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Starter running via the Ghost of Lucas?  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 10-05-2012 06:50 pm
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answerman
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Hey everyone... here's a weird one.  Ms. Jenavieve has done this three times in the past few days.  It only happens once, and only when starting for the first time of the day.

Steps: Put key in ignition.  Turn to start position.  Starter spins and turns the engine.  Engine doesn't start because she never starts on the first try.  So far so good, right?

Here's where it gets weird.  Release key to on position.  Starter continues to turn.  Even if I turn the key to lock and remove the key!  After about 10 seconds she stops turning over.  From there, it's business as usual... try to start again and she works normally.

Scratching my head on this one.  Sticking solenoid maybe?

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 Posted: 10-05-2012 07:18 pm
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MikeIsotech
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Sounds like a sticking solenoid to me. Try tapping it with the wooden handle of a hammer. That works on the rare occasion that my car does it.

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 Posted: 10-05-2012 07:21 pm
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sholdowa
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Probably. Luckily they're easy to remove and pretty simple to strip and clean up. A sharp tap with a hammer whilst it's misbehaving should clinch it.

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 Posted: 10-09-2012 06:41 am
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answerman
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Did a little testing... removed the wire from the solenoid terminal (the one coming from the ignition switch) and had my boy turn the key while I had my Fluke on the wire. Start position - 12v. Any other position - 0v. Looks like it's time to repair/replace the solenoid.

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 Posted: 08-12-2013 08:31 pm
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answerman
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Took a drive this weekend with the local British car club, and Ms. J's starter is acting up again. Solenoid is definitely sticking. I think it's time to do something about it.

I've read a lot here about the gear reduction starters... any reason I shouldn't go that route? I assume this will be the last starter I put in her, so the ~$190 investment doesn't seem too bad. Also, is it a direct bolt-in/plug-in, or do I have to wire things differently?

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 Posted: 08-14-2013 01:35 am
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dwalls1
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I fooled with the Lucas starter for several years and finally got fed up and installed the geared unit. Should have done it sooner. Pretty much a direct swap. The seller can probably answer any questions you might have.

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 Posted: 08-14-2013 04:17 am
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answerman
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Thanks Dale. I went ahead and ordered it from Custom Spares, it will be here on Friday according to UPS. Just another bump in the road...

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 Posted: 08-15-2013 08:25 am
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MikeIsotech
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I had problems with the solenoid sticking plus the starter quickly pulled the battery down. I had to trickle charge it constantly to be sure it was fully charged when I tried to start the car. I nearly bought a new battery before I realised it was the starter that was the problem. I bought a gear-reduction starter and it's brilliant - now problems starting after weeks of not being charged. It spins the engine faster so hot starts are way easier. They draw almost half the current of the original unit. They do sound a little different. A recommended upgrade from here.

Mike

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 Posted: 08-17-2013 06:01 am
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answerman
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New starter arrived today. A bit fiddly (had to loosen the two Allen screws holding the mounting plate and rotate it a bit so it would fit right, and a bit of wiring) but wow, what a difference.   Spins nice and actually starts faster.

For those of you who have installed the gear reduction starter and still have the stock ignition... what did you do with the wire to the ballast resistor?  White/yellow if I remember right.   I believe it's there to provide a full 12v to the coil for cold starts, but I left it off and had no problem starting Ms. J up.

Anyway, seems to be a huge improvement.  One more thing off the list.

Last edited on 08-17-2013 07:57 am by answerman

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 Posted: 08-17-2013 06:39 pm
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Art DeKneef
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According to the wiring diagram.

There is a white/yellow wire from the starter to the coil. Then from there a white/yellow wire goes to the ballast resistor. On the other side of the ballast resistor is a white wire that goes to the #2 in the engine harness junction 5-way socket. That wire continues to #3 in the Instrument Panel 5-way socket (clear) that then continues to the tach.

Does the tach still work?

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 Posted: 08-17-2013 10:18 pm
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Jim Ketcham
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Answerman is correct. The yellow/white wire provides 12v to coil bypassing ballast resistor only when starter solenoid is engaged, otherwise power comes from tach thru ballast resistor to coil. Tach will work fine without this y/w connected to starter solenoid. For those people not using an external ballast resistor this connection is not needed. As a matter of fact, for those using a Pertronix system connecting this will often pin the tach during starting.

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 Posted: 08-18-2013 01:03 am
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Art DeKneef
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This is certainly timely as I am working on this in the garage now. Trying to wire up a Pertronix distributor along with the Flamethrower coil with 3.0 ohms marked on the coil. The guy I got the car from ripped out the engine wiring harness trying to put a 4-cylinder SVO Ford engine in.

Jim, just so I completely understand what you said. The white/yellow wire from the starter solenoid to the coil is not needed and can be removed. Or are you talking about the white/yellow wire that should go from the ballast resistor to the + plus side of the coil?

If the second, that means that the white wire from the wiring harness socket can be connected to the + plus side of the coil.

I have the red wire from the Pertronix distributor going to the + plus side on the coil and the black wire going to the - negative side of the coil.

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 Posted: 08-18-2013 11:26 am
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subwoofer
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Just a small heads up: I think the Flamethrower is a 12V coil, so you shouldn't have a ballast resistor in the circuit. I run a Lucas Sport Coil with a Pertronix II and no ballast.

--
Joachim

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 Posted: 08-18-2013 01:49 pm
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Jim Ketcham
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Art,
Your coil has an internal 3 ohm resistor and does not require the external ballast resistor. Therefore, the wire from the tach (white/slate) should go directly to the coil + to power the coil. Your Petronix red to coil +. Your Petronix black to coil -. The external ballast resistor not used. The white/yellow from the starter solenoid not used.

I hope this helps.
Jim

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 Posted: 08-18-2013 06:30 pm
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Art DeKneef
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I figured that I wouldn't need the external ballast resistor since it was included in the Flamethrower coil. It wasn't even present in this car.

Jim, Thanks for the clarification. That's how I thought it should be wired based on the wiring diagram and your comments. The white/yellow wire made it sound a little confusing to me. Can you tell that car electrical wiring with this car isn't one of my strong skills?

For all the time I have spent on cleaning, tracing and fixing this wiring harness I could of started from scratch and rewired the car and be finish with the time I have spent so far. The final test will come when I connect the battery and start pushing switches. 

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 Posted: 08-18-2013 11:51 pm
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answerman
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Interesting information so far, but apparently my original question got lost.

With the stock ignition and coil, how vital is the direct 12 v feed to the ballast resistor bypass? As I said, she seems to start just fine without it connected. Because the new starter doesn't have a dedicated contact for it, the only way I could see would be to connect it to the load side of the solenoid (the actual starter motor connection). That seems like it would accomplish the same thing.

For whatever its worth, I do have an electrical background so please feel free to get technical.

Last edited on 08-18-2013 11:54 pm by answerman

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 Posted: 08-18-2013 11:52 pm
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answerman
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Hey, that's 100 posts for me. Do I get a badge or something?

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 Posted: 08-19-2013 05:27 pm
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answerman
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I suppose there are two ways to actually connect it: (1) to the load side of the solenoid, the contact feeding the starter motor, or (2) the feed from the ignition switch (the one that actually energizes the solenoid). Both would accomplish the same task of feeding 12v to the coil only when the starter is actually engaged. Thoughts? Again, I'm not sure how necessary the 12v to the coil even is since it seems to be starting fine. To summarize, stock coil and points, new gear reduction starter.

And btw the tach has never worked, but I've isolated it to a bad tach and will be converting it over to RVC specs at some point. The tach-related wiring is fine.

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 Posted: 08-19-2013 06:58 pm
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sholdowa
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The 12 volt feed is only really necessary when it gets cold and the voltage drop on cranking increases.

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 Posted: 08-19-2013 07:50 pm
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answerman
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OK. Cold starts aren't much of an issue since she gets parked for the winter.

Am I correct in surmising that the Lucas Sport Coil from the club store doesn't require a ballast resistor, and as such would eliminate this issue completely? I saw a reference from Joachim that he doesn't run his with a ballast.

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