Lotus Elan

not enough battery juice / power - any ideas where to start?

PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:06 am

just tried a friends booster and now i know IT AINT THE BATTERY!!!! it's either bad ground/earth? or a source which draws all the power. the engine is very cold (20w50 oil) and i hate electrical problems. where would the professionals start looking: starter motor, solenoid area, wiring someplace, ground connections? ---------------- many thanks in advance sandy (the oil's like honey?!?)
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:34 am

Sandy,
I had the same problem and it was a faulty starter motor. The engine would crank really slowly and no difference with a heavy duty booster or jump leads. All leads and earth checked. Battery swapped and a man in a breakdown van couldn't get it going.

I have a wasp starter, it needed rebuilding.

Sorry I can't suggest a simple fix, at least it's an easy Job on your car to remove the starter and swap it out.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:02 pm

my gearbox bracket is also my main ground AND some of the threads need new time-serts in order to keep everything in position - i'll use a FAKE-GROUND tomorrow! sandy - a tiny bit alpine!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:31 pm

el-saturn wrote:my gearbox bracket is also my main ground AND some of the threads need new time-serts in order to keep everything in position - i'll use a FAKE-GROUND tomorrow! sandy - a tiny bit alpine!


Grounding across the gear box rear mount is a challenging location as that area is normally covered in oil. Good to stop corrosion but poor for electrical conductivity. I would ground the engine in the normal location across the RH engine mount.

I would test the starter in location by direct connection of a battery from the starter solenoid input terminal for the positive and the stater mounting bolt underneath the car for the negative. When trying starting i would then measure with a volt meter the actual volts at the solenoid in and out and starter in versus the starter earth. That will tell you where the voltage drop is. If the starter is seeing good volts but still not turning the engine then pull the starter and overhaul or replace it.

cheers
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:16 am

With your " known good battery " and jump leads , go straight across the starter connections...that is the live input and the body ( earth) then report back.

It will either spin over quickly or not, this will prove your battery and starter ( or not ).

John :wink:
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:25 am

thanks gentlemen ...........................as it never WAS an issue it IS now!! the crossmember's bolt (exactly where the grounding-strip is located) came loose.................. so almost zero contact. now the engine turns enough to start. just had breakfast (continental this sunday) and'll go back soon. the car is in a garage; now a big fridge (-5?C), so i guess it's "supposed" to turn a bit slower than normal?!?!?!? cheers sandy
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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:40 am

Press the clutch in so you don?t turn the gearbox as well.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:09 pm

Well done!

Yes, at -8 C the 20/50 will make it very difficult to start. Fix the ground as per suggestions above.

Cheers!

Stu in the Rockie Mountains of Canada, hoping for a warm day (above -20 C would do) without snow
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:19 pm

Craven wrote:Press the clutch in so you don?t turn the gearbox as well.

Pressing the clutch with put pressure on the crankshaft rotation via the thrust bearings.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:43 pm

types26/36 wrote:
Craven wrote:Press the clutch in so you don?t turn the gearbox as well.

Pressing the clutch with put pressure on the crankshaft rotation via the thrust bearings.


Hummm, this may be a necessary evil. Had never thought of it as an issue.

-8 C is not too bad, but when it gets colder putting the clutch in during startup is essential technique here. One learns to leave the car in neutral if possible as at -40 C (which equals -40 F for our US friends) the gearbox oil will be so thick that you can break the shifter trying to get out of gear!

Of course in regions of Canada where we routinely get this cold all cars are equipped with plug-in electric block heaters. But the typical block heater will not effect the transmission oil viscosity. Modern gear oils and ATF work OK, but that is a whole different deal. My diesel Mercedes would not start at -20 the other day; first time I have had the issue but -20 is also my limit to make sure the block heater is plugged in.

In the high arctic everything just remains on idle. Even so the engine coolant won?t get warm without blocking the radiator opening to retain all the heat.

All he best on getting her started.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:46 pm

.........back in motion fellas! i added a new ground to the copper strap: and she turned, started and made me smile all over ......etc etc.... sandy
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:50 pm

Not a better feeling in the car hobby! :D
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:31 pm

whereabouts are you stu? ive been all over canada and luv it sandy
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:27 am

Located in Calgary Alberta, the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics. About 70 miles to Banff National Park.

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PostPost by: street » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:21 pm

I spent ages trying to solve a starting problem, would fire no problem with booster pack, battery was showing great volts, then spark came as tested the Amps, these were way down, one new battery and started every time.

Suggest try a new battery first as this may eliminate everything else
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