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'72 tii No juice, no dash lights, no start


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Hi fellas, my name is R-J and I'm the (at times) proud owner of a '72 tii that I've owned for many years and trying to get running so I can sell the old girl. What happened is one cold morning here in Vancouver, BC I started the car and the starter literally 'stuck'. It kept spinning and the only way to stop it was to disconnect the battery. Well after that fiasco I re-connected the battery and no there is no juice in the system at all. Turning the key yields nothing - no dash lights and definitely no start. Nothing. I've replaced the starter and electrical portion of the ignition switch with the same result - nothing. I'm hoping someone here has any thoughts on what might have been damaged during the starter drama. It spun for about 25 seconds before I disconnected that battery. Appreciate any thoughts!

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  the battery must be charged properly and then you should

check the voltage across the battery. if it is good then the 

red wire that comes from the nose panel and goes to the

positive connection of the battery is most likely not 

connected or loose or corroded inside the wire casing.

to check the wire for continuity, test the red lead on

the ignition switch back to see if power is there.

once you get lights on the dash then report back to

let us know if it starts.

good luck


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Battery terminals & cable ends:  nice and clean ??  I once had terminal gunk that gave me that problem, even though everything looked clean.


I don't know:  is there a fuse anywhere in that starting circuit ??


Sounds obvious, but ..... did you reconnect all the wires of the ignition switch ??





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Hmm….Same thing would happen to me on a few occasions when I had to leave my 73 tii out of the garage in the winter due to a project that required her space. 


The starter  would turn rather slowly, so I would always charge the battery prior to trying to start her, but the same thing would happen……Would turn off the key and the starter motor would keep cranking.



Long story short - replaced the starter with a 320i starter. Problem solved. Spins the motor twice as fast as the original 02 starter, and draws way less amperage. I could go into detail as to other differences between the two, but look into that.

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Since all your electricals--not just the starter--are not functioning, and the starting circuit is not fused--I would suspect the main electrical lead--that thick wire that fastens to the + battery terminal.  It feeds everything electrical--including the ignition switch--on the car except the starter,.  So even if the starter motor is OK, if the ignition switch isn't getting any power, it can't energize the starter.  


When the starter motor stuck and ran for 25 or so seconds, it drew a huge number of amps; could have overheated the battery terminals (esp if they were dirty and offered resistance) to the point where it damaged that main lead.  check it carefully for continuity and damage.  You may also have cooked your battery, especially if it was weak or old.  Charge the battery and then do a load test on it.  


The sticking starter was probably due to gunk/rust on the armature where the Bendix drive slides in and out to engage the flywheel.  This can happen when a car sits for a long time, especially if it was outside.  Remove the starter and clean that shaft, then bench test the starter for (1) normal operation and (2) to make sure the Bendix drive retracts when you remove power to the starter.  


Let us know whatcha find.



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Hey R-J,

Do I know you? Fellow tii owner in Vancouver. PM (private message) me. There are a few of us in town that help each other out.

As to your problem: if you can't figure it out, Aers Electric, N.Vancouver can rebuild your starter and sort out your electricals very quickly and economically. Great service and know how.

Cheers, Paul

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