Series 3 ignition problem

 
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johnthehedger
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Joined: 25 Jan 2018
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Location: West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:30 pm    Post subject: Series 3 ignition problem Reply with quote
I have a Series 3 2.25 petrol and have a starting problem!
The live feed to the ignition is live with the ignition switch in the "on" position, but when the key is turned further to operate the starter motor, the feed is no longer live. The engine will sometimes reluctantly fire after it has got turning on the starter motor and the key is released to return to the "on" position.
Its taken me some time to realise this and explains why it is so difficult to start.
Has anyone had this problem and can anyone suggest where the problem might be?
Thanks in anticipation.
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Alan Drover
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Evening John.
It could be the starter solenoid. Near the air filter is is a bracket with the solenoid on it identifiable by the two heavy cables, one from the battery and the other to the starter. There is also a lightweight wire that connects to the ignition switch. If you're lucky there is a rubber covered button which will operate the starter although most have done away with the button. If there is a button press it which bypasses the solenoid and should operate the starter. It's not repairable and will have to be replaced. Make sure you get a good quality one.
Hope this helps. I don't recommend shorting it out to test. There's a lot of amps.
I've done away with the solenoid when the 2.5 engine was fitted with its pre engaged starter, now replaced with a high torque starter motor.
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Alan Drover.
1975 SWB hardtop with a 2.5 petrol engine, overdrive, front disc brakes, parabolic springs, hand throttle, Defender doors and Wolf wheels.
Also a 1977 Stage 2 MGB GT.
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Geoff2
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bad connection in the ignition switch (due to corrosion from damp)? I've had two ignition switches appear to die completely - no ignition light, no starter motor turning - both cured, apparently permanently (this happened many, many years ago) simply by squirting WD40 into the ignition barrel. I do however carry a piece of wire with suitable connectors to bypass the poor connection on the switch should it ever reoccur (you still need the key - it's not a hotwire)
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Alan Drover
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Does the ignition light stay on when the key is turned to start and is your ignition switch combined with a steering column lock?
I use electrical switch cleaner in my ignition switch.
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Alan Drover.
1975 SWB hardtop with a 2.5 petrol engine, overdrive, front disc brakes, parabolic springs, hand throttle, Defender doors and Wolf wheels.
Also a 1977 Stage 2 MGB GT.
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johnthehedger
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Joined: 25 Jan 2018
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Location: West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the prompt replies. I'll have a look at those things over the next few days and let you know how I get on. Thanks again.
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Alan Drover
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
One more thing John. You could check for power from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid by disconnecting the small wire from the solenoid and get someone to hold the key in the start position while you check for power in the wire.
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Alan Drover.
1975 SWB hardtop with a 2.5 petrol engine, overdrive, front disc brakes, parabolic springs, hand throttle, Defender doors and Wolf wheels.
Also a 1977 Stage 2 MGB GT.
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johnthehedger
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Joined: 25 Jan 2018
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Location: West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I had a look at the starter solenoid first. No rubber covered button. The unit seems in newish condition and could have been replaced by the previous owner.
Next stop was the ignition key unit. The ignition light is quite dim. When the starter motor was cranking the light went off altogether.
I had some WD40 contact cleaner after a problem with a motorbike switch, so I gave the ignition key hole a good squirt, left it for 10 minutes and BINGO.
Now the ignition light goes from dim to dimmer but the engine starts straight away.
Thank you for your advice.
I know where to come when the next problem pops up.
Thanks again.................John D
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Alan Drover
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Location: North West Hampshire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's good John. I suspect the ignition light bulb is blackened and could do with replacing. With the considerable amount of amps being drawn by the standard inertia starter motor it will dim. I give my ignition switch/steering column lock a dose of switch cleaner every so often and I have a spare just in case.
The simplest solution is often the answer thanks to Geoff.
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Alan Drover.
1975 SWB hardtop with a 2.5 petrol engine, overdrive, front disc brakes, parabolic springs, hand throttle, Defender doors and Wolf wheels.
Also a 1977 Stage 2 MGB GT.
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