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 Posted: 04-24-2021 03:27 pm
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Harkes
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I have a high compression 2.2L engine with MSD 6AL and pertronix ingnitor. Car has been sitting in the garage for a number of years. I changed the oil, primed the oil pump, changed drive belt for a JAE blue belt (half moon type) and tensioned it @ 30 degrees BTDC at 95 Hz - 100 Hz.

Installed a new Optima Red Top battery as the old Optima red top battery had gone bad. Distributor in place, new spark plugs etc

When starting, I can see the cam sprockets trying to turn but then stop immediately and you hear a short clicking sound. When I try again, exactly the same happens. The battery voltage is good with 12.6 V

Now here is the strange thing:
When I take the spark plugs out and disconnect the pertronix and distributor cap and then start the engine, then the engine nicely turns over.
So nothing wrong with the wiring I concluded.

Could it be that the heavy duty starter or the starter solenoid is failing?
Or could I have a bad battery, even though it is brand new.
Is the JAE blue belt too tight? I can hardly imagine, but still ...

Anyone have any idea what to check first? I guess start with checking the CCA (cold cranking amps) of the battery at a local garage?

greatly appreciate your help

Last edited on 04-24-2021 03:28 pm by Harkes

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 Posted: 04-25-2021 04:23 am
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Tom Bradley
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Those batteries should have plenty of cranking power unless they are bad. Unlikely for a new battery. If you can get another car or known good battery close enough to connect it with jumper cables that would be a good check.

My first guess is that it is one or more bad electrical connections, most likely on the high current path. Remove and clean the high-current connection points at the starter, battery, battery connection to the car frame as well as the engine-to-body strap.

I have also heard that dirt and junk between the starter and the engine body can also cause this problem, though I have not personally experienced it. Removing the starter and cleaning off the area where these connect will remove that possibility.

Bad (rusted or corroded) contacts inside the starter are certainly a possibility, especially if it is a stock starter that has been sitting a while. If the above cleaning procedures do not work, you can try doing repeat short start attempts: that can sometimes break through whatever is blocking the contacts. If you end up having to replace the starter I would recommend getting one of the after-market ones rather that a rebuilt stock starter. I do not much like the way the after-market starters mount: the power connector from the battery is too close to the block for my comfort, unless you rotate the starter mount. But they are certainly much more reliable than the Lucas version.

Last edited on 04-25-2021 04:24 am by Tom Bradley

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 Posted: 04-25-2021 02:48 pm
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noomg
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If it won't turnover with sparkplugs in, but turns over with them out, the first place I'd look would be the starter. Since the car has sat for years the first thing I'd look at would be the grounds, make sure they're clean and rust free. Next thing I'd look at is the solenoid, that's usually what fails on a starter, replace if necessary.

Oh and one more thing, what the heck are you doing letting it sit for years, in case you haven't heard these things are really fun to drive. Get that beast out once and while and stretch it's legs, that probably solves more problems than anything else.

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 Posted: 04-25-2021 07:18 pm
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Tom Bradley
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Additional thoughts: Not enough current activating the solenoid could also be a problem. Low current might keep the solenoid contacts from making good strong connection. Check the wire connection to the solenoid to see if it is loose or corroded or has frayed wires. (This is also a good idea to do with all of the electrical connections, including the fuse contacts, in the engine compartment and trunk. Making sure all the electrical connections are clean and tight will eliminate a lot of reliability headaches down the road.) If you have a good alligator clip lead you can connect this directly to the solenoid to trigger the starter and see if that gets rid of the present problem.

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 Posted: 04-26-2021 04:27 am
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discogodfather
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Pound the starter with a mallet a few times.

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 Posted: 04-26-2021 10:14 am
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Harkes
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Thank you for all your great suggestions.
Really appreciate it a lot!

I found the electric connection of the starter solenoid that leads to the starter motor is heavily rusted. All other connections are bright and clean.

So I will clean that up first and see what happens. If it still fails, I’ll tap on the starter and see if it will start then. If not I’ll replace the whole thing.

The reason the car sat for a number of years is that I had a major issue after the Supra W58 gearbox conversion I did. It was too big of a project at the time as I had just set up my own company. Finally got around to take the gearbox out last year and fix the issue (clutch was way too heavy). Also took the time to install electric fan and other small fixes.

I will post again in a day or two when I have removed the rust.
Thanks again all. Hope the car back on the road soon as the tulip fields in the Netherlands are in bloom...

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