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Perpetual starting issue


mataku527
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I've had the car since May and have since been having issues with starting that seem to get fixed for a short period but then will creep back up.  So far each of the below fixes seemed to fix the starting issue for a few days to weeks:

Car:

- petronix ignition, weber 32/36, otherwise stock, new alternator.  

Problems:

- car died on side of the road, turned out to be the old plastic fuel line which was replaced with a new one

- timing was done, which seemed to help it start up with less cranking

- I cleaned up the grounding of the battery but did not change out the bolts

- car wouldn't start -> ultimately turned out to be bad battery (though was only 1 year old), replaced battery and started

 

Of late, the car would start with one crank if I drove it recently, but would take at least 2 cycles before starting if it was more than 1 day.  I thought it was a vapor burn off issue but possibly a float issue as well, I do have a spacer for the weber.  

Yesterday, I tried to start - last used just the day before.  I get strong cranks but the car doesn't turn over.  There is fuel in the inline fuel filter.  After the 3rd-4th crank (with rests in between), I noticed that the car was smoking a bit and electrical burn smell.  I found the attachment point of the positive cable to the starter was also red hot.  

 

At this point, I was going to rebuild the carb and adjust the float valve.  Is the smoking issue indicative of a bad ground or anything else? Or is it just related to cranking too many times?  

 

Thanks for any help.

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+1 on that red hot cable.  Something is definitely wrong; even after extended cranking it shouldn't be that hot.  And it's probably not a ground issue as a bad ground to the engine (you do have the two-ground cable on the - battery terminal, don't you?) would mean the starter would turn over more slowly, and the accelerator linkage would get red hot.

 

Most auto parts stores will test your starter motor for free--if it's drawing excessive amps, then you need to either replace it or have it rebuilt (presuming you can find an auto electric shop that does that these days!),  And yes, it could be bleeding off volts and amps from your ignition system.  

 

At least in my 35 or so years experience with 2 barrel Webers, they will be hard to start (lots of cranking) if they sit more than a few days--and that's with an insulating spacer, correctly set float, manual choke etc.  They just do.  In fact, mine will start right up hot if it's been sitting less than 10 or so minutes, but will crank 5-6 seconds if allowed to sit longer than that. Never have been able to figure out what that's all about, but it seems to be common with Webers--and not with my 1 barrel Solex on my '69.

 

mike

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Of course I go to start the car today and it starts easily on the first crank!  My guess is that I had flooded the engine with all the attempts to start it prior.  At this point, agreement is that it seems the starter is the issue because even with all that cranking it shouldn't get hot and smoke like that.  

 

I don't want to replace an unnecessary part, but I do want a car I can trust to start.  It appears to be the original starter.  Any way to test it without pulling it?

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If replacing, you want to look for the one of the following-

 

SR440X- 1.4kw cranking power.... here in germany appx 240 euro. 

 

or

 

SR441X- 1.7kw. Appx 200 euro. 

 

I went with the SR441x because it's not only more powerful, but also seemingly cheaper. There's a bunch of threads I found that detail out the wiring pitfalls, two of the connections are flipped from the original, and with the 441 you'll need to get from your factory spade terminal trigger wire to a ring terminal by way of cut and crimp, or an adapter lead. 

 

Cheers,

-J

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If your local wrench has old school tools, you can test the AMP draw when you engage the starter. Most older (perhaps newer, I havent bought one in decades) digital volt meters were offered with a clamp over cable inductive pickup. Place that over the + cable, then engage the starter, the DVM will show AMPS drawn. 80-100 AMPs is fairly typical. If its more than that Id suspect the starter is on its way out. 

 

As for cranking and not starting, Webers are an odd lot. Ive seen more than a few come through the shop so badly adjusted the transition port was exposed at idle, which will lead to very rich cranking mixtures, so much so the throttle needs to be applied to get it lit. There is a fairly specific order in which you set up the base adjustments of a Weber, a black art of sorts, but with process and logic. A perfectly set up summer carb can be a PITA to get lit in the winter, etc. 

 

The Bentley manual for Weber carbs is quite good as a basic guide to set up. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Weber-Carburetors-Owners-Workshop-Manual/dp/1850100209

 

 

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8 hours ago, 2002Scoob said:

If replacing, you want to look for the one of the following-

 

SR440X- 1.4kw cranking power.... here in germany appx 240 euro. 

 

or

 

SR441X- 1.7kw. Appx 200 euro. 

 

I went with the SR441x because it's not only more powerful, but also seemingly cheaper. There's a bunch of threads I found that detail out the wiring pitfalls, two of the connections are flipped from the original, and with the 441 you'll need to get from your factory spade terminal trigger wire to a ring terminal by way of cut and crimp, or an adapter lead. 

 

Cheers,

-J

@ 2002Scoob - Does the SR441X accept a bracket at the end opposite the gear to support it at the block?

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@ 2002Scoob - Does the SR441X accept a bracket at the end opposite the gear to support it at the block?

 

Well... I ended up not with a 441, the only suitable starter that Bosch Germany had is the Unipoint STR-2231, which indeed has the facilities to mount a support bracket.

 

I was told the 441/440 were NLA.

 

c847c37ce45c6154419c97cc260457e0.jpg&key=91717c888b16898960c5951f8896e870ef1f74af2a36bfccde4083962ede8839

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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16 minutes ago, torquewrench80 said:

is that your 2002

Yes it is actually our 1600.  We have used the 441s on several '02s and have had no problems.  I do check the two mounting bolts periodically.

 

One quirk we discovered in these starters has been discussed before:  "On the SR441X one terminal activates the solenoid and the other during starting provides 12V but once you release the the ignition switch the terminal goes to ground".  and the engine stops!!   I seem to remember that we tried inserting a relay between the "R" terminal and the coil to get a straight 12v to the coil during cranking but prevent that terminal from grounding and killing the motor when the ignition switch is released to "Run".  I think we finally just ended up not using the wire to the coil and haven't had any starting issues.

SR-441x connections.jpg

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57 minutes ago, 2002Scoob said:

 

Well... I ended up not with a 441, the only suitable starter that Bosch Germany had is the Unipoint STR-2231, which indeed has the facilities to mount a support bracket.

 

I was told the 441/440 were NLA.

 

@ 2002Scoob - Have you actually bolted the Unipoint starter in or at least checked it to see that if fits properly?

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