :wink:

including the spade terminal red 'exciter' lead.... :roll:

Also check that all is good on the steering column wiring and switches..

You'll get there..... :)

Cordialement,

:ok
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby CovKid » 23 Apr 2018, 18:11

And finally, no one likes changing the starter motor bush, but....
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Re: Starter motor woes

Postby Paulevenett » 24 Apr 2018, 10:32

I’ve ordered a ground strap, I’ll check all ignition connections at the steering column this weekend. Connections aren’t too bad but I’ll change the spade on the ‘excite’ connection as you put it :ok

I’ll be honest - I’ve been putting off the bush change, it feels quite clean so I was hoping to avoid it :rollin

Guess I’ll have fun with that this weekend too!! Cheers for the advice!
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